Let Your Kids Explore
This can be challenging for parents. We want to encourage our children to do certain things but we also want them to have their own space to grow. I hated that my mom made me take piano lessons when I was little, although now I am definitely grateful for it. But when I asked her if I could play basketball with my friends, she suggested that soccer might be a better fit. That was when I was five years old and I remember it to this day. I was never very successful at soccer but I still wonder if I could have been better at basketball. Don’t be disappointed if for Christmas your children ask for chess boards and chemistry sets instead of footballs and video games.
Your Kids Are Always Successful
Even when they aren’t winning, your kids are still successful. Heck, even when it seems like your child isn’t good at something, just the fact that they are trying something new is exciting. Encourage your child to explore the world and find things that they enjoy. When you’re young it seems like you’re supposed to have one thing that you’re really good at and that is what you’ll be known for. As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that what I’m really good at is trying new things. My hobby is searching for new hobbies. So if it seems like your child is disinterested in something, let them find something new to try.
I always assumed that I had to have all of the same interests and talents as my siblings. It’s not that my parents explicitly told me this, it was just something that I had gathered. My brother did soccer so I had to be good at soccer too. My sister was amazing on the piano, so I needed to keep practicing until I was as good as she was. I hope that I’ll be able to make it clear to my children that they don’t need to be anyone except for who they are. While your children may have common interests and traits with one another, no two kids are exactly the same. Make this clear to them and let them know that the only person your child has to compete with is his or herself.
My sister and I often look back on all the times we pretended that we were at a summer camp and tried to pull a better prank on the other person than they could pull on us. Our parents gave us total free range in the afternoons to play with each other and use our imaginations. My only wish is that they would have been there with us a little bit more. Encourage your kids to pretend their bedroom is a spaceship or whatever it is that they’re interested in. Also try to be involved in their creativity. It will make it an even more memorable experience.
I don’t want to let myself become one of those dads who wants his son to be everything he never was. I want my sons and daughters to grow up to be proud of what they have accomplished. I want them to think of their childhood and remember the fun we had together. I want them to think about the time they went to dance class once and hated it, or how they never missed an acting class. Ultimately, I hope that I can help my children develop their own passions and desires that truly reflect who they really are.
Drew Kobb, in addition to studying civil law, loves long distance running and considers himself a health and fitness enthusiast. His interests range all over the medical field, and Drew highlights that range on his blog, Dr. Ouch.