They Want to Share Your Joy
Why do children end up liking things that we like? Because they see us experiencing joy and they want to experience that same joy. They want whatever it is you have.
You are guiding their affections. You are modeling what your children will spend their time studying. The student becomes like his teacher. This is why. They mimic their teacher’s loves.
Why do some children not know their multiplication tables but can rattle off the names and strengths of 200+ Pokemon? Why do some children not like to read but know the batting average of every player on the St. Louis Cardinals for the past decade?
Because they study and attend to what they love.
How do you get your children to love other things? You must model it. If you don’t have a love of history, it’s unlikely they will ever get a love of history.
This is not new. This is how everyone cultivates their loves and affections. They desire to imitate someone they admire.
And for children at younger ages, there is no one they admire more than their parents. Don’t squander this admiration.
The great thing about your children sharing your joy: they end up increasing it. Again, this is how our enjoyment of anything works. We seek to share our enjoyment with others. We talk about the books and movies we enjoy. We want to share our favorite restaurants. And this ends up increasing our enjoyment of the thing itself.
Our children are offering to do this for us. Offering ourselves ends up enlarging ourselves. The gift you give your children ends up being a gift you get in return.
But to take the most advantage of it, we need to cultivate our own affections and loves. We want our children to love things that are Good, Beautiful, and True. We want them to attend to worthwhile things.
But for them to do that, they must see us attending to worthwhile things.