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Albert Einstein had it right when he said, “But if you judge a fish by Its ability to climb a tree, tt will live its whole life believing that It is stupid.” Your children are born with limitless potential. Their formative years are an exciting time for engaged parents. Helping children discover and develop their talents is the job for parents, teachers, coaches and mentors. When done effectively, children will thrive and maximize their potential.
Exposing children to a variety of activities is a great way to begin the exploration process. Whether through school sanctioned extracurricular programs, community based, or even privately funded youth functions; signing your children up for a variety of activities is a great way to get started. Evaluate your child’s aptitude and appreciation for each activity. Early on, children may need a few years of exposure to certain activities before a noticeable level of proficiency begins to emerge. Keep the engagement light and enjoyable and children will begin to gravitate toward areas of interest and/or natural ability.
Parents should keep in mind that success can be enjoyed on many levels. Some children have an affinity for sports related talents. Others are artistically inclined. Still other children are academically gifted and being challenged intellectually will help them develop into successful adults. Not every child will be interested in pursuing a college education, but those who display an aptitude for higher learning should be generously encouraged to move in that direction. Children that display an early leadership ability can hone those skills in team sports. Music or dance lessons are appropriate for those who demonstrate an appreciation for musical qualities. If we listen to our children, they will often directly or indirectly express an interest in subject that parents can then structure their activities to support additional development.
Working with teachers, mentors, or guidance counselors is another effective way to identify areas of skill waiting to be developed. These professionals are trained to identify areas of excellence in students and provide the necessary coaching and resources to help them excel. Parents should coordinate with these professionals who have regular contact with their students to pinpoint hidden talents and construct an effective plan for molding those skills.
The road to developing skills is not always smooth. Bumpy beginnings shouldn’t dissuade parents, teachers or coaches from encouraging students in their influence to continue developing talents. Often the benefit of overcoming challenges leads to many lasting lessons that can be extremely helpful throughout a student’s life. Encourage students to finish any project, activity, or class that they begin before making a decision of whether they like something or not. The joy of finishing an activity can help them effectively evaluate whether said activity is a good fit. Finishing what you start is another great lesson is a helpful lesson in all areas of life.
Parents have a remarkably important job of guiding their children through the formative years. Understanding that your child has limit possibilities is exciting and when focused effectively, you can help your child discover and hone their talents in a way that shape the rest of the life. Remember, “There is a genius in every child.”