Discovering What They Truly Love

One of the joys of being a parent for a long time and watching your child grow and change is that you get to watch as interests and passions develop. Some show up in early childhood and are consuming for a couple years, only to disappear. Others show up later and evolve into core pieces of the child’s personality. I think it is fascinating to watch as those sparks turn into lasting interests and, potentially turn into careers and jobs or life-long passions…

Some kids seem to discover their interests and passions easily and early, while others stumble along. It can be such an interesting process to watch as a parent if you can keep from getting too wrapped up in it. My youngest son is definitely in a period of limbo and when people ask him what he wants to do with his life he honestly answers, “I haven’t found anything that I’m really into yet.” Meanwhile, my middle daughter has discovered through a class in “Permaculture” she is taking in high school that she is fascinated with organic gardening, sustainable food production and food preparation. This is the child who only five years ago was going to be a rock star. (And I paid the guitar and violin teachers enough for a year’s college tuition!)

My kids are still young, and who knows what they will actually end up doing with their lives. But, it is so amazing watching as they discover what they love, what they are good at and let go of the things that no longer seem to fit. It is fun seeing how all the various experiences of younger childhood get narrowed down and the true talents and motivators emerge. As I look back, I can see patterns and evolution and I have learned that it is not about what I think they should be doing or what I think they would be great at—it all comes down to them discovering what they really, truly love.

Also: Older Kids Need to Hear You’re Proud of Them Too

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