My wife loves to bake. When we had a daughter it was her deepest hope that she would take part in it with her. She had dreams of passing down the same Bosch mixer that her mother left her and sharing family recipes that Delila would teach to her own children one day.
It turns out our daughter hates baking. She would rather play video games than make a cake, no matter how much her mother tries to entice her. While this was a difficult pill for my wife to swallow, ultimately she has put aside her disappointment and supported our 16-year-old in her interests.
Admittedly, she still hopes our other daughter Sophie will take up the mantle as she gets older.
Expectation Versus Reality
This is common with kids. A father is sad his son doesn’t like sports or want to try out for the team like he did when he was a kid. A mother is crushed that her daughter doesn’t hold her interest in art. Whatever the case, parents are often bogged down with expectations and fantasies about parenthood and who their kids will be. When those ideas turn out to not be the case, they can feel let down.
I don’t think this is because of a lack of pride in our children, nor out of some sense of wanting to control them. We are human and tend towards daydreaming, especially where our kids are concerned.
So, what do we do to get past this disappointment and be there for our kids as they pursue their own interests?
Admit it, you tend to nag a bit when trying to get your kids into the things you like or envision for them. Stop it! Nothing is going to turn them off of those things like pushing them to like them. Instead, try and accept that it isn’t their thing and that is OK. They just might be willing to occasionally take part in it with you if they don’t feel pressured to do so.
Learn About Their Passion
Rather than get them involved in your hobbies, why notlearn about their own? For example, my wife took the time to learn the details about our daughter’s current favorite video games. She knows the characters and the plot lines and that Delila is involved in the surrounding fandoms. It has actually brought them together and I think my wife might be getting into it.
Case in point, my wife now plays at least one of the games. She and my daughter are able to connect and play it together, tag-teaming the levels. Granted, she isn’t nearly as good as Delila is, but I know our daughter appreciates it and has a lot of fun. My wife even bakes a treat for just the two of them to share, which makes it that much more of a bonding experience. It has become their “thing” every Thursday night, something they can do that is special and just for them. So why not take a page out of her book and try to do the same? You might find that it entirely changes the dynamic of your relationship.