There is this sometime funny, usually aggravating joke in my home that if anything crafty goes missing, it was Baby Girl. It’s hilarious when you don’t actually need a pair of scissors or Scotch tape.
This girl LIVES for DIY-YouTube-Pinterest projects. I don’t know where she gets it from but she is always coming up with some kind of project to do. Whether it re-fashioning an old sweatshirt of my husband’s, or most recently, going through our “donation basket” and cutting up our unwanted clothes to make scrunchies.
Every time a project of hers gets me unhinged I am reminded about some of the first words I heard from Gary Vee, which happened to be in regards to parenting. In so many words he said support your kid. Like, REALLY support your kid and his/her passions and interests.
I am a parent, I get it. We all want our kids to grow up and be the best possible humans on the planet. But we cannot let our ambitions for them get in the way of them becoming who they not only are meant to become but NEED to become. It’s their life. Yes, we want the best for them, but fortunately…. or unfortunately (depending on how you look at it) it is on them.
This idea that has evolved over the years where every kid is a winner and gets a trophy is utter bullshit. Let your kid LOSE, that is the only way he/she will learn a thing in life. Just because you kid did not “win” does not mean that they lost. It means they are still learning. And it is our job as parents to support them and believe in them. It really is okay if your kid does not make the front page of the paper, or get a sought after end of year award.
Recently my daughter asked me to take her to one of the local craft stores. She wanted sewing supplies. Going shopping with my daughter in any capacity is painful. It takes so freaking long! I almost said no, in my heart I really wanted to say no. But then I remembered Gary Vee’s words. SUPPORT YOUR KID.
Right now, this is my daughter’s passion. She has a passion for creating and I have to support that. Don’t even get me started on her TikTok obsession. Who knows, maybe one of these days something she does will really click and will take her somewhere. But that won’t happen if I only support half of the things she does. If I only support the things that will get me praises by my peers or even worse, people on the internet.
Yes, of course I want her to do well in school. I wouldn’t mind if she played a sport; I would love for her just to have the experience since I never did but that is not a focus of mine. Yes, I could push her into a sport but then it is not fun or productive for either of us. But I would get to brag to my co-workers about how busy I am being a mom though…
When the topic of future and careers comes up with my daughter she always spins off into a million different directions and I have no doubt throughout her adult life she will do a million and one different jobs. Just a few weeks ago she mentioned wanting to have a lemonade stand this summer. We don’t live in an area where a lemonade stand would work; I had no idea how to tell her this. Now that I think about it, I don’t know if I ever really answered her.
As parents, I do not think a lot of us even realize what we are doing. That we want our kids to do so well in whatever is considered socially acceptable we have no idea what we are actually doing to our kids in the long run.
I guess all I am trying to say is to really listen to your kids even if, or especially if, it is something you deem to be useless or unimportant or silly. My son, like most teen aged boys, loves his video games. I do not necessarily want to support that mind numbing habit but I do have to let him explore that passion. Who knows, maybe one day he will design a cool game, or come up with a unique gaming strategy.
None of this means to parent with consequences. Have expectations of your kids; punish your kids if the crime fits. What I am tired of seeing is parents forcing their kids into activities and paths that are theirs instead of their kids. It is possible for a child to grow up and become a doctor while still pursing photography goals.
I know this all sounds completely insane. But I can only think of all the things we enjoy today. There was some kid who had a passion for something; something their parents did not understand but they kept pursuing. A passion that got them laughed at. A passion that cost them everything. A passion that is something the world cannot live without.