Many parents, including me, often talk about wanting their kids to be passionate about something. So, we expose them to many different things hoping that something will catch their attention and light a fire within them.
But is the idea of finding and nurturing a passion a hope we have for our kids or is it something we need to show our kids?
I think it is an idea that needs to be taught by example.
If our kids don't see our passion shine through how will they know that being passionate about things adds depth and enthusiasm to one’s life?
Our passions make us unique. If we close that part of us off to our kids, only showing them a crafted 'parent persona' of ourselves, how will they ever know us as anything more than a one-dimensional character?
The other day we had an opportunity to teach by example.
My husband has been an avid comic book collector since childhood and this passion has stayed with him through his adult life. He loves the stories, the characters, the art work and the mythology behind the stories.
At home, my husband has always been openly enthusiastic about his passion for comics books. Our kids often ask questions about the characters they recognize in the comic books and our oldest has taken to reading some of the comics that have piqued his interest. But my husband’s love of comic books doesn’t just come from reading them, it also come from the experience of where he buys them and being part of a community that shares his interest.
For over 20 years, my husband has been a loyal customer of our local comic book store. So much so that sometimes they have his stack of favourites ready at the counter for him to pick up. Which is fantastic customer service but it doesn’t leave an opportunity to take the kids comic book shopping all that often.
The other day we were all together and passed the comic book store. It was a great chance to show the kids the culture of comic books, add depth to their understanding of their Dad's passion and break free of that ‘parent persona’.
My husband introduced our kids to the owner of the store and he told our kids how my husband has been coming to their comic store since before they were born. For our 7 year twins that length of time translated into forever.
It was neat to watch our kids wander around and engage with their Dad about different characters they recognized from things such as Star Wars or the Marvel and DC worlds. One of my favourite moments was watching them ask about the funny, large orange cat on the cover of a book and asking who Garfield is.
I believe you should try to introduce your kids to your passion. Don’t worry if they don’t gravitate to your interests. It’s not about having the same passions as you, it’s about showing them the value of being passionate about something.
Hopefully our impromptu family field trip added to their understanding of what is means to be passionate. Perhaps one day, the experience of seeing their Dad’s passion in action will help them in recognizing their own passion.
Have you had a chance to introduce your kid(s) to your passion? What was their reaction?