Okay let’s face it- most of us harbored wonderful childhood passions–that were miserably dashed when the cruel harsh reality of adulthood set in or, in other words, the fact that we learned that making money was akin to our survival.
Sure like most little girls I longed to be a member of the NYC Ballet company; although that wish was effectively squashed when I realized that my toes were simply not meant to balance on a block of cardboard.
Still there’s no reason why as parents we shouldn’t nurture the passions our kids express and help them realize their career goals, even if they seem completely outrageous! Honestly, who are we to say to our kids that they cannot be whatever they desire. As they get older, and begin to experience the rejections that being a member of the human race subjects all of us to- almost a rite of passion one must endure in the process of growing up- they’ll have plenty of time to learn about reality.
And can any of us say with complete certainty that we know what’s in store for our kids? So what’s truly the harm in providing them with every opportunity to be their very best- if nothing else it will imbue them with a sense of confidence they can carry with them- no matter who they become…
So to help you nurture your kids and imbue them with a sense of confidence and the possibility that any dream is within their realm no matter how lofty it may seem ( as long as they work toward achieving it) here are my 3 personal tips for helping my own kids in pursuit of their passions.
#1 Tell them YOU believe in them and then SHOW THEM your faith in them through your actions. With kids lip service can only go so far. In fact I’m convinced that three quarters of the things I say to my kids go in one ear and out the other. After my son’s basketball clinic when I told him he did a great job he just shrugged and looked at me quizically- being that he KNEW I did not watch the practice as I was working out in the fitness room while he was immersed in his drills. So yesterday- instead of hitting the gym while he practiced- I sat and watched him play basketball- and when he looked over into the crowded bleachers I was there. I smiled and gave him a big thumbs up… and I could see him melt. And by the way I totally melted too and most importantly I hope that my presence solidified the fact that I support him in his bid to be the next LeBron James.
#2 Enroll your kid in a class (or provide them with an experience) that will allow them to fully pursue their passion. Is your child enamored with worlds and experiences that only films provide; be it a look inside a country halfway around the world, or a peek inside the life and mind of a child likely experiencing his same feelings? Does he long to learn the art of ventriloquism, get one on one time with a director and find out just what makes a person like that tick? Is she constantly borrowing your camcorder to stage and film her own movie? Well parents then you must get your kid into a film class! Got kids seeing virtual stars in their eyes, does he think he’s primed for The Voice. While you might not be all that thrilled at being your son’s captive audience, and you are not quite ready to sign him up with an agent and force him into a life of child stardom. (I get chills just thinking about all the child stars gone bad!) scope out really fun venues that you can enjoy as a FAMILY- where you can collectively interact and share in his passion – this way you get in quality time and you are also feeding his soul and spirit! Find family activities where you can incorporate his passion.
#3 NEVER SQUASH their hopes ( no mater how you feel) and. And no matter HOW good or bad her talent ( or lack thereof ) might be– NEVER EVER tell him he sucks!