(Original post by Hood_Man)
I'd try to keep up with what they enjoy doing and encourage them to stick at it, rather than get on their backs telling them to do this or that instead.
I used to be really good at art when I was a kid, I'd draw pictures that my teachers would compare to LS Lowry paintings (all those little details, hundreds of people, huge crowds etc), I'd make models out of plasticine that won competitions (I won a CBBC fridge magnet competition once), etc. Yet my mum would constantly be on my back telling me I should be like normal boys and out playing football or whatever.
That didn't make me go outside and hang out, it just made me lose interest in those things I did enjoy. It's a shame, because not only am I pretty rubbish at those things now, but also my mum has somehow got the idea in her head that she was incredibly supportive and encouraging of it, and these days constantly reminds me of how good she thought I was and says what a shame it is that I don't do it anymore...
I had plenty of friends, I saw them in school and despite what she believed I would see them outside school hours (not that often, but as often as I wanted), but it was horrible to have her making me feel awful for not being like everyone else. The sad thing is when she speaks about her own mother and it's like listening to a tape recording of my own feelings, and it's a real shame that she didn't learn from that.
To tie into that as well, I hope that if I had a child/children who turned out to be introverted like me, that I wouldn't treat it as a problem and something that needed fixing. Sometimes it's a sign that something's wrong, but it's also a personality trait. My grandfather and two of his brothers were fairly quiet, and I'm apparently just like them and they turned out ok.
I also hope I'd get them interested in sports, and if they didn't like a particular one instead of forcing them to carry on I'd try them on something else. I hated all forms of exercise when I was a kid, but now I go running 3 nights a week (7-10km usually), and I really enjoy it. I also enjoy tennis because if I make a mistake I've only got myself to blame, and I don't have to contend with 10-20 people screaming at me.
That sounds like a really petty rant and I don't want to sound like I don't love my mum (
), it's just that she and so many parents make those small mistakes and I like to think I'll learn from them.