24th November is Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day, so we’ve put together a list of 5 ways to help your child discover their unique talent …
Watch them at play
You’ll learn a lot about your children’s interests and abilities just by watching them at play. And it can help with your kids’ development.
Do they, for instance, like to kick a ball against a wall or spend hours building imaginary animals out of Lego? Do they demand the chance to bake, or draw their own comic books? Perhaps they watch the TV while doing a headstand.
The thing is, each of these activities demonstrate an interest and an ability.
So why not ask them if they’d like to develop skills in that area by joining a club or getting a tutor.
Get the young ones along to try out any sports and activities they show an interest in, whether that’s kitting them out in their tracksuit for a karate session, or finding the local kids’ theatre group.
They find out pretty quickly whether they’re really interested and that’s when you can look at investing in equipment for them to help them develop skills.
The worst thing you can do for kids’ development is force them to keep at it when they’re clearly not enjoying it. That said, you need to foster a spirit of dedication so they keep up the classes even when distractions come along.
Sometimes they want to try an activity one of their pals loves. Encourage them to give it a go.
Put in the practice
You learn by doing. So, encourage your youngsters to practise to develop skills in their chosen pursuit.
Whether they need some space in the garden to batter a tennis ball about, or a bright, quiet spot inside to paint or draw, let them have it and give them some peace.
Help them to learn that clearing up afterwards – and looking after their equipment – is part of the skill they’re learning.
Encourage them to practise but be careful how you do it as you’ll sound like moaning at them if you’re too heavy-handed.
Remember, too, that some of their interests can be fleeting so don’t invest big sums in equipment until your child is showing commitment.
And remember that if they lose interest, it’s better to walk away and find something new to try than to force them to do something they aren’t keen on. If their heart’s not in it, they won’t improve.
Pile on the praise
There’s real power in positive reinforcement, as anyone who’s ever trained a pup will tell you. So when your children does well, give them some praise.
And doing well doesn’t just mean winning prizes or medals, so praise them for putting in their practice and for making an effort.
Ask them to show you what they’ve learned and tell them how impressed you are. Your kids want to impress mum and dad – let them know they’re doing that.
Pushy parent? Push off
Your kids need someone who’ll take them to classes or coaching sessions then pick them up afterwards. They don’t need a mum or dad who watches their every move, picks apart their sessions, analyses their mistakes, and tries to tell their coach or tutor their job.
So, nip in for those last five minutes to see them in action, or listen at the door as their guitar lesson finishes – and ask them how it’s going and what they need to practise.
Pushy parents don’t just put off coaches, they put off their children, too. Equip your little one to succeed by offering support, not criticism.
How do you encourage your kids talents? Comment below with your tips!