It’s every parent’s duty to nurture their children’s dreams, hopes, and ambitions. From an early age, parents are encouraged to show a vested interest in their child’s future. Children might not know what “they want to be when they grow up” until they’re well into high school (or beyond), but there are ways that parents can start showing their support as early as possible.
Encourage Learning through Experience
We want our children to discover what interests them. Simply reading a book or watching a documentary might not be enough to spark a child’s passion. Balance your child’s learning from media with learning from experience. If they show an interest in nature, take them on a hiking trail or to a natural history museum. If they’re obsessed with space, bring them to the planetarium. If they show signs of becoming the next baking master, sign them up for a child’s cooking class. Not only will these experiences help children find their passions, they will also create memorable moments of connection you’ll both share for a long time to come.
Always Embrace Curiosity
Answering the hundredth question in the car on the way to the grocery store might not be an easy task, but a curious mind is a great thing. That means your child has a zest for life and knowledge. Suppressing their natural curiosity by putting a cap on their questions might imply to your child that learning isn’t important. While their inquiries may seem endless, remember that the more they know, the more they grow.
Don’t Be Afraid of Tactile Learning
Sometimes, the only way to learn something is with your senses. We may not like the idea of our kids getting dirty, but it’s sometimes the only way for an experience to truly make an impact. Children are naturally curious (and to a certain extent, fearless), so if they want to reach under that rock and pick up a worm or stick their hands in a bucket of compost, allows them to do so while teaching them to remain safe and protect themselves while exploring the world around them.
Encourage Art as Much as Science
The arts and sciences have been embroiled in an age-old battle about which discipline is more important to the advancement of society. Ever since the Age of Enlightenment, science has always come out on top. But art is just as important as science, and if our children show natural artistic abilities, we must try our best not to undermine their passions by encouraging them to make a Plan B in case “becoming a painter doesn’t work out.” In the end, their happiness is what matters.
Show Support in What They Choose
Showing your child that you support them in whatever subject they enjoy can at times be a difficult task. Societal pressures, family expectations, and preconceived notions about certain subjects can shape the way we react and behave towards our children’s interests. It’s important that we remember to check our own ideas at the door before we profoundly impact how our children see themselves and their future.
For more ways to get involved in your child’s education, check out our blog. For information about BrightKids Online School, click here.