Is your child passionate about pterodactyls? Knows their T-Rex from their Triceratops?
Well it turns out that being obsessed with dinosaurs is actually a good thing!
Stegosaurus in the sandpit? Diplodocus lunch box? House overrun with all things dinosaur? Don’t despair. According to Psychology Spot, being intensely interested in something is a positive thing. Being motivated to learn a lot about a single topic, like dinosaurs, is actually boosting your child’s intellectual development and equipping them with many positive tools for later in life.
Intense interests develop life strategies
So why is having such an intense interest a good thing? Well apparently wanting to know a lot about a topic helps your child develop strategies to deal with new situations and problems throughout their lives, by asking questions, looking for answers and asking for help when needed.
An investigation carried out at the universities of Indiana and Wisconsin proved that intense interests are highly 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.– Psychology Spot
Diving deeply into a topic like dinosaurs also improves your child’s attention and perseverance in finding out more about it. This obsession can also help your child’s problem solving, complex thinking and information processing skills. Best of all, it makes them passionate about learning new things.
Obsessive knowledge is commonplace in kids
If your child can tell you WAY too much detail about something like dinosaurs or insects, you’re not alone! One in three children will have an intense interest, most often between 2 and 6 years of age. Common topics children can get a tad intense about include horses, trains, princesses and bulldozers. So while it may seem like a punishment right now, anything your child becomes passionately interested in is definitely a good thing!
Fostering interests in children
So how can you encourage your child’s interests? Wellness site Healthy Food House suggests letting them have unstructured time to find what interests them, and encouraging and supporting their interests, however irrelevant they may seem.
You can help your child discover more about their interest through books, movies and visits to places such as parks and museums.
Some good news if you can’t handle any more obsessive talk
While there seems to be endless benefits to your child’s obsessive interest, as a Mum dinosaur talk can get real tired, real fast. The good – or bad news, depending how you see it, is that obsessions are generally fairly short lived.
According to the same investigation, these interests usually last between six months and three years. Only 20% of children are still passionate about the same issue as they grow up. In most cases the end of that 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 the 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.
So, stifle that sigh when you hear your little one mention pre-historic ages for the 57th time this week. It’s actually bringing them ample benefit right now. And in years to come when you’re arguing about ‘the big parenting issues’ you’ll long to hear about good ol’ T-Rex, one more time. Until then mummy, this too shall pass.