- Randy Kulman, Ph.D.
Here are a few things that parents can do to promote healthy interests, passion and engagement.
- 1. Let kids find their own passions. Expose them to many opportunities by doing, watching and reading. Visit libraries, museums and historical locations where they can learn about people who were creators, inventors, leaders and hard workers.
- 2. Introduce them to people who have an expertise. Find friends and family who truly love their work or their hobbies. Help your child see what someone does in order to pursue a hobby. This could be as simple as taking your child to a friend’s home to see his vegetable garden or as complex as visiting a museum to check out a collection of great artwork from a specific artist.
- 3. Become familiar with the biographies of famous people and their expertise. For example, read biographies or watch documentaries about U.S. presidents, Nobel Prize winners, great athletes or famous musicians. Help your child to see how these individuals pursued an interest and how they became prominent in their fields.
- 4. Ensure that your kid’s interest is expandable and flexible. Help make kids’ interests multimodal by finding other toys, books, videos, real-life examples and educational opportunities to expand upon the passion. Don’t let the interest become too narrow. Help kids see how this particular interest can be connected to other parts of the world.
- 5. Model your own intense interest. If you don’t already have a hobby or a passion, find one that fits you. If necessary, try a few that meet your needs today and can be cultivated when you are not spending all of your time parenting, working and just keeping up with daily life.
Randy Kulman, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist and founder and CEO of LearningWorks for Kids.