Helping Your Children to Thrive

One of our jobs as parents is to help our children find areas in which they will thrive. It can be a challenge, say, if your kids have very different personalities than you do. But it's so important to find groups in which your children feel at home, help them find some kindred spirits in which they have a lot in common. I know I always do better and am happier when I am with people who I understand and who understand me.

My daughter, who is quite shy, is hard to match up with good social outlets. Mostly she just needs a few really good friends who are wonderful, nice people. She has a few like that now. She also is very physical. Her talents have always included gross motor skill activities. So she's in gymnastics, is also taking dance right now, and she loves to be outside. She's thriving in those areas.

My son is another story. Granted, he's younger, and there haven't been as many opportunities to put him in environments where he will thrive in that same way. We live in a small town, so I haven't been able to put him in music conservatory classes to foster his natural musical ability like I took when I was his age. He's almost five years old now, though, and things are finally opening up for him. Unlike the rest of us, my son is not shy. He will talk to anyone, anywhere. He doesn't mind being the center of attention, and seems to seek it out. He doesn't understand boundaries too well yet, but we're working with him about that. In any case, I believe I've finally found something we can try for that would really allow him to be his complete self. The opera house in town does plays and such, and they are having auditions for children age 4-19 for the spring play of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"! My son does take direction pretty well, so I hope the audition will go well. None of us have every done anything like this before so I don't know what to expect, but it would be so exciting to have him do things that help him grow. And, it's free to participate! Unlike many of the things around here. So I'll let you all know how the audition goes. It's at the end of January.