Helping boys discover (and engage in) their interests is one way we can address the fact that boys’ needs are often overlooked or ignored in modern society.
But how do we as parents do this? Here are a few ideas you can use to guide your children to explore the things that make them curious and happy, sorted by category:
Many kids absolutely love sports. They will watch their favorite teams religiously and follow their idols as they progress through their career. Some children might not have the motivation to actually play these sports as they see nothing to be gained themselves. Their thinking might be that they love their team and have heroes but they have no reason to follow in their footsteps other than playing the sport itself. Considering showing them the list of the World’s Richest Athletes in 2020 to encourage their passion. The people on that list — Roger Federer, Rory Mcilroy, Lionel Messi, Tiger Woods and more — all began their sports journeys when they were young.
It’s true that most people will never make a living playing sports, but many people enjoy sports-related careers (sportscaster, journalist, marketer, etc) — and many more find incredibly pleasure and meaning in life-long sports participation. Bass fishing, by the way, is a sports that’s growing in popularity. Did you know that some colleges offer scholarships for bass anglers?
Kids who want to know about the ideas and the things that make society possible should be encouraged to pursue their interests. For example, if your son is interested in economics, you don’t have to wait ’til he’s older to feed his curiosity. Consider buying him books about economics that have been written for children, such as The Economics Book. It’s got great illustrations, with simplified expressions to help kids understand complex concepts; it also discusses historical events for context.
If your son is interested in ideas about virtue, good, evil, right, wrong and how we should treat other people, philosophy is a subject you may want to introduce. There are lots of philosophy books for kids too — books that will explain concepts such as justice, law and order, loyalty and animal welfare.
Maybe your son loves classical music, theater or science. Take them to science fairs, productions and live orchestra performances. (When possible under pandemic safety precautions, of course!) These activities can really foster and bolster the interests of children. Consider asking your son which kinds of event he’d would like to see live.
You can also gather hints from your son’s conversations with you. If he’s constantly asking questions about a particular topic, ask him directly if he’d like to learn more. If possible, would he like to see it, touch it and explore it?
ONE MORE TIP: Talk to them!
Talk to your sons about their interests, even if you don’t fully understand the subject or why they find it fascinating. Our boys need to be helped and nurtured more than ever. Let’s not allow society to forget them as we move forward.
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