As a child, I was the one who tried many different extracurricular activities and gave up many more. My list included dance, gymnastics, cake decorating, horse back riding, soccer, skiing, and art. So if you add up all of my adventures over the course of my childhood, I was well rounded! Did I have passion as I tried these things on for size? I would say the answer was no. Did I have fun in the process? Yes!
I think there is a lot of pressure to expose children to lessons and activities at such an early age. And if these activities are done in efforts to have fun, it’s fantastic. But what happens when kids don’t share our enthusiasm for a sport of activity? What happens when they want to QUIT?
As parents, it is often difficult to accept the exploration of childhood. Watching your child struggle at a sport they may not be cut out for because their friends play can be hard. Watching them give up an activity that you felt they were good at is also a challenge.
My favorite quote from this piece is: “For most children, childhood isn’t about passion, but rather about exploration. Our job as parents is to nurture that exploration, not put an end to it. When we create an expectation that children must find their one true interest so early in life, we cut short a process of discovery that may easily take a lifetime.”
Spring sports are about to commence in New England. You will find me supporting my children on the soccer field and the tball field. Will they be passionate about these activities? Time will tell. But I will let them try to do things they love in life, because that is essential to happiness.
Read this article from the New York Times.