Education is spread across a wide spectrum, with children eventually studying up to twelves to fourteen different subjects throughout their school life. In modern studies, scientists have found that embracing a narrower core base of subjects could be very beneficial, should you manage to decide the subjects or job path you’d like to follow earlier in your life. In fact, there are numerous countries around the world that allow children to enter specialist schools, for instance in Italy, you can enter Science school, or catering school at high school level.
Whether your child can meet this level of understanding about themselves at such an early age takes work from both them and the parent. Ensuring you are around your child as much as possible, while paying close attention to their lives is of paramount importance when discovering who they are as people, while not forcing hobbies and outside interests on them will allow them to find the things that give them enjoyment on their own.
Let’s take a look at some ways you can identify your child’s passions
This might seem obvious, but how often do you simply sit and watch your child interact with the world completely uninhibited? By simply watching them, you can identify their likes and dislikes very quickly. The nature of allowing your child to interact without intervening means that you gain knowledge about them that is completely unedited and without suggestion, it is information that comes straight from their own heart and mind.
For example, if your child likes playing more intensely with sports related toys, it’s quite clear that they have an interest in more physical activities, and potentially biology in the future. Pay attention to see how these interests develop as your child grows, some interests dwindle, but they could well become fully blown passions.
2. Provide Encouragement
When you become confident that you know your child’s interests, or the particular interest that you feel is strongest, it’s key to begin encouraging them to pursue that interest. Whether that might be doing extra curricular activities, watching relevant TV shows, going on trips to visit places of interest. If your child loves trains, why not visit a train museum or look at some steam train journeys? If they love swimming, it might be time for them to take a look at a swimming club where they can improve and explore that interest.
While following this advice, it’s really important to ensure that you don’t become a cliche ‘pushy parent’. Children’s interests can fade and change, especially if they feel under pressure and the ‘fun’ aspect of the interest starts to be removed. Ensure they interest is deep rooted and a long-term ambition before you commit to paying out for any expensive equipment or membership fees, this will take the pressure off your child and yourself when relating to the money you have invested in pursuing the activity.
3. Make allowances for a range of activities
It’s extremely rare for people to understand the things that they love when they’re at an early age. So it’s important for you to allow your child the maximum number of opportunities to narrow down their particular field of interest. Encourage them to try and test as many different things as possible. Make weekends about doing something new, like going to a museum, go and watch live sports, and get them involved in clubs with school and in the community.
It’s a great chance for your child to develop and they will meet new friends in the process. This will vastly speed up the process of your child finding their passions and you can continue you mix their favorite activities with new activities as they grow.
4. Ask Questions
It’s important to always ask your child questions, especially when it comes to school. See what they’ve learned that day, the detail of their response will indicate how engaged they are with the subject. If a child can tell you a lot about what they learned in English class, but barely anything about what they are learning in Geography class, it’s a clear indication that they are much more interested in English as a subject. This is where we start to see how a child is going to develop as they grow.
This is also a great exercise to harness information about the things they enjoy doing outside of school. See what they would like to do in the evenings or at weekends, that is another clear indication of what they are most interested in at that time. That’s not to say that this is a perfect system, there will of course be hundreds of things that they haven’t experienced yet, so you can blend this with exploring new activities to help them find more things that they love.
While it’s very important to embrace your child’s interests, you should always pay special attention to their physical and mental abilities. Allowing them to take on activities when they are not ready, or not capable can spoil what could have been a wonderful passion for them, and can lead to a resentful relationship between parent and child.
Ensure that classes and activities are age appropriate and begin in a light-hearted and fun way to ease them into the way everything works. That way, they have the best chance of finding a passion successfully.