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Teach Your Child to Be Passionate

Teaching your child to be passionate means helping them to maintain and build on the natural joy and enthusiasm they were born with. All children come in with a curiosity that is never truly satisfied. Yet what seems to be occurring is the extinguishing of the fire in our souls- the creative life force that seeks to continually reinvent itself.

Our world is changing. Some feel we are at a crisis point with convergent thought coming together with a clash. We want the best for our children and hope they will be able to fix the world they will be inheriting from us. Some think and intuitively feel that we must help our children stay passionate about being in this world. This may be a matter of allowing rather than promoting.

Preschool

Babies connect with the world through their senses. They are wired to receive, absorb, assimilate, and eventually make sense out of their surroundings. Their job is to observe, respond and interact with their world.

Young children do this by bonding with nature. Humans are meant to be intimate with the natural world. A child’s senses are programmed to become familiar with and appreciate the wildness of the Earth. Keeping them connected by daily forays and given the freedom and protection to explore first hand will keep their inborn passion for the world alive. Denied this connection, children grow up at a loss (literally). Some have called this “nature deprivation.” So important is this connection that Howard Gardner, famed psychologist and educator, has included “Naturalist Intelligence” as one of the basic human intelligences.

Satisfying your child’s need to stay connected with nature will keep the passion/compassion program running. Get outside daily. Let your toddler explore, observe, handle what they find. You don’t have to teach them anything, just let it happen. Out of this exploration will arise a preference, an interest and a passion for some aspect, some thing that has fanned the flames of that fire within.

Main points to address:

  • Children have a deep connection with the natural world.
  • Allow them to explore the outdoors.
  • Encourage your child’s natural intelligence by honoring their interests.

Grades K-3rd

By age 5 children have developed some strong interests. For some it may be pretty stones, for another it might be for anything that flies. Your child may be attracted to music, dancing to every tune he hears. Or perhaps their fascination is for colors and shapes of the wildflowers in a field. Your child is unique and so are their interests.

Letting your young child collect favorite items is important. Notice how they organize and categorize according to some inside plan! Whatever their passion is, try not to trivialize it. Their passion is very personal and real.

As children grow, they begin to bond with others, focusing on their relationships and ties with them. At about age 7 children grow increasingly aware of their role in the family and the larger community. Friendships start to become an area of intense focus and continue to do so until about age 14. If your child has not found acceptance for their uniqueness within their family, they will seek acceptance outside the family. The drive to connect with nature is somewhat superseded for a time by the drive to connect with others. These two drives will come together and balance later in life.

Allowing your son to be truly himself or your daughter to be her true self may seem risky. Trust your child’s inclinations, still protecting of course, and allow and support their interests and relationships.

Main points to address:

  • Support your child’s passions and interests if at all possible.
  • Allow them freedom to be themselves, honoring their basic nature and interests.

Grades 4-6th

Children this age, especially if they have bonded with nature, are exploring the wonders and complexities of relationships. Finding their place in the world is dependent on this happening.

Children who are isolated from others, but bonded with nature, cannot find and express their passion. Conversely, children who have failed to bond with the natural world, but bond socially, cannot find their passion either.

Parents can help their child find their passion in life by paying attention- watching them, listening to them. Their passion will always be linked with their gifts and interests.

If your son can’t get enough chess, find a chess club. If doing a cartwheel and round off is as natural as walking for your daughter, enroll her in a gymnastics program. The budding scientist will need a microscope. The literary genius will need a desk!

A cautionary note: Never push your child toward one of your goals or wishes for them. Well-meaning parents have knocked the passion right out of their kids. What did you want to be when you were little?

Schools as well squash the passion of many children by standardizing curriculum and failing to notice and promote students’ individual preferences and learning styles. You may need to step in if you see this happening and work to change the way education n your child’s classroom and school (or the world) is done.

Ultimately it is our passion that delivers us, heals us and sustains us. Having the wisdom to respect the inner knowing of your child to align with their true self will allow that fire in them to burn brightly. All you need to do is stand back and be amazed.

Main points to address:

  • Children start to focus more on relationships from about age 7-14.
  • Make sure your child’s school is considering your child’s personal preferences and learning style.
  • Passion is an indicator of personal freedom and creativity.

Resources
Resources that can help you in your venture include:

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