Parent Their Passion: How to turn your teenager’s inward-focused talent into a wonderful serving skill set that brings value to others. You want your teenager to be motivated. You want him to succeed. How do you make your child’s talent go from a shy inward focus over into a valuable skill set that brings genuine joy and value to others? Here is how to parent your homeschool student’s passion. Start with an interest.
- No, it’s not about teaching your daughter to be a hyper extrovert.
- No, it’s not teaching your son to be bombastic about what he can do.
But yes, it is about having the work your young person does open doors of opportunity. It’s easy to flip the switch from an inward to an outward mindset. And the easiest way to flip over to that outward focus mindset is to leverage your family’s unique existing culture. It will feel right and natural.
Parent Your Homeschool Student’s Passion: How to Open Doors of Opportunity
Make sure you allow your child to pursue an interest that makes sense for both your homeschool student AND your family! Let me explain to you how to do it through the use of an example. Imagine that your 14-year-old daughter has a serious core writing skill she is developing now as part of an internal interest that she has to express herself through written words.
Given her age, you must admit that she takes her craft seriously. She is able to write with poise and conviction. She loves filling up private journals that already take up a row on the upper shelf of her closet.
Imagine also that your family’s identity is found in providing hospitality. Your family unit is known for being that hospitable family at church to whom everyone turns whenever there is a person or event that needs to be honored in an appropriate way.
Your family knows how to get people together and you take great joy as a family in helping others to honor those important occasions in life.
Those two apparent disconnected pursuits could stay disconnected. And that’s how most people would see the situation. Most would look at the fact that your daughter is growing up in a hospitable family as completely the same as her growing up in a musical family or in a bicycling enthusiast family…in other words your family’s identity is irrelevant. At best, it is meant for your daughter to tolerate or pass by your family’s identity as the proverbial ship in a dark night while trying to find time for herself to carve her own way.
At worst, it can erupt into serious family conflict, resolved by either the daughter or the family having to give up their focus in order to sacrifice for the other.
The Practical Way To Bring Value to Others
This is the better way: You MAKE those two worlds of writing and hospitality connect. This requires some imagination, but not anything outside of a little effort.
Enlist your daughter’s writing skill to enhance your family’s already great strength in the area of hospitality.
- A writer needs something to write about and needs to write for someone.
- A young person especially needs quick feedback as to whether what she is doing is appreciated, or if it’s completely just a talk to her bedroom wall.
This immediate outlet for her writing is what you provide for her through your family identity. In practical terms, this would translate into such things as having her compose short biographical sketches of the people or events being honored for that occasion and in following up after with congratulatory and thank-you notes and summaries of the event for the rest of the people who could not be there.
This range of events to be written for, and for which she would almost have free reign within the safety of her family’s sphere of influence, would be amazing.
Examples of Writing Outlets:
- birthday celebrations
- high school graduation parties
- retirement events
- wedding showers
- baby showers
- memorial services
- receptions for guest speakers
- end-of-year swim club recognition events
- (and any other social event in her family’s circle)
She can easily gauge the feedback she got from exercising her skill. All of this engagement through the use of her writing skills to provide value to others is guaranteed to emotionally super-charge her to want to take her writing skill to the next level.
Notice in the above example how critical the use of her family’s identity and strength would be at a young age. If she wanted to do such things on her own as a 14-year-old, most likely she would be avoided or blocked (and correctly so) as being too young and inexperienced. Most likely she would not even have the vision or the social savvy to initiate on her own such a service level to other people.
But because it is her parents’ strength and joy to do hospitality, they can easily clear that way for her and protect her from any social danger. Eventually, yes, that daughter, without her parents’ involvement, might find a way on her own to get that involved, but that is not likely to be possible until she is at least 16 or 17.
The difference between her parents connecting her talent with her family, and her parents being disconnected from her talent growth is the difference of three years. It is probably even more than that as the developed skills compound in usefulness.
Other Examples of Parenting Your Homeschool Student’s Passion:
- Try playing out in your mind how this same girl could use her writing if her family was seriously into football events on the weekends.
- Try it in the context of the family who was into traveling in their spare time as much as possible.
Try applying this within different family cultures and you quickly see how many possibilities there are for a young writer to get started in a very interesting way.
You have a unique family culture too of your own! Your family culture is ready to be used to help your daughter get jump-started with her talent. As the value increases, motivation increases.-Jonathan Harris
The Formula for Triggering Deep Motivation
Interest + Tools + Value = Passion
The value part of this equation is most easily achieved through the power of your family’s identity! Once your younger teenager assimilates the idea of bringing value to others through her skillset, there is a next level of bringing value after this one. Older teenagers will get really excited by that next level because it is about bringing in the cash!
It is about learning how to modify this talent focus just enough so that others beyond the family circle will want to pay money to your son or daughter so they can solve a problem that requires their skills.
But get started first with embracing your family’s identity so your teenager can make that first entry into the world of bringing value, years ahead of the average young person.
Get Started: Parent Your Homeschool Student’s Passion
- You can also highjack your curriculum to serve the same purpose: Leverage your homeschool curriculum.
- Even Minecraft can be more than a hobby. Find out more in 10k To Talent here.
Would you like more tips like the above? Go to ParentTheirPassion.com to find out how I did this with my own teenagers.