This fall, along came another opportunity for my first grader to run; we knew we had to make sure she could participate. Unlike the last fun run though, my middle daughter and son stayed with me on the sidelines to cheer their older sister on to the finish line. I took pictures. In all the excitement I forgot to check her time when she crossed the finish line. However, speed was not the point. She finished the one-mile cross-country run and enjoyed it. We celebrated and came home with a pumpkin to boot!
My challenge to figure out how to encourage each of my children in their passions remains. Some talents and interests lie undiscovered. Other passions, like my middle daughter's enthusiasm for storytelling, have been obvious from a young age, and are easy for her to practice on a daily basis.
Since my kids are all currently under the age of seven, many years of discovery and growth are still to come. Where their interests do not overlap with mine (as in running), I know I will be stretched as a parent. Yet it is also fun to see how our inclinations diverge; I can enjoy learning how to support and encourage them in their differing strengths. We might participate together as a team or, like last weekend's Pumpkin Run, I may step aside to watch my child beam with satisfaction when her goal is reached. Either way, we win.
Do any of your passions overlap with your children's?
How do you decide which interests to let them pursue?