One of the things I really enjoy about my children is that each of them has a number of things they enjoy doing. When they were very little, I exposed them to many activities with the hope of cultivating hobbies, interests, and ability; reading, music, travel, bicycling, swimming, baseball, cross country skiing, nature walks, tree climbing, and art were all on the list. Some of these activities were mandated, like swimming. All of the kids had to learn how to swim and we ultimately filled our summers with swim team. All of the kids learned how to downhill and cross country ski. Only 2 of them liked it, but they all learned. Some days some kids enjoyed nature walks, other days they complained. But we all walked, and we all learned to travel and explore with great curiosity. Each child played an instrument. I aimed for exposure -for cultivating both the body and the mind.
As they grew they each developed their own interests and were drawn to develop deeper experiences in particular endeavors. Songbird is a great swimmer, softball player, nature girl, and tremendous recorder player. She relaxes by doing art. Twinkletoes is an avid reader, a gifted clarinetist, and a superb ballroom dancer. She's also a prolific writer. She journals, writes poetry, and even has a story she wrote that is over 100 pages. Waffles is passionate about snowboarding, wakeboarding, and soccer. He is interested in how things work and the mechanics of things from boats to computers. All of the kids are amazing travelers and independent thinkers. All of them can and do think out of the box.
Each of the kids is busy - busy enough that at the end of the day they are all tired and sleep well. Busy kids are tired kids. Tired kids are kids who don't let trouble find them. Really - it has worked for us. My teens are fun kids and good kids. Most importantly, they are kids who are engaged and interested.
Blueberry will have similar influences in his childhood. He'll have the positive influence of his siblings in his life - and lots of opportunities to enjoy time with his siblings during their young and energetic adult lives. I look forward to witnessing Blueberry's interests and discovering what energizes and engages him. I can't wait!