I like to think that I’m open minded. However, when my son told me that he wanted to take ballet, with his older sister, I was a little taken aback. I even found myself trying to dissuade him. “Wouldn’t you rather play flag football? Oh, piano lessons would be fun and musical.”
My first reaction wasn’t good or supportive. It took me a minute to come around to the idea. Not so much because I didn’t think boys should take ballet, but rather because, I had never envisioned my son taking ballet. My son who is rough and loud; this ball of energy who climbs on everything and is always moving at full speed.
As a parent you think you know your child, what is best for them, and what will make them feel happy and fulfilled. When the expectation doesn’t match the reality, it can seem like they are making the wrong choice. Often our first reaction is to correct and guide them back on the path that we deem right for them.
It’s okay that sometimes our first reactions aren’t always the best. We’re human and we’re just trying to do the best we can and figure it all out as we go. The good news is, our first reactions aren’t going to define our relationships with our children. Our relationships are built upon, what we do next. If we gladly buy them ballet shoes and proudly sit front row at every dance recital. Or if we force a football in their hands under the guise of knowing what is best for them. If we tell them who they are or if we help them to discover it for themselves.