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Heidi JanitBy Heidi Janit

We all want our children to believe in themselves, to feel capable, to feel that they can achieve. And by achieve I am not referring only to academics. I am talking about their hobbies, their interests, their loves.

Children need to find something that they enjoy and that speaks to their souls! All those little things like gardening, baking, ballet, soccer, music, art and poetry. Things like sewing, knitting, tap dance and mosiac.

We need to encourage our children to find something that they enjoy. By pushing your daughter into ballet classes because you were a ballerina may not be what your child wants.

By enrolling your son in water-polo at school because it is a family tradition may not be the best thing for him. And sending them off to pottery classes because granny was a star potter and you still have all her creations on your mantelpiece does not necessarily mean that your children will enjoy pottery. Pushing children into doing things we think they will enjoy can create resentment and broken dreams on their part. It can stagnate a talent that is yearning to be worked upon and it can even hinder them from reaching their full potentials.

Allow your children to take their time to discover what they enjoy. If your son wants to do ballet – let him! Look at Billy Elliot – he thrived when he found something he enjoyed, that he was good at, that spoke to his soul.

Discouraging your child from taking up a hobby that you do not approve of is the exact opposite of what you should be doing. Take the time to get to know your children, listen to their interests and observe what makes their hearts soar. And if your son shows an interest in tap dancing, allow him to follow his heart – he will discover himself if it is something he wants to pursue. And you never know, he may just be the next Billy Elliot……………