Like any normal kid, I was “into” a lot of different things growing up. As a 7 or 8-year-old, my uncle gave me a massive 3-ring binder stamp collecting kit. And so for a couple of years, I was a stamp-collecting champion trying to fill that impossibly-sized binder.
I remember as a 10-12-year-old, I got into weight lifting…at least for a time. Since I didn’t have any weight equipment and didn’t want anyone to know I was lifting, I hid reused milk gallons filled with water in a closet and pulled them out to lift daily. I was truly convinced that bulging muscles were in my future.
I especially remember being into playing basketball throughout my teen years. I was determined to become the next MJ in the NBA. I had the drive… unfortunately not much of the talent.
Now, over the years as a parent, I’ve come to realize that like me, each of my kids goes through seasons where they have different niches that they are into as well. (Who remembers Beyblades, or Perler Beads, or SpyKids, LOL?)
As I look at my kids’ current niches, they’re still all “into” different things…and guess what? Your kids are too!
What is each of your children’s current niches? Could you tell me? I bet you can.
As parents, what matters to our kids ought to matter to us…
The things that they are invested in give us not only a birds-eye view into their heart but a simple way to connect with them if we’ll take advantage of it.
Quite possibly, unlike anything else, these things allow us to connect with them on a personal level during the different seasons of their childhood. Every child has a current niche, and one of your jobs as a parent is to know what it is and find ways to engage with it.
If you want to engage with your child’s heart, engage with your child’s interests.
If your kids are into sports right now, make sure you’re taking intentional time to play that game of basketball, or throw that football regularly (I’ve played more games of basketball and football in my backyard than my 40-year-old body cares to count or admit).
If your kids are into something artsy and crafty, when’s the last time you created something fun together? Why not break out the beads, the paint, or the sketch pad?