Kids’ Interests Can Be Both Strengths and Potential Problems

One of the themes of this blog will be that kids with deep interests can be both wonderful and hard to live with. Another thread I’ll keep coming back to is the relationship between deep interests and giftedness. So, it’s no wonder that this post from the ByrdSeed blog caught my attention: 10 Social and Emotional Needs of the Gifted.

The first item on the author’s list is:

  1. Be aware that strengths and potential problems can be flip sides of the same coin.

    Strength: diverse interests and abilities; versatility.  Potential Problem: may appear disorganized or scattered; frustrated over lack of time… (read more)

Well, that sounds familiar — some kids like that are very near to my heart! (See, for instance, this web page from Ethan’s Dinosaurs.) Although the list item is about diverse interests rather that deep interests, I’ve know lots of kids who get really interested in a topic, then develop another passionate interest after a month or two without completely giving up on the first one. (See Ethan’s Dinosaurs again.)

I guess my point is that the strength — the ability to develop and sustain passionate interests — can make life challenging for kids, parents, and teachers. One of the things I’ll be thinking and blogging about is how adults can meet — and enjoy living with — that challenge.


Thanks to the chain of TwitterFolk who turned me on to this post, with @marciamarcia the most recent Tweeter.

Using Block Parties to Cultivate and Support Kids’ Interests in Nature and Science

I’ve been running our neighborhood’s block party for about 10 years now. Over those years, our neighbors have been very receptive to me using party activities to encourage their children’s interests in nature and science.

The theme for this year’s block party is “No Child Left Inside.” We will focus on getting kids outside to be with and appreciate nature. However, we will also show kids things they can do outside if they are more interested in cars, trucks, and trains — or other kinds of science.

I posted a discussion and preliminary schedule on my other blog, Neighborhood Nature. Please go here to read it!

A New Blog About Supporting Children’s Deep and Passionate Interests

I’m starting this blog as a way to develop my ideas about why and how parents should support their children’s deep and passionate interests in nature, science, technology, or whatever else catches their fancy. If you’ve been wondering about why your child has developed an almost obsessive interest in dinosaurs, rocks, trains, Pokemon, or vacuum cleaners — and what to do about it — then this may be the blog for you!

This blog is an adjunct to my existing website,, which describes some of the interests my children, Ethan and Aaron, have gone through as they’ve grown, and how my wife, Gail, and I supported them. I’m planning a bunch of posts on a range of topics related to children’s interests, including research and book reviews, interviews, thought pieces, and stories about how families — including ours — have supported their children’s passionate interests.

First, a word about the organization of this blog. Like all blogs, posts here in the center of the page will be sequenced in reverse chronological order (most recent at the top). However, my experience with our Neighborhood Nature blog leads me to suspect that most folks will discover any given post weeks or months after it was written. So, I’ve tried to organize the sidebars to the left more like standard navigation menus, based more on content and less on when posts were written. (However, given my limited Web development skills, I’ve had to use blog tools to construct the menus, so some of the menu sections will have to develop over time, as I add posts in particular categories with specific tags.)

That’s it for now. I hope you find my later posts enjoyable and/or useful!