Natural Talent

Growing up, my parents let me try everything.  I played basketball, soccer, hockey, volleyball, track, gymnastics, ice skating, ballet, tap dance, guitar, etc. It’s great that I had so many opportunities to try stuff and I am grateful for that, but I wish that my parents would have made me stick with something. 

Not that I could be Sheryl Crow or anything, but there are things I wish I would have stayed with and pursued.  I wish I would have continued with guitar.  I played for four years and was getting pretty good at it, but I wanted to quit.  Dance was another thing.  I started when I was young, but gave up on it.  I came back to dance later when I was a senior in high school and realized I loved it, but by then I was too ‘old’ to seriously pursue it as a career. 

Now that I have kids, this is something I am very aware of and focused on for Cooper and Cole.  I want to encourage their interests and “highly motivate” them to stick with something.   I need to watch for their “natural talents” and do whatever I need to do to make things happen for them when they are good at something. 

For example, Cooper showed an interest in drums at age three.  We bought him a small drum set for his third birthday and people thought we were nuts.  When Cooper was 4 1/2, we signed him up for drum lessons.  Turns out he has some innate natural ability for the drums.  His teacher is impressed with what he can do and how quickly he can pick things up.  Cooper is playing things on the drums that eight-year olds are doing.  He’s got natural talent. 

However, lately Cooper wants to quit the drums.  He does not want to practice and he does not want to go to lesson anymore.  The reason is he does not want to stop playing.  Lately Cooper does not want to do anything that results in him not playing.  Yet once he is at drum lessons, he is great and having a good time. 

So I am not going to let him quit, at least not yet.  I will continue to highly encourage him to practice and go to lessons because I think that is the right thing to do in the long run.  Cooper truly has a natural talent for the drums and he does have fun once he is doing it. He is five and I am not giving up on that for him.  If he wants to quit later on, that is fine, but now I want him to keep trying. Maybe I need to think of ways to make practicing more fun…making it more like playing instead of something that takes him away from his Star Wars or Lego toys.

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