Sparks that Motivate: Talk About It

Different Interests Motivate Different Kids

I always challenge him by, ‘Go look it up. Look it up for yourself. That way you’ll have the self-knowledge of what you’re talking about. You’ll know what you’re talkin’ about.Within families, individual members have unique interests.  As a parent, we know when one of our kids loves to quietly curl up with a book, while another can’t wait to go outside to learn new tricks on a skateboard.

Use these discussion-starter questions to talk about sparks with your child and with other parenting adults.

Discussion Starters with Your Kids

Here are some questions to ask young people to help them identify an interest, talent, or activity that is or could become a spark in their lives.

  1. What makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning?
  2. What is your favorite day of the week? What do you look forward to doing that day?
  3. If you could spend a whole day doing anything you wanted, and money and resources were unlimited what would you do? Why?
  4. What makes you feel really happy?

Discussion Starters with Other Parenting Adults*

Use these discussion starters to talk with other parenting adults about the opportunities and challenges of nurturing children’s sparks:

  1. What are some of the sparks you had when you were young? How did those sparks help motivate you? How do you think about those sparks now?
  2. What do you think may be sparks for your child? If you don’t see any, what might you do to encourage or nurture sparks?
  3. How do you see the sparks making a difference for your child?
  4. Suppose a child has a spark that you don’t really like? How do you respond to that?
  5. Who are people who really help nurture your child’s sparks?
  6. What are sparks that keep you motivated and energized as a parent and an adult? How do you keep that spark lit when you’re caught up in all the other responsibilities you have?
  7. What are ways we can support the sparks of each others’ kids, based on different interests and connections we have?

* These parenting adults may include your spouse or partner, extended family members, friends who are parents, or a parent group or class.

Next Steps

  • Learn about what sparks are and how they can motivate your child.
  • Try activities for motivating with sparks in your family relationships.