Adults often have one or more children in their lives. The adults may be parents, guardians or teachers or they may be older siblings, uncles, aunts or nannies. As the years pass, people become grandparents. They may also be honorary grandparents, aunts or uncles because they have been adopted by their friends or neighbors. One of the best things that an adult can do for a child is to be fascinated by what interests the children and adds a little positive encouragement and guidance in that interest.
Watch and Listen
Kids need adults to notice them, to observe them and listen to them, and adults should take the chances that they get to take time and really find out what a child likes and really wants. This requires time to watch them play with their toys or draw a picture. You will soon see a trend of interest into a certain field, sport or art form.
Comments that adults make about what a kid is doing are crucial so they should be few and always positive and constructive. A little humor can help them laugh at mistakes as long as they feel the adult is laughing with them and not at them. For instance when a child is learning to catch a ball and misses more often than catching, the adult can laugh and say, “That silly ball is trying to stay away from your hands! I don’t think it wants to be caught! Still if you keep trying, you can grab it.”
When you notice particular and positive traits, you should give little observations and complements. You can even use big words for traits and tell them what it means if they ask. Here are some of the types of comments about traits that are encouraging to kids:
– You have an investigative mind!
– Megan is always on time!
– Duncan is a thinker!
– You stick to it!
– Sheridan uses her imagination!
– Blaine likes to construct things!
– You are great at figuring things out!
– Mark has a kind and caring heart!
Offer Opportunities to Explore
Take time with children letting them explore their interests. If Mandy shows an interest in science, take her to the children’s museum frequently and let her explore the place at her will. If Jude wants to learn how to cook, let him help you make cookies or prepare the meal by doing age-appropriate tasks. Additionally whenever you can, read books with children. Let them pick out quality books at their age level on subjects that interest them.
Give Kids Freedom to Grow
Never put children into boxes. Do not say, “I thought you wanted to be a nurse” when they announce their new fascination with fire fighters. Following various types of activities and interests helps them expand their growing minds and find what will ultimately develop within them as adults. Show enthusiasm for what is capturing their interest at the moment and watch them grow!