Figuring out your 3-year-old's interests
Some little ones make their interests known loud and clear, insisting on being decked out in certain clothing, and carrying around that special toy on every simple errand.
For other tots, determining where their interests lie may take a bit more work. If you’re unsure about what activities to sign your baby up for, for example, there are a few things to keep in mind as you try to figure out what she’ll enjoy.
- Exposure to different activities: The best way to learn about what your baby likes the most is by giving her plenty of chances to try new things. A trip to the zoo may spark that passion for animals that you didn’t see before, while a visit to a game or match could bring out an interest in sports.
- Follow her lead: If you watch closely, you may realize your baby has a major talent in a certain area. She may be able to groove to a beat on the radio with great rhythm or make art that exceeds age-appropriate expectations. If this is true, and she seems to enjoy the activity, you can consider signing her up for lessons.
- Consider personality: A child’s personality can help steer parents toward interests that are a good fit. Little ones with big energy, for example, may enjoy taking part in a sport or tumbling class that offers a chance to burn off some steam.
- Let interests develop organically: A parent who is stumped over what their child might enjoy might feel inspired to encourage their own interests for their child, or an interest an older sibling may have had at the same age. While this is a natural instinct, in the end, you’ll both be happier if you let your baby decide what she enjoys, even if it does take a bit more time. she will let you know once she finds something that resonates.
- Minimize the investment: Young children grow out of interests faster than they do clothes, so keep that in mind before you spring for expensive accessories, or enroll your baby in an activity that requires a long-term commitment.
Three-year-olds are beginning to develop a stronger sense of self. Keep encouraging your baby’s passions while keeping your expectations realistic, and don’t fret if it takes her a little longer to decide what intrigues her - before too long, you’ll see her interests evolve right before your eyes. Once she figures out her passion, she will make sure you know about it!
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