Heaven and all those who tried to teach me mathematics know I suck at numbers but somehow throughout my school years, it was always one of the subjects I chose. Why? Beats me!
Perhaps I felt I had a point to prove. Both my older siblings are great with numbers, so I just wanted to make sure that I was not the black sheep of the family – and that didn’t turn out very well.
I still felt pretty stupid during a maths class and confident during my language classes. Bang! It hit me in matric that I love words and I’m more of a creative being than anything else.
This is how some kids feel; maybe your child is one of them.
Each of us possesses some talent and while some are born with it, others identify and develop it. We all have that special gift that makes what is a task to one person feel like a breeze to another, be it getting good grades at school, being fantastic on a piano or an amazing athlete.
As a parent it is your job to pay attention and observe even the less-apparent gifts your children have and try to assist them to understand the value in enjoying what they are good at.
Doing that can go a long way in helping them achieve a sense of self-esteem as they hone that talent, enabling them to overcome challenges that come with pursuing it and eventually succeeding at what they love doing.
As parents we shouldn’t underestimate the role we play in our children’s lives, hence a need to be part of their growth and the discovery of who they truly are. Having support in their interests, values and abilities, or in the discovery of these, helps children build a sense of self-knowledge, which will give them direction.
Yes, life is hectic and parents are often busy, but in those instances when your children try to talk to you about their interests, politely tell them to come back later when you are not so busy – and then give them your full attention. This will also help you to know which steps to take next to assist them with their discovery.
It’s important to focus and take interest in what your children do. Once they discover something they are great at, they will spend a substantial amount of time on that and will wish to show you what they can do. It is your crucial responsibility to give them uninterrupted support from a very young age because not doing that can make them feel ignored.
Pay attention to your children and make them realise you want them to be successful. Taking a step ahead, way before your children ask you for further assistance in developing their interest, can be a plus. My mom saw I loved writing poetry, so she bought me poetry books, a dictionary, beautiful notepads and cute little pens with different colours to motivate me.
It is crucial for parents to keep children engaged in the activities they love in order to help them develop it more. However, parents should be cautious of not expecting too much too soon and, instead, give children some room to enjoy and develop their talent at their own pace. Forcing them beyond their limits will only lead them to fearing the talent.
So don’t exhaust your children; nurture their strengths as a fun activity and not a regular, tiring one. Let them have fun with it. Having their efforts appreciated goes a long way towards children wanting to improve.
If your children engage in any activity, appreciate their accomplishments and cheer them on. But avoid comparing them to other children who have different talents. Usually when children receive the needed encouragement from parents, teachers and family, their growth becomes positive, their confidence strengthens, they become emotionally strong and do their best to succeed. Embrace the children that you have and try to silence what you and society define as successful.
We all have huge dreams of what we want our children to be, but it’s important to understand they have their own special goals. Your task is to sit back and notice what they are good at and embrace that, seeking out supplies to help them explore their interests and not bombard them with schedules and multiple classes. Allow them the freedom and time to explore.
While structure has its positives, giving your children some time and space will allow them to really think about what it is that they are most interested in and make the decision on their own.