Friday, June 14, 2013

Encouraging a child's interests

A Veterinarian.

That’s the answer my daughter gives when asked what she wants to be when she grows up. It’s the same answer she’s always given. Actually, her very first answer was “a big sister to Dasher” (her dog); but when I explained she kind of already was that, and that it looked unlikely she would be any other kind of “big sister,” she decided on veterinarian, and has stuck to it ever since.

So, how does a parent know whether a proclaimed vocation at five years old is based on an innate passion and skill, or just one of those top answers kids give – like policeman or president or doctor?

She has always loved animals. Even when she was a toddler and the neighbor’s big dog barked and jumped, she just giggled. And she was only three when we went to the rodeo and she fell in love with horses. She even helped hold up a gigantic, nine-foot boa constrictor at the zoo.

Whether it is lizards and spiders at nature camp, or the various dogs at the dog park, if there’s a creature nearby, you can bet my daughter’s attention is captured.

I know the percentage of people who actually become what they wanted to be when they were five is likely very small. But we encourage her anyway. We tell her she’ll have to study hard and make good grades to become a veterinarian. And we buy books about dog breeds and animal bones.

We don’t really care whether she becomes a veterinarian or not when she grows up. But we do care that she knows she’s supported, that she’s confident in her decisions and that she feels free to embrace her God-given passions.

How do you encourage your child's passions?

Amy McCall is a full-time Communications & Image manager for Texas Health Resources and a full-time mom for her six-year-old daughter.

No comments:

Post a Comment