Tuesday 8 April 2014

Sowing the Seeds of Passions

Welcome to the April 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Family Pastimes This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared stories and wisdom about family pastimes. ***

My husband and I have shared interests, such as music, movies, debating and great conversations, but we also have our individual passions. He is a true gamer and can get lost for hours in an engaging board or video game. My passions are anything crafty and garden related, and I’m happiest when I’ve made or grown something with my own hands. Not surprisingly, each of us was exposed to our passions in childhood with our families. 

Sometimes my husband wishes I was more willing to play a game with him, and I do on occasion because I know it makes him happy to spend time with me this way, and I always have fun when we do. But I would rather sit down beside him and knit something while he plays a game. Luckily he has found a group of people who share his love of games and he is able to spend time with them on a weekly basis. I also know that not only will he never join me in a crafty evening, but I probably wouldn’t want him to do so. And the garden is definitely my territory.

A crafty afternoon with my girls.

Now that my daughters are getting older and are exercising choice in how they spend their time, it is interesting to see how their interests are developing. Of course my husband and I would like our children to enjoy activities we like, but we want them to enjoy what they do rather than please us.

Luckily our girls are a morph of each of us. They love spending time with their dad playing board games, and my husband has started teaching our seven and nine year old how to play DC Comics Deck Building Game, his favourite at the moment. Recently I walked in on my four and seven year old playing Catan Junior, all on their own. It made me proud to know that there is a part of him in them, and he will have fellow gamers in the family in the future.

Playing Catan Junior, a great game.

Having three girls, I always assumed that they would enjoy crafting as much as I do. They love making a huge mess with scissors, glue, sparkles, felts, material and yarn. When they see me get out supplies they join me, ask questions and watch what I do. I have to save scraps and pieces for them to play with, and I have had to learn how to let go and allow them to use materials in their own creative way (it’s hard for a perfectionist). I have also learned that some things don’t stick right away, and I may just be planting seeds that will grow later when they are older. I have rediscovered a love of knitting, and two years ago I gave my girls their own needles and yarn. They have been slow to take it up, although my seven year old likes knitting a row or two every so often.

My little knittin' kitten. 

As for gardening, my girls like being outside with me, and are thrilled I have given them their own space in the garden to grow what they want. They love making observations about the different plant stages and insects they see. They are less enthusiastic about the daily and weekly care of the garden, but again, I must trust that I am planting seeds for their future interests.

My girls delight in the harvest as much as I do.

In the same way that I have been shaped by my crafty mother and green thumb grandmother, I know that my girls have been exposed to pastimes that may develop over their lives. Some will stick, others may develop later in life or not at all, but they are being shaped by us nonetheless.

Have your interests been shaped by your upbringing and family time from childhood?

*** Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting! Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
  • 8 Reasons to Go Camping with Your Kids — The weather is warmer, and it is time to think about taking a break. As you plan your family vacation, Mandy of Living Peacefully with Children, guest posting at Natural Parents Network, explains why you should consider hitting the trails with your kids.
  • Crafty Cohorts — Kellie at Our Mindful Life enjoys crafting with her kids, and the skills they are learning.
  • 10 Hobbies For Families With Young Children — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama knows that finding hobbies families can do together (with young children in tow) isn't always the easiest of feats. She has compiled a list of 10 family friendly hobbies that children of all ages can enjoy and that won't break the bank!
  • Helping Himawari — Sophelia's family at Sophelia's Adventures in Japan share a passion for helping when a dog is abandoned at the nearby elementary school.
  • The 'Art' of Having FunMarija Smits shares some thoughts on family art and fun.
  • How we made our own Family Day — Lauren at Hobo Mama shares how her family celebrates the best day of the week, a chance for connection and adventure and endless possibilities: Family Day!
  • Our Family Hobby — Survivor talks about how animal husbandry has become her family's favorite hobby at Surviving Mexico Adventures and Disasters.
  • Sowing the Seeds of Passions — Christy at Eco Journey In The Burbs wonders if her interests, and her husband's, will shape her children's passions as they mature.
  • Harry Potter Potions Party — One of the best activities Dionna at Code Name: Mama has ever done with her family has been a Harry Potter Potions Party. She is sharing the resources she used to create their potion recipes, the ingredients and tools they experimented with, and the recipes themselves. Feel free to use and adapt for your own budding wizards and witches!
  • Pastimes Have Passed Me By — Kati at The Best Things takes a new perspective on projects that never get done.
  • Food as a cultural experience for preschoolers — Nathalie at Kampuchea Crossings finds that food is a good way to engage her preschoolers on a journey of cultural discovery.
  • 10 Reasons I Love Thrifting With My ChildrenThat Mama Gretchen has always enjoyed shopping, but with a growing family she's become more frugal and thus, her little ones are now in tow on her thrift store adventures.
  • Pastime with Family vs Family Pastime — You can share lots of pastimes with your family, but Jorje of Momma Jorje discovered a family pastime was much more pleasant for sharing.


  1. When I was a child, we spent many an afternoon out tending the garden, sometimes none too willingly. Decades later ( I am not admitting how many ;) ) gardening has become a passion. Now it's my son who spends many an afternoon tending the crops, sometimes none too willingly...
    Who knows which of the hobbies your girls will choose in the future. Exposing them to such a variety is such a great idea!

    1. It's funny that the gardening bug skipped a generation in my family, and it didn't hit me until my mid thirties.

  2. There are a couple of things I've been bugging my husband to do, but he keeps stalling, saying "the kids aren't old enough." But if we wait until they're "old enough," the interest might not develop as easily!

    1. It's hard to know when to introduce certain things - when it is age appropriate, or just appropriate for your child. My 4 year old is literally begging me to teach her how to knit and I've said she needs to be older. But then I see her with spare needles wrapping yarn around them herself or trying to knit elastic bands and I think I need to teach finger knitting or spool knitting.

  3. I'll admit I get frustrated when I try to introduce a beloved hobby to a kid and get rebuffed, but as you say, it's all planting seeds (plus teaching me patience!). I've been interested to see my older son's love of sewing, fitful though it is, and I've had the same experience with unreliable garden helpers. My husband has definitely gotten them interested in some of the things he loves, which has been great to see.

    1. Yes, I I admit to feeling a bit hurt when I've tried to get my kids into something, but just when I think they don't want to do it, they surprise me and join in. I think when they see us doing something they are more open to trying.

  4. It is such a joy to share a passion with one's children. Showing Tiger Star Wars for the first time was truly emotional parenting moment for his dad!

    1. Ha! My husband can relate to the a Star Wars viewing, and we are both thrilled to expose our older daughter to the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogy.

  5. Some of my favorite pastimes are things I never did as a child (or did very rarely), like painting. My Mom let me paint with a ratty old set of paints in the laundry room once in a while until I begged her for a a set of nice acrylic paints and a canvas. I was still relegated to the laundry room but my passion for painting started there. After a BFA in painting and drawing and hundreds of works of art later, she started painting with me once in a while. I love making thing with my kids and it can be frustrating when I don't feel the joy and passion reciprocated. But I also look forward to sharing the passions my kids will discover on their own.

    1. Yes, I'm looking forward to seeing who my kids are and what they enjoy When they are teenagers and adults.