Thursday, April 28, 2011

Passing on your Passions

While listening to an interview on Oprah today (sob, that she is wrapping up her show!  I am a huge fan), Rob Lowe talked about his family.  I was pleased to hear a great conversation about Rob's greatest passion, reading and writing.   His family talked about how his interest for words has been instilled in his children.  His son said, that the time that he enjoys spending with his father are the times that they are spending together reading or working on writing.
As parents we hope that our children pick-up on our positive passions. As I type my daughter sits across the dining room table (partly just to be nearby me) and is coloring, narrating about her colors, counting her markers and periodically drumming with them.  These are all interests that she has picked up from her mom and dad, since we have modeled these behaviors with her.  As parents we must use our position as a parent and role model to both pass on positive ideals and avoid the negative.  

Too often, while working with parents in the position of a teacher, they have told me that their young child, maybe as young as first grade, will be bad at math and hate it, simply because they, themselves, hate and do poorly with math.   This simple, yet common example sends a message to their children.   The message is clear, it is ok to fail at this even before you have tried.  Is it ok, to make excuses for your children to help them avoid something that may not be very pleasant?   This is just my thought for the day.  

What are some ways that you can share your passions with your children?
  • Model a positive attitude towards their activities
  • Share your interests with them and make them kid friendly
  • Get excited about their interests and nurture them

What does our family do, to share our passions with our daughter?
  • We have nightly rituals of reading and sharing books.   We also take "special trips" to the book store and library to find new ones.
  • We find out what interests her and get her involved (today it was the cute little pots o fseeds at Home Depot that caught her eye, while I was searching for my spring veggies.  She has checked out the seeds in the window at least 3 times today.  Instead of telling her that she is silly, I get excited too, and we look to see if there have been any changes.  I have, however, reminded her that it will be a few days until we see sprouts!)
  • We give her opportunities to learn about new activities.   If she finds it difficult, we encourage her to keep trying, since it will get easier with practice.  We also help her to understand the value of learning something new and the other  things that can be gained from the activity, be it exercise or meeting new friends.
    What have you done with your children to show excitement about learning something new??


  1. Yup, leading by example is key! My son is only 9 months, but he bites and I think it is because we have always played around and pretended to eat him!

  2. I agree Ginger! : ) Greg did some play biting with Daisy, too! : ) BUT it is also pretty developmental too for kids. It is one of the many ways that kids try to communicate when words escape them, along with pushing or pulling hair. : )