In our culture, there's a lot of talk about passion. The upcoming generation isn't interested in punching a time-clock and waiting until they retire to have fun. They are interested in finding their passion now, while they are young, and figuring out how they can enjoy it their entire life. For some, it might translate into a career, while others may participate in activities on their own time.
Either way, finding one's passion can enrich one's life and lead to true happiness in life, so parents should spend time learning how to cultivate and nurture their child's passion. Whether your child is in kindergarten or high school, it's never too late to learn something new. If you're struggling to find out what your child is passionate about, he or she is probably already giving you clues. By knowing where to look, and providing the right opportunities, you can start to narrow down your child's interests.
- Pay attention to what they are doing in their free time. When the television is off, the video games are shut down, and the phone battery is dead, what do they turn to? This is when you'll find a child shooting hoops in the driveway, drawing, dancing, or finding some other creative outlet.
- When they are on the internet, what are they looking up? Maybe dance routines on YouTube, or examples of robotics projects on Google.
- Encourage your child to sign up for different courses, classes, or camps that focus on different activities. If your child doesn't like change, they may need a push to try something new.
- Track what your child spends his or her money on. Maybe he saves up for running shoes or a new camera. These can be clues to where your child's passion lies.
- Watch who your child emulates. Whether it is someone she knows or a famous person, your child looks up to someone for their skill, whether it is an athlete, artist, or scientist.
- What does she keep working at even when she fails? Does he continue to play the piano, despite the fact that it took him an hour to learn one line of music? Or does she keep going back to the rink even though she fell every time she tried a new move while ice skating? Perseverance is a great character trait and a sign of extreme passion.
Once you have an idea of what your child is interested in, then you can start to encourage and fan the flame a little bit. Here are some tips that can help you nurture your child's passion.
- Don't push too hard. It's easy to jump on board and push your child to participate in an activity every waking moment, but that may backfire on you. Give him opportunities, but let him take it at his own pace.
- Don't impose your passions on your child. Maybe you never wrote that novel you wanted to, and you see your child is a gifted writer. Just because she can do something doesn't mean it is her passion.
- Praise the child's effort, but not necessarily her success. Learning something new takes time, and she may not be good at it at first. That's okay, because if she truly have a passion for something she will stick with it and improve.
- Help steer his interests. Many young boys have the dream of being a professional baseball player, but for many, the dream dies at some point in the teen years. Encourage him to keep his love of the sport, and get into it through another doorway, perhaps by being a sports journalist, or a team physical therapist.
It's also important to note that a child's passion will change as he or she grows. Give your child the freedom to set something aside for awhile and try new things. He or she may come back to it, or your child may find new interests. The most important thing you can do as a parent is support and encourage your child along the way and give him or her opportunities to explore and discover what he or she enjoys.
At GAC, your child can discover and nurture his or her passion. Here, your child can grow in academics, the arts, athletics, and faith. We have it all. If you want to give your child abundant opportunities to hone his or her talents, skills, and interest, then GAC is the place. Visit our campus to learn more about the experience we can offer your child.