di loves cars and is always asking questions about them. He has a deep passion for cars and loves learning more about their engines and parts. He loves to watch the Youtuber Chris fix who talks all about cars. His passion for cars really shines through whenever he talks about them!
Recently I spoke to Matt Barnes, who is a parent coach and he gave us ideas on how we could find local communities and events that would foster Adi’s passion. He suggested things like car shows or races, workshops where kids can learn about cars, and even joining a local car club. Opportunities to interact with other enthusiasts and learn more about their passion are invaluable for a child so passionate about something like cars!
We have a sheet where we add a list of movies we can watch together about cars, and books to read as well.
Encouraging children’s passions positively impact their growth, development, and decision-making skills for life. It is important for parents to nurture and foster the passions of their children and allow them to explore and experience the world outside of their comfort zone. This is how Adi’s passion for cars has grown, with us giving him opportunities to explore more about what he loves.
Staying in a small city, we are certainly limited in terms of access to these kinds of activities, but I am determined to find ways to encourage Adi’s passions every step of the way.
Why in schools passion is not considered?
Unfortunately, many schools today focus on academic excellence and lack the resources to cultivate a child's passion. They are more interested in building a standardized curriculum that rests heavily on textbooks and tests. This kind of learning environment is not conducive to exploring passions and interests as there isn't enough room for creativity or exploration.
A child might be able to sail through the day, complete assignments, and pass tests, but they won't be truly passionate or engaged in their learning.
This is why it's important for parents to help children find ways to nurture their passions outside of school. Parents can use resources like the internet, books, and workshops to help them explore what interests them and encourage them to pursue those areas further.
Ken Robinson mentions how schools make Maths and English compulsory subjects but forget to give equal importance to the creativity, imagination, and passion of students. I
He mentions if Shakespeare was asked to stop writing and start taking Maths classes, you can only imagine the world would have missed out on his truly diverse works.
Is too much interest in a particular thing problematic?
It is normal for children to take an interest in something and feel passionate about it. There is no harm in this, as long as their focus does not become so intense that it affects other areas of their life, such as relationships.
If anything, having too much interest in something can be beneficial. It is an indication of their enthusiasm and motivation to learn more about it which could lead to amazing opportunities in the future.
When kids are interested deeply in something, they are emotionally attached as well and they do not step back from learning by researching and reaching out.
I have seen Adi becoming an expert when it comes to cars and he can talk about their features, parts, and how they work.
What if passion looks like play?
Many times, children's passion looks like play. This is because they are exploring and experimenting with different objects or activities to create something new.
Play helps children to learn about themselves and the world around them as well as connecting them emotionally with other people and things. It encourages creativity, problem-solving skills, communication, teamwork, and many other important life skills.
Children go into the state of flow when they are adequately challenged as Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi mentions in his book Flow. According to him, flow is “a state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience is so enjoyable that people will continue to do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it” No wonder kids are lost when they are in the state of play.
Recently Adi was building a gaming wheel with cardboard that he found from old boxes. It took him a lot of work but he never gave up. He tried so many ways to do it, he learned from various tutorials on YouTube, and he got frustrated many times, but he also found joy in the process of creating something from scratch. I can't imagine him doing anything with that kind of interest in school.
This kind of play should be encouraged, as it can help children to develop a strong passion for something and lay the foundation for their future career paths.
Ana Lorenga Fabrega in her newsletter Learning to Love learning says, "Imagine if work and school revolved around projects—not curriculums, quotas, or tasks. Wouldn’t kids (and adults!) be more engaged? Wouldn’t this lead them to love school and learning?"
Following their passion may not always be easy
There are chances of failure when kids are trying something but you will see how they fight with failure, dust their knees and get back to it.
At times, pursuing a passion can also be expensive and time-consuming. For example, if a child wants to learn a new language or start taking music classes they might need additional resources which can be costly.
Parents should help them find ways to overcome these obstacles by offering assistance and being supportive of their interests. Children need to be consistent and that's a lesson they will learn early
For example when some kids get excited about the idea of making YouTube videos they might give up once they have to do all the work and this will help them decide if they are really passionate and determined to do it.
When kids drop out of their passion?
It is important to be aware of when a child’s passion begins to wane and they start becoming disinterested in the activity or subject. It is easy to become overwhelmed with passion and enthusiasm, but it’s important for parents and guardians to pay attention when their interest starts to fade.
While we might not be able to completely prevent this, we can help them manage the transition. Encouraging kids to take a break from their passion and try something new or different can be beneficial. Stepping back and finding out what other interests they have is key in helping them stay engaged and balanced with their passions in life.
Sometimes it might also happen when they were not so interested but as parents we want them to learn something. I saw that Adi was enjoying music and so I bought a piano for him to try. He did not explore it too much and now it is just collecting dust. I hope he picks interest in it later on.
It is important to remember that sometimes passion will come and go throughout a child's life and it is absolutely normal.
"Giving our kids the option to quit celebrates the idea that they should have the chance to try out new things without the expectation that every new thing will fit.” —Kristin Levitahn
Tips for parents to help kids discover their passion
1. Start small: Break down the task into smaller pieces and take one step at a time.
2. Connect with others: Find people in your community or online who share your interests and can support you on topics, resources, and ideas.
3. Set realistic goals: It’s important to have achievable goals that you can work towards.
4. Belief in yourself: Have confidence and trust in your abilities to make it happen.
5. Do something that interests you: Pursuing a passion should be an extension of who you already are and what makes you excited. Find out what truly sparks your interest and go for it!
Following a passion can be an integral part of a child’s development. It teaches them to take risks, strive for excellence and explore new ideas that will shape their future. So, if your kids have any interest in something then encourage it and support them in the journey.
The most important thing is to make sure that your child is having fun and enjoying the process all along. Help them discover their true passions in life and create a strong foundation for their future career paths. Let’s motivate our kids to learn and have an open, curious mindset that will take them far
Quotes on the passion
“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” – Albert Einstien
Passion is a feeling that tells you: this is the right thing to do. Nothing can stand in my way. It doesn’t matter what anyone else says. This feeling is so good that it cannot be ignored. – Wayne Dyer
“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” – Oprah Winfrey
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman
“A person can succeed at almost anything for which they have unlimited enthusiasm.” – Charles Schwab
Famous people who followed their passion
1. J.K Rowling – Author of Harry Potter “Failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me.” — — J.K. Rowling
2. Steve Jobs – Co-founder of Apple “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work”.
3. Oprah Winfrey – Actress and TV personality “Your real job in life is to figure out what you’re called to do and you use a job until you can figure out what your calling is — because a job is necessary to survive"
4. Bill Gates– Co-founder of Microsoft. At the tender age of thirteen, Gates became passionate about programming and began to utilize his school's teletype machine as a tool to play games. He reminisced fondly on this experience, saying that “it was electrifying being able to build my own program that would work with it”. At eighteen, he teamed up with Paul Allen in their company called Traf-O-Data – an effort that used microprocessors they had invented for developing traffic counters. Although unsuccessful commercially speaking, this project gave him an invaluable chance at entrepreneurship - something he wouldn't forget even years later!
“If you’re lucky when you’re very young, you find something you’re passionate about. I did when I was 13 years old. I found computers and software.”
5. Mark Zuckerberg – Founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg is a firm believer in the power of passion to propel us forward even when we come across obstacles. His personal mission has been, since his teenage years, to use technology as a platform for people to connect and engage with each other. From Facebook's inception, it was driven by Zuckerberg's intense drive and love for building applications he would have personally wanted access to himself.
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