It doesn’t matter whether you’re a parent, a teacher, or even just a family friend, we all have a responsibility to the next generation to help them to make their way in the world. When we’re young, our brains are still developing and we’re still discovering where our talents lie. And it’s only natural for youngsters to look to adults when they’re seeking guidance.
With that in mind, we’ve identified just a few of the best ways for you to define and develop a child’s talents. Getting this done early will help to give the child the best possible start in life, and they’ll thank you for it when they’re older. Here’s how to get started.
1. Find out what they like
If you try to force a child to like something, they’re going to quickly lose interest. Instead, you need to allow your child to discover what they like themselves, even if that means taking them to lessons on everything from art and music to judo and archery. Will Jacobs of Brill Assignment says, “It’s a pretty simple concept: people get more involved when they’re doing something they love, even as children. That’s why, when we’re handing out college paper writing assignments, we try to match people up with subjects that they enjoy writing about.”
2. Visit museums
Museums and other educational tourist attractions are a great way to make learning fun and to introduce kids to new experiences. This can help with the first step when you’re trying to help your child to find out what they like. Perhaps they’ll visit a space museum and want to become an engineer or they’ll decide to get into archaeology after seeing a dinosaur.
3. Encourage them to read
Michelle Ying of BestEssays says, “My earliest memories of books are from my parents reading me bedtime stories. It’s the reason why I fell in love with writing and why I’m now a pro essay writer who’s gearing up to release her first novel. I’m just grateful that my parents helped me to find something that I loved and that they supported me through university.”
4. Invest in them
Try to put some money aside where possible so that when your child discovers their passion, you can spend a little money to invest in them. We’re not saying you should buy a Gibson Les Paul if they take a couple of guitar lessons, but if they stick at it for a year and they’re still enjoying it then a hand-me-down acoustic is going to hold them back. The same goes for other interests, so if they’re into astronomy then a cheap telescope will be good enough, to begin with, but after a while, you’re going to need to think about an upgrade.
5. Teach them
Providing outdoor musical instruments is one thing, but actually teaching children to play them is something else entirely. There are some skills that your children can learn on their own, but even then they’ll learn faster and more efficiently with a little guidance. It’s not just high school projects and college homework help that adults are good for. You need to start supporting kids as early as possible.
6. Help them to learn from others
Once the child has figured out where their talent lies, the next logical step is to find a mentor in the local area. If mathematics is their thing, seek out a local accountant or statistician and ask if they can provide some advice. If they’re into playing violin then try to find a local violinist.
7. Stand back
The worst thing you can do is to control the child and to push them to follow their passion so hard that the passion goes and they end up resenting it. Once they’ve discovered where their talents lie, you should provide them as much support as they need without stifling them. When they need your help, they’ll let you know. In the meantime, just sit back and let them do their thing.
Just because you have a moral obligation to nurture children and to develop their talents, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be fun. In fact, it arguably has to be – otherwise, children will lose interest and their talents will go to waste. The good news is that if you follow the tips on this list and if you make it fun for both you and for the child, you’ll be helping to nurture those talents in no time. Good luck!