Think about your child’s current obsession. Is it something you love as well? Or does your child’s current obsession annoy you? Maybe it’s just something that’s not necessarily up your alley…
At multiple points in your child’s life, they will hyper-focus on one certain game, activity, movie, toy, etc. If you have girls, they are probably still obsessed with anything Frozen (at least mine is!). For the boys, it could be superheroes, trains, dinosaurs, or anything that involves getting dirty.
If your kids are focused on something you love…congrats! But even then, you may get slightly annoyed hearing about your child’s current obsession over and over. Like a song on repeat that keeps playing over and over. So how can you deal with your child’s current obsession in an appropriate way?
5 Ways to Embrace Your Child’s Current Obsession
Is your child’s current obsession something that is a good influence for your child? Is it something that will develop their character? Is it something that will start good habits or bad habits?
As parents and caregivers, we have the responsibility to censor what our children are influenced by. If the current popular show, fad, or activity is not in sync with your family values, then make the decision that your family will not be involved in that activity. Discuss with your child why your family doesn’t do a certain activity or watch a certain show. Involve your child in this decision, and they will be more receptive to why they are not allowed to participate.
After watching a popular cartoon with my daughter one day, I noticed the girls had bad attitudes and were extremely rude to one another. We decided our 4-year old shouldn’t be watching that show, as she was highly influenced by the attitudes of others. Instead of simply saying she couldn’t watch the show, I explained to her how the girls didn’t behave very nicely, and we probably shouldn’t be watching the show.
Because I explained to her why we were not going to watch the show, she was extremely receptive to the decision and agreed with the reasons. Now, whenever the image for this show pops up on Netflix, she is quick to tell me the reasons why it’s not a very good show for us to watch.
Evaluating my child’s current obsession, in this case, was a great learning exercise for us both and a teachable moment where we could reinforce the attitudes that we want our children to display for others.
Educate yourself about your child’s current obsession. If it’s a certain movie, then learn the characters, the storyline, and what your child’s favorite part or song is. (By now, most parents know the Frozen songs, but do you know the characters’ names? Can you engage in conversations other than simply singing “Let It Go”?)
My son is naturally interested in all things trains and construction. I, on the other hand, didn’t know any names other than the basics – bulldozer, tractor, and train. After getting some library books about the different sort of trucks, I began to learn the difference between a digger, combine, tractor, gator, etc. I educated myself about the different things my child was interested in, and can now engage with him on a much deeper level then I had been able to previously.
Your child’s current obsession will probably get on your nerves. I feel like I am always referring to Frozen in my posts, but the fact of the matter is that we have a lot of Frozen-themed things going on in our house on a daily basis. (My daughter’s favorite color now is “Elsa blue” — not pink and purple anymore!) While I could easily get annoyed and frustrated that we talk about it a lot, I’ve chosen to embrace all things Frozen and have fun along with my children.
Think of ways that you can take your annoyances and turn them into something that is both fun and beneficial for the whole family. If your child’s current obsession is to sing “Let It Go!”, try playing one of the other songs from the movie on your phone and make up a dance that makes it more enjoyable for you to listen to. If your child’s current obsession is trains, look for ways to involve trains in your meals, activities, car rides or movies.
If your child is “all in” on a certain thing, then put yourself “all in” as well and have fun with it together.
Embellish? What I mean by this is to go the extra mile to embrace what your child is into. Look for ways to do things that are special and will make a huge impact on your child.
Currently, my daughter is really enjoying being a mommy to her set of baby dolls. Throughout the week she will “go to the hospital to have a baby” (sometimes a set of twins) and then proceed to take care of the baby. Sometimes I am the doctor who will do the babies’ check-ups. Other times, she takes her babies on walks or teaches them at “school”. The other week, my daughter had some ideas of things she wanted to do for her baby. Some of these included:
- getting baby food at the store for her baby
- making a birthday cake for her baby
- making a footprint and handprint of her baby with plaster of Paris as a memory
- using old baby onesies and decorating them for her baby
I will admit that a couple of times my first reaction was to say no. My internal dialogue was saying: That’s wasteful. I’d have to buy that. It’s only a baby doll, not a real baby, etc. But before saying no, I realized that her babies were special to her. It also emphasized a caring, providing, and nurturing side, which that are excellent qualities for her to have as she grows up. So we did them all! She especially loved the birthday party for her babies when she helped decorate the cake. She still talks about these special things, because they are currently important to her in her world and interests.
Finally, as your child develops a passion remember to encourage them and help them develop in that area. Be their cheerleader — even when something isn’t your favorite area. If you’re not a crafty or artistic person, that’s okay! But encourage your children as they make art all the time, if that’s what they are passionate about. Encourage your child to learn more about certain trucks, super heroes, or sports. And help give them the right avenue to do so.
Your words have the ability to build your children up or discourage them…and your words are weighty. Before you tell your child to stop doing something, think about the long-term impact it might have on them. If they are passionate about something (as trivial as it may seem), make sure your words do not discourage them. Consider if you are smothering a God-given passion or talent, simply because it annoys you. Encourage them in their passion and encourage them to thrive!
What areas have your kids developed a passion for? How have your help foster your child’s current obsession? I’d love to hear about it below.