Every child is talented in one way or another, though some talents might be more salient than others. For instance, a child might be gifted in singing and another in listening. However, a gift that is not nurtured will not blossom. Hence, as a parent, you need to start grooming your child’s talent from an early age.
This blog article aims at helping parents understand the different unique capabilities and skills in their children, and how best to nurture them.
9 Ways to Identify and Nurture Your Child’s Talent
- Pay Attention
Pay attention to your child during free play. What activity does your child gravitate towards when playing? You need to be able to identify what your child loves to do. Does he or she prefer running around or sitting quietly? Which would he or she go to first: piano, electronic tablet or swing? Paying attention to your child during free play helps you understand his or her interests, which can then be groomed into talent.
- Encourage Expressions
How does your child express himself or herself at home? What does your child do when he or she is back at home. For instance, if your child likes to draw or paint, then he or she may be gifted in arts or has an interest that requires grooming. It is now pertinent that you encourage the child to continue in that craft; by getting crayons, drawing pencils and plain sheets of paper to inspire him or her to greatness. When a child is provided with the resources to explore talent, the child is more likely to succeed.
- Praise Efforts
When we say praise efforts, what do we mean by this statement? According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, efforts can be defined as the total work done to achieve a particular goal. As a parent, if you find out that your child works hard at a particular task, you should give him or her a reward for working hard. For example, if your child loves music and works hard on his school assignments, you can consider getting him a piano and a music coach.
If that child learns how to play some songs within a short time of practice, this is a milestone that should be appreciated. Also bear in mind that when we praise our children’s efforts, they become more inclined to take risks, make mistakes and learn from them. By praising step-by-step efforts, you are improving your child’s talent.
- Create Chances to Develop Your Child’s Talent
This is a question of “what are you currently doing to develop your child’s talent?” As often as you can, organise events that make the most out of your child’s interests and talents. You can decide to involve your child in recreational activities relating to his or her interests or enrol him or her in talent enhancing coaching sessions. For instance, if your child loves playing basketball, you can enrol him or her in a basketball team at his school or a sports centre in your neighbourhood.
- Don’t Be Selfish
It is important to understand that it is not about you, but about the interest and passion of your child. Whether your child loves or hates the activity you want him or her to do, it’s not a reflection on you. A lot of parents are fond of picking out activities that interest them for their kids. What if your child does not like the so-called activity? What will you do?
Parents make a huge mistake when they impose their own interest in their children. Just because Tani’s son plays for Chelsea doesn’t mean your child must become a footballer. He might not have a flair for it.
There is nothing wrong with having big dreams for your child. However, what is bad is when you force your child to engage in an activity that he or she has no passion for. This can lead to catastrophic outcomes such as poor academic grades, anti-social behaviour or depression. Therefore, allow your child to freely choose his or her area of interest and provide support where necessary.
- Set Your Kids Free
One key step in identifying and nurturing your child’s talent is by setting him or her free. Sometimes, parents put too much pressure on their kids and load them with multiple activities; this can be very strenuous. The ideal method for children to discover their talents is to allow them to have the freedom and time to simply explore.
It is through exploration that your child will stumble upon what he or she loves to do. While structured play and activities are good – as it allows your child to discover and pick up interest in the things that matter the most to him or her – unstructured play benefits children in many ways beyond just discovering what he or she enjoys doing.
- Make Your Home Creative
Let your house express your creativity; let it show your artistic self. Children feel more alive and free when they are able to work in an environment or space that celebrates their inspiration. Cover your walls with art and other marks of original expression.
For instance, if you are a songwriter, you can decorate your home with pictures of your favourite artists or musicians. Award plaques and trophies you have won in the past should also be displayed at different spots in your house. It is very important to share your passion with your children because this will fuel their own zeal to work on their talents.
- Start Early
The seeds of talent are usually planted early and in the home. Just like you start educating your child from an early age, by sending them to a quality school, it is the same way you should start nurturing your child’s talent at an early age. In a 2014 study by Daniel Coyle, he observed that talented performers – from chess players, figure skaters to Grammy Award nominees – were introduced to their talents by their parents, usually between the ages 2 and 5. This helped them to master their skills and become talented in their craft.
Start nursing your child’s talent very early; this will make it easy for your child to become familiar and confident in his or her gifts. When you involve your child in activities that interest him or her, your child will develop confidence and be ready to take risks and try new things.
- Choose a School that Provides Quality & Well-Rounded Education
The school you decide to send your children matters a great deal to their success. Most parents have a lot of things they look out for when choosing a school; some look out for the type of curriculum being offered by the school, while others look out for the method of teaching & learning, health & safety, security and environmental friendliness, etc.
However, if you want to nurture your child’s talent, it will be good to send your child to a school that offers well-rounded learning, because this type of learning takes the child beyond academic excellence. It also exposes the child to sports, entrepreneurship, music, performing arts and community service, etc. Well-rounded education plays a significant role in the development of a total child. Parents should also endeavour to register their children for extracurricular activities, as this will help to nurture their talents.
Your child’s talent should not be left in the dark, rather it should be embraced and celebrated. Encourage your children to work on their talents until they become comfortable and able to continue on their own.