How to Discover your Child's Talents and Unique Gifts
Some kids find their talent early
My niece Camryn has been singing since before she could walk. I remember at the age of two she could sing the entire Dixie Chicks CD on tune and better than the original singers. It was astounding to many people, but I hadn't had children yet so I didn't realize how unnatural this was. It took only a couple years before it was discovered she had an amazing ability, and entertaining to say the least. At the age of 15 she has won numerous contests, opened for Jack Ingram at our county fair, and still astonishes our small community every time she sings. Her talent was pretty obvious from the day she opened her mouth, but its not that easy for every kid to find their niche, or their special ability. Many kids feel a little put-out when they don't immediately know what they love, and what they are good at.
I have a nephew that at the age of six could probably beat most snow skiers in any race down the mountain. He was recently sent to compete in pre-Olympic games in Colorado....pre Olympic! Another nephew of mine was diagnosed with Aspergers at a young age and he does have some learning disabilities, but he can easily outplay any kid his age in basketball. He can score over 30 points in his middle school's basketball games because of his ABILITY! Kids are truly amazing and i have yet to mention my niece, who is an award winning gymnast at the age of 9, and has been competing with children who are much older than her since she was 3. I don't know how I was blessed with such talented nieces and nephews and all of them discovered their talent at such young ages, as for my own children, it has been different. My daughter, who is 5, is a well rounded, wonderful child. She does dance, girl scouts, and loves, and I mean really loves, school. She is good at many things, but she isn't outstanding at just one thing...yet! And maybe that is a talent in its own right, to be good at lots of things. Kids everyday discover new things they excel at, my son discovered he can throw things.......everything, including the phone, the hairdryer, the toothpaste and anything else he can get his hands on. There is never a dull moment in my house.
Believe in your child
Regardless of what your child loves to do, what your child is naturally good at, or what your child WANTS to do, the important part is to make sure they believe in themselves so that they have the courage to develop and strengthen their talents.
There are many times our children find things they love to do, but are not naturally gifted at. My daughter wants to sing like my niece, I am not sure if she will develop this skill later on or not, but at the moment I know it isn't easy for her to carry a tune. I don't want to tell her to find another hobby, and maybe someday her voice will develop into something amazing. However, for now, we try many hobbies.
My Niece Camryn at the State Colgate Country Showdown
Just because they have the talent doesn't always mean they will want to use it.
Just because your child has discovered they have a special 'gift' doesn't mean they will have an immediate interest in pursing it, or developing it.
The world can be a very competitive and cruel place sometimes, and you have to really have a drive to make it(sometimes even more important than the talent itself). Without the drive, talent doesn't mean nearly as much. Without practice and determination your child's talent may just end up as a great hobby, which is never a bad thing.
Not all children have the DRIVE
When we find our children with extraordinary abilities we have to decide what they want from it, and what we are willing to do to help. There is a lot of sacrifice of other things in your life when you zone in on a specific talent. My niece ,who is a competitive gymnast, practices many hours a week and has a drive that is not always seen in young children. She wants it, and she loves it, and she gives it a 110%, all of the time. This isn't something you see in all children, many children, even those with incredible talent, find themselves stuck between their talent and just wanting to be a kid. The guidance we give as parents is a very important role as to what our children do with their talents.
Have a little faith in your child
I think the most important way for us to understand our children and their talents is to keep an open mind, some children find something they love to do and are excellent at but change their minds years later and try something new. Every child is special in some way and just because some talents are more noticeable than others, doesn't mean they are more important. As a parent perhaps our most important role may be to decide if a talent should take a lead role in a child's life. Whatever decision that is made must be right not only for the child but for the other family members as well. Support, guide and humble your children and their amazing talents and they will thrive.
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