I would venture to say that most parents would like to see their children follow in their footsteps, adopt the same interests, and fall in love with all of the same things that they cherish. I, as a parent of three, would mostly disagree with that sentiment for a few reasons: 1) personality, 2) environment, and 3) habits.
My own personality is different than my kids and, as a result, we enjoy different activities. Each of my children have their own unique personality, so we rarely find an activity that we all love, simultaneously; however, we all get a chance to try out new adventures together. I believe that it is important to cultivate these opposite personalities rather than attempt to shoe-horn your child into someone that they are not.
The home they are raised in is wildly different than that of my childhood, in a myriad of good ways. Sometimes I enjoy telling “when I was a kid” stories. I sincerely think that my kids believe that I am joking when I explain the times in which I was raised. Similar to personality, a safe home environment allows my kids to be who they want to be, without criticism or judgment.
If I made a list of my poor habits, I bet the slip of paper could unroll and cross the street. From exercise to finances, there are plenty of bad habits that I’d like to bury in the backyard, never to be reflected in my childrens’ lives. My wife and I foster good habits in each of them, whether academic or athletic, relative to their own specific interests, goals, and hobbies.
So when we attend kid activities, such as a girls basketball game, and my daughter makes a full-speed break-away toward the basket, I smile so very widely. I know that she is such a beautiful person and I am fine if she is, in some regards, the antithesis of me.