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Adopt Your Child’s Interests – Even if They Aren’t Yours

One Christmas morning, my boys were completely focused on the presents they were opening. My husband handed me a long box wrapped in sparkly, bright red paper to open. I’d like to say that I slowly and delicately unwrapped the box but that’s just not how we do things on Christmas morning. Once the paper was torn off, I opened the box. It was a gun, a Henry .22. I felt horrible. I accidentally opened one of my boys’ gifts. No one had noticed.  I looked at my husband and whispered that I accidentally opened the wrong gift. He shook his head.

“No, you didn’t.”

It didn’t register with me. “It’s a gun.” I said, still totally confused. 

“If you want to spend time with the boys, then you are going to have to learn to do the types of things they like to do.” He proceeded to open the box, show me the gun, and explain all of the intricacies and features that made it the perfect first gun for me. 

I grew up a city girl. I fell in love with and married a country boy. He was a hunter, trapper, and fisherman – a true outdoorsman. My sons adored him (still do) and always wanted to be with Daddy, doing the things Daddy did. I was so happy they wanted to be with their Daddy and that he spent so much time with them but I felt left out and lonely. It made me sad. I would often express this to my husband. Thus, the .22.

I think this is one of the best pieces of advice he ever gave me. If I wanted to hang out with and bond with my boys, I needed to do the kinds of things they loved to do. The next fall, I went squirrel hunting for the first time – with my family. My, how things have changed! These days, we have all kinds of outdoor adventures together. This city girl loves the outdoors but better yet, I share a hobby…no, a way of life…with my boys.

Our kids not only need to spend time with us – they want to spend time with us! Are you struggling to find things to do with your child? Is it difficult to find things to do together that you both enjoy? Perhaps you need to adjust your strategy and learn how to do some things your child loves to do. Who knows, you may end up like me and not only gain a new hobby but a new way of life!

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