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I remember when I was three years old that I asked my mom to teach me to tie my own shoes. She told me to wait until I was older. Then I went upstairs and my dad was putting on his big work boots to work outside. I watched as he tied the big laces into a bow and double-knot. Then he watched as I followed what he did with my shoes. My parents were amazed that I learned how to tie my own shoes at that age without specific instruction.

I think it is interesting that when I had a desire to learn and confidence in my ability to learn, I was able to learn quite quickly because I believed that I could do it. After all, my dad could tie his shoes and my mom and older siblings could as well—so I believed I could learn too.

We all have "windows of opportunity" when it is the ideal time to learn something because we have a desire and believe we can do it.  When children express an interest in doing something, that is probably the best time to help them learn it. If we put it off, sometimes they lose the desire or the confidence that they can do it. But I also believe that even if it isn't the "ideal time" to learn something that it is still possible—it just may take more effort as we overcome discouragement, lack of motivation, or lack of confidence that we can do it.