In some families, all of the kids have developed a passion for one specific activity. They may all love to play the piano, or at least they all have an affinity for their own musical instrument. Perhaps they have all taken an interest in triathlons, Boy Scouts or soccer. This is convenient for the parents, as you may be able to recycle music books or soccer cleats, you may only have to drive to one music studio or sports field for practices, and so on.
However, each child is an individual. As your children’s parent, you know more than anyone else just how different each of your children is. Some very unique individuals still enjoy the same activity, but others may have different interests, skills and more that they want to explore.
Helping Your Kids Explore Their Interests
If your family has always done one specific sport or activity, it is always a good idea to offer additional options. Consider asking each of your children separately if they have an interest they would like to pursue outside of their current activities. Some children may tell you no, or you may be rather surprised at some of the things they have an interest in. For example, an avid football player may want to pursue guitar lessons or a volleyball player may want to try karate. Provide your kids with the opportunity to express their interests to you, as they may think they are limited only to the activity they do now.
If you have been surprised by your children’s interest in other activities beyond those that your family has always done, you are not alone. These may be activities that you want to expose your child to in more detail. Consider taking small steps to explore these interests more fully. For example, you may sign your child up for an introductory music lesson or a free art class at a community center rather than sign up for on-going classes. If your child has never tried the activity and simply wants to know more about it, these are great options to consider. Other options include finding an activity-specific camp for your child over Spring Break or summer vacation.
Your family may indeed end up being an all-baseball or all-music family, but until you allow your child the freedom to explore other interests, you may not know this for certain. Provide your child with the opportunity to explore interests, and you may be surprised at where that road takes you.
Here are a few other articles written by this author:
How Positive is Your Parenting?
Helping Your Kids Through Fights with Friends
Kids and Friend Drama: When to Step In