“Whatever activity my kids are doing, I do it with them,” a private school mom told me recently. Right now, it’s piano and cooking, but we’ve done a lot of different things.” I can’t imagine my parents taking horseback riding lessons because that’s what my sister and I did. Fast-forward to 2012 where taking up your child’s hobby is all the rage among L.A.’s private elementary school parents.
When I talk to other private school moms and dads, a lot of them have interesting and sometimes unusual hobbies. But, it wasn’t until the other night at dinner where the conversation turned to our children’s
resume building hobbies, that it occurred to me that many of these parents are taking up the same extracurricular activities as their kids. It’s the latest parenting trend at some of L.A.’s most popular private schools.
A friend of mine takes the exact same lessons as her kid, including music and poetry–with the same instructors. I’ve seen parents start surfing, snowboarding, run marathons with their kids, compete in horse shows, take violin lessons, rock climb, start playing lacrosse, guitar and even join a rock band, because their kids are doing it. A parent at one school is practicing in his kid’s band and joined the band in the kids’ talent show at the school.
It’s a way to share your child’s interests, a means of staying connected in a fragmented world, where parents and kids are always rushing from school to sports to music lessons. It can reinforce a kid’s choice of activities and create a way to learn together. Maybe its even a way to be hip in our old age. Or, is it really just a thinly disguised way to helicopter parent our kids? I get the feeling some of these parents would attend school with their kids if they could.
I especially admire those moms and dads who step outside their comfort zones of Chanel flats and skinny jeans to try something new. Ballet for the first time as an adult? Probably easier said than done.
My family plays tennis. We all take lessons and sometimes we play together. It’s a lot of fun. I love how we can share an athletic activity together.
If all this sounds a bit too precious, maybe it is. Its definitely a luxury that a lot of private school parents have…the time and money to chase
our kids’ our dreams. I, however, draw the line at tennis. My son plays soccer, football and basketball. My daughter plays guitar. You’ll never find me doing any of those things! I’ll leave them for my kids to enjoy—without me.