“Finding your kids’ interests has to start with dialogue because there isn’t a single answer for every child. But a dialogue means to have a conversation, not to have a conversation with an agenda.”- Hannah Frankman

In the second episode of the new series Success Without School, co-hosts Deb Fillman of The Reason We Learn and Hannah Frankman of rebelEducator talk about strategies to figure out your kids’ interests and passions.

Hannah shares her thoughts on how an action-based, practical education can expose children to work that they enjoy doing, and how supporting their interests can lead to exciting opportunities.

Hannah and Deb discuss the stories of different kids who found exciting ways to explore their passions in their careers, and Hannah outlines effective strategies you can take as a parent to make that transition easier.


The conversation covered:

  • Addressing the “my child doesn’t have an interest” problem
  • The action-based approach to finding a kid’s interest
  • How to suggest things to teenagers without sounding forceful
  • Deb’s journey figuring out her own kids’ interests
  • The role an inspirational environment plays in finding your kids’ interests
  • How traditional schools completely fail to explore kids’ interests, and the problems that arise from that
  • The importance of self-worth in finding your own interests
  • How to use experiments with your kid to find out their interests.
  • What to do when your kid has a lot of different interests but no single major passion

Noteworthy quotes

“It’s really hard as a teen to bridge that gap between “I can’t do anything I’m not an adult yet” to being someone who has an active role in this world. Once you start taking action, a lot of apathy starts fading away. You go from “ehh that doesn’t really sound interesting, to actually action based ways to explore your interests.” – Hannah Frankman

“I didn’t fight the video gaming, I instinctively said “there’s something about this she likes. Let me try to change it to something action-oriented that she can do about it.” (while referring to her daughter who discovered her passion for art and design through video games). -Deb Fillman

“You came to her with questions instead of suggestions, and I think that’s really important to have a discussion with teenagers. Teenagers are notoriously good at figuring out when you want something from them. You really have to go into a conversation without an agenda.” –Hannah Frankman

“I think it’s important for kids to get into this virtuous cycle of trying stuff and then getting feedback from the real world. And the real world tends to be kind to young kids who are trying to do stuff.”– Hannah Frankman

“Kids can learn everything they learn at school in 2 hours a day, if they’re sitting down with an app and taking a mastery-based adaptive approach to their learning, not wasting time to fill in where the other students are, and instead getting exactly what they need.” -Hannah Frankman

“Your kid might not have specific answers to what they’re passionate about, but chances are, by the time they’re 18, they’ll have specific dislikes about the life that they want to lead.”Deb Fillman

“You cut off your kid’s opportunities when you let the fear of not getting a job dominate”– Deb Fillman

You can find the full episode on YouTube.

Kovid Bhaduri

Kovid Bhaduri

Kovid Bhaduri is a self directed learner and the author of “A one stop guide to productivity”. He has previously worked in SEZ research and spends his free time playing music and learning economics.

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