In Pursuit of Passion

For years, parents have been coached to focus on the well-rounded child.  A little bit of everything is the key to Harvard, Yale, or Princeton…or so the story goes.


Children should read a lot, play several sports, try a few instruments, write, sing, dance, and the list goes on.  Are you exhausted yet?  I am.


I’m a huge believer in everything in moderation.  Huge believer.  I think the world has a lot to offer out children, and I think they should navigate their way through it by trial and error.


The best way to find your passion, after all, is to get out there and explore the world around you.


My daughter, for instance, loves to dance.  Loves it.  She’s constantly creating new routines and giving me lessons.  We tried one class, but the teacher was terrible.  Then we tried another.  It was great.  It was a ballet/tap combination.  The teacher was lovely, the facility was beautiful, and the tutus were exceptionally cute.  And for about six months, it was her favorite activity.  Until one day…when it wasn’t.  As it turns out, my daughter is a bit of a free spirit and probably isn’t meant for traditional dance instruction.


So we moved on.  We’ve done gymnastics, art, cooking, and soccer.  She loves loves loves soccer.


She manages to find something positive in almost every class she tries, and she learns a lot along the way.  In my mind, that’s as good as it gets for a five year old.  Learning something new and having fun along the way.


But some kids are different.  Some kids are very passionate about certain activities.  For some reason, the parents always seem to take the blame when a child finds a passion at a young age…


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About Katie

Katie Hurley is a Child, Adolescent, and Family Psychotherapist and Parenting Expert in Los Angeles, CA. She works in private practice in the South Bay area of Los Angeles, writes for PBS Parents, Washington Post Parents, and the Huffington Post. She is the author of "The Happy Kid Handbook: How to Raise Joyful Children in a Stressful World" (Tarcher/Penguin, 2015) and "No More Mean Girls: The Secret to Raising Strong, Confident, and Compassionate Girls" (Penguin Random House, 2018)