Raising Young Woodworkers
Well as you guys and girls know, I take Alyson...my 14 month old daughter, just about everywhere. Its really not to force her into liking woodworking, snowmobiling, forestry or logging, but as I love all those things, and love her, its only natural I guess to put the loves together when I can.
Yesterday we had some time to spend together as her Mom was at work and I had the day off. I don't have a stressful life, but just taking a walk through the woods always makes me smile. So I grabbed Alyson, put her in her backpack and headed out through the woods.
We had to stay on logging roads pretty much as she did not like getting tree branches in the face, but she was laughing when we first started out. In the two mile hike she never once fussed so I think she liked it. As we hiked I kept pointing stuff out, like different trees and stuff. The conversation went something like this:
"Yeah that is a Hemlock tree. See the thick scaly bark, that is how you tell. Then that is a Yellow Birch, see how the bark can pull right off. Its very oily and can make paper, canoes, of start fires if need be.""
I am sure it sounded downright crazy because I am having this conversation with an infant. But the thing is I do this all the time with her. I talk to her in technical terms and rarely give things cute, baby type names like saying "What a cute tree" or "Look at the itty-bitty tree." I just talk to her like she is an adult. "See the little Striped Maple Alyson, that's a saplin," then point it out.
So I wondered what you thought. Do you think this is good, or bad, I mean teaching her meaningful conversation must be good, but in this day and age we are maturing our kids so quickly...I don't want to keep her from her childhood either?
What about the conversations themselves, now I don't expect her to recite the difference between a white birch and yellow birch anytime soon, but do you think she will retain anything I say to her at this early age?
And finally what about woodworking itself? Do you think she will grow to have an interest in the hobby as she was taken to so many woodworking related places at such a young age. (Museums, logging exhibits, woodworking stores, etc) I wonder because there is no doubt she is a Daddy's Girl, but she is all girl. A girlie, girl with the girlie cry and the girlie looks and the girlie way of wanting to always stay clean.
Now don't get me wrong, I am not forcing Alyson to do anything here. I am just wondering how all this woodworking related stuff at such a young age will affect her.
(In case you missed my other post, here are the pictures from that forestry walk yesterday..
Alyson Hike 10-04-07
Last edited by Travis Johnson; 10-06-2007 at 10:50 AM.
I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"