Hobbies and activities don’t just teach your child what their interests are, helping them decide what they want to be when they grow up, they also support their growth, development and enhance their life long skills.
Children are most motivated to learn when they are excited. Passion will help to feed their determination and encourage them to tackle any complications encountered, strengthening their problem-solving skills.
Here at St Peter’s Preparatory School, our prep school in Devon encourages children to pursue their passions. We’ve gathered some of our strongest strategies that are vitally important in supporting your child’s interests.
Encourage Them to Explore Different Avenues
It’s important to help encourage your child to get involved with as many different activities as possible. If they are shy, or uncertain, then get the rest of the family involved. It will create a safer space for them to allow them to relax and potentially enjoy the activity.
You could check out what local and school events are taking place that might capture their intrigue, as long as they are introduced to a broad range of potential interests. Take the time afterwards to talk to them and see what they liked, disliked and what they would like to do again.
Get to Know Their Interests
Communication is key in any area of your child’s development. Sit down and discuss your interests with one and other. Understanding your child’s interests will encourage them to share them with you too.
It’s easy for children to be expected to take an interest in common sports and activities, but each child is unique, and one size does not fit all.
Observe how your child interacts during these times to check and see if they’re caught up in a sport they think they ‘need’ to like, or reflect on what other similar activities they might enjoy.
Explore Other Potential Interests
If your child isn’t interested in mainstream sports and activities, they’ll undoubtedly find their passions elsewhere. There’s a world of activities waiting for them.
It can be tricky to meet all these requirements as a busy parent, but there are home-based activities too.
You can encourage them to pursue knitting, drawing, writing or even exploring the plants in the garden.
When you finally get a chance to go on holiday, you could consider kids clubs and activity-based holidays that offer them the chance to try something different.
It can be easy to concern yourself with your child’s prospects and what their future CV will contain, but this will naturally come together if your child’s unique interests are encouraged.
Let Boredom Take Over
From time to time, kids will tell their parents that they are bored. We all reach the point where we’re not quite sure what to do with ourselves. On some occasions, this can be beneficial.
Boredom will help encourage your child to be creative and figure out what they can, or want, to do with their time.
Encourage Their Optimism
Children are less likely to continue a hobby or even pursue one to start with if they’re not optimistic about any potential challenges ahead. Children can live in a constant, competitive environment that can leave them feeling worried about failing.
To avoid this, it’s essential to nurture their ‘can-do’ attitude that will help to develop their problem-solving skills. Model optimism for your family and teach your child to view setbacks as temporary and confront any negative self-talk.
Let Them Dream Big
Some ideas and dreams may sound improbable but they should always be welcomed. Children with far-fetched ambitions should be encouraged as they show motivation and can go on to have much more positive life outcomes.
Leave Out Any Judgement
You might have dreamt about playing football with your child or watching their ballet performances; but, it’s okay if the day comes and they don’t show any interest in it. They might prefer an activity that makes no sense to you over mainstream sports.
If they do, then it’s integral to accept this because judging a child’s interest will lead them to feel rejected. As parents, we need to remember that our opinions are incredibly important to our children, affecting them in unanticipated ways.
It’s just as exciting watching your child get excited about their new-found hobby, as it is for the child to pursue it themselves. Be sure to maintain a healthy balance and to not push them too hard, especially with natural talent.
The pressure may burn them out or cause them to become disheartened. Encourage them to work hard, but allow them some breathing space too.
Match Their Interests With Practicality
One way to boost your child’s self-confidence and encourage their determination is by demonstrating the positive impact of their efforts. You can highlight how their skills and interests can be used in the future to help others.
For example, if a child is interested in animals, you can talk to them about how they can be a vet and help care for them, etc.
We hope this article has helped you while you support your child to explore their ever-growing interests! Here at St Peter’s Prep, we provide a traditional and progressive educational experience where we encourage children to pursue their individual interests.
To discover more about our educational opportunities at St Peter’s Prep, please contact Rachel Elliott, Director of Admissions & Marketing, on 01395 280335 or email firstname.lastname@example.org