Nurturing your child’s talents is so important to their ubpringing. Lots of parents don’t know their children as well as they’d like to. Partly because they don’t have the time as well as not having the patience to engage in children’s activities. Another reason is that the child simply hasn’t been fortunate to discover their interests yet. If the child displays little interest in anything this can be a real challenge for parents. If your child has ADHD, the chances are that there is definitely something that sparks their interest. And when you find that thing, your child won’t look back…
Whatever stage your child is at, encouraging their interests can enhance their future and deepen your relationship. Here are some tips to help your child figure out what they enjoy doing and what they thrive at.
Encouraging Your Child’s Interests in the Home:
Talk it over. Your child’s passions may be easy to identify, or you may need to work a little harder. Try going on family outings or a shopping trip. Ask them what they like about their favourite things. Listen closely to their answers.
Be curious. Are you less excited about Pokémon than you used to be? It’s natural for kids to outgrow their old passions. (sometimes they cling on to them – like I do!)
Block out free time. There are actually some advantages to letting kids become bored occasionally. They need unstructured time to develop their own creativity and imagination. (that’s exactly how I came to write my new children’s book).
Offer resources. Create an enriching home environment. Build a rotating collection of books, arts supplies, craft materials and board games.
Mind your budget. On the other hand, it could be costly trying to keep up with interests that may be expensive. Especially if your ADHD child will lose interest after five minutes. Maybe you can rent musical instruments or buy a used bicycle.
Share your interests. Talking about your own hobbies as a parents is another way to bond with your children. Invite your child to join you in cooking or shopping for groceries. As a child, I used to go shopping with my mum every Thursday evening, up until high school. It was a great time to spend one-to-one with my mum.
Provide praise. I can’t emphasise how important it is to let your child know that you're proud of their efforts. Display their artwork in your home. Take them out for ice cream or crazy golf as a reward. Your praise has to be authentic. Children with ADHD can smell fake praise a mile off.
Maintain balance. A broad range of interest usually increases the chances for happiness and success. Especially as ADHDers are more prone to novelty in their day. Teach your child to try a variety of things and juggle different responsibilities.
Encouraging your Child’s Interests Outside of the Home:
Ask their teacher. There may be opportunities to integrate your child’s interests into their school curriculum. Talk with their teacher about possible courses, independent study, or after school programs.
Join a club. Reach out to other parents of children with similar interest. Search online or search for youth groups in your local area.
Take a vacation. Make your family vacation extra special by letting your child plan activities based on their interests. Help them to research attractions at your destination. For a road trip, plan a route where you can stop off to see popular beaches and amusement parks.
Visit a book shop. For more ideas and resources, you can count on your community library. Check their monthly calendar for children’s events and classes. One of my favourite places to visit is Waterstones in Piccadilly. I can spend hours browsing all my favourite topics.
Help your child to pursue their interests, so they can use their strengths and lead an active life. You may also develop a greater appreciation for their unique presence and enjoy a more satisfying relationship with your child.