Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Accepting and Blessing Your Child's Uniquenesses

My favorite humorist Dave Barry writes, "I wish there was an early morning kids' TV show called Let's Go Back to Bed. The licensed characters would yawn a lot and say: 'I'm tired! Let's all lie down and be very quiet until at least 7:45am!' Wouldn't that be great? Daddy would send money to that show."

Can you relate? Some kids are early risers no matter what was happening the night before. Others are laid back and take life as it comes. We had one who was up every morning by 6 or so and ready to live life! In fact that's what he has had to do for his radio work for years now. Some are creative and artsy while others love sports or technical challenges. 

And it's easy as a parent to subtly or not so subtly push our kids to be who they are not or to do those things we like the most rather than watch them blossom and be who God made them to be.  Yes, we must still be the parent or parents and there are times when we have to encourage our kids to push through and do something that on their own they would choose not to do.

We need to remember that there are decisions they can't possibly make at a young age about whether an activity or talent should be pursued.

However, it's still important that even when we push them a little we have one eye on what is it that really makes them tick, what skills truly help them come alive and what is it that their personality best matches with in the long run. In addition, we must monitor how much time will their activities require from our time together as a family.

As I drove by a local sports field this morning at 7:45am, I saw scores of five or six-year-olds playing flag football. While I can't know all the circumstances surrounding the families' motives and kids' interest I  had to wonder just how many of those little ones needed to be on a field already on a Saturday.  I'm assuming they were all up going to school Monday through Friday last week. When can they just have time to one, rest, and two, to simply be kids?

I pondered how many of those parents had taken serious inventory of whether Saturday morning football was really going to add value and meaning to the lives of their children and family as a whole.

Where is the time when the family just does something together, spontaneous, agenda-less and simply to have a good time?  Some parents forget so often that each child is different and they don't all need to involved in an organized activity every waking hour nor are they all athletes, artists or musicians.  Find out what your child loves (and yes, that takes some experimentation) but help them to also learn to enjoy rest, refilling and just coming up with their own creative ideas for play and activity.

Are you living through your children or are your children learning to really live through you?  What will you look back someday on and say, "yes, we're glad we committed ourselves to that?"  It's your decision but remember it's an important one.
Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

1 comment:

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