"How do you get your kids interested in important stuff?" a friend wanted to know. "I take my kids to museums, to shows and on all kinds of field trips, and they just act bored."
It's something we'd all like to know. But when we try to force the issue, I think it often backfires on us.
Like anything else, it's mostly a matter of mutual respect. Kids will respond more favorably to overtures if they know that their parents are open to their passions, as well.
For instance, my son is much more willing to listen to me talk about history when I've had a deep conversation with him about Pokemon. I make it a point to watch some of his favorite TV shows with him, and as a result, we have so much more common ground on which to walk together.
I have heard so many parents complain that their children's interest are boring. And I'll admit that some of the shows my son watches are less than cerebral, and I don't necessarily enjoy every book my daughters read. But when I make the effort, I see the results.
I don't know that my kids will ever have the same passion for history that I do, or if they will love the same music that makes me happy. But when we all respect--and at least sometimes share--each others' favorite things, we're expressing our love. . .and that's what is important.