I read a great article on one of my favorite homeschool blogs – Simple Homeschool – about healthy obsessions and it really resonated in our house. M is super focused when she loves something dearly and when she has decided it is at the top of her list, there is very little that can be done to sway her in a different direction.
As parents, this is mildly terrifying – thinking about all of the thing she COULD become absorbed in. We both understand and realize that providing solid options to steer her clear from the obvious dangers of having a strong personality like that is where we need to be focused.
But, the writer of the article made a great point that relatively harmless obsessions – even if they don’t suit our interests as parents at all – can be great learning tools. I’d spent so much time trying to channel M in directions, I’d never thought of just letting her go through her own process (within limits) and letting things take a natural course.
So, lately, we’ve been trying to do just that. M is – in no uncertain terms – obsessed with catching butterflies, grasshoppers, crickets, anything that hops and flies. This has become such a thing that is nearly impossible to get her out of the backyard, the park or out of the forest. Should I complain about a kid who wants to spend all of her time outside? Not so much.
There ARE other things to do in life, though. So, balancing these times with the realities of what needs to be done every day has been tricky.
Ken and I tried being firm, then very firm, then sort of threw our hands up. Now, we just give her a bit more space to follow this where it goes. It helps her focus, gives her the ability to understand how to be gentle with creatures and of course she gets lots of time running around outside.
So, all is well and we have all learned a lot from this one.
Now, onto the next major life lesson, which I’m sure mom and dad need more than M does.:)