I watched a video on youtube the other day, it was an advert for a storage company called Extra Space Storage and it’s been doing the rounds on social media as it’s a pretty wonderful piece. I’ll leave a link to it below, you may have already seen it but if you haven’t I’d definitely recommend watching it (I’m in no way affiliated with them btw).
Anyway, there was one particualr part that really stood out to me and that was ‘Let them be’. Let them follow their own path, make up their own minds and become who they want to be. Yes we should help to mould our children, teach them values and manners etc but when it comes to their personalities, their interests and their future selves, it should all be down to them.
Sure you may be football mad or a keen artist but don’t kick a football at your child or shove a paintbrush into their hands at any opportunity. Give them the tools and if they want to pursue them they will. Jasper naturally started kicking a ball around the garden after I was trying to get him to throw the ball back to me. He did it by accident at first but when he saw the ball whizzing off in the opposite direction his face lit up. He didn’t want to throw the ball, he wanted to kick it and after saying ‘no not kicking sweetheart, we’re throwing’ I then recalled that wonderful epiphany of a moment for him and I sat back and I watched. I let him be. He spent forever running after that ball and kicking it away, occasionally standing on it, tumbling over, giggling and then carrying on. Now we take a ball on every walk with us and he’s getting really good at controlling it with his feet and I’d even say he’s starting to dribble it!
Occasionally I try to throw it to him as I want his skills to develop but he just drops it to the floor and kicks it, and that’s fine. Throwing will come and even if it doesn’t that’s fine too. I don’t throw things now, I’m not a netballer or javelin thrower, and if that’s not the path for Jasper then no problem. As long as he can toss his socks in the laundry bin I’m happy!
I’ve noticed it’s the same with a lot of things, I’ve bought the boys so much arts and crafts supplies; pens, crayons, stickers, play dough and they’re not interested. I even went for the ‘no-mess invisible pens’ and water pens but they scribble for a few seconds and move onto their toy cars. I love to get creative making our own Christmas cards and doing DIY decor but maybe Jaspers creative spark will come when he’s older. He does create mini masterpieces at nursery but when he’s at home he’s naturally drawn to cars, trains and planes.
There are loads of other interests that I’ve just noticed Jasper being drawn to rather than me teaching him or pushing him towards them. 9 times out of 10 the toys I buy for him with great eagerness to play with him as soon as we get home, for example new puzzles and books, he shows no interest in. It’s a few weeks later that he’ll pick them up, in his own time and that’s when he’s ready.
The same will apply for most aspects of life; friendships, career choices, meal decisions. All of these things need to be down to our children with nothing but guidance and support from our end, right?
Have you noticed your children finding their own paths? Do you push certain activities or interests on them?
Thanks for reading,