A Natural Path To Follow?

I suppose that as I live in the same town as I grew up in, there are some aspects of my early life which are inevitably and unavoidably repeatable. For example, I'm a primary school teacher and while there are five schools here which I could work in, I teach in my own childhood primary school. I've been there seven and a half years and to be honest I find it comforting that I work in the place that I was so happy to attend as a child. And yes, I did manage to play on the past pupil aspect to get my CV in to my old headmaster for the possibility of an interview.

Another aspect of my own life which I find amusing to have repeated is that I have decided to not send The Boy to state nursery. It was a big decision for me (surely as a state employed teacher I should be supporting the education system?) but the reason it wryly amuses me is because my mum didn't send me to school at the normal age either. Technically I should have started in Reception three weeks after I turned four years old, but my mum fought the LEA's pressure and refused to send me to school until I was a year older where I went straight into Year One. She felt I was too young being an August baby, and kept me in private nursery a few mornings a week. Now it's time to send my son to state nursery, I'm pointing out how young he is and am refusing to launch him into the education system until he starts Reception. And he goes to the same private nursery as I did.

As a child I didn't attend any clubs or groups. I'd try them for one session but something would always crop up to put me off. In Sunday School, I fell and sprained my wrist (serves me right for running when I should have been) and didn't want to go back. Roller skating club? I fell and sprained my ankle. The concept of me on roller skates now makes me snort with derision as I have no sense of balance whatsoever. Mum was happy for me to stay at home and play, and money was tight so expensive sessions weren't an option either.

But this is where I want repetition to not occur. We attended Monkey Music for a year until The Boy absolutely refused to join in singing or playing instruments anymore. We have now been going to Tumble Tots instead since January and have re-enrolled for the Autumns term because he loves the physical challenge so much. I've already decided he'll go to Cubs etc. because I never did the the Brownies route. I think these organisations offer so much, and I do regret not having gone to them myself.

And this is where I find myself looking at my son and wondering about his future path. What will his hobbies be? Is this a case of nurture or nature? Am I sending him off to these extra curricular sessions because I never did them, or because he wants to? What will his preferences be? Is he sporty or am I making him so? I'm not into physical exercise at all, but Mr. TBaM was a cross country runner in secondary school. As it so happens, I genuinely think The Boy loves exercise which is why he goes to Tumble Tots.

Will he be musical? I'm not, although sometimes I itch to play the piano in our dining room (which incidentally is the old one from my infant school). I have no idea about what to do with the left hand, or any sense of tempo, but I love the idea of making music. We bought the piano (for £100! Bargain!) with the sole intent of our children being taught it, I think it is therapeutic and a valuable skill. The Boy genuinely loves tinkering around on it and I find him playing little melodies which are quite tuneful. I'm constantly singing him little songs that I've made up and the other day he made one up all by himself. Admittedly it only had one line repeated several times, but the tune was lovely and he changed the pitch a few times.

We love doing craft together, but yet again this is a hobby of mine. I did art GCSE, A level and specialism in university; am I enforcing this on him? Regardless he seems to love it, and it's food for the soul. We really enjoy cooking together, will he be a chef like his uncle? He adores technology, will he be a computer geek like daddy? He's handy with a screwdriver, will he be a mechanic like grandad? A gardener like my bampi?

There are so many avenues that he could follow and I wonder which path he'll choose. Will he have inherited a talent from his family? Will my encouragement for certain activities which I didn't experience, force his hand?

Do you wonder what your child will be when they are older? Do you worry you're developing their 'likes' for them?

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Comments

  1. says

    i think parental influences and decisions are bound to play a huge role our lives and now as parents we will make this happen with our children. i didn't go to any clubs as a child like brownies or girl guides (my Mum went to guides and hated it); i had no real hobbies, wasn't really into sporting activities (with the exception of swimming) and i would say that blogging is my first real hobby (how sad is that at my age) and maybe cooking cakes!

    Now i don't know if this is all down to the decision my parents made when i was growing up, but i do know that my mum has no hobbies, doesn't attend any clubs and i know that i could end up the same way and i don't want this for my boys.
    Jon on the other hand has several hobbies and although he doesn't do much outside activities no doubt his gaming and gadgety adoration and love of all things rallying will rub off on my boys!!!

    am i even making sense? i guess it is nurture primarily but nature will intervene as will peer pressures and our children will get a mind of their own and choose to continue with the things we started them on, or do other things instead.

    i believe that we can only give them the best start in life that we are able to, and it is up to them to continue it or start afresh x

  2. says

    Of course we affect them. I hate cooking and my mum was the same, maybe because her mum was amazing at it and she never could compete, who knows?
    I was crazily into gymnastics, but I would actually not want it for her, unless she wanted to. I often joke about this, but Mr H thinks that I'd be honestly happy for her to be and do whatever she wants…as far as that does not means a country girl with no love of fashion! He teases me constantly about it! I won't admit it but he is possibly right. I'm such a city girl that I'd find it weird if my daughter wanted to live 'the quiet life'

  3. says

    I think primarily we choose activities for our children that we want them to do but ultimately they choose them for themselves as they get older. I took Hanna to Jo Jingles…she never joined in, Drama…she cried when I left her, Brownies…she enjoyed until she fell & broke her tooth. She chose to go tap dancing but had to give it up when she chose to follow swimming instead which she now does 4 times per week. I would've perhaps done the same when I was her age if my parents had made the huge commitment to take me, but I like it that H chose this path for herself, definitely down to nature. Sam does football as his dad was into football, and he enjoys it & I think it's in his genes anyway. He has a friend that plays Rugby because that's what his dad was into….but he desperately wants to play football.
    I think we can nurture our kids but eventually nature takes over…..does that make sense?

  4. says

    Oh yes yes yes!!! I have been wondering this a lot lately. I still worry that Z is very nervous and scared of other children his age but fine with adults. I know its the grabbing aspect of other little children that scares him and I'm now wondering whether I should put him into nursery one or two mornings a week so that he's regularly playing with children his age. At playgroups he just tends to do his own thing, but then everyone elses child does too so its not that interactive.

    I also wonder whether we should move, is there enough for him to do here activity wise when he's a bit older, whether we are living near the right schools etc. I live 40 mins away from where I grew up so its a new area to me although its about 10 mins away from OH grew up so he at least knows some of the good and bad. But its still daunting that one of these days I will have to let him go into the real world. I really like your decision to keep The Boy out of nursery a bit longer. I know lots of people that tell me "Oh I never went to nursery". I was really surprised and didn't know you could actually do that.

  5. says

    No, you'll find as he get solder he will lead you and let you know what he wants to do and why and as long as you listen to him you'll all be fine.

    Sometimes it is our job as parents to offer them the experiences and to get them to stick at things for long enough to make their mind up and then as long as we listen, it is fine.

    Also, loving Helen's comment – makes lots fo sense.

    Mich x

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