The strengths and interests are an important way for children to express their identity. It’s their way of saying who they are and what they can do! At times, child’s interest might lead to a life-long passion.
As parents, you can play an important role by encouraging your child’s strengths and interests, but always remember not to take over!
To explore different hobbies with your child, start by narrowing down his or her strengths and interests. To do so, you may start by trying the tips below:
Introduce new things on a regular basis.
Trying new things is the best way to get experience and discover interests that your child has which you never knew about. Get creative when you help your child try new things like go on field trips , introduce books on diverse subjects, try different types of crafts, experiments, and other activities at home.
Make a list of your child likes.
Discuss your child’s current interests and make a list. This will help you find ways to expand those interests through relevant hobbies and also help the child to excel in his/her area.
Give your child freedom (to explore the hobby).
It means giving your child adequate space for trying new hobby and allowing him or her to dedicate time to it as they like. This will make the kids feel that they have power over their decisions.
Help your child learn and make progress.
Your child might not be able to take it further without your guidance, depending on the hobby he/she chose. If he or she isn’t sure what to do next, work together. If your child already knows what to do next, offer your support.
Know when to let your child move ahead.
Some hobbies last into adulthood, while others might not last long although your child enjoys them. Younger children often grow out of the hobbies they establish in early age. When your child is ready to
quit, don’t pressure him/her her to continue. Just be ready to help him/ her find something new.
Keep your child’s educators and family informed of your child’s strengths and interests.
It is important so that the family and educators can help your child too in exploring and excelling their talent.
It is important to remember that for kids Unstructured time is hugely important as they need to spend time exploring and experimenting. As parents, you need to listen carefully to your child and watch them play. Follow your child’s lead. Know that you can’t force a child to have an interest but rather can expose them to a range of experiences, activities and objects.
Families with more than one child need to be especially careful not to let one child dominate all of the time set aside for extracurricular activities, especially when one child seems to have more interests than another. Try to keep it even and fair as much as possible in all manners be it from spending time to spending resources.
Once you help your child identify his or her strengths, explore different clubs and activities, which will help them to master their skills and talents and socialize too.