Tuesday, 14 March 2017

5 Ways To Help Your Child Find Their 'Thing'

One of the most glorious things about your children growing up is seeing them find their 'thing'. You know that 'thing' they just love to do. And sometimes it can be quite different from your 'thing' (does watching Greys Anatomy whilst eating a Crunchie count as a 'thing'?). Fruit Shoot is launching It's My Thing, a campaign designed to celebrate and champion confidence and individualism in kids and encourage creativity and self- expression. It follows in-depth research showing that growing pressure for children to achieve and conform can end up limiting creativity. Which makes me feel really sad.

Life is already so different from when I was growing up, what with new technology and the reluctance to let your children play outside. I hate the idea that my gorgeous crazy girl would feel the pressure to conform. I want to encourage her to discover her passion and not be expected to follow a set path. It seems 80% of UK parents agree, as the research shows that they feel there is too much pressure for kids to live up to society expectations including academic achievements.

Fruit Shoot

Fruit Shoot

Having a 'thing' (talent, passion, hobby, quirk or interest) can help to make a child feel unique. It's not about ability but about celebrating children's passions and hobbies. For my six year old her 'thing' has always been animals. She's madly in love with our dog Lucy and her guinea pig Anna. So when Fruit Shoot sent along a hamper for her to try some new experiences. She was over the moon to see some bits and bobs to help her get to know wildlife better. Nature is full of a whole heap of animals she's not yet experienced. She loved building a little bird house and seeing how many birds she could find in our garden with the help of her much loved (and not much help) pets.

The wonderful Dr Ranj (I can say that as I've met him) has worked with Fruit Shoot on the It's My Thing campaign and developed some tips to help your little one find their 'thing' and here are five of my favourite:

1. Expose your child to new things. It doesn't mean spending lots of money but you could help them get information on whatever it is in the local library or help them look online.
2. Encourage them to have some free time to discover for themselves what they are interested in. My little girl loves drawing so we set up a little area in her bedroom so she can have some quiet time to draw.
3. Make sure you don't focus on winning or being the best. Having a 'thing' is meant to be all about fun. For example my 'thing' is making YouTube videos. I know I'm probably never going to be Zoella but I still try my best!
4. Help them to get to know others who are also pursing their things. When she is older I will encourage her to go and help out at our local animal sanctuary as I know that is something she would love.
5. Learn about their thing yourself so you can encourage and engage them. The amount of hours I have lost going around zoos and farms with my daughter is endless.

Fruit Shoot

Thanks so much to Fruit Shoot for sending along a hamper of goodies to help my girl try out some new experiences. If you are interested in learning more about It's My Thing or sharing your experiences about helping your children to try out new hobbies. Or perhaps just fancy a few handy tips or some advice then pop over to the Fruit Shoot GB Facebook page.

This post was written in collaboration with Fruit Shoot

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