Finding Purpose: 5 Steps To Help Your Child Determine and Nurture Her Talents
Helping your child find that ‘spark’ or their purpose in life is one of the most cherished gifts a loving parent can offer. It’s not that children lack a sense of direction; it’s that they need a helping a hand to find out the real things- interests, talents and gits that make them feel alive. Here are some steps to help your child uncover her talents:
1. Facilitate Self Discovery
Self-discovery is a lifelong process that can be nurtured when one is still young. Self-discovery is about finding out who you are, what you like, what makes you tick, what you aspire for. While this may sound too deep for a child to understand, the truth is that you can help even a toddler learn about himself and the things that interest him. To facilitate self-discovery, start by observing your child and the things that excite him. Is he a builder? Attracted to animals? Paints and draws a lot? Offer him an environment where he can pursue these exciting things, all along encouraging him to talk about his dreams and aspirations no matter how young he is! For older children, ask questions such as, “what do you like to do best? “What would you like to be when you grow up?” to initiate conversations that will encourage self-discovery.
2. Introduce and Encourage Variety of Experiences
The best way your child will uncover his interests and talents is if he is exposed to different experiences. Encourage your child to explore different things that are helpful to her. Travel with your children; encourage them to make new friends, undertake different activities, and participate in competitions, community service and talk about their experiences. Your child might never know how great of a writer he is unless he experiences the great outdoors, takes a paper and pen and recounts his wonderful encounter with nature.
3. Be Interested in His Interests
Showing interest in the activities your child is interested in can really boost his sense of self-efficacy. A child who has an involved parent is also more likely to want to pursue different things in an effort to realize her capabilities. So if your daughter shows interest in scientific projects, join him in his creations and discoveries, regularly. If your son shows an interest in music, take the time to drive her to auditions when this is required. Offer your child materials and items that relate to her talent and that will help her advance her interest; in this case, a musical instrument for your son would be appropriate.
4. Make it About The Child
Your child may want to be a surgeon today, only to find music more interesting later. In your eyes, he may be so good at sports but he seems to dedicate most of his time to perfect his art of drawing and painting. Allow your child to pursue his own interests at his own pace instead of pressuring him to make up his mind or to pursue what you deem as right. Understand that your child is developing and so are his interests. The things that interest him as a toddler may not mean much to him as a teenager. Listen, observe his interests, and encourage him to pursue that which resonates best with him. In the end, he will find his true interest and settle for it.
5. Find a mentor
Introduce your child to someone who can help him nurture his talents and gifts. Even though you are the number one mentor for your child, someone in the community who is skilled in a certain field might be better placed to help your child advance his interests and hone his skills. If your child is old enough, be sure to discuss with him about the option of introducing him to a mentor.