Youth is a time of exploring passions and figuring out what you want to do with the rest of your life. This leads young people down a variety of roads before they truly find their calling and passion in life. As parents, we want to support them not squander their curiosity. This often means learning how to support your child’s passion even when you know nothing about it.
I’m not a golfer, but my oldest son adores it. It’s been a challenge but slowly I am learning the game and why he loves it so much. It does require a lot of patience on my part, and so on his part as we both try and figure out what he needs to be successful.
Figuring Out What they Need vs. What they Want
If they need supplies, that’s one thing, most of the time you will need buy them. If they need equipment, make sure they have the right equipment for their age. As a parent, you’re the breadwinner for your kids. However with so many cool gadgets, you’ll want to insure that you spend money where it is going to be best spent. This also does not mean you have to break the bank to get gear.
For example, if they’re learning how to play hockey you’ll want to invest in good protective equipment. You can find cheap deals on hockey equipment locally and online and still get great gear. The most important is that they are the right equipment or tools for the area that you teen is trying to pursue. Whether it’s hockey or painting, passions need certain materials. Do what you can to get it for your child.
Be There for Them
It’s not enough to just make sure they have everything they need, you need to find ways to be there for them as well. If they love painting, then you are going to need to be open to visiting art shows and museums. If your kid loves soccer then grab your lawn chair and head to the field. You may not know what’s going on, but you can still be there to cheer and although they may not say it, they will love having someone there for them. It means the world to a child when he knows he has his parents there supporting him on the sidelines.
Encourage the Passion
Sometimes kids explore passions simply out of rebellion. If you’re worried about this aspect of their lives, simply continue to support them. If it truly is a rebellious streak, then your support will make it completely uninteresting to continue. In other instances, children truly are just exploring their options. You need to know how to encourage them to move forward in it even when you don’t understand it.
When you effectively learn how to support their passion, they will find their way. Children do not need you to force their path. They need to figure out much of it on their own. You can guide them and even respectfully express your opinion, but at the end of the day you must support them through it all. If you want your children to respect you during this time, you must respect them as well. Showing your support is the best way to do that.