Figuring Out Your Child’s Passions

Self-exploration is a fundamental tool in order for children to realize their full potential. It is important for parents to let children make statements like: “What do I love to do?” “What do I spend most of my time doing?” and “Why do I want to do it?”

Socially, a child should be able to identify what he or she naturally enjoys doing, and find ways in which he or she can express in positive ways. Each child has his or her own preferences and likes, even if they are not listed on a typical checklist. Other people do not necessarily like or like the same things that a child likes. Some people might want to spend more time with children, some parents would rather be with their children and other parents might want to take children to work.

Perhaps one way a parent might encourage children to explore the world freely is to give children experiences that expose them to as many different activities as possible. Reading to the child, helping a child experience assembling something, or just showing a child a mental image of a situation through some dramatic play can encourage children to ask questions like, “What happens next? What are the consequences?”

When you communicate with a child, learn when he or she likes to take a break. When they think their little minds are too active, they often will not be receptive to new information, or adventures. This is also the time when you might be more successful in opening a channel of communication between you and your child. For example, if a child seems preoccupied by a toy he or she wants for the dinner table or the bedroom and has to wait to be talked to until his or her reply, then he or she might need to go out for a few minutes.

Always take some time to do something the child wants and cannot do at your own pace. This might be as simple as reminding the child to check the store’s receipt before going to the bank to pay for the toy.

In our fast-paced culture, parents might find it easier to express affection in written form like gift baskets, stationery or a card written entirely by hand. However, a more practical way to express affection would include giving a child a little something to play with when it’s time to get ready for bed.

When a child is excited about getting ready for a morning of school, they love to play with something to help make them look like they are busy. A stuffed animal or a blank book might work well to get children excited about their job. The main thing is that it is symbolic behavior and one they need to practice consistently every day. It is important to give a child something to look forward to every day.

Since children spend a great deal of time at school and parent-umed lawns, parking lots and recreational areas, conflicts can arise between them and other children should be handled in an amiable manner to prevent any damage to the child and other property. We would like to maintain the psychological, emotional and physical well-being of our children, and parents often can’t help but have to brush up on their social skills, especially with children who seem to have a problem getting along with each other.

It is important not to pick onto a child who does not like to play with another child. As far as possible, parents should try to encourage children to interact with each other with mutual respect.

Each and every child is different, even amongst siblings. Never forget this and keep an open mind as to what your children are passionate about and truly enjoying doing, even if it doesn’t fit what you used to do when you were a kid, or doesn’t fit your personal expectations for them. It is their life to live, not yours – all you should worry about it is giving them plenty of opportunities to try new things and see what truly sticks as a passion for them.