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Let me start off by saying that if your two-year old wants to chase butterflies or stomp in puddles, let them. Here’s why.

My sixteen-year old daughter came home from school yesterday and said, oh by the way, I tried out for the academic team. The older kids usually answer those Jeopardy-like trivia questions more accurately so she didn’t make it last year yet went back and tried it again yesterday. This time she got a score on the screening test double that of the two boys she went with, easily making it to the next level, and she did it wearing a dress she told me. Not that that really has anything to do with anything, but really, she was clearly delighted with herself. I am a girl and I can do hard things, she might have been thinking.

At dinner she told my husband, just like she’d told me, she wasn’t sure she wanted to be on the academic team, she just took the test to see. Well, I am here to tell you that this is the very line I feed myself to get me to do things my brain might otherwise tell me not to do. My intuition that I want to do something is so strong that I go and do it and then my brain suggests rational reasons why that might be okay, later. Ahead of time I am not so sure the brain would give the okay. Not that there is anything wrong with wanting to be on the academic team, or just wanting to take the qualifying test, but I think my daughter needed to not think about it too hard. Otherwise she might question her motives, or the practicality of being in another club, or if she could even do it, or that she might be a nerdy person for considering it. She skipped all that and just did it.

It is a fantastic mechanism to be honored. This process of doing stuff just because. I had not heard her say one thing about wanting to be on such a team beforehand, yet she is attracted to it for some reason. None of the reasons for or against being on the team matter. Something about it is attractive. That’s enough for me to say, honor your intuition. Trust yourself.

Teach your children to indulge healthy ideas like this one, just to see, without too much thinking it over and figuring out if it makes sense. Because after all, chasing butterflies makes no sense at all. Unless you like doing it.