Finding your child’s passion can seem a little intimidating. After all, you may have only discovered what you truly love to do over the last year! But by encouraging your little one to pursue her interests, you can help her to build up her confidence and develop lifelong skills. Whether your child loves sports, art, music or politics, you can provide the support system he needs to follow through on his goals.
Here are four tips on how to help your child find his passion:
By simply watching your child and listening to her speak about her interests, you can get a good sense of what she does and doesn’t like. For example, if she always watches documentaries about airplanes it’s pretty clear that she has an interest in flying. Pay attention to your child’s interests, even if they seem fleeting. Over time, you might see them develop into passions.
When you realize that your child has a particular interest, you should encourage him to pursue it through participating in certain activities, watching relevant TV shows or going on educational outings. Does your little girl love cars? Then why not take her to a car show? Or perhaps your son just can’t stop talking about chess — you might want to seek out an after-school club where he can practice his skills.
There’s a not-so-fine line, however, between encouragement and becoming a full-fledged Tiger Mom. Just because your child likes soccer doesn’t mean that you have to buy him professional equipment and make him practice six hours a day. Start to build up your encouragement slowly based on your little one’s level of interest.
Allow Your Child to Sample Different Things
Very few people are lucky enough to know what they love to do at a young age. If your child hasn’t been able to narrow down a particular field of interest, you should encourage her to try a variety of activities. Perhaps you could visit a museum or support local schools and clubs by attending games and meets. You can also go to concerts, ballets and plays. And don’t forget to read books and watch TV shows on a variety of different topics.
Talking to your child and asking him thought-provoking questions can help him to discover what he truly loves. Perhaps you could clear a Saturday to do an activity of your child’s choice and ask her why she wanted to go on that particular outing. If you notice that your child has a new area of interest, ask him what it is that specifically fascinates him about this topic. Learning what’s at the root of your child’s passion can help you direct him to similar activities he may enjoy, too.
What Types of Limits Should You Be Aware Of?
When helping your child to discover his passion, it’s important that you recognize his mental and physical limits. While you might feel the urge to see your kiddo as a prodigy and push for more lessons, practice or competitions, this is a sure-fire path to burnout and resentment. After all, you don’t want your child to feel too much pressure to win or perform a certain way. Let your little one decide the level to which she is willing to commit. And be sure to limit her extracurricular activities so that they are manageable for you and your nanny or babysitter.
For more tips on helping your child get involved, check out Encouraging Kids to Participate.
Do you have any other tips on finding your child’s passion? Let us know in the comments below!