I’ve been thinking a lot about the desire we as parents have to help our kids reach their greatest potential. Because of this desire, we tend to think that we need to expose our kids to hundreds of different activities and experiences (not to mention ideas and opportunities). The sooner we find out what they’re good at, the better, right?
I buy into this idea so often, but here’s one really good reason I’m telling myself not to involve my kids in extracurricular activities at a young age.
I’m trusting God.
He knows these kids better than anybody. He loves them more than I do, which is hard to comprehend and amazing to imagine. Every time I read research about the importance of free play I feel the Holy Ghost whisper that it’s true. I feel like God is telling me to keep free play an important part of our daily life.
Whenever I study and ponder what type of family life produces the kind of hardworking adults I want my children to be, I feel the Holy Ghost telling me to focus on teaching my kids to work. And, quite honestly, after convincing them to cook and clean with me, I don’t have enough energy (or time) to convince them to participate in another thing that they might not want to do. And let’s be clear, my oldest would be opposed to it, because 3+ hours of free time is essential to him every day.
I’m trusting that as I spend time with them, discovering their interests and observing their talents, the Holy Ghost will guide me and we will find ways for them to develop and grow. God has given me so many opportunities to learn and has guided me to new experiences that have allowed me to discover and use the talents he has given me. I trust that he will do the same for my kids. I trust that as they follow the guidance of the Holy Ghost, they will be able to reach their greatest potential.
So I don’t get stressed about involving them in everything under the sun.
I’m following the Holy Ghost, the guidance of a loving Heavenly Father. He knows their talents. He knows what’s best for them. They are on their way to discovering divine gifts and becoming their best selves.