All children have interests, and most will go through many during their childhood. As parents, it may seem to us at times that our child cannot settle on any particular interest, and flies through various phases constantly. This is completely normal for children, and it should not only be tolerated but encouraged.
The fact that your child has an interest in different activities should be encouraging because it shows a thirst for knowledge. Although their attention span may not yet match their sudden passion for a topic, it eventually will. In the meantime, you can help your child learn the valuable life skill of how to pursue their interest in a meaningful way.
Give a Man a Fish
Why should you teach your child how to pursue their interests? As the saying goes, “Give a man a fish and he will live for a day, teach a man how to fish and he will live forever.” If you were to simply sign your child up for the activities of their choice and not go beyond that, it would be fine for the short term. However, your long-term goal is to teach your child how to be independent and capable of doing their own research on their preferred topics.
Whatever your child may be interested in, teach him or her how to find out if there may be a class for it. Instead of doing it yourself, include your child in it and let them learn how to do the search for themselves. Talk to your child about using word-of-mouth inquiries to see if the topic is covered in any local classes. Let them look in a phone book for schools that may offer the class of their choice, or community organizations that can meet their needs. Assist them in doing online searches to find out what may be offered.
The internet has its upsides and downsides. One of the great things about the internet is that information can be easily found. Teach your child how to find good, solid information on their topic of choice. Assist them in discerning good information from bad information, as there is plenty of it out there. Give them your own small information session on doing searches that will yield the information they are looking for.
Reading will always be one of the most important ways of learning and expanding one’s interests. From the time your child is young, make time daily to read. Read not only fairy tales, but factual and informative books as well. Your child will develop a love of reading that will naturally translate to a love of learning.
One of the best ways to gain knowledge is through hands-on experience. Do not neglect this important part of learning. Teach your child first-hand the joys of learning by doing. You will never regret your time and efforts spent in this area.
As your child becomes interested in various things, use it as a learning experience. Guide your child in becoming an adult who is filled with knowledge on various subjects. By teaching them how to seek information and pursue their interests on their own, you will give them a valuable gift they will use for the rest of their lives.