Some kids are born with talents that just emanate from their soul. Other children have talents that take time to come to the surface and cultivate. As a parent, it is your job to help identify and foster those talents.
My son wasn’t born with Picasso-like painting skills or an ear like Mozart. He can’t shoot baskets or sing, but he is just as talented. Very early on I noticed he loved, and was very good at, puzzles. Now, I’m sure you never heard of a millionaire-puzzler, and neither have I. But his affinity for puzzles shows advanced logic skills. He is also an advanced reader; in fact, he’s the best in his class. Given both of his intellectual strengths, he has a clear talent for problem-solving, memorization and identifying patterns.
Outside of intellect, we discovered that my son actually had some physical abilities. Previously, I attempted to introduce him to athletics. I bought him a bike, but he never really rode it. I enrolled him in athletics, but he didn’t seem to care. But one day his school was having a jog-a-thon, and he ran and ran and ran. Evidently, we have a budding track star on our hands.
It is on me to foster these talents. I must continue to work his logic and problem-solving skills with new challenges. Buying new puzzles and logic games is one way to do that.
Now how do you identify your child’s talent? Does your child like to hang around you while you cook? Include him next time. You might find that he really enjoys cooking, and has an affinity for preparing food.
If you’re stuck when it comes to zeroing in on those talents, introduce your child to lots and lots of things. Even things that you think she wouldn’t be interested in. Eventually, a spark of interest will develop in her, and a talent for that activity will begin to blossom.
Here are 5 Steps to Identifying & Fostering Your Child’s Talent:
- Pay attention to his interests – Interests that may seem mediocre, such as video games, may actually show advanced analytic skills. With such skills, you can find other related activities in math and science that he will enjoy.
- Don’t shuck her interests – Her obsession with doing her makeup may seem like a waste of time, but their are stylists and makeup artists who get paid big bucks to do just that. If your son is interested in skateboarding, support and foster that talent; he could become one of the greats. No interest is a waste of time.
- Introduce your child to lots of different things – Different sports, instruments, dance, robotics lab, space camp, junior toastmasters, comedy improv, acrobats, circus performing, art, crafting, pottery, glass blowing—the list goes on.
- Don’t accept, “I don’t want to,” as an answer. Make them try everything at least 3-4 times. If after that, they still hate it then they can quit. But you’ll find that it takes at least 2 times of trying something new to get over your negative feelings toward the activity.
- Get them outside of their comfort zone – My child prefers to stick with activities he’s already good at. It’s important that I force him to try new things.