Trophies Aren’t The Only Thing That Matter, And Our Kids Need To Know That

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“I want to teach my children that it’s OK to have a hobby just to have a hobby.

They don’t need to win a trophy.

They don’t need to be the best.

They don’t even need to be any good at it.

It’s OK to do a hobby simply because you love it.

We recently moved to northern Michigan, for example, and my kids have taken up skiing.

Before we moved, someone asked, ‘Are they going to join the ski team?’

I replied, ‘I doubt it,’ and shrugged my shoulders.

To my kids, skiing is new and fun–something they love doing on the weekends with their dad.

It’s usually a day full of bonding, laughs, and personal improvement.

It’s a hobby they all love doing together.

And they don’t need competition to prove they’re getting better.

Our society has slowly grown into believing that we should only do things we’re good at–and we should get some kind of shiny object for doing them well.

It almost feels brave (at any age) when we try something new and are just bad at it.

Last year, our family started nature journaling.

We take a stroll in the woods and find an object in nature to sketch.

I love drawing feathers and leaves.

What I sketch probably looks like a child drew it.

And I’m OK with it.

To me, I’m enjoying my kids and the slow mindfulness practice it gives me.

Don’t we want our children to grow into adults who know what to do with their spare time–and enjoy it?

If everything is constantly a test, I’m unsure they’ll grow up enjoying that.

Sure, competition can be healthy and motivating for some individuals.

There’s nothing wrong with that.

But I do think life should feel like a pleasure–and hobbies do just that.

Even without a trophy.”

three children playing in a large tree and having fun

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Angela Anagnost-Repke, and originally appeared here. You can follow her journey on Facebook. Submit your own story here.

Read more from Angela here:

‘At age 6, she’s already been called ‘too talkative,’ while male counterparts are labeled class clowns or just ‘boys being boys.’: Woman shares touching reminder to be our authentic selves

‘They weren’t just born to rock the boat, they were born to build a new one. Strong-willed kids are a lot, but the world needs them.’: Mom to ‘tiny torpedo’ says strong-willed kids ‘will always be worth the struggle’

‘Let them work in their PJs. If they want to do math in bed—more power to them. Your child does not need a school replicated in their home.’: Mom shares ‘friendly homeschool PSA’

‘When marriage gets hard, I picture myself old. Grayed hair, shriveled little body, with feet difficult to put in front of the other.’: Woman says ‘our love will be the greatest accomplishment of our lives’

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