Detectives solving a case

It Takes More Than Sherlock Holmes’ Brain to Be a Detective

All those bedtime stories about Sherlock Holmes probably influenced your child’s dream of becoming a detective. Granted, it does seem like a fun and exciting profession. With an impressive trench coat and magnifying glass in hand, your child is off to solve mysteries, apprehend criminals, and save the day.

Earning an investigator license, however, demands more than just smarts. While it’s true that Sherlock is celebrated for his powers of deduction the other things that make him a formidable detective — his objectivity, tenacity in solving problems, and integrity — shouldn’t be discounted.

If you’re supporting your little detectives’ dreams, it’s vital to focus on their emotional strengths so they can be as good as, if not better, the world’s most famous detective.

The First Hurdle: The Ability to Moderate Emotions

For all his mental prowess, Sherlock is often chided by his friend Watson for being so emotionless, sometimes even insensitive. Sherlock might have taken this personality trait to the extreme, but the ability to control emotions will help your little detectives accomplish tasks.

More often than not, investigators deal with truths that incur strong emotions. Expressing one’s intense feelings haphazardly, however, can harm the case. For instance, a witness who felt threatened by an outburst of emotion from an investigator might choose to withhold crucial information.

Similarly, investigators should show empathy towards people involved in a case. They handle discussions with care and create a safe environment where people would be comfortable to share important details.

How can you teach children to moderate their emotions? Well, it’s a complicated (and very long) process. But you can start by being a role model and self-managing. No yelling or adult tantrums. Talk to your children respectfully, even if you’re bursting at the seams.

On top of that, help them understand that we don’t have a choice about how we feel, but we always have a choice about how we act.

The Sherlock Holmes Level of Tenacity

Grit: something that’s difficult to teach but is a quality legal investigators must possess. Sherlock Holmes is known for his untiring quest to solve any puzzle.

A legal investigator faces an often-challenging workload. Despite this, he or she shouldn’t give in to mediocrity. Justice hangs in the balance, and his or her work could determine if the case would be closed.

So, let your children make mistakes and learn from them. Make them see the consequences of their actions and help them bounce back from mishaps.

That doesn’t mean you show them completely what to do, though. Learning tenacity means they have to solve their own problems. Guide them in brainstorming solutions and discuss the possible outcome of each one.

Ethics Starts in the Earliest Stages of Learning: Home

Investigator working at the office

Whether someone attended classes or enrolled in private investigator courses online, ethics is a non-negotiable aspect of the job and, thus, the curriculum. You know as well as anybody that learning ethics does not begin at college; it begins at home.

Your resolve as a parent plays a huge part in rearing an ethical professional. Be uncompromising toward your children’s character. Impart that you expect them to be honest and fair every single time. Establish consistent and fair consequences for bad behavior.

You might be thinking that it’s too early for your children to have a dream they’ll stand by for the rest of their lives. They might meet new heroes that would bury Sherlock Holmes deep in the toy chest.

Remember: these values are universal. Whether your children stay in the lane towards becoming a detective or choose the path of stethoscopes or airplanes, their control over emotions, tenacity, and ethics will help them along the way.

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Happy Knits is a community of parents sharing their tips for better parenting. We include parents of all ages, walks of life, and backgrounds.

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