The great Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed his first symphony at eight years old. Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz could read by age three. There are other examples of child prodigies, children so gifted that they could master subjects like mathematics, physics, and languages before puberty.
Of course, not all of us are like them. Neither are our children. Yet, this doesn’t imply they can’t be great at something and do wonders with their lives. Having an IQ of less than 200 doesn’t mean our children cannot succeed.
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But how do we do this? How do we maximize our children’s chances of doing something amazing when they grow older? The key lies in giving kids the most opportunities for self-discovery, the chance to try out different things. By doing this, they will find their hidden talents, nurture them, and transform them into great skills for the future.
The Importance of Extra-Curricular Activities
Extra-curricular activities include sports, music, art, and volunteering. The activity itself is not important. What’s important is that a child has the opportunity to try it in a more than superficial way. In most cases, parents will not recognize a child’s talent for something if they do it only once or twice. Consistency and lessons are required. So are devotion and practice.
As a parent, I will never know my son is good at soccer if he doesn’t join a team and take part in competitions. The same goes for music. If I want to see whether my daughter is a musical virtuoso, I cannot just give her a flute and tell her to play. I should instead enroll her in The Music Connection conservatory of musicand see where it takes her. Most talents are like flowers, they don’t flourish at once. If you don’t give them enough time to bloom, they will wither and stay hidden forever.
You Win Or You Learn
Technological development has brought great convenience to our lives. We can now communicate with others thousands of miles away and get almost anything from the comfort of our own homes. As a result, many of us move less and have become weaker. So have our children.
It comes as no surprise then that the term “helicopter parenting” is a 21st-century creation. Modern-day parents supervise every move their children make. When a child falls there’s always someone there to pick him up. If his room is dirty, there’s always someone there to clean it for him.
We should help our children as much as we can. But we should also instill in them self-reliance, decision-making, and confidence. Let your children figure things out by themselves first. Let them fail, learn the importance of failure, and then pick themselves up. By doing this, you will not only give them the chance to better understand themselves but also the opportunity to boost their creativity and let out hidden talents by coming up with solutions on their own.
Finding a Balance
How do you know when to push and when to hold back? The answer is not as straightforward as we would hope. There are nonetheless certain factors to consider:
All children have talent. As parents, it is our responsibility to find this talent, nurture it, and make it grow. We can do this by giving our children ample chances to try new things, allowing them to fail, and knowing when and how much to push them.
Your child might be the next great Olympian, aerospace engineer, or Nobel prize-winning author. You will never know unless you give it a try.