How to make your kids passionate: Leave 'em alone

The two other studies also showed that children who had little autonomy but did develop a passion for an activity were more likely than others to take it too far, becoming obsessed with the hobby.

Not only could these children miss out on truly enjoying their hobby, the result could grate on their self-esteem, according to the researchers. Obsessively passionate people attach their self-esteem to the pastime: If they play the clarinet flawlessly one night, they feel great, but if they miss a note, they can get depressed.