One of the most beautiful qualities that children possess is not knowing their own limitations. When your son tells you that he wants to be the next Neil Armstrong, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, or Yo-Yo Ma when he’s older, what if you took one of her crazy ideas and leaned in, no matter how ridiculous look like? ? With the right approach, you may be surprised at what can follow from it.
Take it from me. When I was 6 years old, I announced to my parents that growing up I would become a professional violinist. I wanted to be on stage. After months of babbling about it, they finally gave up, but offered a deal in return. They agreed to rent me, and eventually buy me, a violin as long as I kept it through college, which would mean constant vigilance and years of dedication to my craft. I accepted.
Of course, the novelty quickly wore off. I struggled to maintain the enthusiasm of my dream. But instead of responding to my waning interest with intimidating and aggressive control, they planted seeds of curiosity. They took me to concerts, encouraged me to join a youth orchestra, and enrolled me in a chamber music program so I could be in the presence of other children with similar interests.
CREDIT: ILLUSTRATION BY KASIA BOGDAŃSKA