Personal interests are good to have and they will bring great added-value by incorporating them into your child’s talent. However a young person’s personal interests are not enough to provide him with all the direction he needs to create something amazing.
What he also needs is the strength of character from his parents to support him as he works through his short attention span in his adolescent years. He needs your strength to navigate the highs and lows of short-term failures and successes in the pursuit of real talent. Very often, parents will be frustrated by their offspring’s desire one day to pursue one interest and then another day to completely change their enthusiastic focus to another interest. Today it is collecting coins. Tomorrow it is scuba diving at the local YMCA. You must stay engaged to help him interpret whether it is an opportunity or just a distraction to his real goals.
The fact that there are so many things that grab their attention is not wrong in itself at all. Their curiosity is high and their desire to make friends is high. This is partly what makes it possible for our young people be so fresh and open to the new things that need to get done. But if they keep switching their minds and their focus to many times, they will never gain enough traction to find joy in performing beyond the beginner’s level in any field of human endeavor. That is where you come in as a parent and where they depend on you to not be caving in on every new change of heart. By strength of character, I mean you must sometimes say ‘no’ to the request for participating in a new youth group activity or in starting up a new hobby. Some tears, some pouting, some sullenness, some confused looks might come your way, but so be it. Your son or daughter might resent you at first that you do not agree to their changing emotions, but you must be steadfast on their behalf until they are able to grow into their own complete vision for themselves.