Self Direction 101: Embracing Your Child’s Interests

The Big Question:

How can you find joy in your child’s interests, even if they aren’t things you enjoy yourself?

Your Challenge For The Week:

Pick something your child does that you think is a “waste of time”…

Now, force yourself to find at least one aspect of that interest or activity that you can find value in. Ask your child about that aspect of their interest/activity and see if you can engage in focused and joyful conversation about it for 10 minutes.

Next, ask your child what they value most about this interest/activity. Note whether their value placement was the same as yours or not. Do this everyday this week.

Journal Prompt #1

At 11 years old, Greta Thunberg fell into a depression after her teacher taught the class about climate change. After an initial effort to comfort her out of her depression, her parents chose to instead focus their energy on supporting Greta’s efforts to find her own solutions to her anxieties. The results are below in the “dig deeper” section.

What would happen if we all stopped dismissing our children’s hopes, anxieties, and hyper focuses? What would happen if we allowed them to dig deep instead of insisting they explore wide?

Journal Prompt #2

What if your child’s value placement within their interests is different than yours? Does it matter?