Saturday, May 22, 2010

Developing interests

Today at the art museum, I didn’t expect River to enjoy the formal artwork. But since it was free, I took him, expecting him to last a few minutes.

To my surprise, he loved it. He wandered from room to room, commenting on the paintings, the statues, even the old pottery. He seems to be fulfilling the prophecy of the his Chinese horoscope we got for him when he was two months old, trying to seek some information on what kind of person he would be. It said he will appreciate the finer things in life and that he may become an art collector.

I find it kind of incredible at the age of 2.5 to already be able to detect interests. So far, River’s include: books, art, music, dance and nature, as well as cars, trains, dinosaurs and animals. He loves long walks, but otherwise, hasn’t shown much of a propensity toward the physical.

The things I like, like books, nature, food and long walks, will be a part of his life no matter what. But I wonder what to do about the other things. As he gets closer to where he might benefit from more targeted exposures, do I give him more opportunities in art and music because he shows an interest in those things? Or do I give him more physical opportunities because he could use some more help and because an enjoyment of sports is good for a balanced, healthy life?

What do you do? Do you target your kids activities based on what they gravitate towards, what they could use for better balance, or both?

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