Google+ Authentic Parenting: Waves of Interest

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Waves of Interest

Children's interests come in waves. They can start off unexpectedly and then quickly take on autonomous dimensions in a heartbeat. They can take on such extreme proportions it can seem as if there is nothing else left. They can just as quickly vanish, or they can remain, as a part of the undercurrent.
These waves of interest can be very scary to parents, especially when these interests concern the axis of evil (TV, video games, ... the non accepted or 'in moderate quantities only' pastimes) or when it comes to food.

Modern recut copy of The Great Wave Of Kanagawa

I deliberately add food to this list, because food, for children, is just another part of their learning palette. Children do not distinguish between so called academic interests and other interests, they learn from life.

We cannot stand in the way of these interest, we cannot halt them. Trying to interfere, stressing over it (yes even when they are toddlers, they know when you disapprove) or setting boundaries will only make your child fixate on these things even more. They will find a way to pursue their interests, whether you like it or not. Having them do it behind your back, or become obsessed with it because it is prohibited will only aggravate the issue.

Yes, it is stressful to see your child watch TV or play video games for the integrity of their waking hours, or ask for pancakes five days in a row three times a day; but this hardly ever lasts. The initial thrill of a new experience quickly dissipates. The interest can be added to their list of activities, or can be forgotten entirely. If it isn't something that can harm your child or others, just let them ride it out.

Think about it this way: haven't you ever started a book that was so good, you just read it out in one run? Or played a video game until the morning light peeked through your curtains? Or pursued a hobby until the point of driving your peers to despair?



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