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Finding their spark

It might be something you've never noticed, or something you've seen for years.

find their spark - friends using computer

Every young person is into something. They all have that something that makes their eyes light up… something that brings meaning to their life, and once you find that spark, it can spread, bringing meaning and motivation to other areas of their life.

As a parent, you’re often surrounded by your child’s interests and hobbies – the things they talk about non-stop, or disappear for hours to go play or do, the things they are usually spending time on when you thought they were doing homework (or sleeping). The things they are naturally drawn to and enjoy are often the things that can inspire them.

When you find what lights them up – you’ve found their spark.

How their spark is helping them enjoy life

It might not be something that they will have a career in ten years on, but it brings meaning to their life right now and that’s enough.

Spending time on your hobbies makes you feel good – and sometimes as a teenager, that’s just what they need (read about how the brain develops through teenage years here) .

How their spark can help their education

Their spark is helping them learn too. In education, building up a strong value of learning and developing the motivation to take opportunities comes from within. It comes from something that drives them and connects with them as a person – a link that makes it relevant and meaningful to them. Their spark.

It might surprise you how much their spark can influence other areas of their life. Finding a little joy, a little success or a little hope in one area of their lives can start a flame that can ignite self-esteem and worth, a love of life and love of learning.

What can you do?

Through showing interest in their spark, you can help build their motivation and support them to build resilience. As a parent, you can help them find and nurture this joy, and once they see it too, they can use that spark, they can use it to build up positive energy and resilience when things get tough.

Ask questions about their interest, help them find a role model or a place to find out more (you might want to find information online, ask the school if there is extracurricular opportunities or look for free local activities).

Last Updated: 19 June 2020