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September 1st, 2012

Helping Children Find Their Passion

Some kids acquire an absorbing interest, a passion that helps define them. This may lead to a lifelong interest or even a career in creative pursuits, science, math, or sports, to name just a few. Having a passion boosts self-esteem and helps create an individual identity that is strong and enduring.

Children do not always develop a passion on their own. Here are five ideas to encourage your child to discover an interest that truly matters to him or her.

1. If a child has a dedicated interest in an activity, that may be a signal to develop that skill further. If your youngster comes home from school and starts figuring out simple tunes on the piano, music lessons may be a good idea. If your youngster is constantly inventing games with a ball, sports might be a good direction to pursue.

2. Just because your child shows interest and talent, that activity doesn’t have to be the only one to pursue. When children are in elementary school, expose children to different activities. As children mature, they will undoubtedly be vocal about which activity is the right fit for them.

3. Don’t be afraid to enroll your child in an activity that he or she does not do well. There’s great value in such an activity. The child doesn’t always have to be the best at something to have fun.

4. Kids today need inspiring young role models. Have you watched the Olympics, especially with your children? These contenders in their teens and twenties are supreme examples of athletes who set powerful goals, demonstrate perseverance, and overcome disappointment when all comes crashing down. Talk with your kids about the amazing successes as well as the dashed hopes these athletes sometimes face.

5. Parents and other family members are often the best role models for children. Talk about what you love to do, what inspired you as a young person, and teach your child some of the skills you know well. Sometimes, children share the skills and goals of their parents. Sometimes they don’t. For example, your child may not love carpentry just because you do. However, working closely with a key adult figure can inspire that youngster to discover his or her own hidden talents. That can make all the difference.

You may also want to check out these earlier posts from Tool Kits for Kids:
Heroes Are More Important to Children Than Ever
Disappointment Can Build Confidence in Kids
I’m Not Doing Than! How Confidence Helps Kids Try New Experiences