Parenting to My Weakness
Parenting can be such a battle at times. And challenging. But also joy-filled and awe-inspiring. One of the inspiring things we've witnessed lately is Justice's love of music. The girl is captivated.
We have sung to Justice since before she was born. We know that music has had a soothing effect when she's tired, or a calming effect when we choose the right song. The past few months we've had a lot of fun singing songs with motions. And most recently, Justice has taken dance to a whole new level.
It's not uncommon for Justice to pick up a random object or toy, pretend it's a guitar, and ask one of us to sing; or tap her fingers on the table and call it a piano; or lay in bed for an hour before falling asleep, singing her favorite songs to her animal friends. Recently we went to a small town Christmas festival, and along the street were various artists singing, playing ukeleles, or dancing hula. She loved it all. And then we passed a woman playing a harp. Justice was mesmerized. We were close enough to touch it (and eventually did), but her eyes were still so big as she took in the beautiful music coming from the strings.
It has been fun to sing and dance with Justice. To teach her songs, to hear her request her favorites, to watch her "teach" her animals. But to be honest, it's also a little frightening. I have zero musical talent, struggle to keep a beat, and my knowledge of instruments is severely limited. As a parent, how do I foster this love Justice so clearly has, when I don't have the talent or the skill? Or worse yet, will my ineptitude hinder her?
I know she's only two, we have a long way to go, and it's possible this musical infatuation is only a phase. Either way, I don't want to be in the way of something that could be a life-long love. And more importantly, Justice will surely have other skill sets that I don't share. So I'm interested, parents, in your feedback. How have you fostered a skill your child possesses that you don't? In my particular example (music) the most obvious answer is to put her in a music class. So let's get creative. When finances are tight, what else have you done? Books (or CDs) from the library? Exchange services with a friendly, and talented, neighbor? What other suggestions do you have?