Shape Your Child’s Future

By Shlomo Maital

 Offir DaganOffir Dagan

Today’s New York Times has a lovely story about Offir Dagan, a choreographer and artistic director for dance training, in Tel Aviv.

   When he was 5, he recounts, his parents removed the insides from an old black and white TV set and turned the wooden case into a puppet theater for their son.

   That gift, he recounts, put Offir onto a career path. He is now 36. “My parents understood what I wanted,” he recounts. Because it was inside a TV set, it was more than a puppet show, it was inside TV, people wanted to watch what was inside it.

     Dagan acted out stories with puppets his grandmother made for him. One was a green cactus made from corduroy.  

   For his 10th birthday, Dagan got a real puppet theatre, made especially by a carpenter. He enjoyed putting on puppet shows at birthday parties.

   Today he still teaches puppetry and how to manipulate puppets, sometimes in theaters.

   “I thought my parents never really supported my artistic side,” Dagan says. “But now this makes me realize they did.”

     We parents and grandparents need to be attentive to our children’s and grandchildren’s true interests and passions, and foster them, offer them ways to develop those talents.   The result can be life-changing.