How to Discover Your Child’s Natural Talent Without Over-Parenting
It all starts innocently enough. Perhaps your child creates a drawing that could win awards, choreographs dance moves that blow you away, or can throw a ball further than a professional athlete. Whether your child’s natural talent is obvious or not, there’s a way to bring it out without overparenting getting in the way.
We’ve all seen pushy dance and soccer moms. Regardless of what talent your child shows, here are 5 ways to help them along organically.
1. Let your kid be your kid
Talents are bred, not born, so keep that in mind. Just because you were on the varsity squad doesn’t mean your child needs to be. Let them be themselves and express their own desires and goals. There are many different ways to succeed so let them gravitate toward their interests without interference.
2. Nurture what they reveal
When your child shows an interest in a craft, sport, musical instrument, or subject, make it easy for them to delve deeper into it. Show them available classes in your area and ask if it interests them. Some will find they love getting closer to their interests while others will change their mind and find something else. Being open-minded is the key to helping them find what fits their unique spirit.
3. Don’t pile it on
Contrary to popular belief, your kids do not need every second of their day loaded up with classes, practices, and activities to be successful in life. In fact, some down time is encouraged so they can be themselves. Let them have more freedom to explore what fascinates them. A balance of structured activities as well as freedom is ideal so they can do something they truly love.
4. Stop comparing
If you don’t want to be a pushy parent, don’t compare your kids to others. That’s apples to oranges all the way. While some kids randomly exhibit impressive skills by the age of 4, it’s incredibly rare. Most children don’t have the developmental ability to consider honing a talent until they’re in middle school. All you can do is let them try out new things that interest them and let them see what fits. They’ll grow into what does.
5. Know when it’s appropriate to challenge them
You definitely don’t want to be that cringe-worthy parent on the sidelines, but you do need to know when it’s the right time to keep cheering them on or let them move on. Sometimes, kids get frustrated when a new challenge in their sports, music, art, or other activity is making it difficult to push through. A little encouragement here goes a long way.
However, if your child seems bored after playing 3 years on the baseball team or taking ballet, find out if they still enjoy it. If not, even if they exhibit keen skills in the area, don’t push them to continue. Instead, let them gravitate toward something else. The talent they’ve already developed can help them in a new area, even if it seems like a polar opposite.
We learn determination and grit from sports and if your child suddenly wants to play electric guitar for example, those things are applicable in learning music too. By letting them find their own talents and stick with what they enjoy, you’ll be giving them the skills they need to be successful and happy in the future.
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