It is amazing how quickly kids grow up! Last year Logan and I discussed his career as a business man and clown. This year Logan has decided he wants to become a veterinarian –
just almost like his dad. This got me thinking a bit…
Logan and I are so similar. It’s a nightmare when we do homework together, I want things done my way. Logan want things done his way and neither of us are willing to compromise. I know I am the adult and parent and it is my job to figure out how we can do thing better. And I am learning , but I am a slow learner and I’m very stubborn. As is Logan and it’s really not a very good combination!
Apart from being stubborn, questioning and very particular in the way things need to be done. Logan also has my rebellious streak in him. He reminds me of me, on steroids. And let me remind you, I went overseas at the tender age of 18 when my dad wouldn’t allow me to study the course I wanted to study. I fell pregnant shortly after.
So now you get why I am worried…
How do we protect our kids and preserve their dream?
In all honesty? I think we keep going what we are doing – the best we can. However there’s a couple of the things that has grabbed my attention the past couple of months – maybe it means something to you? Maybe it will just be a good reminder for this momma one day while she reads through her archives.
Know what is going on in your kid’s life
That means keeping up to date with who he is playing with. Know the facts: Cornel isn’t his “maatjie” anymore but that Tiaan is a very nice friend. And go through the ups and downs; the zigs and zags, on a daily basis. I tend to think that because I am informed I will know when something isn’t right. And if I don’t pick it up immediately, I will know that much faster than the average parent.
Listen to your child
Logan told me a couple of month (yes, months) ago he doesn’t enjoy the karate anymore. I heard him and I was so busy trying to teach him a life lesson in perseverance that I wasn’t really listening to what he was trying to say. I wasn’t listening to the unspoken words, he was trying to word.
Join him in doing what he loves doing
It is so much easier when they are little. Oliver is in the 7th heaven just to read a book; tickle and sing songs. Logan is a different can of worms, probably because he is trying to find out what he loves doing. After I recognized what Logan was saying when he said he doesn’t enjoy the karate, I started investigating alternative “martial arts”. I was thinking along the lines of Judo because it’s more physical than karate, until my brother made me aware of Capoeira. Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance; music; acrobatics and martial arts. I will go more into detail in another post – but the crux is – Logan is made for Capoeira and when we have the opportunity I want to introduce him to something I think he will grow to love!
Discover your child’s passions; natural strengths and abilities and take physical & mental notes
I don’t believe it is fair for us to tell our child what career they should choose or what degree they should study. I believe we should be prepared to discuss their careers; armed not with silly dreams; but with facts: Psychometric testing results; school reposts and certificates; notes / reminders to ourselves written through the years to remind us of their accomplishments. And with that I mean the “soft accomplishments” that we sometimes forget, the smile outlined on your child’s face when he/she came home from and did really well in a speech / test / project. When they fall in love with a certain aspect or topic learned at school. The underlying character that is the essence of your child.
Be the example
Every time Logan comes to me and asks me why I am studying yet again, my answer stays the same. So that I can get a better job that will allow me to earn more money, so I can give you better opportunities in life.
Allow them to make mistake while they are under your roof
I recently listened to a speaker who referred to the teenage years are “practice” years for life. This is the time we need to allow our kids to make their own choices. If they make mistakes, we are still close enough to protect and guide them while they learn. It makes perfect sense.
Trust the values you’ve taught your child
We teach our kids a set of values from a very young age. Hard work, integrity and being grateful for what you have. When it comes to your child and their dreams, we need to believe that we have taught them well and that they will follow and honour the values we’ve taught them.
Stay on your knees
We can’t make decisions for our kids. We can teach them; prepare them and be the example. And the only thing left to do, is to remain on our knees and pray that God will guide them and that they will listen.