Talents are the distinct inner qualities everyone possesses that make us feel most alive. They represent the potential to make our most meaningful contributions to life. When identified early, a talent can be well harnessed to produce the most efficient result but sadly, many Nigerian parents are found wanting in this regard where their kids are concerned. Here are a few pointers that can help with this:
- Don’t just hear, listen: One simple but the uneasy task in parenting is having to really listen to one’s kid to be able to pick the vital information from a whole lot of talks. Do well enough to pay keen attention to your kid when he or she is talking about the activities performed in school and try to know the part he or she is most enthusiastic about. Children often place more emphasis and energy into what interests them.
- Be careful to not treat your child as your own extension: Children often want to get their parents’ approval on whatever they have chosen to do. It would be a mistake on your part as a parent to try and impose your interest in your child. They might eventually choose to do your will but may not be at their happiest doing it.
- Respect their uniqueness; don’t compare them with other children or older siblings: A factor that hampers children’s development is comparing them to their siblings or other children when, by your predetermined standards and expectations, they perform poorly. This gives the impression of how they’re not good enough for you. What then happens is they become reclusive and begin to constantly second guess themselves because they feel no matter what they do, they will never be good enough for their parents.
- Know what they never get tired of doing: Children are prone to losing focus easily, which is why one minute, they’re involved in a particular thing and the other minute, they’re engaged in another activity. However, there are activities that get their rapt attention to the extent that they are even willing to skip meals to dedicate themselves to that activity. Parents should do well to leverage on such to teach them productivity and help them fuel their passion.
- Notice what they do naturally well: Observing what your child does naturally or almost effortlessly is a good way to understand his or her talent. A child who, after listening to music on the radio does not just hum the song but sings it well, has a talent. This talent needs knowledge, practice and exposure to become a full-fledged strength. Your job as a parent is to guide this path!
- Celebrate their successes (big and small): Children will have better self-esteem and self-awareness if parents deem it fit to celebrate their accomplishments, no matter how small. Did your child score a winning hat-trick at his school’s inter-house sports competition? Raise him shoulder-high when he gets home, after making sure he has his bath with Lifebuoy soap to rid himself of on-field germs of course!
Got more pointers? Share with us in the comment section below. We would love to hear from you!