Childhood is a crucial time to develop interests and find what you’re passionate about. That’s why it’s so important for parents to nurture their child’s budding interests. Here are a few tips on doing that.
First, determine what kind of environment your child thrives in. Does she enjoy being in a group setting or a solo environment? (Or maybe she enjoys both!) If your child gets anxious or bored during team or group activities, then maybe solo activities are the way to go. On the other hand, if your child doesn’t show any enthusiasm during solo activities, then maybe group settings would be better.
Second, after you figure out the atmosphere that your child flourishes in, you can provide opportunities for him or her to explore those areas. You can do this through structured or unstructured activities. Unstructured activities include riding bikes, rollerblading, skateboarding, fishing, and more! Even simply sitting under a tree reading a book can light all the passion in the world for your little one.
For those who thrive in a solo environment, here are some ideas for structured activities:
- Art classes (drawing, painting, sculpting, acting, etc.)
- Music classes (musical instruments or singing lessons)
- Horseback riding
- Ice skating
- (Note: while some of these activities may partially take place in a group setting, much of the time is spent alone when practicing)
For the child that prospers in a group environment, here are some group structured activities to offer him/her:
- Sports teams, such as soccer, swimming, basketball, gymnastics, dance, and volleyball
- Dance team
- Theatre troupe
- Camps for specific interests (i.e. basketball camps, science camps, theatre camps, and many more)
Additionally, here are some other structured interests you can introduce to your child:
- Learning languages (sign language, Spanish, German, French)
- Chess (or other games)
Maybe your child’s interest doesn’t have a correlating activity that you can sign them up for right now, and that’s okay! You can still nurture your child’s interest by taking them to events and places that relate to their interest. For example, if your child loves firetrucks, you can take them to a fire station and/or buy them firetruck books. Maybe one day he or she will become a firetruck engineer or a firefighter, all because you cultivated a budding childhood interest.
If your child does not show interest in anything specific, try taking him or her to different events or places to awaken a passion or two. Here are some ideas:
- Local talent show,
- Professional, college, or high school sporting event (e.g. gymnast meet, football/soccer/volleyball/basketball game, wrestling match, tennis match, and so on),
- Local dance shows,
- Different types of concerts (local church choir concert, high school band concert, famous pop/rock star concert, professional jazz concert, etc.),
- Horse farm (for horseback riding),
- and so forth.
The options are endless. Get creative with your ideas. Remember, not every kid is into art or sports, and your child’s interest could be anything from firetrucks to fish! If you ask your child what they like and he or she is unsure, try presenting them with a list of ideas to choose from.
Finally, and most importantly, give your child the confidence to get out there and explore their interests. A lack of confidence may be holding your child back from realizing his or her dreams. Build confidence by loving your child, giving praise and encouragement, practicing positive self-love, and teaching them to be independent.
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