How often have you thought to yourself, “I love doing this or that – if only someone had spotted my passion for it when I was a child, who knows, I could be doing something very different?” It’s a thought that so many of us have done battle with and a thought that scares the life out of every parent on the planet.
As parents, it’s our job to nurture our children. To find their talents and skills and passions and tap into them; to encourage and grow them. It’s connecting your children to who they are, it’s helping them understand what they have to offer the world and themselves, which is surely the greatest gift we can ever give them. It’s where all their self-esteem and self-belief will come from.
The problem is, it’s not always easy knowing what their gifts and passions are when they are young. So, to help make it a little bit easier, we have pulled together a list of ways to simplify the process.
- Expose Your Kid To Everything
As parents, it can be way too easy to limit your children to what you’re comfortable and familiar with. It’s that notion of, “well I was great at sports when I was a kid, so I’ll gently nudge them in that direction.” But just because you were interested in sports doesn’t mean they will be. That’s why you need to try everything you can. Take them rock climbing, give them music lessons, take them to see the Opera, indulge in Amateur Dramatics, encourage them to build things. They won’t discover who they are unless they can discover everything.
- You’re There To Encourage
That’s your role as a parent. It’s to light a fire under their passions and help them chase their dreams, no matter how far-fetched it may seem or how unviable it may look. Following our hearts is what life is about and unless you let them, you will never know if it was possible or not. But don’t just encourage them through words, encourage them through action too. If they have a gift when it comes to academics, apply for gifted testing and see how they compare to others. If they have a passion for soccer, sign them up for a local academy to improve their skills. If they go to their happy place when you play music, visit your local music store every weekend and try them out with different instruments.
- Listen To Them Talk About Their World
Kids will talk about the things that interest them, intrigue them, what makes them curious and the things that blow their mind until the cows come home, which is why you need to lend them both your ears – even if what they are talking about doesn’t necessarily interest you. But don’t just listen to their likes; try and spot their dislikes too. They may think they don’t like music because they stop practicing, but it might just be the wrong instrument for them. They might prefer producing music as opposed to playing it. You won’t know unless you listen.
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