I came across an article, on psychology-spot.com, that I found interesting and I wanted to share. “Being obsessed with dinosaurs enhances kids’ intelligence”.
The article explains that the incredible knowledge of children on a specific subject is called “Intense Interests”, a strong motivation for a specific topic. “In fact, a third of children develop at some stage throughout their childhood, as a general rule between 2 and 6 years of age…”
In some cases, that interest is not extinguished in childhood but accompanies them for a large part of their lives. They are those people who have always had a passion that, in a certain way, has served as a guiding thread and refuge over the years.
In reality, it does not matter what the object of that passion is, what is really important is the effort that children dedicate and the passion they experience.
An investigation carried out at the universities of Indiana and Wisconsin proved that intense interests are very beneficial for the intellectual development of children.
In practice, this type of interests, especially those that demand a conceptual domain as is the case of dinosaurs, not only make that the child have more knowledge about a certain subject but also enhance perseverance, improve attention and enhance skills of complex thinking as the processing of information. It has also been proven that linguistic skills are significantly improved and are an indicator of high understanding.
In fact, these psychologists explain that the way in which some children study dinosaurs or any other object of interest, in reality reveals the strategy that they will then use to face new situations and problems throughout their lives.
The wall against which intense interests clash
An Investigation carried out by psychologists from the universities of Virginia and Yale, revealed that the intense interests in childhood do seem to be mediated by the interests of the parents, since they usually appear during the first year of life without the parents having encouraged them. In fact, some of those interest are rare for the parents themselves.
The bad news…Only 20% of children are still passionate about the same issues as they grow up. In most cases the end of the passion comes with schooling.
Apparently, when children start studying, they have much less free time to devote to their “investigations”. To this is added that they understand that school requires a broader knowledge but also more superficial and often their interests do not fit within the school curriculum, so they just end up abandoning them.
Click on the link (the article title) to read the article in it’s entirety. It has suggestions on how to nurture these intense interests.