Can kids have a passion for something? Of Course! We love seeing our campers do the things that they are passionate about. Whether it’s playing soccer, dancing, painting, or computer programming, Summer Camp offers kids the opportunity to try new hobbies. Helping children find a hidden a talent or a new interest is one of the most rewarding parts of our job.
Passions help kids build self-esteem and a sense of identity. In the course of pursuing their hobbies, children learn to set goals, self-motivate, solve problems, and make decisions. In the long run, a hobby might lead to a lifelong interest, a university degree, or a career.
So how can you help your children discover and excel in the things they’re passionate about? Here are a 4 tips to get you started.
Observe and ask
Observe your child at play. What kinds of activities are they drawn to when they have a break from school? Try asking them some open ended questions. Which activities do they like in school? At camp? What do they want to be when they grow up?
Chances are, you and your child already have a sense of what kind of activities they’re interested in. Take some time to look into the resources at your disposal. Your child might try many teams and lessons before they find something that sticks. Trail and error is key!
Stay out of the way!
If you want your child to discover a passion for sports, science, or the arts, the best thing you can do as a parent is to offer them the resources to do so—sign them up for teams and lessons, take them to museums, rent or buy equipment, etc. Then stay out of their way!
Research shows that kids are more likely to pursue and enjoy a hobby when it’s connected to a sense of autonomy. Autonomy refers to the “basic need to feel like you’re acting based on your own values and desires, not those of others.”
Parents erode this sense of empowerment when they push their kids into hobbies, or impose their own goals and expectations on their child’s passion. A passion should motivate your child to push him or herself!
3. Provide encouragement
Don’t take control, but take interest. Kids love explaining things to grownups, so be sure to ask your child lots questions about their hobbies.
Be a cheerleader for your child when they accomplish something related their passion. Achievements are also an opportunity for you to explain the value of self-directed learning and motivation; it’s the key to realizing your own dreams!
4. Set a good example—pursue your own hobbies
Kids learn by example, so try to find some time for your own passions. (As if you needed an excuse!). The goal is not to impose your own interests onto your child. Instead, try to show your child that pursuing passions is part of a happy and healthy lifestyle.
Speaking of passion, we’ve been hard at work planning for Laurus’s best Summer yet! We can’t wait to see you there.