The notion that all children desire to be in a particular job when they grow up has been debunked. This is because of increased awareness on multipotentialites. This refers to people who tend to excel in more than two disciplines. It can also refer to an individual whose interests span multiple fields or areas, rather than being strong in just one. Such traits are called multipotentialities, while “multipotentialites” has been suggested as a name for those with this trait. Essentially, these type of people do not really have one true calling.
Parents need to be knowledgeable on how to detect these traits such that children are raised to realize their full potential. This can be done by paying close attention to the things that make them really excited. Despite most parents having been raised to aspire to one particular career, they should not assume that their children need to follow the same path, which is usually an emphasis on academics or science subjects.
Here’s how to nurture your multipotentialite child’s passions:
Encourage outside activities
Outdoor activities include sports, walks, watching a game, concerts, aquariums or whichever activities your child is interested in, so long as it is safe. Research shows that unstructured outdoor play not only decreases anxiety but also sparks imagination.
This also helps children develop other interests outside of studies and other structured activities. You can nurture their interests by taking note of what sparks their curiosity and answering questions. Alternatively, you can also note down their questions and work with them to find answers.
Get rid of your idea of perfection
Sometimes multipotentialite kids excel in several disciplines and sometimes their interests in another thing wanes and they jump on to the next thing. Understand that this is common with people who have varied interests and therefore instead of questioning their commitment, encourage them to learn as much as they can before abandoning things.
Expose them to a wide range of things
As a parent it is your responsibility to expose your child to the brilliance that the world offers. Take them to see the museum, a train ride, to see how things are made, to the library or even to a dancing class. This teaches them that there is no end to learning and since children are curious, they will continue to seek such opportunities for themselves.
Invite your child to do activities with you
There’s more to you besides being a parent and your job. Encourage your kids to learn about your other interests as well. This instills in them that it is okay to have more than just one tag or to aspire to simply one thing in their life. Encourage them to ask questions and have conversations about what interests them.
Introduce them to other multipotentialites
About a decade ago, multipotentialites or polymaths were unheard of. Now, there are many people who identify as such. Ensuring that your kids are exposed to such people from a young-age improves their self-awareness and as such they will not feel frustrated when they are interested in many things. You can do this by buying them books, watching YouTube videos or if possible, meeting such a person. It will also go a long way in helping you understand your child better.
You can also find more resources on raising multipotentialite children here