Weekend activities to support your child’s interests
Talk and listen
Supporting your child’s passion starts with listening to them. Initiating a conversation with your child around their interests, wishes, plans for the future. Finding questions beyond ‘who do you want to be when you grow up?’ an alternative could be - what about this particular career excites them? Encourage them to think about other paths that can be tied to their interests. If they are unsure, that’s okay! You know them best, so suggest some areas they are naturally great at and listen to their responses. Being a good listener is key - you want your child to open up, not feel pressured into giving answers. They may end up sharing with you some of their newly discovered interests or something they find fascinating and would like to learn more about.
Organise a show
Inspire your child to create something they are passionate about by organising a family show day! Each of you can pick one discipline or category they are fascinated by and prepare a project to present at the end of the day. You can help each other on the projects or make it a competition. Prompting your child to present something tangible related to their interests can motivate them to develop in this area even further. Additionally, the family show aspect makes it fun for the child and takes off any potential pressure, plus it enhances their presentation skills!
Big goal project
Children are usually motivated by reaching goals and receiving rewards, titles or certificates. This weekend, you can take some time with your child to plan out a project within their favourite area. Let them think of a milestone they would like to achieve in their area of interest and, together, find their way to this goal. Make a spreadsheet, write down the steps, like you would with any of your work projects. Your child can work on this project for a longer period of time and at the end, they can receive a chosen reward - perhaps new art supplies, sports equipment, computer software, or something that will let them further develop their passion. Also, prepare a diploma for them! This would only add to the satisfaction they would get from completing their goal.
A trip down the memory lane
Let your child pick a person or a company they like and are interested in. Then together, track back their way to success! This can prove to your child that there is no right way of achieving something, and the road to their goal may not always be as obvious - sometimes, people end up in careers that they had never planned. It’s a valuable thing to talk through with your child to make sure they understand the variety of opportunities ahead of them, and that it’s perfectly possible and normal for things to change along the way. Additionally, following a role model’s path or exploring a company’s story can give children more ideas on what they want to accomplish themselves.
Play a game of the future
If your child is quite certain about their interests at the moment, why not take it a step further and start thinking about their potential career? Prepare a worksheet and let your child pick either a starting point or the end goal. This can be a skill they are good at, like maths, or a career they would like to follow, like a doctor. If they choose the end goal, their task now is to write a plan on how to reach it. In case they meet an obstacle, they would need to find an alternative plan - if they want to be a musician, but singing isn’t their strongest skill, they can work up to become a guitarist or a producer. They may end up in a different place than they initially started, but still satisfied! If they chose to start from a particular area or skill, their goal is to write down different career possibilities they see from there. For instance, if they like biology, they can become a doctor or a nurse, but also a wildlife biologist, a physical therapist, or a science writer! The goal of the game is to keep going even if they come across any obstacles. This experience might open up your child to consider different paths for themselves, and notice that their current skills will be, in one way or another, useful in their future career.
8billionideas is an online learning service with interactive experiences, courses, videos, and live mentoring where your child can find and explore their passion. They want to teach children what schools do not, through live experiences and mentoring with trained facilitators, engaging videos, and courses that kids can explore at their own pace. The platform offers unlimited mentor support to give children the possibility to talk to a real person who will support the curious minds. Learn more at 8billionideas.com