Golf is still seen by many children as boring, difficult and full of strict old rules, but from the experience I have in coaching junior golfers, it can often be their introduction to the sport that has this most detrimental effect. A lot of juniors can be taught drills and the nitty gritty of technique, when all they really want to do is hit that ball as far as they can! So why not let them do just that, and give them a little helping hand when things go wrong? We don't need tell them they have hit it badly, they can feel that themselves. We simply need to help them wight he basics, in a fun, safe and relaxed way. I'm pretty sure nobody was telling Seve he was hitting it wrong when he was using a 3 iron on the beach.
I don't know many children that are going to enjoy being instructed technique, and in my experience, making things fun is by far the best way to teach them. Juniors should be given the foundations of a good golf swing such as grip, posture and basic swing path coaching, but this must be carried out at the right time in the right way, and in small doses by specialist and passionate coaches. Children have a great way of finding the best way to do things when it comes to golf, and have a way of figuring things out themselves, trust me. However when the time is right, competition is a great way to improve a young player, and to do this they need to put them in a situation as close to what they will experience throughout their golfing life / career.
The best thing to get your child interest in golf is to take them to the range, let them hit it as hard as they can and when they get fed up (usually straight away) suggest lessons. But do your research into good junior coaches, and make sure they don't spend all their time just bashing balls! Many parents will try to teach their children themselves, but this can also have a detrimental effect. Children will be far more likely to listen to a coach over a parent, but it is good to know whats going on, should you need to help. Junior Golf Camps are also a great way of introducing children to golf, as this can mean they spend a day or week with other kids of a similar ability level, have fun and learn loads too! Junior golf coaching has come a long way in recent years, with some great projects and initiatives, so do the research into the right coaches and facilities.