As parents, it’s easy to try and make our children enter into the dreams that we have for them without really listening to they want. For example, a parent could want their son or daughter to play basketball or soccer because that’s what they did when they were younger. But, what the child really wants to do is simply skate in their backyard ice rink play some other kind of sport. Here are some ways to make sure that your child really is doing what they want to.
Look for Cues
For example, if you find your child online looking up tutorials on how to build a backyard ice rink but in school they are playing field hockey, they might want to play ice hockey instead. Practicing on a home ice rink is a great way to up your skills without being embarrassed about falling at first. Also, this could be a total bonding time. Building a backyard ice rink requires a lot of work and lot of trips to buy supplies; ice rink liners and tarps and so much more. Try not to be so hung up on your own dreams for you child that you miss out on theirs. It’s important for kids to know that you are going to support them no matter what, when it really comes down to it.
Talk to Teachers
Your child’s teachers may be better in tune with what your child wants to do than you are. This is simply because they are watching your child with unbiased eyes. They can see when a child is not into their sport or their activity. They notice when they would rather be elsewhere. It’s also easier for kids to talk to teachers about things sometimes. Kids are sometimes so afraid of disappointing their parents that they just go along with what their parents want without saying anything. They aren’t as afraid of disappointing their teachers so it’s easier to be honest with someone who does not have such high expectations.
Talk to your child
Talking to your child’s teachers is helpful but you should also try talking to your child. No one knows what he wants better than him self. Approach the situation with an open mind. Be prepared that your son or daughter may express something that you don’t necessarily want to hear. If they start talking about backyard ice rinks, don’t brush it off right away. The whole reason they haven’t talk to you before is because they were afraid of upsetting you so, listen and wait. Wait for them to finish explaining how they feel and then validate their feelings. If you try talking to them and they aren’t talking back very easily and try asking them questions that are not just yes or no questions. For example compare sports; do they prefer tennis or track? Basketball or football? Questions like these will give you a feel for your child’s interests. You may be surprised at what you find out.
As mentioned several times, the main reason why children don’t talk to their parents about things is because they are afraid of upsetting them. In other words, they are unapproachable. I kid needs love and support and appreciation from his parents without the fear of rejection of having his over ideas shot down. Be the kind of parent that your child feels the liberty to come and talk to. If you have open communication with your child then they will feel more inclined to share their hopes and dreams with you even if they know it is not what you had planned.
Overall, remember that this is not about you. You’re not living their life and you do not want them to resent you one day for forcing your own dreams on them. You may feel that you know what is best for your child and most of the time this is true. But as your child gets older he or she should be able to have a say in the activities or sports that they are involved in and interests that they have. Let them have more responsibilities and decision making abilities the older they get. They will appreciate you for it.