My 2 daughters are as different as night and day! They are both amazing girls, but their passions are completely different. My daughter Khrystyna loves sports and is highly competitive. My daughter Amina loves art and is extremely creative.
While it would have been great to have kids who love to sing and play the piano (things I love to do) or who love to write computer programs (like my hubby), that’s not what our kids love…and trying to force them to do those things would have been a disaster!
In order to help our kids discover their passions and talents, we have tried to expose them to a variety of things. We require each of our girls to be involved in at least one extra-curricular activity per year at school. They can play a sport, be involved in an art program, volunteer in the community, or take some kind of lesson.
We’ve experimented with music lessons and trampoline lessons (I absolutely loved these). We’ve played volleyball, soccer, basketball, and softball. We’ve done family runs (nobody really liked these, but they all humored me anyway). We’ve bought all kinds of craft supplies. We’ve rented and borrowed musical instruments. We’ve set up a variety of software and games on our kids computer. We’ve done what we can to give them a way to discover what they are good at and what they love.
One of the ways I think we can most encourage our children and their passions is to participate in their passions with them.
Now if you know me well, you know I am probably the least artistic person in the world. I can’t draw a stick figure, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t encourage Amina to excel at her art. While we were at Disney World, our whole family took quite a few of the drawing classes at Hollywood Studios. Amina’s drawings were frameworthy…the rest of ours, not so much, but that didn’t stop us from taking class after class. While I may not ever be an artist, there are other things I can do for and with Amina. Maybe I can learn how to use Adobe movie editor and we can create some family videos together. My husband used to work as a sound engineer so maybe they can whip up a cool audio/video presentation using Adobe audio production. I have a “Feelin Crafty” board on Pinterest where I regularly pin ideas that I think we could do at some point. I’m pretty sure I’ll never be an artist, but I can still do “artsy” things with Amina.
I’m more athletic than I am artistic, but unfortunately, I’m terrible at basketball (which happens to be Khrystyna’s favorite sport). Although I’m terrible, I still try my hand at playing her. We sometimes play PIG (and I always lose). Sometimes we play one-on-one (I always lose). Do you see a pattern here? Yeah, me too. While basketball isn’t my thing and I’m not great at playing, I can still support her by being at her games, taking an interest in what’s going on during her practices, and encouraging her to work hard at being the best she can. We also do regular family game nights. Most of the time these games are board games or card games (although when it’s nice out we have been known to play some rousing games of Wiffleball). While they don’t necessarily foster her athletic abilities, they do get her competitive juices flowing (and she’s usually quite thrilled to play).
I highly encourage you to find out what your kids love and to nurture those passions.
How do you nurture your children’s passions?
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