Christine A Howard

Encouraging Your Child To Be Different From You

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Every parent loves their children without reservation. You will always want your child to succeed. Encouraging your child to find something that he loves is one of the great joys of parenting, and you will always want to encourage that interest to blossom in whatever way you can. If it’s an interest you share (for example, you both become passionate about painting), this process can be one of bonding and mutual encouragement.

However, it becomes a lot harder if your child becomes fascinated by something completely alien to your own experience. If you are an artistic parent whose child suddenly expresses a deep love of math, it’s hard to know how to support this. After all, as a parent, you can feel as if you’re meant to know all the answers. It can be really difficult to help and encourage your child when they’re dealing with math problems you can’t even begin to understand. Well, don’t despair! There are ways you can encourage your children to pursue their dreams, even if you don’t understand them.

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Show An Interest

The most important act you can take as a parent is to show an interest in your child’s passion. Even if it’s in an area you know nothing about, and doesn’t particularly interest you, simply the act of asking your kid about it and learning from them, will encourage your child, and show that you care. It is so important that you never dismiss your child’s interests. Even if they love something non-academic, something that you don’t understand, such as video games, this remains a valid passion. After all, video game design is a booming industry, and any hobby can turn into a career if your child is dedicated enough.

Do Your Research

There may come a time when your child will need your advice, whether it’s on which subjects to choose for their exams, or what colleges they should be applying for. Rather than being in the dark when this time comes, do your best to help by researching as much as you can. Whether your child is interested in health sciences or design technology, if you can have a basic knowledge of the courses out there, you’ll be so much better placed to talk with them about their choices. Parenting is a constant learning experience, so encouraging your child is something you will work on as she grows!

Set Them Free

As a parent, it can be so tempting to try and mold your child into your own image. This is not a conscious, malicious process. After all, we all want to share bonding experiences with our child! Raising them, this often means taking them along to activities that we consider fun or worthwhile, whether this is films, outdoor adventures, or craft fairs.

However, there will come a time when your child is old enough to start developing their own independent interest. When this time comes, listen to them, and start modifying your activities to take into account their interests. After all, your child will become an independent, wonderful adult one day, and the earlier you can set them free, the more they will thrive and grow.

Encouraging your child is one of the most important things you will ever do as a parent. Take a minute today to think of ways to do just that.

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