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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Feed passions and embrace excellence

No matter the age, when a child has a serious and productive interest, do anything possible to feed it. Be the perfect enabler.

Drive anywhere. Fly anywhere. Rearrange schedules. Get or otherwise provide access to the supplies and props (and animals and vehicles and equipment and ...). Find the experts, communities, even mentors (eventually finding people who can provide real and credible feedback).

As importantly, protect the child from the trivial work inevitably and often mindlessly and reflexively foistered on him or her from others. A year absolutely dedicated to a single area of deep passion is better than the potpourri of a modern curricula.

Some care needs to be taken not to subvert the interest or overwhelm it. And admit your own humble status as not being an expert.

But childhood passion around a real interest is one of the most powerful forces. This is what eventually shapes industries and nations.

1 comment:

  1. Adults need to learn to recognize, honor, trust and support the powerful, creative forces within children while putting their own egos aside. Anybody who thinks that force must be imposed from outside the child to create the passion has never raised children, watched them carefully over time, or paid close enough attention. Many adults fear, envy or devalue the power of intense interests in childhood because they were not allowed to have or follow any in their own lives. A truncated or ego inflated adult will be unlikely to nurture this often willful creativity in a youngster, and may work (consciously or unconsciously) to contain and extinguish the fire. The other twisty thing is that systems seem to be set up to give adults credit for what occurs naturally in children. It is a fortunate child (and likely not the "best" student) with the right combination of temperament and nourishment who can emerge from traditional schooling with her own interests, and access to her creative power, intact.