"Mom, what do you think I'm going to be when I grow up? What would I be good at?"
"What do you like about me, Mom?"
Amanda has been asking me these questions lately. In fact, she asks me one (or both) of these questions almost anytime we are alone. I am so thankful for our trips to and from BSF each Monday night. Being in the car alone on short trips are perfect for these types of soul-searching conversations.
How do you answer these questions?
I always try to turn it back to her "What would you like to be? Have you asked God?" while also encouraging her with one of her positive quality traits.
"You are friendly. You're funny (this is very important to her lately). You're a good big sister."
Hearing these affirming observations always results in a little self-conscious smile. Sometimes my direction such as, "Maybe you'll be a mom like me," get a response like, "No, I think I want to have a job" (as did I when I was nine years old). However, I think it's important to remind her--not only that it's an option, but one that I am glad I chose.
Last Sunday when we picked her up from Sunday School, the teacher was talking to her. I asked her why, and explained that there was going to be a foster child there next week and she wanted Amanda and another girl to be sure to welcome her.
I asked her Monday if the girl had come to church. She hadn't. I told her that I was proud of her for being asked and for being willing. I explained that it's a way she can serve God. She asked how that was serving God, and I explained that it's using her God-given personality strengths to help others. If a new person comes to church and is welcomed and enjoys herself, she might want to come back and learn more about God.
So, seriously, how do you answer these types of questions from your children? How do you encourage them to purse their gifts and talents, or how to figure out what they are?