Let them obsess a little

Every time kids get really excited about something, there is a small (usually) but significant movement among parents to stifle it.

Remember the panicked reaction to kids reading Harry Potter books? Remember that young people were eager to get to the bookstore, the library, etc.? Because they were interested in something?

But there was a lot of concern about the content of the books, because the students portrayed in them did things that weren’t 100% “right”. Because there was conflict in the story, and poor choices, and moral dilemmas. I remember reading a serious blog post or article (sorry, no link) about how Harry should have been happy to be with family and content with their treatment of him. Some people worried that Harry Potter was subverting our youth, turning them into authority-questioning hooligans.

That said, if my own child was throwing tantrums because he needed to wear his wizard robes and carry his magical wand to school every day, I’d have to take steps with him. And, you know, do some parenting. But a little obsession, like wanting to read the rest of the series immediately as it’s published, is healthy, in my opinion.

I’ve watched the same thing happen again with Minecraft. It’s an obsession for some people (not just kids). It’s getting them reading strategy guides, making video tutorials, planning and plotting with both face-to-face and online friends. This kind of sudden, unexpected activity is terrifying to the status-quo-loving segment of the population.

But until it’s seriously interfering with an individual functioning in other parts of their life, it’s okay. Let them obsess a little. Or do what the wisest among us do: leverage it.

I work with teachers K-12 in every school in our board, and by far the single greatest concern/complaint I hear is that students are apathetic (or absent, which might have the same cause). They are disengaged. They don’t care. They don’t get excited about anything.

Why then would we squash them when they do engage?

Join them. If you haven’t tried it, go buy Minecraft. Read Harry Potter. Try Pokemon. Whatever your kids are loving, love it too. They want to share with us, and they love it when we’re interested in their interests.

Obsess along with them, just a little.

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3 thoughts on “Let them obsess a little

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