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With This 4 Strategies, You Can Support Your Kid’s Passion!

 

As a parent, it’s only natural that we want the best for our kids. We might get them into an art course, language course, or even sport course that we think could bring the best out of them. However, this should not be the case according to Ki Hadjar Dewantara, a pioneer of Indonesian education.

According to Ki Hadjar, a child will grow according to their own path. He believes that as the child grows older, they will gather enough knowledge and will show an interest in a certain subject. Once a child has reached this stage, your duty as a parent is to support your kid’s passion wholeheartedly.

This time, we will give 4 strategies that you as a parent could use to show your support for your kid’s passion, and those are:

1. Try to think outside the box

Usually, when it comes to passion, parents tend to think of enrolling their kids for enrichment classes. However, this should not be the case. Your kids might be passionate in sports, writing, reading, or even cooking. All those things can be done from your home.

Let your child discover what gives them the most fun.

2. Don’t judge!

Sometimes parents tend to judge their child’s passion. Maybe they never meant to do so, but when they did, it actually hurts the child’s self-esteem! Usually this tends to happen when the parents’ passion doesn’t line up with the child’s.

It’s very important to detach what we find fun with what our children think is fun. After all, you are 2 different human beings. If what makes your kids passionate is not fun for you, at the very least you can support your kid’s passion. The important part is that you should not antagonize them for taking a different path from you.

3. Know what interest them

Sometimes your child might also take the same interest as their peers. It might be the same sport, or art activities, or music instrument. During that time, the competition for your child to succeed is really fierce and might cause anxiety for your child in the process.

When this happens, one way you can support your kid’s passion is by taking the time to know what it is that your child is really interested in. You can observe them as they do their activities and listen to what they aspire to be regarding their passion.

4. Nurture their optimism

When it comes to competition, your child might be feeling a great amount of pressure to perform better than anyone else. However, when they fail to present their best effort, they will feel dejected. When this happens, what you can do to support your kid’s passion is by nurturing optimism in them.

Let them know that setbacks happen, and it is up to your kids to see the setbacks as a stopping point or as a stepping stone so they can do better next time.

 

At the end of the day, your kid’s passion might be totally different from yours. And that’s okay! You don’t need to suddenly be the best on what your kid is interested in. Sometimes, what they need isn’t an expert, because most of the time all they need is parents that support them and stand by their side.

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Your Kids’ Passion is Yours to Find With These 5 Tips!

 

Working while following your passion will always be an interesting topic to talk about whenever we talk about a job. But what is passion? By definition, it is a powerful or compelling emotion of feelings. It is a longing for something that you will always find enjoyable. Once people find their passion, some will pursue them wholeheartedly. 

The same thing goes for kids. 

With your children’s growth, they will learn new things. They will also start finding new things that will interest them but it might be unfamiliar to you. What they find interesting might change, but one particular subject will remain the same and usually, that thing is their passion.

As a parent, it is your duty to help your kids find their passion. And today, we will help you by giving some tips that could help you find your kids’ passion.

Read them stories!

Reading to your kids will always be important. However, if you read to them all the time, you might want to start seeing how they react to certain stories. You can ask them how they feel after you read them stories, and whether or not they enjoy those kind of stories. If they do, you can find stories with the same vibe and topics.

It’s not unusual for kids to find their passion through characters inside stories. You might read them a story about a crane that likes to cook, and suddenly your kid asks complex questions about cooking. Or if you read them a story about a rabbit that likes to run in a marathon, and they start asking questions about sports.

Let them feel bored

It’s not rare for us to hear how our kids complain that they feel bored. Rather than giving them something to play, it is completely normal for kids to feel bored! One study done by Sandi Mann and Rebekah Cadman concludes that boredom actually forces people to be much more creative and find ways to be entertained.

During their creative moment when they are bored, you should try to watch your kids closely. It is very possible that this boredom could be the key for them to find their passion in life. Maybe during that time, you will see them drawing, writing, or even reading books.

Take them to your workplace

If the place you work allows you to take children with you, try to schedule one day to do just that. They might not say it, but kids actually love to see what their parents do at work all day. At the office, they might not do much or they might just be sitting on your office watching you, but that’s okay!

By watching you work, they might develop the desire to do the same line of work as you do. Or, maybe they will instead realize they don’t want to do what you did. Either way, it is important to always support your kids in finding out what they are passionate about. 

Sign them up for activities

One choice that might help them find what they are passionate about is sport. It doesn’t matter what they actually choose; it might be soccer, basketball, softball, dance, or even gymnastic, sign them up. Participating in sports have many benefits for the kids, and it might give them new friends that could encourage them to follow their dreams.

Or, if sports is not for them, it’s also a good idea to let your kids dip their toes into the world of art. Maybe you can let them learn how to play musical instruments, or maybe they actually enjoy writing or performing.

Share your passion

There is a possibility that your kids already know what their passion is, but simply don’t realize it. That is why sharing your passion with your kids might allow them to find out about their skills and about their interests.

After all, some passion might be born from the desire to follow in the footsteps of people your kids admire and love!

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Get to Know the Type of Play During Your Kids’ Childhood!

