Supporting Your Kids in Their Passions

Supporting Our Kids in Their Passions | Marriage & Family Strong | child development | parenting tips | parental support | kids activities

There are so many stages of child development and one that we often overlook are the simple hobbies and activities our children take interest in. Of course, we want to steer them into the things we love because, well, we hope they will love it just as much.

There’s nothing better than knowing your son or daughter takes an interest in something you do or have done. You can’t tell me you wouldn’t feel happy when they say, “Hey I want to play a certain sport or I want to do something just like my dad did.”

That’s when things can get a little tricky. I know plenty of fathers who can take it to the extreme, because it is fun to share that little bond.

Sharing My Passion with C

Recently, I’ve started to share one of my love of ice hockey with C. There’s nothing more fun than playing hockey (even though Britney will disagree) but what has been even more fun than me playing is sharing the sport with my son.

But like all three-year-olds, sometimes their passion is going from one activity to the the next as their attention wanes. I’ll admit, hockey takes a lot of patience, for son and father. The first time I took him out on the ice was really hard because ice skating is not something you can just pick up. You have to learn to skate and hold a stick and handle a puck.

C is a bit cautious as it is and at first, he didn’t really like it. He was afraid of falling and his hands got cold, etc.

What if Your Child Rejects Your Passion?

When we were coming home one day, I was thinking to myself, “What do you do when your kid could care less about what you’re passionate about? What am I going to do if my son doesn’t want or doesn’t care to play sports?

“What if my son wants to learn how to sing or loves mathematics or wants to become a scientist instead of an athlete? How will I react?”

I’m very passionate about sports for all of the qualities it builds and for the life lessons I learned while playing. I wish I had a list that said, “Here are five steps to help you overcome this.” But I don’t.

The biggest thing is to love your kid with all your heart and learn to love what they love.

Support them.

GO TO THE ALL OF THE GAMES/MATCHES/CONCERTS/COMPETITIONS.

The Life Lesson from My Dad

Let me give you an example for my life. I grew up in a family that loves sports but the traditional sports like football, basketball, softball/baseball and soccer.  My dad wanted me to play football. So I started young and played into high school.

As I got older, I discovered that I really loved to play hockey. Now, my parents had no clue about hockey, probably just that the guys playing it were missing teeth. my dad didn’t even know one thing about hockey nor did he really care about it.

But what my dad did taught me a lesson for life. Because I loved it, my dad learned to love it and was just as involved as if I had still played football. I never became the best hockey player but because my dad was involved in my life he made me a better man.

Motivation Behind Getting Them Involved

Chances are small that your child will be the next professional in his or her sport but if they love it, you have to give them every opportunity to become the best they can be. And that’s why it’s important to learn what they love. Even though it may be hard at first, trust me that if you’re number one reason for getting your kids involved in your passion is to be involved with them, help them smile, and to help them find joy in life, then it doesn’t really matter what it is they want to do.

It’s all about being involved in your kid’s life taking an interest in what they like whether it’s sports or acting or debate.

So the answer to the question about my child not taking interest in my passion? I would run lines for a play or help him work through a math problem.

I want to be in his life and to be a part of anything he does, along with the other three, of course. Supporting him and what he does is something I’ll do, because every child deserves to feel loved.

Love is Unconditional Especially In Child Development

Love should not be based on their performance in the activity. Child development has so many intricate layers and you don’t ever want to make your child feel like they are a failure and they aren’t loved because they made a few mistakes. Your love should be unconditional. It shouldn’t be based on the fact that they decided to stick with your passion or not.

Who am I to be arrogant, to be stubborn and say, “Because you don’t like this, I’m not going to take an interest what’s important to you.” You may not be saying it out loud, but your child can definitely feel it.

When you become a parent, you relinquish your right to total me time. Sure, you can sneak in a round of golf or go to a Comic Con every once in a while, but there is nothing better than seeing the smile on your kid’s face when she’s succeeded at something she loves or that was difficult at first.

What Should You Do?

Take the time to be the coach, instructor or leader of the group your child is in. You don’t have to know everything about the activity to show your kid that you’re trying and he or she might have pointers to help make it easier as well. Even just taking the time to practice with them as often as possible makes a difference. And you can talk about what’s going on in other areas of their life as well.

Just remember, your daughters are important too. If they’re into dance, you might have to suffer through hours and hours of dance competitions but it’s better to be there in the moment than to regret it years later.

Your child knows how you feel about things, even if you don’t verbalize them all the time. Best to “fake it til ya make it” or at least until the child moves onto another hobby.

Fathers, it’s time we step up and become men. Put our pride up on the shelf and really take an interest in our kids life. I promise you will be able connect with your kids more and have a stronger and more lasting relationship with them.

Rise up and be men!

 

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3 thoughts on “Supporting Your Kids in Their Passions”

  1. Excellent article. My kids are 21, 18, and 16. We have done so many things I never would have dreamed they would do. After trying most everything, we ended up in competitive gymnastics, cheerleading, academic bowl, cross country, track, pole vault, choir, show choir, musical leads, and film. You have no idea where you will end up while supporting your kids, but I can tell from your article that you will be there!

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