Indulge their interests (some of them)
The word indulge gets a bad rap. Somehow it’s only associated with eating too much dessert. The definition (from Dictionary.com) though is “too allow oneself to follow one’s will.” Still, good parenting is rarely connected to indulging. Give me a chance to explain.
Bird thinks she want to go into the medical field. I’ve gone to the library and checked out books on Clara Barton and Ben Carson (okay, I didn’t know who was but here’s the book
and it is full of inspiration and faith).
Both Bird and Bug love soccer. It’s their dad’s fault. So I found them documentaries about the 1999 Women’s World Cup champion team. I check out biographies on Mia Hamm. I find posters with images of awesome soccer plays and messages like “Not every victory shows up on the scoreboard.”
Bird loves to cook. So relatives bought her cookbooks, aprons and more cookbooks. We try to set aside nights where she plans the menu and cooks. We involve her in planning for church family potlucks. And in a year or two, if she still loves to cook, we will sign her up for the low-cost kids cooking classes offered through community education.
Indulge their interests. I choose which interests to indulge. I don’t indulge their love for candy or their desire to play when they should do chores. But the things I do indulge cultivate passion; they read stories about persevering through obstacles and learn about how no one succeeds on first tries. To get really good at anything, people have to work hard. And as I indulge their interests, we talk over and over again, about how it all pales in comparison to following Christ. We talk about how in the midst of all passions, we have to be able to keep Christ first, or we are in the wrong place. Those ideas are lofty and hard to understand as kids. But we are laying a foundation to build on later.
Indulging their interests means they are busy. Too busy for video games, TV, and Internet. (Well, they do all those things, but not too often). Indulging certain interests means they know I support them and love them even when I say “no” to some interests.
Have you ever indulged your daughter’s passions? What happened?