Tools For Learning

Inspiration for Parents & Educators

Play To Your Children’s Passions

This afternoon, while purusing a great website for parents, it got me to imagining if only the “great thinkers” that mull over the eternal question: “What is happiness?” could have watched my playful, energetic granddaughter as a toddler waddling as far as as parents would let her go. When her legs gave out, and she landed on her padded bottom she was ready to do it again and again. Healthy, happy children show intense determination to accomplish their goals. Keep in mind, that heir mastery thrives with much encouragement and respect from you.

Kids begin spontaneous pretend play by the age of two and a half years old. They may enjoy becoming a make-believe mommy or daddy, reading a book, going shopping,
cooking on a campsite stove, or setting up for a tea party. Preschoolers are as intensely concentrated on their pretend games as they had been as babies on peek-a-boo. As kids get older the content becomes richer and more revealing of their individual interests, learning styles, and desires. It might seem like hard work to stay focused on their play, but it’s not. Why? Because they like what they are doing and derive much satisfaction from it.

From birth, kids are driven from within to learn, focus, practice, and accomplish personal goals. Have you noticed that the most intriguing activities for young ones are not passive. My granddaughter when watching Sesame Street and sees Elmo, or hears an upbeat tune, or gliding on a gazebo swing, sways, and claps her hands from sheer delight. Her pleasure is enhanced further by the presence of her admiring parents, who share the thrill of the experience with her. That is true for every child at every age!

What happens to young children’s passion for learning and exploring over time? As children grow, I noted that in formal learning settings I often wondered what had become of this early single-mindedness, and the eagerness to get it right. What can you do to prevent your little precious ones from losing interest in, or giving up on what they like to do?

Wise parents tune into their kids’ individual interests and temperaments from birth. on. Keep in mind that children’s tastes may change; they will elolve. All the more reason to stay tuned in to their desires. Please, consider that imposing your own dreams on your kids can take the magic out of their personal discovery, creativity, and learning. Children’s enthusiastic focus can’t be maintained if their parents’ expectations are at odds with their own abiliites and special interests. I made the mistake of giving my son piano lessons. Since we had a beautiful baby grand piano, I thought his love of music would be fostered. He didn’t want to play the piano, and I nearly risked killing his love of music and taking away the precious time he could have used for his individual intersts. Pushing our own passions on our kids can compromise the foremost goal that most parents have for their children – Happiness!

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