As a parent, all you want is for your child to become the best version of themselves and to meet their potential. We all want our children to grow up happy and confident and knowing what their unique talents are is part of making that happen, but with a world full of things how do you know what your kids is good at? How can you help your child discover what they are good at and what they are interested in?
It can be tricky, after all none of us can try everything… That sneaky old mum guilt can even creep in as you worry whether you should have let them try football, music, acting, martial arts or whatever else you have stumbled across. Helping your kid discover what they are good it is important though.
There are several benefits to your child knowing what they can do best.
- The first is that it will boost their self-esteem and believe that they are talented; this will help them to become successful adults in the long run.
- That they will be able to focus their energies on whatever that thing is and so improve even further
- Persevering to develop talents will increase their inclination and motivation to succeed
- Once your child has found one thing that they can do well I think they are more likely to be keen to try something else as they develop an inner self confidence that tells them they are likely to succeed.
Ways to Help Your Child Discover Who They Are
Here are several ways you can unleash your child’s gift without needing to be that pushy parent or making them do activities every minute of everyday.
Involve Them In Activities
There are many sports and after school activities that you can do with your child. The first thing to do is to explore anything they may have shown the slightest interest in. The really tempting thing can be to coax them into liking what you like, but although this can be a useful place to start you may find you are disappointed. Throughout lockdown and online activities we have learnt as parents, that the things we thought they would love aren’t always their favourites. Now I recommend letting and encouraging your child learn their interests.
There really are endless activity classes and groups for kids so it is easy to overbook, but I am a firm believer in kids also needing downtime. In fact I have found in that downtime I see the things they are really interested in. My eldest, for example, will always go straight out into the garden and start kicking the football about whenever he is left to his own devices. Football is the only activity he really really wants to do and so now, for him, we focus on that.
We have let our children try any activities that they have expressed interest in and we always say they have to commit to at least one term to decide if it is for them, but after that if they don’t like it we drop it and move on. You would be surprised at how many different sports and activities they get to try at school and so we don’t always even have to be the ones to fund the trials…
You may also see natural aptitudes developing as their personality develops. For example one of our twins never stops singing and always wants us to be watching her doing a show so I suggested she might like a performance class and sure enough her acting and singing lesson is the highlight of her week.
Another example might be does your child have a lot of energy and curiosity? Do they want to run around? Then, introduce them to hiking, biking, rock climbing or Parkour (which my sons are dying to try)
If they are interested in music, ask them the instruments they like and get them a tutor. If they are not into musical instruments, you can contact a trainer to coach their voice. Music also goes hand in hand with dance so you may want to suggest a dance class. However, not all musicians can dance, and vice versa, find out your child’s rhythm.
Other activities you can involve your child in are debate, drama, cooking classes, art, coding, and the likes. The aim is to discover their talent and develop it. You can also opt for calming activities like fishing; click here to access the best fishing equipment for your child. My younger son loves anything to do with fish so this isn’t as off the wall as it might sound.
As you interact with them, you can ask them a series of questions to help you know what is in their heart.
For example, what activities do they enjoy the most? Do they love music? I try to talk with them regularly about school and what they have been up to to try and see what things get them excited and then perhaps an activity may come out of that.
Family Talent shows
There is no better way to awaken interests and passion than by sharing your own. You could set a date and time when everyone in your family, extended or nuclear, will have to showcase their talent.
What your child shares, start working on that to see if they get better at it.
One of the ways to encourage creativity is by showing your own creative flare. As with so many things to do with parenting we have to role model the behaviour we want to see and instill in our children. So if you are a role model showing your passions, your child will pick on it and want to show their own creativity or talents.
Encouraging creativity is also about positive reinforcement. Celebrate their work and the things they have done and let them know their efforts are appreciated. Our children really want to please us *well most of the time *
Broaden Your Child’s Environment
Involve your child in trips and take them to environments that expose their mind to different things and help them to see the world from a different perspective. It is hard for our children to know all of the opportunities that the world has to offer and so they may have a talent that they have not yet discovered. By encouraging our children to read widely, visiting museums and art galleries and even by going to new places and experiencing different cultures, sports and people we can broaden their horizons and help them to think more widely and start to discover not just the world around them, but themselves.
Children are gifted differently. Some are athletes, artistic while others excel in science and math. I am not a great believer in having kids in a zillion different activities as I do think they just need time to be at home and play as well, but encouraging and nurturing their passions and talents is something I see as being part of my responsibility as a parent. I want my children to know that they all have talents and things that make them the unique beings that they are. Not all of our kids will end up being an Olympian, a world changing inventor or a movie star and that is ok. For me, this isn’t about being all stage mom about stuff, but it is about boosting children’s self esteem by finding whatever it is that they as an individual are good at.