We focus so much of our attention on improving what we are not very good at. It seems that it would be much more fruitful for us to focus on what we are good at. Put all of our effort on the areas where we are talented.
So how do you figure this out with your children? Or help them figure it out. Well it turns out there are some ways that you can identify their talents and help with nurturing those talents.
Whether your child is an amazing musician, exceptional athlete, tremendously smart, or they have specific parts of their personality that really shine, there are some things you can do:
1) Keep your dreams out of it – Just because you were a star football player, doesn’t mean your child is going to have the same talent. Also, it seems pretty clear that if someone
2) Watch and learn – Are you sending them to piano lessons every week and they simply are not getting it. Maybe it’s not their thing. You may continually see your daughter drawing pictures. She loves drawing and the pictures are pretty good. Maybe art lessons would be more appropriate than piano lessons.
Again, focus on what they are showing both interest and progress.
3) Let them try numerous things – No need to keep them in baseball in they don’t like it. Allow them to try different hobbies, sports, creative outlets, or different interests. Instead of thinking that they “can’t stick to one thing” think of it as an exploration of finding their talent. or the reality is they may not have talents in those kind of areas. Maybe they are really good in school or really care about animals. Those types of things can be nurtured too.
4) Manage Your Expectations – Even if you kept your dreams out, you still may have expectations on how they should perform or what they “should” be good at. Try to keep those expectations in check and just let them be. Love the child you have instead of the one you want. Be sure not to compare them to others either.
5) Offer Education – This means if your child has an area that they excel in or a talent, possibly provide them learning opportunities either through books, classes, or some other means. In the art example, there may be art classes which offer the child the ability to learn proper techniques. If your child seems to be really good at a sport, maybe getting them some books about the history of the sport or techniques to improve their skills.
6) Provide Encouragement – While we often want to praise the child for their accomplishments, we really don’t need to praise them in that way. Instead of saying “I’m so proud of you” be sure to say “You should really be proud of yourself.” We want the encouragement and praise to come from within themselves, not from us. We don’t want them to look for us for affirmation.