How to Make Your Child's Extra Curricular Activities Count

We talk with Tricia Hodges on how to leverage the area of your teen's life that is in the extra curricular category, such as soccer, music, bicycling, etc. 

How to Make your Kid’s Extracurricular Activities Count: navigating your child’s interests without stressing the family schedule and budget.

If you are already deep into an extra-curricular activity that you feel you cannot quit at this point in time, there is a way to still make it serve your child's long term goals. 

How I Did Parent-Their-Passion With My Second Son, Caleb 

We explained on a live Zoom call how we got started with the Parent-Their-Passion method back when our second son was only 12 years old. He is 23 at the time of this recording and is in a career with a lifestyle that evolved organically around his personality and strengths. 

When we started over a decade ago, we did not have a end-destination career label in mind. He started with a very small interest in gem pendant making at a local club. He grew and pivoted on that small talent so that it started creating value for others, all the while supporting our son's individuality. We were very happy as parents with the outcome and explain how you can copy this same strategy with your own teen.

How I Did Parent-Their-Passion With My Oldest Son, Jonathan Jr.

We explained on a live Zoom call how we got started with the Parent-Their-Passion method back when our oldest son was only 12 years old. He was 24 at the time of this recording and is in a career with a lifestyle that suits him like a glove. 

When we started over a decade ago, we did not have a end-destination career label in mind, but rather we stayed flexible and encouraged him to pivot and morph his talent so that it created value for others, while it still played to our son's uniqueness. We were very happy with the outcome and explain how you can copy this same strategy, which we use with each of our children.

Most Unique Parenting Strategy Ever!

I had the privilege of being interviewed by "Joe SixPack" from the "The Cantankerous Catholic" podcast where I discuss with Joe how a father can develop each of his children's potential.

I am Protestant and he is Catholic and we had a very good meeting of the minds.

I explain how a child's potential can be unleashed now during the teen years, with the father playing a great role in being able to ignite that fire early on.

The "Parable of the Talents" comes up as a model in understanding how talents should be treated in your child's life. It's not about focusing on what you started off life with, it's about what you are willing to multiply. (That parable is found in the Gospel of St Matthew, chapter 25)

Leading Your Family By Parenting The Passions of Your Kids

I had the privilege of being interviewed by Kyle Gillette from the "The Sage Mindset Podcast" where I discuss with Kyle how to parent the interests and passions of each child. Learn about the compounding effect of this approach. Get insights on how to help your kids shift from being consumers to being producers.

My wife Renee joins me to share with Kyke what we have learned over many years as parents coaching for marketable talent in each of our children:

How To Turn Your Teenager's Interest Into Marketable Talent

I had the privilege of being interviewed by Marcus Norman of the "Gentleman Style Podcast" where we discuss how a parent can know if his child's current interests are worth it pursuing. Finding how to deliver value is the way forward.

Check out Marcus' podcast where he frequently interviews on the topic of how parents can develop money and entrepreneurship awareness at a young age:

Interview with Nicholas Harris (19) on how he became a programmer

Listen to this interview with our then 19-year-old son Nicholas Harris who shares how he became a computer programmer. It all started with a common youthful interest in playing the online game Minecraft. On the face of it, there was not much to make of it for his future. But when he tasted the productive side of the computing world, it sent him on a course that took advantage of his very logical bent and created a coding career for him that he loves.

Check out the coding outfit that Nicholas is currently with:

Interview with David Ask, sharing tools and ideas that prepare for a beautiful career in the arts

Listen to this interview with David Ask who shares his recommendations on how teenagers can engage now to prepare themselves for a life in the arts after high-school. He confirms that yes, artistic proficiency is necessary, but as important as technical excellence is, the intentional and humble relationship building aspect of a career is as important. He explains how it really works in the art world. Dads, your sons and daughters can have a successful life while pursuing their art!

Check out David Ask's web presence here:

Interview with Tucker Goulding (24 years old), landscaping business owner in San Jose, California

Listen to this interview with Tucker Goulding, a young adult who loves the physicality of work, and who had original plans of becoming a firefighter. He managed to pivot in one year from a deep investment into firefighting career path onto a landscape business ownership path in one of the most expensive real estate markets in the United States. When Tucker hit a "glass ceiling" in his firefighting aspirations,  he shares how he went through a short phase of disorientation before he regrouped, stopped the self-doubting, and used a particular strategy to turn an old side-hustle into serious business.

Check out Tucker Goulding's web presence here:

Interview with David Ask, opera singer and businessman, on how to live successfully with the arts.

How would you coach your artistically bent 16-year-old son to embrace a mindset that prepares him for a successful life after high school?

Listen to this interview with David, a fellow dad with teenagers of his own, who balances a wonderful life of being singer, writer, entrepreneur, coach, and unashamed businessman, all at the same time. It's a wonderfully creative life that can be full of peace, harmony, and spiritual contentment. 

Check out David Ask's portfolio here:

Interview with Wil and Ryan Ingram, real estate investors

What would you advise your 16 year old who might be interested in a career related to property management and real estate investment?

Listen to this interview for the straight-scoop on how your young person could get prepared now, while still under your roof, for such a career opportunity. 

Check out Ryan Ingram's videos here:

Interview with Dr. Justin Anderson, chiropractor

What would he recommend if you had a teenager showing potential for an interest in something like chiropractic work?

Dr. Anderson shares his career advice as a successful chiropractor and business owner. He would not have unnecessarily wasted six years of disconnected college time had he only done what he now recommends to young people. Listen to his strategy on how to get more clarity while still in the teen years.

Dr. Anderson's practice:

Interview with Steve Wisniewski, business owner, employer, and mentor

What is it like from an employer's perspective to take on and mentor high school aged young people?

