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5 ways you can help your child find their passion

Teaching children to identify and address issues they care about is an important part of helping them to develop a sense of purpose and social responsibility. Whether it's a local issue in their community or a global problem, there are many ways that you can help your children figure out the issues they want to solve in the world. That inner spark is alive and well in all of us. We all need encouragement, guidance, teaching, belief, care, and so much more to meet the needs of our passions within. Each of us. As we parents learn to navigate our own dreams and follow them so too we learn how to meet the needs of a child who is growing and flying to their own north star! As they grow they will know what they need to thrive- how to care for a house to make it a home or how to run numbers to keep your assets arranged. How to listen to and trust the inner voice that guides them is something that not every adult even knows how to do.

  1. Encourage them to pay attention to the world around them: One of the first steps in helping kids identify issues they care about is to encourage them to pay attention to the world around them. If you are uncomfortable with this there are LOTS of resources, you can take advantage of. The job of the teacher is not to have content endlessly, it is to make the content accessible to the learner so they can actually and easily absorb the new material. This could involve discussing current events, reading news articles, or engaging in activities that expose them to different perspectives and experiences. Experiences are the powerhouse of the present moment but usually we can learn from engaging with the present moment as it unfolds, and rather than speaking of life as if it were some sort of crash course experience we engage with each moment as if it was worth the attention.

  1. Help them to identify their passions and interests: Encourage your children to think about what they are passionate about and what issues they care about most. This could involve asking them open-ended questions, such as "What do you think is most important in the world right now?" or "What issues do you care about and why?" When they talk to you about it be sure to listen to them in their actions that week and if they bring up the things they want to do, allow them to witness the power of action's impact. Making a clay sculpture is so fun. Making a clay sculpture that represents something the kids care about is incredible!

  2. Engage in service and community involvement: This leads back to experience being a powerhouse. When you engage in service you see how you interact with others but that is at the center of our many interactions in a day. Whether getting gas, groceries, or a coffee before heading to the park we all participate in giving and receiving the experience of service. Kids need to learn so much in these moments that is honestly appropriate. Participating in exciting service and community involvement can be a great way to expose kids to different issues and challenges and help them to identify areas they want to focus on. This could involve volunteering with a local organization, participating in community service projects, or engaging in advocacy efforts. If they're into Lego or rocks or animals, look up anything in your area that might be looking to help out a youth also interested in those things.

  3. Encourage critical thinking and problem-solving: Many times, we are taught what to think about a given situation rather than how to think about it to weigh and honor all of our multifaceted feelings about it. Encourage your children to think critically about the issues they care about and come up with creative solutions. Ask open ended questions that cannot be answered with a simple yes or no. For example do not ask, "Isn't that so cool?" you can ask "what is the coolest thing to you about what I just shared?" There's so much more you can do here together as well. This could involve brainstorming sessions, think a huge thought web, conducting research, or seeking out mentors and advisors who can provide guidance and support. Many times, adults are overjoyed to meet kids that want to join them in their hobby that has become a job.

  4. Support their efforts: Once your children have identified the issues they want to solve, it's important to support their efforts. This could involve helping them to research and plan their initiatives, providing resources and support, and helping them to connect with others who share their passions and interests. Either way, it's all something that they can come to an adult life with a positive carriage about their bodies and a heart forward, chest out approach to life. Unafraid because they are capable, willing to work and knowing when to rest.

Overall, helping kids figure out the issues they want to solve in the world is an important part of helping them to develop a sense of purpose and social responsibility. It creates adults who are interested in solving their own problems within themselves, and wanting to extend that out into the world. By encouraging them to pay attention to the world around them, identifying their passions and interests, engaging in service and community involvement, encouraging critical thinking and problem-solving, and supporting their efforts, you can help your children make a positive impact on the world from birth all the way to the end of life. We can all help- we can all lend a hand, or at least an ear and patience.

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