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Tip: Value in Completion

building-model1 500We have one child who quickly moved from one interest to another. Typically, when a new interest had taken root the old one was completely discarded without ever going back to finish it or adapt it. I do not think that having a wide variety of experiences and interests is a bad thing for any child. I believe the child will be more well-rounded in these instances. The issue here is in the fact that he had not completed or mastered any single interest he had started up to that point in his life.

This issue could be indicative of several other deeper issues but I will leave those for the parents who fancy themselves child psychologists. I simply want to provide some simple tips that can be used to help a child who is experiencing this issue.

Here are some basic ideas that may help.


Parents should engage in an interest with the child. Make it a joint project. Sometimes getting other family members or friends to pair up with a child will spur the child to greater heights of achievement. Grandparents are excellent resources for these situations.


If the child is quitting an interest when it gets difficult, the parent should find the pain point and help the child through it. This may involve the parent diving into a new subject matter. Regardless of the outcome, spending more time with a child is not a bad thing.


If the child genuinely does not find the interest fun or stimulating, then let it go. Sit with the child to find out the specific aspects of it that he/she did not like and use that information to select a new activity or interest.


Set goals when starting something new. As a parent stays in tune with a child and senses that a new interest has taken root, the parent should ask the child what simple things would the child like to learn or do with the interest. Parents should then gently remind the child of these goals and encourage their completion.


Create milestones for praise and rewards. Parents should always encourage children but should take the time to make the praise specific in these instances. If the situation allows, set up a reward system in line with the activity or interest. For example, if the child likes rocks and begins to study rocks and minerals, then the parent should offer to purchase a rock tumbler once the child has reached a goal, for example: learning a certain amount of types of rocks or cataloguing a specific number of rocks.


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Timeless Wisdom

Your success as a family ... our success as a society depends not on what happens in the White House, but on what happens inside your house.


- Barbara Bush (former U.S. First Lady)