How to Nurture Your Anxious Child’s Passions

We’ve all seen passion in a child. Their face lights up. Excitement gleams in their eyes. They eagerly want to learn more about whatever is stirring up their interest. And they can immerse themselves in the interest for hours on end, without losing any enthusiasm. Whether your anxious child is enamored by old pennies or modern building blocks, having a passion can be a beautiful thing.

Why Passions Matter

When your anxious child has something in their life that prompts excitement and focus, it can help them tap into and strengthen their inner motivation. Having a strong inner motivation can serve them greatly when they move into adulthood, giving them the wherewithal they need to achieve their goals.

At the same time, passions help children develop their own inner sense of wonder while opening the door for friendships with children who share the same interests. They’re also terrific for keeping children occupied and focused – something that can be challenging for anxious children in general.

Do’s and Don’ts for Nurturing Passions

Do understand the nature of a passion. In its most basic sense, a passion is something that instills excitement or enthusiasm in your anxious child. The passion may be short lived or last a lifetime. Either way, it doesn’t mean your child will turn that passion into a career – or even something that outlasts the month. Passions shift and change as children grow and change.

Do let your child discover their own passions. Everyone has a different set of passions, and you want to ensure you’re not forcing your own passions onto your child. Just because you love nature and the history of steam engines doesn’t mean your child has to.

Do allow the passion to unfold naturally and remain enjoyable. Some well-meaning parents may get so excited that their child has a passion that they may inadvertently turn it into a full-time mandatory job. Don’t push the passion beyond the limits of enjoyment, or expect it to consume every extra moment of your child’s time. You want your child to continue to explore their interest at their own rate, in a way that makes them happy – not stressed out.

Don’t be too concerned about what the passion may be. If the passion is something that could be dangerous, you may want to direct your child’s interests elsewhere. But if your child’s interest is held by something that’s not dangerous yet not something you find particularly intriguing, it’s a good idea to step back and let it be.

Don’t try to analyze it or sway it another direction. The focus of the passion is far less important than the fact that your child found something that drives them to learn, collect, construct or become an expert in the area. These again are skills that can go a long way in adulthood.

When you adopt an encouraging attitude and give your child the freedom to explore their interests in a way that keeps them intrigued, you never know where their passion may lead. It may likewise bring benefits to the entire family along the way.