As adults, we recognize that difficult experiences make us stronger, better people. The same thing applies to when we are children, but we don't realize it at that time. When we're kids, the general feeling is “If I don't enjoy it, it's not good for me!” and we kick and scream to get our way out of things our parents try to make us do. Personally, I'm glad that no matter how hard I kicked or loud I screamed, my parents didn't let me get out of these activities:
Traveling: I just wanted to attend the beach volleyball camp the rest of my friends were attending during summer. I wanted the chance to eat more candy and French fries, “weekend food”, since summer was just an extended weekend. The last thing I wanted to do was be jetted away from everything I knew to another country. But that's exactly what happened. Every summer my parents brought my sister and I to a different country where we would rent a house for a month. I kicked and screamed at first, but just like at home, I got into my own rhythm there quickly, finding the parks I liked, the candy shops I liked, and friends to play with. Today, I am comfortable around almost all types of people because of the experience, am considered for jobs by foreign employers often because they like my cultured background, and have a very wide palate that enjoys every type of food.
Singing lessons: While my friends were playing sports, I was taken to a little cottage at a music academy that looked like a setting from a Jane Austen novel to learn singing techniques. It was gorgeous, serene, and filled with the “artsy types” who, when you are ten years old, are just considered the weird types. Of course today, I realize the “artsy types” are the types who go to NYU and make Oscar-Nominee films or are in the opening band at the American Music Awards. So, while I didn't learn how to become a singer, I did learn how to recognize quality friends and individuals when I met them and not write them off simply because they were different.
Eat vegetables: It sounds simple but, a lot of parents finally give into their child's demands for corn dogs and mac and cheese just so that they will eat something. My parents held out. I wasn't allowed up from the table until I ate my brussles sprouts, egg plant, summer squash or whatever it was that night. And, of course, eventually I did because I was starving. Today, I love the stuff. And while many of my friends struggle with weight because their taste buds instantly tingle when they see “cheeseburger” on a menu and go dull when they see “Farmer's Market Salad,” being healthy and keeping a good figure has never been an issue for me.