We ideally want our offspring to be both interested and interesting; to be curious about the world around them and to be able to talk with passion about the things they love doing. Finding the thing you love is not always easy though, for young people today there are so many different options and so much noise, it can be difficult to cut through it to find ‘your thing’.
How can we support and guide our children to try and develop their sense of passion and find a particular interest?
Spend time listening in and watching what brings your child joy. When do they really come alive? Watch for those moments when you see that spark and reflect it back to them ‘You really looked like you were loving that’.
Your child’s interest might seem surprising to you and possibly very different to what your own were at their age. Whatever the interest might be- Pokémon catching, collecting stickers… support and encourage their commitment. Even if your child’s only interest seems to be video gaming, talk to them about how to explore that further; could they look into coding or animation or video game design?
Does your child see others around them spend time nurturing their passions and interests? As parents, talk about your own hobbies and allow your child to see you devote time to them. Find suitable role models for your child too, this could be someone older than them in the community or someone famous. Talk about how they have nurtured their passion and spent time working on their interest, whether it might be sport, photography etc.
When we can share our passion for a particular topic with others it drives connection and strengthens our love for that particular interest. Help your child find other people who share the same interest as them, this could involve joining a club, attending an event, getting together with friends, or signing up for a monthly magazine subscription.
Passion and interests don’t develop overnight. We need to be patient and supportive with allowing our children to experience different things. Although you might be desperate for them to be passionate about mastering a musical instrument, try and worry less about what their passion is for and more about giving them the opportunities to find the one that speaks to them. Once they have found it, it will help them develop invaluable skills such as persistence, commitment, accomplishment, and confidence.
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