Steve Wisniewski, a successful business owner, has a love for helping young people, especially young men, to establish themselves in the work world with the right mindset. Listen to his compassionate and caring insight into how to look at the work and business relationship with customers and clients.

Call with Renee Harris and 18 year old son Gideon - BONUS

Topic:When a company pays you to ship their Christmas packages for them
How much do you charge? How do you manage when it's over 200 gift boxes? What are all the obstacles to consider? Gideon did this for other companies when he was young and shares everything you need to consider.

Interview with Chris Render, graduation coach and consultant

Topic: How to Create the Ideal Graduation Road Map
Chris Render shares tips on how to create a roadmap and schedule so that your teenager graduates with all the things in place that he needs to really embrace his unique path post-graduation

Check out Chris Render's coaching and consulting services here:

Call with Jonathan and Renee Harris about blogging - Sat, Oct 2

Topic: What Can Turbo-Boost Your Child's Talent Growth?
Jonathan and Renee have a “secret” that they want to share with you that is so powerful, you could almost fail at all the other parts of ParentTheirPassion and still, your teenager would probably succeed.

Call with Renee Harris and their 18 year old son Gideon

Find out what it's like for a child who had many interests when he was 12 years old to be raised by parents who parented his passion... within 6 years, what did he develop and what is he doing with it now?

Bonus: watch to the end where he says, "here's what I would make sure parents should know" (including where we did well and what we could have done differently.)

Chris Render on Teens and Mastermind Groups

Jonathan and Chris talk about the importance of mastermind groups for teens (and adults!) for accountability, developing a talent or business, goal-setting, and friendship.  

Find Chris at

15 year old Simeon - from voice acting to podcast editing for pay

Jonathan and Simeon describe Simeon's journey through talent development, beginning with an interest in voice acting and progressing through video and podcast editing, and sound design. Get inspired!

Zoom Call with Jonathan and Renee - Sat, Aug 21st

We talk about how an Apple ad perfectly captured how a young teenager can jump-start his interest into something meaningful.

Zoom Call with Jonathan and Renee - Sat, Aug 14th

More examples of how your child can use an interest to bring value to others.

Zoom Call with Jonathan and Renee - Sat, Aug 7th

30 specific examples of how your child can use an interest to bring value to others.

Zoom Call with Jonathan and Renee - Sat, July 31st 

We talked about how your child can develop their own strong confident voice by using their talent development as the basis for clear communication.

Zoom Call with Jonathan and Renee - Sat, July 24th 

Ideas on how to leverage the curriculum you are about to order so that it serves the goals of creating talent, passion, and inner motivation in your teenage son or daughter.

joshua sheats interviews jonathan harris about parenting passion

Listen to a full 1.5 hour interview of my philosophy of talent building in children by Joshua Sheats of the Radical Personal Finance podcast. He interviewed me the first time several years ago and this is a follow up in August 2020 as to where we are with the Parent Their Passion method today. I hope you enjoy it and get inspired to apply some the ideas with your own children!

Ask us! VIDEOS

There's a process to building motivation in your children. Start with an interest, be intentional about the interests, and as your child pursues it, it quickly turns into a marketable and useful talent. Start young so that by the time your child turns 16 years old, doors open and opportunities begin!  Start with the basics:  choose a viable interest.

How do I figure out which interest my child should pursue (that won't break the family!)?

Make sure you allow your child to pursue an interest that makes sense for both your child AND your family! Listen to Jonathan and Renee discuss the cautions you should take as a parent to make sure you're going down the right road toward developing an interest to turn it into a talent.

How do I fit my child's interest development into our family's busy schedule?

Your family's schedule is already packed - how do you fit in your child's interests into your already busy schedule? Jonathan suggests doing "double duty" with your family's activities. This will come naturally once you figure out your family culture. Listen to other suggestions and see what you can do with your family!

Why is Talent Development Important?

Why should you stick with an interest long enough for your child to start to develop a full-blown talent? Jonathan and Renee discuss the need to start with an interest, get past the frustration of having the initial novelty of the interest wear off (to the point where they might get bored with it), and then watch their motivation and passion come to life when they find that what they're doing is exciting and brings value to other people. Don't give up too soon! True talent is a process.

Your child's talent will open doors to new opportunities! Here's how.

Jonathan and Renee discuss the many ways that developing your child's interests into talent will open doors for them in the future. Your job as the parent is to encourage your child to spend time getting good at their interest (more on how to identify the interest in our other videos).

My child wants to pursue an interest I don't think they're good at...

Jonathan's answer? "It depends."

First, you're definitely allowed to call the shot on the talent and if you're opposed to the particular talent, then you can certainly say no. Beyond that, if you think they're not cut out for it, start with gradually allowing the interest to develop and then be prepared to pivot slightly toward your child's natural strengths. Those skills may compensate for the weaknesses. This is also a good time to see what the initial motivation was for that interest, and to see if she has the "stick with it ness"... some great conversations may ensue.

My daughter is no longer interested in the talent she started...

She begged to join gymnastics. Initially, she loved it! After several months, she wants nothing to do with it. How long do you stick with something before moving on to a new interest? Depending on her age, you may need to dig into the reason(s) why. See if you can get her to stick with it by changing up the tools, providing a new environment, see if she needs to be challenged, or potentially scale back. The good news: if you can guide her through this, she'll have the skills and habits to make decisions when she faces something similar as an adult.

My son wants to develop his talent all day long...

Another great problem to have! He's so obsessed with interest that he can't sleep at night. We have tips for helping the parents "turn off" the stimulation for a bit so that other school subjects and responsibilities can get accomplished. At the same time, this is fantastic for talent development and it's time to look for areas for your child to merge some of his responsibilities with his talent. Allow his talent to spill over into other areas of his life. This is pushing him toward great performance!