Kids & Parenting

How to discover your child's talents

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baby playing piano
This child may give Liberace a run for his money
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Your child's talents will reveal themselves. Your job is to pay attention.

Being able to discovering your child's talent may be as easy as paying attention to what piques her interest and curiosity. You do not need a PhD in early childhood development or child psychology to detect the natural talents of your child. A child's talents--  will reveal themselves; perhaps not early on -- but eventually.


We have all heard the tales of Tiger Woods, who was blasting golf balls by the time he was two, or the prodigies who were cranking out Beethoven symphonies on the keyboard shortly after their first birthday. And what about those teeny tiny singers with the big, mature where-did-that-come-from voices that regularly pop up on talent shows? These prodigies all have one thing in common: someone knew enough to recognize their talents.


Your child will reveal to you, when the time is right, what his particular interests and talents are. Your job is to pay attention. Every parent can learn to discover your child's talents.


You may notice that your child gravitates to drawing or coloring or loves playing with a ball or pounding on a drum. Children, like adults, although even more so, have the need to learn and explore. The things that interest them most will become evident over time because he child will keep returning to that activity.



The best way to discover the inherent and innate talents that your child possesses is to expose him to a variety of interests. Let your son or daughter take part in various activities. If your child seems to be interested in cooking, teach him how. If you daughter keeps gravitating toward the sewing machine, show her how it works and what can be created.


Pay attention to what activities seem to give your child the greatest pleasure so that you can engage him in this particular activity on a regular basis.This is how you discover your child's talents.


If your child is exhibiting interest in something or showing particular talent, do not sit back and think, oh, how nice. He is talented. Actively help your child discover and pursue his talents and interests. If he loves music, buy musical equipment; if she loves art, purchase crayons, paint, brushes and paper.


Never quash the dreams of your child. Do not belittle him or make fun of his flights of fantasy. Allow him to dream about what he wants to be or become. If your daughter wants to dress up like the Abominable Snowman, let her. If your son wants to make a tent in the living room and play safari, allow him.


Buy books and DVDs about the topics that your child is interested in so that she can read and watch and learn even more about the subject. Take her to the zoo if she loves animals. Take her to the ocean or to an aquarium if she thinks she wants to become a mermaid. Take him to a Broadway show if he is interested in singing, dancing, performing or in costume design. Participating in the things that interest your child will help you reveal and discover your child's talents.


However, parents must remember not to be over-bearing and too zealous in their quest to discover the talents of their child. Parents have a real knack for turning off kids when the parent metamorphoses into the quintessential stage parent and pushes their child beyond their limits or desires. That will backfire on you every time.


Let the child proceed at his own pace, while subtly encouraging him. Just because you want your child to become the next Michael Jordan does not mean that he wants to. As a parent, try not to live vicariously through our child, although we all do to some extent. We should encourage them, let them know that we are proud of them and then eventually let go and allow them to pursue the things that interest them.


Their talents may well be very different from yours. Recognize that and appreciate it. You might even learn something from your numbers-oriented little kid who is all about mathematics whereas you are hard pressed to add two and two.



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