When it comes to outside activities, one of the reasons I want my kids to try different things is so they can discover who they are. How can someone know if they have a passion for music if they never touch an instrument? But this philosophy isn’t really working for my son. The more activities or events I try to introduce to him, the more he just looks at me as if I just don’t understand him. When I think about the things he is currently involved in, they have all been his ideas, not mine. I’ve never met a child who was so sure of what he likes and dislikes, who he is and isn’t, and about where he will end up in life. He sees new activities as tedious and a waste of time. While I sit back and try to figure him out, he plods on self-aware and confident. I’ve had to learn the hard way to follow his lead and trust that he will find his own way. I believe life never stops giving you learning opportunities and in this case, I need to learn to let go and realize that my ways aren’t the only ways.
So what can a homeschooling mother do for a child who already knows what he wants? Support him. When he doesn’t want to join a specific class or group, I don’t insist. When he wants to set up his own ant colony, or raise a bearded dragon, I let him. As long as he is happy, healthy, and learning to be independent, I need to just let him be. It’s hard to trust a twelve-year-old boy to know what he wants from life, but he’s doing a great job so far. Even though I’m much more comfortable leading a child into the world than following a child who walks confidently into his own life, sometimes doing nothing is the hardest and best thing to do.
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