Children are the joys of their parents’ lives, which is why most moms and dads can’t wait to share as many aspects of their lives with their kids as possible. This is how they are able to bequeath to their children certain crafts, hobbies, and sometimes, even careers. Doctors beget doctors, farmers beget farmers, artists beget artists—and the long line of surgeons/growers/creative minds in the family is preserved for yet another generation.
Most of the time, however, what parents are really trying to do is strengthen their bond with their kids by fostering a common interest. Fathers teach their sons how to play basketball, mothers show their daughters how to bake (or shop)—and at the end of the day, everybody goes home with a little more knowledge and whole lot of quality time well spent.
Want to pass on your life’s passion to your little ones? Try out our tips for preserving your personal legacy.
OBSERVE THEIR INTERESTS
First things first: take note of what your kids enjoy doing. This will be important in determining which hobbies or talents you naturally have in common. The easiest way to getting your kids interested in your passion is for them to already have a pre-existing inclination toward it. If you’d like to involve them in art, observe how often they doodle, draw, or paint—and how much they enjoy it. If you’d like them to participate in a certain sport, see if they have already started playing it even without your insistence. If you’d like them to share your zeal for travel, watch them when you are on vacation. Do they complain about how they wish they were home and stay in the hotel room all day watching TV? Or do they pester you nonstop to take them exploring around their exotic new surroundings?
EXPOSE THEM TO YOUR CRAFT AND COLLEAGUES
If your kids grow up with your passion in their immediate vicinity, they may eventually embrace it as their own. For instance, having a home environment filled with music may influence your child to want to become a singer or musician—or, at any rate, breed a deep appreciation for song. You may also want to introduce your kids to your close friends or colleagues who are either experts in that particular field or at least passionate about it recreationally. They will ultimately serve as co-mentors for your child’s growth in that field—co-mentors, that is, to you.
TAKE THEM ON EDUCATIONAL TRIPS
Why not try a field excursion to boost your child’s enthusiasm? It’s a fun, educational means of immersing your little one in the culture of your choice. Take them to Intramuros to give them a taste of the capital’s rich past (and maybe spark a fascination for history). Or tour them through Manila Ocean Park and let them marvel at the majestic marine creatures in the giant aquariums—you might be fueling the fire for a future marine biologist. The most practical trip, of course, would be to a museum—try Museo Pambata , which is sure to enthral a young audience. Allow your kids to stroll through the museum on their own at first and give them time to absorb what they see; then, ask them to point out what they like the most and explain the background of those particular pieces. Who knows—your tike could produce the next national treasure!
ENROLL THEM IN WORKSHOPS
So, your children seem to be showing interest in your interests—good job! But don’t rely on your powers alone to develop their kiddie crafts. Sign them up for a few classes so they can grow under the tutelage of the pros. This is how a fledgling dancer turns into a prima ballerina just like her mom, or how a point-and-shooter turns into an amazing photographer just like dear old dad. Remember, practice makes perfect, and that’s just how workshops operate—they hone a raw skill through repetitive exercise until it improves sufficiently. Interested in workshops for this year's vacation? Check out FN's article on summer workshops!
DON’T FORCE THE ISSUE
You may have been a young Mozart in your day, but that doesn’t mean your child will have the same skill at the piano—or taste in music, for that matter. If you observe that your kids’ interests, skills, and talents seem to leaning away from your own, let them be. Children weren’t made to be carbon copies of their parents, which is what makes every human being who was ever born unique. Don’t force your kids to do something they care nothing about, no matter how much you like it—this will only turn them off even more, and turn you into a terror parent.
Care to see what a successfully passed on passion looks like? Check out the Yuchengco Museum’s latest exhibit, “Full Circle: Creativity Moving Through Generations.” Full Circle showcases pieces by 5 creative parent-and-child tandems who have kept the family legacy intact through their respective fields of art. Featured are works by fashion designer Salvacion Lim Higgins and her son, painter and designer Mark Higgins; furniture designer Betty Cobonpue and her son Kenneth Cobonpue, also a furniture designer; visual artists Cesare and Jean-Marie Syjuco and their daughter, jewelry designer Michelline Syjuco; painter Anita Magsaysay-Ho and her children, artists Doris and Robert Alexander Ho; and realist painter Agustin Goy and his daughters Abi and Anna Mari, who do graphic illustration and web design.
“Full Circle: Creativity Moving Through Generations” opened yesterday, April 13, 2010, at the Yuchengco Museum in Makati. Be sure to check it out!
(Photo source: sxc.hu)