Today, Becky was signing our kids up for summer programs. She likes to get them involved in reading camps and invention camps in the summer, just one or two weeks out of the two month break. In NC, they are pretty popular- they are just morning camps that let the kids pursue an interest (sports, etc…) with a few of their friends. We were talking about the different camps for each child. Jack, our oldest, would love a football camp or a math camp. Beau, our second, would love an invention camp. Ethan, our third, would be happy about a soccer camp or a drama camp. Allie, our 4th… well is there a camp for future princesses? She’d be there.
That’s when this quote came to mind: No kid is unsmart. Every kid’s a genius at something. Our job is to find it. And then to encourage it. (Robin Sharma said this)
Every day we have the opportunity to see what our children truly are becoming. We can harp on their weaknesses or we can build up their strengths. As parents, it is our job to find those strengths and help our child learn to use it.
The hard part comes when we see that our child’s strength is not OUR strength. Beau likes making forts, building new inventions and working on math equations. Jack likes football, reading and wrestling. Ethan is into baseball & soccer right now. Allie wants to cheer, all day, every day. I was always a football person. The other things didn’t interest me too much, as a child- like baseball, cheerleading, building forts or wrestling. No, the things that they love aren’t the things that I love, but I don’t care.
I guess that’s the thing about being a parent. It’s like my first boss used to say “As managers, we don’t manage ourselves. Not everybody learns the same way that you learn. You can’t expect people to learn the same way that you do.” It is just like children. Our job, as the parents, is to adapt our interests to their interests. Change our actions and ways to help them.
Yes, spending two hours a day playing soccer in my backyard (in the rain) wouldn’t have been my first choice of things to do on a Saturday, but if you saw my teammate, you would be standing out there wet, cold and smiling, too. Our kids will make us step out of our comfort zone and by doing so, we are bringing out the best in them… in return, they bring out the best in us.
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