Tips to Help Your Child Find Their Passion
As parents we all want the best for our children and their futures. We want to help our children succeed in life. However, it is a natural tendency to assume that our children share similar interests to our own. It’s important to recognize that our kids may not be wired in the same way as us or as their siblings. In order to help your child succeed and thrive, we should do what we can to help them determine where their interests lie.
Listen and Observe
Obviously, one of the first steps to finding common interests with your children is determining what they enjoy doing. This is likely to change over time, as they mature and grow. As babies and
toddlers, it’s best to expose them to a wide variety of activities and subjects, but as the grow they will naturally develop their own passions and gravitate toward specific areas of interest.
The following articles have some sage advice on finding your kid’s/kids’ passion(s):
- Education Outrage: Help your child find their passion
- Helping your child succeed in the world (by Dr. Phil)
It’s important to talk to and observe your kids to find out what they enjoy and what interests them. Not all kids are going to be enamored with sports, fishing or hunting. Some will be more inclined toward music or science or photography, for example. You may find that your child’s interests do not align with yours, but it is important to make an effort to support them and engage them in their interests. In doing so, you demonstrate that you care about them as individuals. You may find enjoyment in expanding your own interests and experience in the process.
Encourage your Child
Once you’ve identified your child’s passion, it is important to encourage them to develop it. Remember that you may not share their passion. You may think you’re doing them a favor in discouraging them from pursuing a particular interest. Perhaps you don’t see a future (in terms of a career or profession) associated with the focus of their attention. But, what your child needs from you every bit as much as guidance and advice is encouragement.
We’ve all heard the saying that “if you love what you do for a living, you’ll never work a day in your life”. Many of us may find ourselves in jobs that we really do not enjoy because we pursued a career where we felt we could make a good living rather than because we were following our passion. Meanwhile, if we look around, we can see many individuals who are making a good living while doing what they love and what they are gifted to do.
Encouraging your child to pursue their passions and develop their natural talents may be the best way to ensure their future success and happiness.
Inspire your Child
Supporting your child by being encouraging is important, but parents should also help to facilitate their children’s pursuit of their passions. From helping pay for music lessons or driving the kids to/from sports practice or getting your child a chemistry set, these are all ways that you can fan into flame your child’s natural interests.
Find creative and age-appropriate ways to inspire your child to develop their natural talents. There’s no need to spend a fortune, but rather than springing for the latest video gaming system, consider getting them something that will further enhance their education and experience in their area of interest.
- If your child shows an aptitude toward music, get them an instrument (inexpensive to start) and plug them into lessons.
- If they enjoy science, get them a chemistry set, an electronics set or books on the subject.
- If they enjoy nature, get them binoculars or hiking gear or a good camera to capture the beauty of nature.
- If they enjoy video games, get them a laptop and some books and software so they can learn how to program their own games.
These are just a few suggestions — I’m sure you can think of many others. The important thing is to encourage and inspire them along the way to continue to learn and develop their natural interests.
Share in their Passion
Taking an active interest in your child’s passion is very important. It goes beyond encouragement and beyond facilitation. Finding ways to participate with your child demonstrates your sincere
interest in them as individuals. Some ways you can share in their passion is by being their number one fan on the sidelines at their soccer matches or making time to attend their choir/band performances or sitting down and asking them to teach you some of the latest art techniques they’ve learned. Making time for your kids and engaging with them in their interests will bring you closer together and will make them feel loved and valued for who they are.
These are just a few suggestions that I try to apply with my children. It’s not always easy to find the time, but it’s well worth the effort. In reality, I can’t think of a better way to spend my time than investing it with my children, building our relationships and fostering warm memories.
Please Share your Thoughts
I’d love to get your feedback and additional suggestions for how you help your children find and pursue their passions. Our kids are the future — what a tremendous investment!
Wishing you and your family the true wealth that cannot be measured monetarily, but by loving and lasting relationships.
-Patrick @ Family Staples