Thursday, February 4, 2010

Love what your kids love

Growing up, the one thing I loved to do most of all was play baseball. In the summer, I would ride my bike all over town to find a game. Yes, I went without a helmet and sometimes would ride a couple of miles to find a lob ball game. Times were different then, but I digress. Come wintertime, I tried to pass the time with baseball cards and my legos, but neither could compare. I couldn't wait for the snow to melt and get out there with my friends to play. I played all summer long with some guys I still call friends today. I have lots of great memories of those times and when I became a dad, I couldn't wait to share those experiences with my kids.

I started with the girls at a young age and coached their t-ball teams and later their coach pitch softball teams. I know they enjoyed the time with Dad, but softball wasn't really their favorite sport. Before long, I was loving soccer and basketball as much as they were. In fact, I started getting into watching and now really look forward to their games. Baseball was a part of me, but didn't mean it had to be a part of them. Besides, I thought, I still have my boys.

I picked up with them as I had with the girls and they quickly took to it and really liked it. Watching both of them develop gave me hope that one would turn into the next left-handed phenom pitcher for the Cubs. I guy can dream, right? Well, that might not be their dream and I have come to realize that I am fine with that. They are both looking forward to the baseball season, but they also are looking forward to soccer starting next month, the dance competition coming up in a couple of weeks, finishing the "Battle of the Books competition" novel and the Jump Rope-a-thon.

What I have realized over time as a dad is that it isn't about me anymore. It is about them and helping them become the best people they can be and support them to find what really brings them joy. If it is sports, great, but if it is something else all together, that is great too! So many parents today don't feel connected to their kids and in my opinion it has to do with meeting the kids where they are and not where the parents want them to be. If kids have passion for something appropriate, it has to be encouraged. They can't be told "no" because it is deemed unimportant. Kids need to know that their parents have their back and that they are encouraged and supported at home. Parents can do so much good for their kids when they love what their kids love.

Funny thing about blogging...I came into this today focused on writing about something else, but this just flowed today. I do feel passionately about this topic and found I had more to write about it than I had thought. Good news is, I feel really passionate about my next topic too, so check back next week for a follow-up. Thanks for reading.

Mike

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