Releasing the weatherman in your child

How do you help your child pursue their dream? — even if it's not quite the dream you were hoping for.

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  • William the weather boy. It has a nice ring to it, right?

  • William Hallman, a 9-year-old aspiring weatherman from Fargo, N.D., starred as the weather kid for local TV station KVLY. Through his adorable gestures, curious stares at himself into the screens, and his references to the Cub Scout winter camp, William didn’t just steal the show. He gained Internet praise through a viral video of his five minutes of weather fame.

  • Every kid has a dream, but some are a little more eccentric than others. After all, you don’t meet too many 9-year-old weathermen who are more fascinated with the wind chill than their video game scores.

  • Sometimes as parents, you can accidentally interrupt your child’s biggest dreams by signing them up for your own. Maybe you love ballet and dream of seeing your little girl pirouette, but she has two left feet. Perhaps your son has the perfect build for a lineman, but just wants to read books. It can get tricky balancing your own dreams with what your child wants, but when you let him follow his heart you can watch him succeed.

  • According to Dr. Diane Levin, author of "Remote Control Childhood," sometimes it's easy to measure our children's social interactions by comparing it with our own childhood. "This doesn't take into account the fact that our children's experiences can often be very different than our own," Levin said. "So try to think about what the social relationships mean from your child’s point of view."

  • So how do you decide between what you know is best for your children, and their own dreams? Sit down and talk it out with them. Maybe they would be willing to try a season of soccer or semester of art class and decide afterward if they want to pursue it. As long as they are involved in positive social activities and finish out the season, trying different hobbies will most likely be a good experience in finding what they care about.

  • Pushing the introvert

  • But what if your child is shy? How do you balance encouraging him to try new activities, without forcing him?

  • Even though it might temporarily make your child furious at you while you push him out of his comfort zone, it's very important to get him involved in some way. It’s good to encourage your child to participate in whatever his interests are and push him to join some type of activity. Come up with a list of possible clubs to get involved in and see what interests your child.

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  • Relaxing without competition

  • If your child isn't competitive, there are plenty of recreational groups your child could still get involved in. Book clubs, craft groups, bike riding groups, and math club are a smattering of countless examples available for socializing without the pressures of making a basket. These gatherings are great opportunities to involve your child in the community in a way that will help him feel good.

  • The forecast looks sunny

  • After experimenting with a few different clubs or sports, the forecast will be looking bright for your kids. There's a high chance of increased confidence while learning important lessons like responsibility. Your kids will be feeling sunny with their new friends and their new skills.

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Alysa Kleinman is a journalism student and an intern at Deseret Digital Media. 

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