What other benefits are there when young people engage in their Interests?
- When kids are pursuing Interests they are focused, energetic, and enthusiastic.
- Pursing Interests provides a counterbalance to daily stress-creating activities. Participating in free-time activities they choose can be restorative and crucial to mental and physical health. Pursuing Interests is a vital part of healthy living.
- When young people are acting on behalf of something they love or respect, they feel purposeful. And having a purpose is the surest way to feel connected to life and worthwhile as a person.
“We are meant to work in ways that suit us … This work, when we find it and do it—if only as a hobby at first—is a key to our true happiness and self-expression.” —Marsha Sinetar
Besides providing an outlet for your child’s enthusiasm and helping to build confidence and self-direction, Interests can be used to make school work more interesting and motivating. For example, if your child is crazy about dinosaurs, he could choose a book about dinosaurs for an assigned book report. If she loves creating computer graphics, she could do a history or literature assignment in that format. For someone who loves to perform, suggest demonstrating knowledge through a skit or by composing lyrics to a song. If a student loves games, suggest creating a game for the topic being studied.
And here’s one more benefit:
The more you acknowledge and support students’ interests and follow their areas of delight, the more tolerance they will have for topics and activities that aren’t as interesting to them.
- Encourage the Interest – tennis, horseback riding, soccer, etc.
- Figure out what the student needs to learn the particular area of difficulty – a different program, manipulatives, a video, a game, etc.
- Don’t punish or try to motivate by taking away the Interest.
copyright 2020 by Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis, adapted from “Discover Your Child’s Learning Style by Willis and Hodson
contact Mariaemma: firstname.lastname@example.org