Raising Children With Choices

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Every child, and for that matter, every adult, has innate aptitudes for certain things. Some kids may do better in school than others do, some excel in verbal skills, and for others their forte may be analytical skills or problem-solving. Mathematics and science come more easily to some children than to others, while some are good with their hands. Many are curious about how machines function. Some have the patience and perseverence to stick with a complex new project, and some don’t. Certain children have a talent for drawing or for music. The possibilities and the individual variations are limitless.
As children grow up, what each child becomes is a combination of these innate aptitudes, exposure to a variety of topics and activities and experiences, plus the character-building lessons learned from parents, teachers, siblings, peers and others. One part of the equation, without the others, may lead nowhere. A particular child may have the potential to become a great musician but, unless that child is exposed to a variety of musical forms or has the opportunity to see and touch musical instruments and learn to play whichever one appeals to him or her, it may come to nothing. Another child might grow up to contribute great things to medical science but, unless taught basic biology and other sciences, that child will never see medicine as a possible career choice.

To allow your children to develop into the most that they can be, it’s up to you to guide their education, in terms of their choices, from the variety of classes available to them at school, to their afterschool activities, public library use, the joining of local clubs, and the use of other resources which are available within your community or beyond it. You can also pass your own special skills, storehouse of knowledge, and interests on to your children.

Children are little bundles of potential. When raising your children, try to be ever conscious of this, and of the subtle sex role stereotyping that you yourself may have grown up with and how it might affect what you offer to your daughters or to your sons. As toddlers, are girls given dolls and boys given toy trucks ? Is a seven-year-old boy signed up for Little League, while a girl is offered ballet lessons ?There’s nothing wrong with little girls playing with dolls and taking dance lessons. Those activities are fine. Dolls are fun and they allow little girl