How to ignite passion in kids?
So let’s assume the average lifespan of a child is 80 years so that means a kid’s flame of passion is supposed to last 70 years!!! I am not sure this gives a child more stress or the parent?!?!?!
Before we ignite passion in kids we need to understand that passion flows; passion is a joy; passion is love. Igniting passion needs these qualities and it seems like we are moving away from it.
We first need this handy book to clear out our heads so we can ignite the passion for our kids.
#1 Passion isn’t a single-minded pursuit – we don’t need to make our kids follow one passion and pressurize that little being to be after it with all his / her might, hoping Harvard comes calling. Passion comes only with enthusiasm.
#2 Passion isn’t a rat race – This isn’t a competitive game where we push our kids to follow what their peers are into! This seems more like the parent’s passion nowadays, isn’t it? This is the heart’s race so step out of the rat race first!
#3 Passion is confused with specialization – Yes, there can be multiple passions/interests and this is the kid’s choice completely! To make them stand out in the crowd, we often mistake it with the specialization of a subject. Let us separate these two, please.
#4 Passion is coming at the expense of downtime and free time – A girl who took to ballet, had all her free time and even holidays planned around it! This passion soon ended as a temporary obsession. Eliminate the limits and let the kids live their childhood freely. Time is needed to make friends, play with material and ideas, experience and overcome boredom and learn from one’s own journey.
Now that we have gone through this quick handy book, let’s go through the steps on how to ignite passion with a clear and childlike head:
- Know our child’s unique interest: This needs childlike observation, interaction, and engagement with the kid. Some open-ended questions and sharing will bring depth to this knowledge as well. What are the child’s interests? Why does the kid like these activities? What strikes a cord? Kids are stemming from their source – this doesn’t need force at all. Force brings aggression and anxiety – knowing and sharing brings love and confidence.
- Leave the box of structure: Passion isn’t structured and meant to be in the box of organized sports. Unfortunately, we have made it like that. Why can’t simply building, knitting and cooking be passions? This isn’t a resume-building exercise at all. So let us think out of the box.
- Instilling optimism: Sara Blakely, founder of Spandex was asked at the table every supper by her dad – ‘so what did you fail at today?’. When she answered, everyone, clapped at the table! Yes, we need to celebrate our shortcomings and learnings. With the given competition, kids are having a nervous breakdown and haven’t even built a coping mechanism to break barriers and not get caught up in pressure. Optimism brings healthier choices and builds great relationships – all of this is needed for following their passion.
- No judgment please: Are we clear? Who’s passion is this? Our or our child’s? Then if we love tennis and the child loves music – what should be our next step? To let go of our needs of course! We make slide comments that feel like rejection to the kid when they are meant to learn love and support from us.
Passion is such a beautiful experience. We all know how liberating it feels to be who we are. This is where we get to know who we are. By opening up unlimited, non-biased, non-judgmental path for our kids. Let them tread while we gently hold them in case they fall. When they fall – we let them know they have it in them to get whatever they want. And then observe them closely as they laugh, giggle and find their own path.
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