Should a parent, teacher, or coach “show” a child how to do a skill better?
Should a parent let a child just do an activity, make mistakes, and discover the best way to be successful?
Answer: There is a time and place for both.
“Do-as-I-do” teaching or coaching is a good choice when a child is first learning. This is necessary to make sure children know how to do the skill safely, build their confidence, and prevent bad habits or wrong techniques to develop that will prevent success down the road.
But, once the basics are learned, the child should have more and more opportunity to discover his or her own ways to do the skill better. Creativity brought to an activity can make a person move from being “good” to being “great” at it.