Developing Passion In Kids: Experts Say It Begins In Middle School; Here's How Parents Can Help Ignite That Fire

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald April 18, 04:00 am
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Parents send their middle schoolers to different after-school activities like ballet or sports to nurture their passion.
(Photo : Stephen Chernin/Getty Images)

Do kids in middle school already know what they want in their life? Is it too early for children from 11 to 13-years-old to be passionate about something?

Experts say it's entirely possible for middle schoolers to develop passion early even as plenty of adults are still trying to figure out what they want. This drive and fire in young kids can be nurtured before they reach high school with the help and guidance of their parents.

Moms Jenni Stahlmann and Jody Hagaman believe children who discover their passion in middle school can chart a better plan for high school. This, in turn, can help them prepare for college, which increases their chances of achieving success as an adult, as per Herald Tribune.

They suggest parents keep watch over their kids' interests during the elementary school years and then support these interests through networking and finding mentors for the children once they enter middle school. The moms believe that while passion sometimes comes in a whim, most of the time this drive develops internally and can only grow as the children grow.

Some parents, however, make the mistake of forcing children's interests and passion by exposing them to different extra-curricular activities they think will be helpful. These parents are likely to focused on building their children's resume potential without considering whether the kids are enjoying the activities or not.

Psychologist Dr. Susan Newman writes via Psychology Today forcing children to be interested in something actually limits their self-discovery and they won't be able to find their passion this way. Experts advise parents to hold off on the meddling and allow a child-led process to take fold.

In other words, parents can only motivate and encourage passion in kids but in the end, it should still be the child's call to pursue or develop an interest. This process is not always easy but the child will resist less if he's given room to discover.

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