Every parent wants their children to find out what they are truly passionate about and to pursue that passion. But how can we help them do that?
When it comes to developing a child's interests the earlier you start the better. Not only will this help your child to possibly identify the career path of their dreams but it will make them happier overall.
However, the problem is that it can be hard to determine what the child is passionate about as children are not known for being too consistent with their choices, or for their ability to explain themselves clearly.
So if you want to find out how to tell what your child is truly passionate about then keep reading this article containing our top 6 tips.
1. Have them try many different activities.
Your child will not be able to find out whether they are passionate about a particular activity or not if they don't try it first. So make sure they try as many new things as possible.
When it comes to taking part in new activities modern-day children are truly spoilt for choice. They can do anything that their little heart desires (arts and crafts, scientific experiments, performance arts, sport, etc.).
After your child has taken part in an activity discuss it with them. Try to find out whether they enjoyed it and if it is something that they would like to continue doing in the future.
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2. Do not force your children to take up hobbies that you like.
Many adults have fond memories of the activities they used to do when they were children and they want their own children to continue in their footsteps.
By signing up their children to the same activities they used to do parents are trying to relive the days of their former glory and live vicariously through their little ones. But that is not a healthy approach to the situation.
Your child may be completely disinterested in the thing you enjoyed as a child and that is OK. Rather than forcing your own interests on them accept their individuality and support them in exploring their own hobbies even if you don't understand them.
3. Nurture their passions by fanning the flames of optimism.
Today children are growing up in an increasingly competitive world in which everyone seems to be pitted against one another. Although competitive spirit in moderation is quite good if a child is expected to compete and win every step of the way this may take a toll on their self-confidence.
If your child is lucky enough to find out what are they are truly passionate about at a young age keep in mind that first and foremost engaging in this activity should be fun. Do not pressure your children to be the best at their chosen activity and do not compare them to other children.
If children view their shortcomings as a complete failure they're likely to get demotivated and quit their passion.
However, if they view them as feedback and take them into consideration then with your help and encouragement they will most likely make progress.
One of the most important lessons any child can learn from their parent is how to get up after they have fallen down, to dust themselves off and keep going towards their goal. And in order to learn that they must feel that they have your full support and that you believe that they can do it.
The best way to achieve this is by sharing with your children experience from your own past where you might have overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges. We have all had to overcome a difficult obstacle at some point in our lives so don't be embarrassed to share this experience with your child and inspire them with your story.
4. Don't be judgmental about your child's passion.
Each generation is different from the previous one so you should expect that you and your children will be passionate about different things. Whenever this happens representatives of older generations tend to adopt a somewhat judgmental attitude towards youngsters' passions.
Try to remember your own teenage years. How did you feel when you heard your own parents talk about the music you liked or the clothes you wore?
Where they supportive and understanding? If not, try not to repeat their mistakes.
Not all passions last forever; so even if your child is to into a new rock band right now their taste might change in the future, all you have to do is wait and just let their hobby run its course.
5. Forget the traditional gender roles.
Not all boys are interested in sports and cars and not all girls want to dress up as princesses. Your child might be interested in a hobby that isn't traditionally associated with their gender and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
If it is a hobby that will make them happy then don't allow their gender to hold them back from pursuing their passion.
All that matters is that they are happy, isn't it so?
6. Introduce them to potential mentors
It is easier for children to imagine themselves doing a particular thing when they see somebody else do it and be successful at it.
For example, if your child is interested in sports then why not take them to a sporting event and perhaps arrange for them to meet some of the players if such a thing is possible.
Not only will this make them extremely happy but it will also boost their motivation.
Who knows...maybe it will inspire them to the point where they decide to turn their passion into a career?
In conclusion, no matter where your child's passion lies it is your role as a parent to be supportive and understanding. Do not judge their hobbies just because they're different from what you might have liked at their age; instead, try to be open-minded and see things from their point of view.
This kind of attitude will make the child trust you more, and it will help you two bond. And most importantly it will make your child happy which is the entire point of parenthood.