My wife and I are big fans of letting our kids try things, and then seeing how they play out.
For example, over the years Austin has shown a variety of obsessions with things. When he was 3 the only thing he could talk about was wanting to be in hockey. Then the day that we signed him up he decided he hated the helmet (with the face mask) and promptly decided he didn't want to be a hockey player anymore. Luckily, we were able to return the $300 worth of gear we had purchased.
In middle school he wanted to be on the football team. But after 2 years of repeatedly getting pummeled by kids twice his size he wisely decided that wasn't his game either.
Following that he spent several years taking guitar lessons (which I thought he was getting pretty good at) until skateboarding entered his life and that was that. From that point forward his entire existence has revolved around nothing but the almighty skateboard.
Now, his latest interest is spinning off into videography as a result of the "footy" he and his friends have been gathering while skating. I'll be posting a video of his latest project in a few days once he's finished with it.
The same thing goes for my daughter.
In the last several years she has tried viola, piano, skateboarding, soccer, baseball, and basketball. Some things she comes back to, others she has abandoned. It's all based on what floats her boat at the time.
But her latest interest has been in karate of all things.
After receiving a free 30-day trial membership in the mail, Roseanna decided she wanted to try it.
To say she likes it would be an understatement. Classes are offered up to 4 times per week and students are encouraged to attend at least 1, and hopefully 2 times if they can make it. In the last 3 months since Roseanna has been signed up, she has been going 3 times/wk and sometimes 4, and still can't seem to get enough!
Now, in addition to learning the basics, she has advanced far enough where she gets to don all the padded gear and engage in sparring as well.
Not only is karate good for you physically, but it also builds self confidence and provides self defense skills that you can draw on if necessary.
Here she is below receiving her latest promotion to gold/green belt. If she keeps attending at the rate she is right now, she will receive her black belt by high school. I think that would be awesome if she stuck to it and reached that goal.
The point is, not everything your kids try will pan out.
I used to get frustrated when Austin didn't practice his guitar because as a musician, I wanted him to experience the artistic release I feel when I am able to make music. But eventually I bit my tongue and just let him move on to other interests.
Oh sure, we had to ask him to make a decision at some point. Because spending $20/wk on lessons that he wasn't taking advantage of didn't make sense for either of us. But in the end he found another passion which has taken him to new and exciting levels in his life.
So I say let your kids try things. They might just find something they didn't even know they were looking for.