When I was growing up, I loved basketball, soccer, Wiffle ball, reading, and computer games. My girls like… none of that. Which is fine. A Dad’s job is to work with them to find their lane, not force them to relive your own childhood. It might take several tries, it will definitely take some patience, and it might take some experimentation. Our ideas might be proven right… (they are slowly coming around on reading and flash cards) or proven wrong (despite their height, they will not be playing basketball). That doesn’t matter.
There’s an infinite number of lanes possible for every child in this world. We might have found one for Ally on Saturday.
This sounds like an almost unsolvable riddle. How do you get a kid to understand that the more effort they put in, the more chances there are for something remarkable to happen?
It doesn’t have to be sweat and blood. Ally often sits at the piano and just noodles along playing chords and singing (mostly) nonsense. I go out of my way to praise that sort of lazy type of effort.
Lazy, is probably the wrong word, maybe meandering or exploratory, as this is the type of effort that I find better than setting a timer and stopping mid-song when the chime goes off.
Some days I feel like I’m parenting a phalanx of budding lawyers where they do everything to the letter and no more. To just satisfy the ask with the least amount of work is rarely a road worth taking.
For me, paying attention to details and taking the long way instead of seeking a shortcut is the best chance to do something that creates a little big of magic in the world. Now, how do I explain that to a middle-schooler and avoid an eye roll?