As parents, one of the most fulfilling parts of our lives are getting to watch our children flourish doing the things they love. But what if your child doesn’t know what he or she loves? What if he or she is feeling unmotivated, or discouraged because they don’t know what their passion is? The good news is, as parents, we can help. Here are some ways you can help your child uncover their passion.
Encourage them to try everything. You don’t know if you love or hate something until you try it, so anything your child is remotely interested in is something you should encourage them to try. Push them to join a soccer team, take ice skating lessons, write a short story, or paint a picture. Let them know that they can do anything they want, and then help them do as many things as they can.
Don’t let them give up. If your child decides they want to play soccer, but they fall on their face during their first practice, don’t let them quit. It’s rare to be good at something from the start, and as their skills develop, they may learn that they love an activity they thought they hated. Be careful with this one though—there is a fine line between pushing your child to stick with something, and forcing them to spend time doing something they actually hate.
Pay attention. Maybe your child doesn’t know what they want to try, but you’ve seen them light up during a school assignment where they had to give a science report. Slowly introduce more books about science into their life, or sign them up for a science camp in the summer. Pay attention to what peaks your child’s interests, and you might show them something about themselves they hadn’t even discovered yet.
Be supportive. You might not agree with your child’s passions, and that’s okay. Maybe they want to get into camping when you’ve always been a hotel person, maybe they love video games and you think they’re being lazy, or maybe they love art when you’ve always wanted them to become a doctor. Be supportive of their passions anyway. Because at the end of the day, if your child is happy and feels fulfilled by their calling, you’ve done your job.
What are some of your child’s passions, and how do you support them? Let me know in the comments!