The importance of distinguishing between passion and obsession in the habits of our children

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In trying to distinguish between passion and obsession involving children, one should be at least knowledgeable in basic child psychology.

There are times when the intensity of our son’s or daughter’s interest in a hobby or pursuit could cause him or her to withdraw from other people or activities in his or her life. Little kids, teens, and even young adults, for example, enjoy computer games but there are those who could easily get lost in a cyber fantasy world.

If that would be the case for a child, is no wonder why he’s withdrawing from peers or society without himself knowing it. He’s gotten caught up in his own reality by becoming so involved in his own thoughts. It has become much like of a habit so hard to break for him.

He’s not only going to be enmeshed with private realities, for that matter, he constructs them himself. Securing the foundations of the structures and components of systems through idiosyncratic interests fueled by his strong desire to know how things should work, he replaces insecurity with a sense of control and safety.

As far as it contributes to his self-worth, that’s fine. But it’s going to be problematic when such a sphere of activity he has had gotten into crosses the threshold from passion to obsession.

To try to distinguish between passion and obsession involving children requires one to be at least knowledgeable in basic child psychology. It is not always an easy task though.

A child who is so passionate about his pursuits may infect us with excitement and enthusiasm. Yet, as if to give us a clue, he is not necessarily inclined to pursue his passion to the exclusion of life’s social dimensions.

So how would we distinguish between passion and obsession? And, once we have pinpointed which from which, what should be done next?

The difference between a passion and an obsession is that obsessions are psychologically limiting. We could also consider the following to guide us in our assessment concerning our son’s or daughter’s interest or hobby.

  • Make sure that it doesn’t interfere with his ability to connect with others.
  • See to it that it doesn’t cause him to lose track of time.
  • See to it that it does not interfere with his schoolwork.
  • Make sure that it doesn’t cause him to lose sleep.
  • See to it that he doesn’t spend too much money on it.
  • See to it that he doesn’t pursue it more during times of stress.
  • See to it that he’s not pursuing it to avoid social situations.
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