Nurturing Interests When Is It Too Soon

Nurturing Interests: When Is It Too Soon?

I’ve been thinking a lot about William’s interests, toys and activities of choice today. I’ve had a lot of time to think about it because we’re stuck at home after his vom-fest this week. Seriously, I managed to work a whole 45 minutes on Monday before having to take my poorly little man home. And the rest of the week basically became a write off there and then as far as work is concerned! Parenthood sometimes, pfft… Anyway, that’s a different post!

So anyway, I’ve been thinking about interests and when (if) it’s too soon to really be nurturing interests with the kids. I’m not really talking about a 6 month MLP (that’s My Little Pony to the lucky of you out there who aren’t afflicted!) obsession, or a sudden interest in where the water goes when you flush the toilet (although I do know of a nursery that took that very question and featured a month’s worth of activities around it!).

I’ve been thinking about the bigger things, the things that will remain interests for huge chunks of their childhood and even into adulthood. I’m talking music, dancing, photography, reading, sports, drama (there’s no shortage of that among any of us, I’m sure). How soon is too soon to be encouraging these interests, or even noticing them?

Nurturing Interests When Is It Too Soon

I’m in danger here of sounding like this mum;

“Oh my gosh, my kids are just so talented. Wills practically came out of the womb playing the oboe!”

I promise you I’m not, though. Like any parent, it’s always in the back (front) of my mind, that niggling feeling that I’m not doing enough, though. I should be doing more – so much more!

Amelia has always been creative, in so many ways. Her imagination astounds me daily, and to listen to her play sometimes even I feel transported into the magical worlds she creates. She has recently shown an interest (and aptitude) in photography, and it got me thinking about what she is really capable of now that she is old enough to treat things with a little more care. Given that I’m rather attached to my phone, which is the only half decent photographic device we own, I have started to wonder if we should just buy her a camera and let her snap away to her heart’s content?

But what if it ends up discarded, languishing in a corner of her room somewhere? What if we spend hard earned cash on something that she ends up deciding isn’t for her? Is that a waste? Is it pointless?

Then there’s Wills; all jokes about oboes aside, the boy seriously loves music. Most kids his age do, right? And everyone likes a good beat! But the more I watch him and take note of his play, the more I’ve realised that there is music in everything he does. In the bedroom, he ignores all of the toys except the music box. I found him in the middle of the night recently stretching as far as he could out of his cot to reach a trumpet and set of shakers. In the kitchen, he pulls all of the pots and pans out of the cupboard until he finds his two fave metal pan lids and then sits contentedly banging them together like cymbals. During the day, he’s totally disinterested in kids TV, but goes nuts if I put on a music channel. At bedtime, he looks at me expectantly until I start to sing wail for him, and as soon as I start he says a little “aahhh” and lays his head on me.

Is it totally ridiculous that at the tender age of 10 months he already owns a guitar (we got him his own so Amelia could have hers back, which he sits and carefully plucks each string one by one), trumpet, drum, maracas, recorder, and a thousand other noisy things? Is it totally ridiculous that while I’m writing this I keep getting distracted looking for a camera for my 3-year-old?

I don’t think so. I believe that our children can, and will, do whatever pleases them, and are truly capable of anything. So what if Amelia hates photography next year? She loves it now, so why shouldn’t she be given the opportunity to explore and enjoy it to her full potential. So what if Wills ends up tone deaf; the one thing that makes him totally happy, bouncy and excited (aside from food) is music. So right now, isn’t it my job to do everything I can to facilitate his enjoyment?

Also, I’m secretly harbouring a total obsessive mum-type dream that in my twilight years I’ll be gushing about my daughter, the modern Annie Liebovitz, and my son, 2030’s answer to Ed Sheeran!


  • Pat - white camellias

    I think we should just go with it. If they show an interest in something I think encouraging them does absolutely no harm. I don’t think that’s being pushy at all. I would give Amelia a camera (if you can) and take wills to toddles music lessons. Thank you for sharing with #StayClassyMama

    • MummyMamaMum

      It’s nice to hear so many people saying similar things. I was concerned after some convos with family/friends that I was pushing them, but I know I’m not, I’m just going with them!! Xx

  • The Pramshed

    I don’t think it’s ever too soon to start getting children interested in things. In fact I’m a little worried that my daughter isn’t really interested in anything apart from being outside. But she’s still young. It’s great that your child is showing a natural curiosity towards music. Thanks so much for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

  • Helen @Talking_Mums

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with nurturing their interests. If they like something then go with it and yes next year they may like something else! I wouldn’t go crazy with spending money on them at such an early age but a kidizoom camera and toy instruments won’t do them any harm or the bank balance! x

  • Sam, Memories and Mayhem Blog

    I don’t see anything wrong in giving children the tools to experiment with their interests and potentially develop a real love of something. I do think that it’s a bit much to have kids attending a different class every day of the week, they need to time to play and chill.
    Both of my children enjoy photography so we bought them the VTech cameras when they were little and they then moved on to digital cameras – these days it’s all about the iPhone though!
    My son mentioned that he would like to have a go at learning to play the guitar, so we got him some trial lessons and he loved them. We then got him a small acoustic guitar and just over a year later he is now playing an electric guitar and can play loads of songs now. If we hadn’t given him the chance to try we would never have known that he had a talent for it!
    You know what’s best for your kids, don’t let anyone tell you differently xx #BloggerClubUK

    • MummyMamaMum

      Oh I literally couldn’t agree more! There’s a line to be drawn, isn’t there? Thanks for your lovely comment xx

  • Amanda

    Definitely food for thought. I guess I’m trying to provide as many varied experiences as possible and just watching to see where they shine. I think I t’s our job to nurture their interests whenever we spot them.

    • MummyMamaMum

      Yeah I totally agree… I guess it’s just about rolling with it, especially when they’re so young and their interest can change every week! x

  • Imperfect Mum

    I think it is part of our role to encourage our children and help to nurture their talents. I don’t like it though when I see some kids enrolled in every class going. 😬 Let kids be kids. Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime 🎉

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