A friend of mine told me a story yesterday that I just loved. Her 11 year old daughter, Isabel, was on a volleyball team and was in the backyard practicing her volleyball skills. When my friend peeked out the kitchen window to watch her practice, she was surprised by what she saw. Her daughter was happily dancing around the yard!
My friend, being a very in tune mom, went out and asked her daughter: “Are you sure you don’t want to try out for the dance team? You seem to really enjoy dance.” Tryouts were coming up in a couple months and her daughter had said she wasn’t interested.
Isabel paused and said, “I do think I’m interested. I really like dance and I’m not that into volleyball.”
So my friend signed Isabel up for intensive dance lessons to get her as prepared as possible for the very competitive dance tryouts. Isabel rose to the occasion and practiced diligently every day. When tryouts came, she ended up making the dance team, against great odds.
I was so impressed that my friend had followed her intuition in pursuing the dance topic with Isabel. If she hadn’t gone outside that day and asked her what she wanted to do, the dance team opportunity would have passed Isabel by. Because my friend was in tune with what made Isabel light up, she created the opportunity for Isabel to pursue an interest which has now become her main extracurricular passion.
As parents, if we can help our kids discover and nurture their passions, it helps their self-esteem, confidence and happiness. It gives them something to feel proud of and to call their own. And who knows where it can lead!