We want our children to pursue the things they love to do and are interested in because it is a great way for them to discover more about themselves and the world around them. Cultivating passion from young may allow them to identify their chosen career easier.
It can be hard to pinpoint how to guide our children to their passions because there are quite a lot of potential activities for them to pursue.
Fortunately, there are several tips on how you can help your children with their road to self-discovery and pursue their chosen passion.
Here is a guide below to get you started:
Expose your children to various activities
If you want to start helping your child find their passions, the best way to do it is by exposing them to all sorts of activities. If you don’t show your child the options they can pursue, they will not be able to determine if it is something they want to do.
Speak to your child about what they are interested in and look for activities like holiday enrichment classes that they can try out.
If your child likes:
- Art & Craft – Art classes, Singapore Art Museum, Pottery classes
- Nature – Camping at East Coast Park, hiking at Bukit Timah Hill
- Science – Science camp, Science Centre
- Physical Exercise – Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Martial Arts, Outward Bound
- Music & Movement – Dance classes, Instrumental classes, Singing classes
- Performing – Speech & Drama classes, Storytelling activities in libraries
- Math – Robotic programming classes, Coding classes
The list is endless…
Don’t force what you like to your children
If you have any unfulfilled dreams, don’t force it on your child because your child is their own person. They have interests they wish to pursue too. As parents, we should support them whatever passion they may have.
If you keep pressing your dream to your child, it will only cause them to resent you and do everything they can to fail on it. They may also develop an aversion to anything related to your dream even if they may have interest in it.
If they do show that they like your interests, don’t immediately be on their case. Let them take their time to see if they do like it and offer your support if they ask for it.
Watch your children
While you expose your children to try out new fields, take your time to observe at their reactions. Don’t nag if you think your child is taking too long in finding the passions they want to try out.
Finding the right one takes time and if you keep nagging like the behaviour of a helicopter parent, they may fake their emotions regarding the activity just to keep you quiet.
Ask yourself these questions:
1) Do they keep asking you to take them somewhere to do a particular activity? For example, my daughter will keep bugging me to take her to the swimming pool because she loves swimming.
2) Do they get excited on the day of the lesson? For example, my daughter wakes up early on Tuesday on her own because she knows she is going to have swimming lessons.
3) Do they keep on talking about the activity nonstop to others? My daughter will keep harping on how well she is swimming, on her new swimming costume to her family and friends.
It is a very tough world out there and competition is rampant in any place you turn. For children, it can be very hard to compete and move alongside others, causing them to feel the pressure to do well.
If they succumb to pressure and fail, their confidence takes quite a hit and disables them from pursuing their passions in fear they will just fail.
If we want our children to be the best that they can be, we must teach them to be optimistic even if they fail. Our failures and mistakes help us become a better person and be stronger than ever.
Being optimistic also helps children study the risks they have to face, take the best choice with less risks and experience growth.
A good way to inspire optimism is by giving them personal experiences on how you were able to get past challenges and how you changed for the better. You can also stop them from succumbing to negative self-talk because this does affect their mindset.
Whatever passion you may have and if it clashes with your child’s passions, don’t immediately judge them for it. Don’t assign gender roles to activities that your child love. It is alright for boys to pursue ballet and for girls to love karate.
Our children are very sensitive to the world around them and if they feel like they are being judged, they will feel rejected because we don’t accept who they are and what they love. It can also foster resentment and affect your relationship with them. This may grow into tween problems at home.
Remember, our children are still growing so their take on how to pursue their passions will shift gradually as they grow older. It also takes time to find the perfect one so you have to be patient with them.
While schools do offer a larger avenue for children to discover new passions and people who share their passions, it doesn’t really provide them with real-life examples or a closer insight.
For example, if your child’s passion lies in politics, they won’t be able to understand how certain laws came to existence and how it affects the public.
If you know anyone pursuing a career in the fields your children are going for, don’t be afraid to ask them to speak to your child and answer their questions. They will be able to provide your children with real-life examples and answer questions about key parts of their career they can’t find online.
There is an adage that says we only experience our childhood once and as much as possible, we should let our children enjoy this time to discover what else is out there. It is not easy to predict which passions our children will pursue next and whatever it is, our children will learn from it even if they do let go of it at some point in life.
As parents, we must always be supportive over our child’s decisions because in the end, whether we like what they are pursuing or not, their happiness is what matters.
For the well being of our children, you may want to explore these articles:
Are We Too Focused on Grades in Singapore?
Basic Life Skills You Should Teach Your Children Right from an Early Age