What makes you tick? Do you share any passions with your children? One of the many things I love about being a mother of teenagers is discovering shared interests that help to cement our relationship as adults and as a family.
As parents we are all guilty of enrolling our children early in a multitude of clubs and activities under the guise that it will be good for them whilst waiting quietly in the wings to see which ones stick and if we have a child prodigy on our hands – oh if only!
The truth, however, is that the real moment of discovery comes with the secondary parenting stage when our children cast off the shackles of stage one parenting and start to own and nurture their own interests in a grab for independence of mind and spirit. It is a moment of childhood metamorphosis.
It is wonderful to see them hit on something that ignites a spark and for which they truly develop not just a liking but a passion. It is even better, however, if that something also interests you and will therefore connect you as individuals with a shared interest, rather than simply as a parent and child.
Of course with a boy and a girl in the house it is natural to assume the father will do all the boy stuff and the mother all the girl stuff, but that is an outdated viewpoint and certainly not the case in our house. I would be lying, however, if I said my eldest teenager’s passions for rugby and cricket ignite a spark in me, but nevertheless I am genuinely interested in what it means to him. So over the years that has meant standing in the back garden and helping out whilst he practises his passing (rugby) or bowling (cricket), turning up to support him when he is playing, trying to understand the rules and taking an interest in the detailed match analysis that always follows every game. Sport excites him and is a big part of him I cannot ignore if I am to understand