I think my kids have almost earned their first level award in 4H!!! Even with being on quarantine, 4H still meets on line each week and our kids LOVE it! All the work they do with their pet bunnies has really created a focused way for them to progress and has given them such a strong sense of responsibility.
All 3 have taken on this responsibility so well and I see that in handling this the qualities are transferring to other areas. A dog would have been a bit too much, but rabbits were the perfect way for them to gain the qualities learned by owning a pet. I love how my daughter will say, “Mommy I am going to clean my rabbits’ cages because I don’t want them sitting in a messy cage.” Even at just 6 years old, she knows how to clean the cage and the litter box, all while her rabbits sit there next to her. My youngest son’s rabbit won’t let anyone touch her but him and he loves her so much. He named her Olivia (isn’t that sweet??). My oldest son’s rabbit, Ms. Thump, is so in love with him and runs to the cage whenever he goes downstairs and pokes her head out so they can nose snuggle. How did we accomplish this? We accomplished this by making sure it was THEIR responsibility to care for them!
No matter how full your life may seem, try to support the interests and passions your child want’s to engage in. It may take time to wait for them to reveal it to you. So what your friends have their kids in all these after school activities. Feel no pressure. Wait on them. They will unveil it to you. Every hobby or interest my children are involved with is something they chose to do. I literally waited until they told me what they wanted to do. I did not enroll them in a bunch of stuff until we found the “thing.” I just waited for them to tell me.
Sometimes parents will enroll their kids in a bunch of activities they hate, all thinking “Well, we as parents have to expose our kids to things so they learn what’s out there.” NO YOU DON’T. Human beings are constantly seeing, thinking, and feeling whatever is around them. Their senses will guide them to their passion in the most beautiful and organic way. It started with the boys asking to run track. When the boys chose track, because they loved racing their friends at school, my daughter decided she wanted to run too. Then bunnies started with my oldest son wanting a pet bunny. The other 2 weren’t interested at first but then I had this rule that only Dillon can take care of his rabbit, and they would just stand there watching him bond with his rabbit. They decided they wanted that experience too. They chose their breeds and then we found 4h because I saw that they loved to talk about their rabbits to people and 4h has a way where they can present their hobbies to others and it evolved from that. I have found that we are not running around doing a lot of random things that our kids don’t have a chance to MASTER, but we our life is simpler and more free flowing. When we let our kids follow their passions and interests, it simplifies life but also gives them a real sense of ownership, responsibility and joy.