Fostering my kid’s own interests

One of my priorities as a parent is foster my children’s natural interests and skills.

I want to ensure I’m encouraging my children to always explore, keep their minds open, and follow their own interests.

My oldest is about to turn 6 and from a very young age, probably around 2, we knew he had a natural skill for building and creating.

I remember him getting a train set for Christmas and he sat there putting the track together, taking them apart and putting them together again.

He sat in this space fully concentrating on the task at hand for quite a while.

Last year when he was in pre-k, his teacher commented to me, very strongly, that he is good with numbers. It was the first time, someone other than me or my husband saw this in him.

Before that we thought we were just being overly proud parents when it came to his knowledge of numbers and his love for building.

Just a few months ago my husband got him a lego truck that could be made into 3 different trucks.

Well, after working together to build it once, my son then went ahead and followed the pictures to disassemble and reassemble the truck to make all 3 kinds.

Legit my mind was blown!!

Now just a week before he turns six, he receives a circuit board. In less than 2 hours he was going through the instruction manual, found one he wanted to build, and built it without asking a single question or having anyone offer help.

He has continued to build boards, take them apart, and build another.

Again, my mind is so blown!!

I don’t operate in that realm of my brain so watching him is just amazing to me!!!

A few years ago on a business trip I found myself sitting next to a young man who was an engineer for a railroad company. We talked the entire flight and I remember telling him how my son has a natural interest in building and is very good with numbers.

Before we landed I asked him how he felt I could best nurture this interest in my son. He said to make sure we continue to challenge him. If he his naturally skilled then he could get bored easily.

As I continue to watch him, and his brother, naturally gravitate to the toys and activities that they enjoy the most I’m amazed at two things:

  1. How different they are, and
  2. How when they find something they enjoy the can do whatever that activity it is for hours, and with such concentration.

Our youngest is 3 ½ (FYI that ½ is very important, lol), and he very much follows his older brother. Yet, it is clear how different they are from each other.

He is still discovering what he enjoys, but he is much more active. He needs more stimulation and more movement. He cannot sit still and just do a puzzle for hours.

Figuring out how to foster these two different kids is a challenge for sure, but one I’m determined to make a priority.

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