Play is a very important part of childhood. Through different types of play and games, children will be able to develop important social skills such as problem solving, decision-making, resolving conflicts, sharing, and to work in groups.

Lev Vygotsky, a psychologist from Bellorusia believed that one of the best ways to help children develop new skills are with make-believe or pretend play. “A child’s greatest achievements are possible in play,” he said.

Even Pablo Neruda, a poet from Chile, said “A child who does not play is not a child.”

In 1929, Mildred Parten Newhall observed children from ages 2 to 5 during their free play time. From that, she classified children participation into 6 different types of play.

1. Unoccupied Play

According to Newhall, unoccupied play is when the child does not engage in any kind of play. This is considered as the first stage of children developing play. Usually, babies will move their body without any purpose or just because it feels good and intriguing.

This type of play is the “exploration” stage for babies. They are thrown in the world they never knew, so even the smallest object can be a full of wonder if you have never seen anything like it before.

During this stage, try to choose objects with a lot of textures and colors. However, try to avoid toys that can emit bright lights or noises as it might startle the baby.

2. Solitary Play

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Solitary play is defined as when children start playing alone. Usually, this stage will occur in children between the ages of 2-3 years old. During this stage, the child will ignore or will not be aware of their surroundings; they will be fully occupied with themselves.

There are many things that a child will do during this stage. For example, kids may run around outside the garden by themselves. They may be playing with a stick they find on the street. Or they can be found reading interactive books or with other toys their parents already prepare at home.

3. Onlooker Play

This type of play is mostly an inactive play but still significant for the growth of the kids. During this stage, children will start observing the play of other children or adults, but will not be joining the play.

There is a possibility that during this stage, children will start to engage with other kids and have a conversation about what they are playing. But, the children will mostly stay out of the play.

It will be really helpful if the parents can do what they love to do near the children, or to bring their kids to a local park to see other children play.

4. Parallel Play

Parallel play is the stage that according to Parten, is a step toward a socially mature and cooperative type of play. At this stage, the child will be close to their peers and will play the same game as other kids, but will not be playing together with them.

Because children will play near each other, there might be moments where kids will fight over which toys are theirs. Ideally, it would be better to have toys that are not easily shatter and can be cleaned easily.

5. Associative Play

At this stage, the children will usually play with the other children. However, those kids will sometimes start to organize the play they are doing toward a common goal but usually there is not any set of rules or formal organization yet.

During associative play, children’s fascination will often shift from the toys to the other children. They will start asking questions about the toys or the play they are doing.

6. Social Play

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Social Play is a type of play in which your child will start to begin socializing with other children. In this stage, children will begin to start sharing their ideas and toys, and either create or follow established rules. One example of this stage is when they play doctors and figure out who will be the patient, nurse, or doctor.

To summarise, social play is a channel where children can really learn and practice the social skills they have gained and internalized themselves. Behaviours that are often practiced including being flexible, solving problems, waiting for their turns, and cooperation. 

According to Parten, as a child gets older and the opportunity for them to interact with others become more common, they will slowly move away from the solitary and parallel type of play. 

For the children to practice those social skills, the best way to do is to let them play. They will pick up the pace for social interactions better if we believe in them and give them the time and space to play freely.


Activities to try with your kids


Now that you know the 6 types of play, you can now try to find what kind of toys fit for each type. Here’s the list:

1. Unoccupied Play

During this phase, you don’t need to organize anything for them to play. However, it might be a good idea to have a child-friendly household objects to be used as their toys.

2. Independent/Solitary Play

Since solitary play require your kids to play alone without any reference from other kids or adults around them, you can prepare the following things:

  • Imaginative sets like a train sets, kitchen sets, or doctor sets.
  • Interactive toddler-safe books. A few examples of these books are Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell, or From Head to Toe by Eric Carle.
  • You can also give them building blocks to let their imagination runs wild

3. Onlooker Play

The third stage is when your kids start to observe other people without them actually playing. Since most of the time this stage is passive, you can do these things:

  • Show your kids what you like to do, maybe it’s automotive, sports, playing an instrument, cooking, or even puzzles.
  • Take your kids to a place where other kids are playing, this can be a park or any other place. Make sure the place is safe for kids.
  • If they have any siblings, encourage them to look at how their older siblings move.

4. Parallel Play

This is the stage where your kids start to play beside—instead of with—other children. To ensure there is no broken toys, you might need to prepare these things:

  • A great amount of stacking blocks
  • Tunnels or low climbers made from soft materials. You can also create a fort using cardboard, styrofoam or blanket.

5. Associative Play

During this stage, your kids will start to play with other kids. They will start to have a longer attention span. Some toys you can prepare during this stage are:

  • Toys that encourage kids toward engineering
  • Art supplies that left little to no mess
  • Building blocks

It might also be a good idea to let your kids enroll in baby class so they will have more time to play with other kids.

6. Social Play

This last stage is where kids start to play in a group. They will start having a common goal during their play. During this stage, some example activities your kids can do are:

  • Puppet theater with their friends
  • A much more complicated imaginative play (Hospital play instead of only doctor)
  • Sports
  • Building a zoo using animals set. 
  • Do an adventure play where your kids and their friends are trying to get something.