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When We are Parents, We Should Encourage our Children's Interests

Yesterday, I went to my daughter’s dance recital at her ballet school. She is taking a modern dance class that she really loves, and it is great to see her enjoying herself and learning a new skill.

She has always danced her heart out in our house, cranking up the music loud and dancing around for hours. So, this year, we finally got her into a dance class. I am so proud of her and everything that she is learning!

Part of being a mom is encouraging your children to grow with what they are interested in.

When we were kids growing up, many parents would steer their kids into certain after school activities without giving them a choice. Sometimes, parents push kids into activities they don’t enjoy in order to fulfill their own dreams, not the child’s. This can be harmful to the kids in the long run. It shows them that they have a lack of agency in their own lives.

If we allow our kids to take the lead on their activities, we are showing them that what they want is important too. It allows them to make choices, and to determine their own futures.

According to Weebly,

Children are motivated by their interests. Incorporating children’s interests in their learning promotes choice and ownership. When children are allowed to make choices, work collaboratively, and take ownership of their work; their learning and motivation increases Turner and Paris (1995).

As a kid, my older daughter participated in a lot of different activities: swimming, gymnastics, guitar, piano, clarinet, drama club and Anime club. I always let her pick out one activity to do after school, so that she could learn new skills and keep busy.

Anime club was something that she and her friends took the initiative to start in middle school. They went to a teacher to get him to sponsor their new after school club. They put up flyers and got other kids to attend. It was all their doing.

I think it was good for her to get the experience of forming her own school club, because it taught her to be responsible. It also taught her that her own interests are important and valued, no matter what they are. It helped her make friends, and to do something to be involved at school.

When kids feel like you support their interests, it helps them to feel like what they do is important. Supporting them also allows you to deepen the relationship that you have with them. Even if you don’t really share the same interests as your kids, by taking some time to learn about it with them, it shows that you care.

There are hosts of activities for kids to become involved in, and showing your time and support of what they want to do really matters!

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