Posted by: Cathi Brese Doebler | September 3, 2009

How is your child unique?

“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6

When I asked my son if he wanted to play soccer this year, he said, “I don’t think I want to play soccer this year. I’ll just go watch my brother’s games.”

Just because soccer was my favorite sport to play doesn’t mean that it has to be my child’s favorite. He is a unique individual, and this includes being uniquely different from me.

Every child has their own interests and their own special abilities. As a parent, I think it is really important to let your child participate in making decisions about skills they want to build.

Obviously, school is important, and an emphasis on learning should be a part of their lives. Beyond classroom time, however, there are so many other skills that could be an area of focus for your child:

  • Music
  • Art
  • Sports
  • Etc.

Both of my sisters had an interest in gymnastics when we were young. I did not. And I never worried that my parents were upset about me not doing gymnastics, because they let me participate in the sports that interested me.

I hope to convey the same attitude to my children, so that they can learn to love their unique skills, and not feel the pressure to love the same sports or skills that I love.

My love of soccer did not come from being on a winning team. In fact, we often did not win. My love of soccer came from enjoying playing the game, and I was allowed to love the game mainly because I learned that my uniqueness was okay with my parents.

How do you help your child blossom in his or her uniqueness?

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Responses

  1. This is always a challenge with 4 kids – wanting them to be individuals, but trying to schedule it! Yikes! At younger ages, we have tried to help them have EXPERIENCES so that they can make educated choices about what they like. Then, as they grow, they can make wiser choices about what they did or did not enjoy. We play sports in the neighborhood leagues, then we can decide how much and how long we want to pursue them. And we started both older boys with piano, so they have a usic background that will make other instruments easier to learn. And we always have plenty of drawing paper and books around, for them to explore! 🙂

    • Yes…I imagine the more children you have, the more variety you get! 🙂


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