Why do so many parents feel their kids need to find a passion at such a young age? I am just as guilty as everyone else, so I'm not being judgmental. I guess when we think of people like Tiger Woods we know that part of the reason they are so far ahead of the curve is that they started the race years before everyone else.
So, as a parent, I find myself wanting to give my kids the best opportunity to achieve their potential. How is that done?
Curly Q. was invited to join a dance company. It is a great opportunity!! I must admit I am proud for her to be asked again. Yes, she was asked before, but that was as the company was starting and half of the dance school was asked so it didn't seem like much of an honor. This time she was singled out.
Part of me says there is no way to say "NO" to an opportunity like this. What if dance could be her "thing". The one thing she passionately loves. Other girls are starting their race now. Will Curly Q. be behind if we wait a year before indulging the passion? Two year? Is she already behind?
The rest of me feels differently. Curly Q. is not even 6 years old. Joining this dance company would prevent her from trying out other activities. It costs A LOT, and the company practices A LOT. We simply wouldn't have time or money for her to do anything else. What if her passion has nothing to do with dance.
So how can we decide? Well, in this case we took all the above arguments out of the equation. The dance class meets far later at night than I would like. In fact it doesn't end until 30 minutes AFTER Curly Q. is already in bed. Curly Q. needs her sleep to be able to function (and she is incapable of sleeping in). So she will not be joining dance company this year. Her biggest disappointment is that she can't take ballet with the teacher that works with the company. Otherwise she is ok.
There's always next year to try dance company (if she isn't too far behind by then ;-)