Raise a Kid Who Won't Give Up

Cultivate Passions

More than two thirds of all preschoolers develop a consuming interest, whether it's princesses, animals, dinosaurs, pirates, or something else entirely. These hobbies, though endearing and adorable at first, can start to seem obsessive, which may tempt you to try to tone them down or steer your kids toward something else. Don't. Having a passion fuels your child's curiosity for learning.

Caren Cohen recalls when her 8-year-old daughter transformed from a disinterested reader to a flourishing bookworm within a matter of months. The key was finding the right subject matter. "We discovered Percy Jackson & The Olympians, a modern-day take on Greek mythology, and her enthusiasm for reading suddenly took off," says the Philadelphia mom.

You can help your child discover a new passion by exposing her to a variety of different experiences and by taking her to visit science museums, libraries, zoos, and historic places. "When she shows interest and wants to jump into something, help her make it happen," says David Shenk, author of The Genius in All of Us: New Insights Into Genetics, Talent, and IQ. Just be sure you're following your child's lead and not your own desires for her.

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