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Nurturing Passion

I've been trying to gather my thoughts for a post of ideas for this Mother's Day.  It has left me reflecting quite a bit these last couple of days.  Today I was thinking about my role as a mother, and how I want my children to always feel loved and supported by me.

Today my sister shared this video montage of my amazing little niece, Bridgette.  Bridgette just turned 7 years old.  From the time she was little bitty, it was obvious this child had a passion for gymnastics.  I remember telling my sister three years ago, knowing Bridgette's natural talent, that she needed to do whatever it took to provide the opportunities she needed to pursue this passion.  

And here she is... still loving it!

I have so much respect for my sister for offering her children a chance to do what they love.  Bridgette is a gymnast, McKenzie is an amazing artist, Sydney loves to dance... and Scarlet is still just a baby... so we're waiting for her to shine in her own unique way.  Those are my sister's children.  My children have their own passions.  Charlotte loves nature, animals, science and creation.  Tatum loves role-playing and fashion.  Wesley is constantly trying to figure out how he can build a robot, a time machine, or create invisibility potion.  No two kids will be the same in your home.  I can almost guarantee it!

The amazing thing about passion is that it is internally driven.  There is a desire to learn, understand, practice, perfect, and experience!  It is the difference between the child that teaches themselves to play the piano, and the child that is forced to sit in lessons each week.  The child that craves the opportunities versus the child that is made to practice.

Charlotte, on one of the best days of her life, as she describes it.
A Dolphin Encounter program where she was actually in the water with a dolphin.

Sometimes it is hard for us to recognize passion.  Sometimes passions are sparked through experiences or encounters.  Some children may appear to have several (as some adults), and other children may seem not to have any.  When we notice our child is naturally good at something, or thirsty for opportunities, it is our role as parents to make sure those doors open for them.  We can nurture their learning and understandings, or we can hold them back.  Even I admit that in my crazy schedule it isn't always easy to say, "Yes, let's go outside on a nature hunt!  The chores can wait until later."  I am encouraging you (ok... myself too) to make room in your lives for your child's passions.

Wesley made sure to get a turn at each of the interactive energy tables at the science museum.

So how do you open those doors?  When you have recognized passions within your child, you might need to start out by learning more about it yourself.  My sister isn't a gymnast, so she started looking into schools and what they offered.  You may search the internet, talk to others who might be able to provide information, find books at the library, and so on.  Talk to your child!  They will let you know where they want to start.  What are they most curious about?  What do they enjoy the most?  Learn from them, and you will know how to guide them along.

Tatum has been swimming like a mermaid since she was 3.  She loves to swim!

Why is this important?  I feel a life lived through passion is a life lived on purpose.  We all have wonderful gifts to share, and the natural desire to learn and create is an amazing energy to ride.  I can guarantee that any person who nurtures their passions in life will be a happy individual, living a fulfilling life.

And who wouldn't want that for their children?!

So... If you have spent the time to read me rambling on, which I don't do too often here at Sun Scholars, I would LOVE to hear what your passions are, and how your parents helped nurture them as you were growing!  How do you nurture passion in your own children?  Please share!

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