It is key that as your child journies through their middle and high school years, that you joyfully empower them along their road. Encourage them to become secure in who it is that God has uniqely created them to become, rather than allowing peer pressure and societal expectations to dictate their path.
Unlike their elementary years, you are no longer privy to arranging and overseeing their playdates & activities. They are growing their own wings, and step by step, year by year, you are the most important key in the puzzle to helping them gain confidence as they mature.
Sometimes, this means letting go of the dreams that you had for your child.
Maybe you always dreamed that your son would become a star athlete, yet after exposing and involving him in sports, he has now chosen the lego club after school (he loves to build and play with them, out of his elementary years into the middle school and even highschool years, which you find baffling).
He joins way too many volunteer clubs ,and you feel more like a taxi driver than a parent. However, you are happy that at least he is involved in one commitment that you have chosen, and being involved in his high school bible study is something that has ultimately made the both of you happy.
In his spare time he is fanatical about watching movies, as well as taking apart and rebuilding those over-priced air soft guns that you abhore.
In highschool, he becomes very involved in the art club, he loves to sculpt and eventually becomes the set designer for the plays.
Off to college he goes. You could not be prouder, never dreaming that this path, his own unique journey, of his choosing, has led him to a major in engineering.
Looking back, you can now see very clearly how his love of legos & air soft guns (hours of putting together and taking apart sets and gun parts, and re-building them. His bedroom a mass of parts scattered about the floor, always) , sculpting (the hours spent at his highschool art club learning aesthetics makes sense now) & building and designing the high school play sets (creating blue prints from sketches of his own of sets, and seeing them to fruition as he built them) all were clues & skills he would need and utilize on his journey to becoming an engineer.
Don’t discount what may seem to you to be useless ‘hobbies’. The plan for his future is merely unfolding as he discovers his gifts and talents.
In his down time he continues to holds fast to his love of art, volunterism, and movies, all meaningful outlets for him in his adult life. Wow!
Letting go of your own dream for your child and paying attention to what they find inspiring, is an amazing experience. What fun it is to be surprised and delighted as your young adult emerges.
So go head, relax and take a step back now that your child is a tween/teen. It’s okay to take the drivers seat and just watch what they naturally enjoy doing in their free time. There are valuable clues here as to who they are becoming as their journey into young adulthood begins. Take note , and encourage their passions.
Yes, keep hold of that steering wheel, you are still the driver, but try to let go of any pre-conceived notion of who you think they should be. You had your chance at childhood, don’t re-live your youth through them. Give flight to their own dreams, and who knows, they may very well end up becoming what you had imagined after all, or, even exceeding your wildest expectations! It’s all good, as long as it is who they are.
Above all, love them. God has blessed you as their parent to guide them along their own special path. If a basketball isn’t their ‘thing’, then go on, buy the legos. Don’t allow peer pressure (even from your own family members and friends) set a path for them that does not encourage their potential.
Enjoy your journey, and most of all, your children.