Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What I learn 'by following their dreams, not mine..'

Supporting your children's interests is important. The key words were made bold. It should be their interest, and NOT ours. Many times I have seen parents had fallen into the traps of forcing promoting their children into activities that the children didn't enjoy.

It is important as parents, to notice what our children enjoy by paying attention and observing what makes them smile and laugh, and sometimes imitating it in front of the mirror. My husband and I frequently discussed ways for our children to explore their interest and ways to help them learn through and about their interest. Books and encyclopedia were explored and Al Fateh realised that books are fantastic tools to learn more about his interest, and google search as well! (You go, boy!! =D)

For six year old Al Fateh, he has memorised most of the tennis players while we watched the OZ/US/French Open & Wimbeldon tournaments, imitating their grunts and moves during play time. We brought him to the uni's tennis court several times and had a bit of fun hitting some balls. My husband admitted that he has strong ball sense and good strong strokes for a boy his age. With Allah's will, we met Kak Raihan, a colleague of mine, who's son was playing on the court next to ours, and she advised us to send him (AF) to a professional coach. 

Hence, during the car ride home, we asked Al Fateh to think about whether he wants to pursue his interest with a proper coach. We purposely asked him to decide since we believe that he's old enough (at six) to know his own likes/dislikes (and at he wont blame us for sending him to places he has no interest in, later!). I believe, by asking him to think rationally, it will make him realise that the ball is in his court, and we don't mind if he says 'No'. We told him all the details he needs to rationalised, i.e the place, time, day, what will the others do when he's playing, other positive outcomes by leading healthy lifestyle, etc.

He agreed.

The next week, we went to the tennis complex in Kuala Terengganu for his first training with a 'real' coach. Alhamdulillah, he enjoyed himself.. even up until now.
AF first day with Coach Marzuki.

What I learn from  following Al Fateh's dream;
  1. Pay attention and observe your children's interests.
  2. Nurture them by asking questions and explore more of their interest. How?
    • By reading related books (with loads of pix for children) and encyclopedias (and silently developing their interests in books!)
    • Explore the interest hands-on... (they'll love you for it!)
  3. Do not be pushy. Let them decide to pursue it or not. But before deciding, discuss and rationalise the decision. You are (silently) teaching your child critical thinking skill.

May Allah enriches us with more ideas (ilham) and skills in educating our children to be strong and intelligent caliphs.. amin. 


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