How To Discover Your Child’s Passion – Curiosity Doesn’t Kill The Cat
Passion – A word we have all truly understood, especially in the current pandemic scenario. Life with just daily work, non-changing routines, business as usual – basically “Dal Chawal for pachas saal till you die” (dialogue courtesy: Bollywood movie Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani) – sets an incredibly dull tone with no inspiration. We must have something that keeps us moving.
Actually, anything – right from making the perfect tea in the morning and sipping it at your balcony. Watering your plants lovingly as you have conversations with them. Having your favourite music on as you sing along and experiment in your kitchen. Curling up on your couch with your favourite book, pouring over the morning newspapers and discussing current affairs amongst your circles, powering it up with workouts to dabbing in paints, music, dance, theatre, writing and what not!
Life’s biggest challenge and gift are discovering your passion – your “Ikigai”. While there’s always the saying “Better late than never”, just imagine if this passion was discovered way back in your time scale! Would your life be any different?
When I was as young as three years old, my mother put me into classical dance classes. And not just that – it was music, art, swimming, table tennis, yoga. I think pretty much all the extracurriculars she could think of. I’ve always wondered what made her do this – did she just want to experiment, see what I liked best or was passionate about? Did I demonstrate an interest in any of this in any way?
How My Parents Discovered My Passion?
My parents love recalling a particular childhood memory of mine. I was quite cranky as a baby (this has to be quite common as I realise that now, being a new mom!). While they tried everything frantically – rocking me to sleep, feeding, talking, walking around, nothing really calmed me down. Out of sheer desperation, my father (an amazing singer) sang a few lines from a movie song – apparently, I fell right asleep! This was probably their first discovery that I was inclined to music.
A few months later, while I was sipping milk from a feeding bottle and half asleep on my mother’s lap, there was a song playing from a cassette in the tape recorder (yes, we are the nineties kids!). Once the song was done, I apparently waved my finger, indicating that I wanted them to play the song again.
Were these taken as indications of interest and passion? Yes, I guess! And I went on to learn music for several years, perform in several shows in school and college – but the important part is that I enjoyed it, and I had a passion. This passion has been a stress buster for me and helped me create my identity at school, college, and even the workplace.
My mother ensured I was part of all the school music and dance programs. And she attended every rehearsal and the actual events. When I showed her my drawing books from school and mentioned that I loved the subject, she put me into additional classes and always displayed my sketches proudly at her workplace desk and for guests at home. Until today – art has been an amazing doorway into relaxation for me. Learning new forms of art is a recent passion of mine and always keeps me going.
Why Having A Passion Is Important?
The pandemic has shown us how important it is to have a passion -something to look forward to, something that generates positivity, keeps us motivated, makes waking up in the morning an enjoyable moment- especially in today’s scenario of being confined to our homes without our day to day office commutes, travel, getaways, partying – just connecting with people in person.
How To Discover Your Child’s Passion?
These are a few things that I, as a parent, aim to do for my child in order to discover his passion.
Observe the Baby’s Behaviour
The learning curve is highest for babies, and they have unmatched grasping power. So keep watching for signs – smiles or excitement for music, head bobbing or indications of rhythm sense/dance movements, babbling while talking to them or reading books – you may have discovered their passion, natural talent or skill!
Create Routines for Toddlers
Creating habits always work wonders. Read to your baby every day. Throw in some baby-safe colours and a piece of paper and see what they do. Show them your plant collection through your balcony/garden walk. Show them anything which develops into practice for them. And you may sense what they enjoy best. My father took my sister and me to the Landmark stores every weekend and bought us umpteen books. So while I love reading even today, my sister also became a voracious reader. And this helped her nurture her other passions – writing and public speaking.
If your child expresses interest/passion in anything, just deep dive into it. Put them into classes, accompany them, & talk to them about it. Encourage them constantly and actively seek out opportunities where they can showcase their talent. The key is to spend time with them – lots and lots of it!
Motivation Is The Order of the Day
Constant encouragement and motivation – that’s what our children need. And I strongly believe it will help them go a long way in their lives. Also, read this blog on Together Alone: Do Your Kids Have the Skills to Be Happy?
Words From Author
As all good things (I hope this read is one!) come to an end, I’ll explain the title relevance. Curiosity is an inherent quality in children – their wonder and amazement in seeing, learning new things and their constant trail of questions – that is so precious! Curiosity piques their interest and, subsequently, their passion. Most importantly, we should never curb the curiosity. Rather, we should enhance, encourage, and treat it well and mould it significantly. Wide-eyed questions should always be met with love and encouragement balanced with the need-to-know aspect.
The next time your child is vividly amazed at something or constantly asks you about it, try to answer them as much as you can, while at the same time drilling down to get a better idea of what it’s like in your child’s mind – you never know, you may have just found out the very thing that will accompany them for life and always keep them going forward!
“Be led by your curiosity, and keep busy by doing things that fill you with meaning and happiness” – Hector Garcia, Ikigai.