Wouldn’t it be great to have your child become the next Sachin Tendulkar,Farhan Akhtar maybe or for that matter to emulate Sania Mirza’s success? Well,we all like to hope for our child to have the gift of a talent. While this maynot be the case many a times, what if your child is indeed truly talented? Howdo you as a parent prepare yourself to spot it early on, nurture and encourageit, while making the discovery an enjoyable journey.
Here is our point of view to help you keep your ears to the ground!
Exposure from a young age can help discover an area of interest:Expose your children to as many activities as you can when they are young. Takethem to art exhibitions, musical recitals, theatre, to watch tennis or cricketmatches that are happening in the city. This will aid in helping you and yourchild discover an area of interest.
Participate and have fun: You should be prepared to participateactively in the activities that you are encouraging your child to be a part of.Let your child have fun with you while they discover their interest. Thisshould not be seen as a chore for either of you.
Enrolling in strikeal training: If your child shows a keen interest inany particular field such as painting, playing the piano or singing, it isprobably a good idea to look at having your child join a professional class.This will to help them hone their budding talent and nurture the interest thatthey have developed.
Talent + Interest = Success: Children usually do better in, and arehappier with, activities in which they are interested. If your child does notshow interest, it may not be a good idea to push them into instruction. Makesure they truly want to take lessons before you invest the time, energy andexpense. Even if they initially resist, interest may develop in year or two, particularlyif your child has friends who may be involved in the same activity. It is bestto know when to quit!
Zeroing in on one interest: Try to provide as many opportunities toyour child at a young age and let them continue to juggle between activitiesthat they like. You can do this right until he/she reaches middle school.That’s when you’ll really know where your child’s true interest lies! Forexample, if your child is interested in playing court games such as squash,tennis and badminton, you can safely let her/him pursue all three, till she/heis old enough to figure out which one should be pursued single mindedly.
Be a mentor, guide and a friend: What is most important on thisjourney of discovery is that you are there for your child every step of theway. It is important that your child does not feel the pressure to perstrike orat a loss for advice. Your support and encouragement will play a key role inhelping you child reach her/his excellence.
At the end of the day, as long as you remember that it’s not about the childliving your version of the dream but his own, you will find the path to helphim/her succeed. After all, there is really no better expert than you to helpyour own child! What are your views?
RecognizingYour Child’s Hidden Genius Feb23, 2010
Once the dust settles, the late night feeds recede, colic pain fades awayand teething seems like a bad dream finally over, the whirlwind of activitiesfinally seem to slow down. It’s this phase of parenting which is fast becominga big Opportunity. Yes you read it right ….Opportunity! Because parenting achild, especially in the 21st century is indeed an opportunity to discover yourchild’s true potential early on and to egg him/her to pursue his area ofinterest up to the point of excellence. However, the discovery itself is thebeginning of the journey, how we can help ensure that our child has the chanceto hone this talent, is really the litmus test.
From Small Beginnings to Giant Leaps
Do you catch yourself thinking…if only I had pursued my interest in tennis? Orif only you had continued with those guitar lessons, or pursued your hobby forwriting. And while many of us may have found our true calling regardless, wealso know that most of us may just have chanced upon the thing we are mostpassionate about, rather than by design. Now as parents however, we have anopportunity once again to help our young ones discover their passion/geniusearly on and help them pursue this to the point of excellence.
Creating opportunities for excellence
So what can we do to recognize and encourage the unusual in our child. Here aresome tips to get you started:
1. Give your child lots of free time just to play: While structuredtime and extra curricular activities are important, it is also equally importantto give your children unstructured playtime so that they have room to just becreative with their play.
2. Praise the process not the product: When you celebrate the joy ofyour child’s fingerpainting and drawing or just playing a good game of tennisirrespective of the result you make the process rewarding instead of the endresult.
3. Encourage the exploration and curiosity: Let your kids play withthe old digital camera, teach them how to do some basic design stuff on thecomputer or let them putt a hole while you go golfing this weekend. In shortinculcate his/her interest in a fun way.
4. Take your kids to art and cultural events: It doesn’t matter whereyou go as long as it’s something that you do together. Make that a regular partof your life and both of you will find yourselves being more creative!
6. Ask your child questions: Ask her what he/she thinks about life.When he/she asks you why the sky is blue, ask him/her what he/she thinks first.This gives kids the chance to use their imaginations.
7. Tell stories: Don’t just read them books but tell stories off ofthe top of your head so that your kids will learn that they can do this too.Also story telling is a great way to introduce new concepts to them in aninteresting manner.
8. Give your child choices: One of the benefits of doing so is thatthe child learns that there are many options in life and that it’s okay tochoose one and see what happens.
9. Pay attention: As it is important for our children to listen tous, it is equally important for us to listen to our children when they aresaying or showing you something.
Sometimes parents dismiss things that they don’t realize are truly unique likethe mud hut they made in the garden or a great shot in the tennis court.
10. Encourage your children to dream: As children our dreams oftenchange from minute to minute, right from being an astronaut to being an actoror an artist. If they’re drawn to art, they’ll probably go on to becomesuccessful artist with your help and encouragement. Let your kids dream. It’sgoing to be awhile before they have to figure out what they want to do withtheir lives anyway.
Take the example of some our Indian geniuses, such as Sachin Tendulkar, whowith the encouragement of his father was the youngest cricketing prodigy ourcountry offered, or the case of Sania Mirza who started playing tennis at thetender age of 6 and hasn’t looked back every since.
So how do these diamonds in the rough get discovered? You guessed it! Itstarts with us – the Parents! What do you think?