finding your passion

What I Learned Helping My Daughter Find a Passion

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I recently confessed to feeling that my child was failing to meet my expectations. As I now look back on it all, I’m happy she didn’t meet the expectations I had for her. Finding your passion in life is a great gift. And for her, it would have been good, but she may have missed out on the great.

For those of you who happened to miss my post about my unmet expectations, I’ll summarize. Our daughter is a really fast runner, and last spring, she joined a track club and had a lot of success. She won medals at national meets and qualified for the Junior Olympics, then she decided she wasn’t going to run during the Winter season. I was a little disappointed.

After the disappointment, we wanted to find out what she was passionate about. We discovered it, and now she is thriving. She loves the arts, specifically the performing arts. She’s heavily involved with a production company that has put on the same passion play for over 30 years. In addition, she recently signed with a prominent talent agency in our area. I don’t see her quitting either anytime soon. Ironically, she’s shown interest in both of these areas for years, but we didn’t pay too much attention to it. There were more opportunities to play sports and other things, so we went with what was easy. Learn to pay attention and make decisions accordingly.

When your kids show an interest in something positive, get behind it 100%.My experience has taught me the following when it comes to helping my daughter find and thrive in her passions:

  1. Show a lot of interest in their interests. I don’t know much about the arts. You may say I know nothing about the arts. So our conversations about the arts were kind of one-sided. But as I’ve slowly realized how much she’s interested, I’ve begun to pay attention, and we’ve been able to have better conversations. Communication is the cornerstone of every relationship, and these conversations enhance the communication between us.
  2. Appreciate the fact that they have something they are passionate about. There are many kids today who have little to no passion about doing anything. When your kids show an interest in something positive, get behind it 100%. Developing those passions and learning the lessons from those experiences are invaluable. The Search Institute did research that shows kids who thrive have adults who know their passion and support their development.
  3. Enjoy the new experiences with them. I’m excited about seeing her photos after a photoshoot and taking her to practice to watch her behind-the-scenes as she rehearses for her part. It’s one more memorable experience with my daughter during this “short” season of her growing up in our house.

Watching your kids do something they love is one of the best experiences you can have. And, as you can see, there are also lessons involved.

Huddle up with your kids and ask them, “What are some things that really get you excited inside?”