I wrote an article last year about helping your child find their niche. I talked about the importance of helping your child identify their skills, abilities, talents, and natural giftedness. Just the simple act of observation will tell you so much about your child, but what you do with that information is critical to your child’s development.
We can unwittingly steal our child’s hopes, dreams, and aspirations. Some people get so concerned and worried about their children succeeding in life that we tell them all of the things they cannot do instead of listening to the possibilities of what they might do. Although our child may be extremely talented at something, it is so easy to tell them that those skills won’t help them succeed.
Let’s take something as simple as TV watching. Think you can’t make money at that? Think again. There are numerous blog sites, podcasts, and other social media sites where fans of a television show began to create content and connect with other fans. Potential advertisers and sponsors recognize the amount of attention being paid to this site, and the number of followers/readers that it has, and before you know it the site creator has a paying gig. Why – because they were passionate about something and found others who shared the same passion.
What else might your child be doing that looks like a waste of time? How should you handle that? Start by simply remembering that kids are children for only so long. Let them have their play. As long as they aren’t hurting themselves or someone else, or doing something illegal or immoral, they’re probably just fine. The imagination is a fertile field in our young children and they need to be able to plant, water, grow, and harvest from that garden.
So the next time you’re telling your child not to waste their time, or pushing them to do something differently, or even using the simple words “you need to grow up”, think about the impact that you might have on that child. What dream or creative work might be lost forever to your powerful words? We were all artists, dancers, musicians, actors, and so forth when we were kids, but somewhere along the way someone told us that we need to act like an adult. Don’t do the same to your child. Every child deserves to have their fun.