Be Mindful in Nurturing Natural Talents in Children

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Each and every one of us has some talent that comes naturally to us. For me, it is Carnatic music, a form of Indian classical music. I always loved music even as a child. But, to be honest, shy as I was, I enjoyed singing in the privacy of my home, more than anywhere else. And then I was introduced to Carnatic music as my mom officially got me into a music class.

I was the only kid in the class, so I had no choice but to sing out loud enough for at least the teacher to be able to hear me. And that was the first time I knew that music was my natural talent. I quickly progressed through the lessons, and my teacher could go as fast or as slow, depending on the pace that I set. Those were some wonderful years that I spent and both my talent and confidence grew, day after day.

I started singing more in public. The shy little girl in me took a back seat, as I started performing more for the audience. I would learn a new lesson, and walk back home with the new song running in my head. I was aware of the people around me staring and I cared less and less about what impression I was making on people walking in the street. To say those were the best times of my life would be an under statement.

But life took over and I ended up stopping my music lessons. I wasn’t aware of it then, but I was making the biggest mistake of my life. I have often wondered how my life could have been different if I had not quit my music lessons. I remember how sad my mom had been and I always wished I hadn’t let life disrupt the most beautiful moments of my life.

Parent’s role

Every child has something that comes naturally to them. For some it may be music, while for others it may be art or they may be an excellent writer. While academics play a very important role in their lives, as parents we also need to find out  every single talent that comes naturally to our child.

Identifying the hidden talent

The most obvious talents such as writing, drawing or playing a musical instrument are easy to accept. But talents don’t always come in a very specific pattern. Take the example of a child who has been termed as the class clown.

On the outside, it may seem as if he is wasting away his life just by being silly. But on deeper examination, a parent may find that the child has a natural ability to make others laugh. This child could grow up to be a stand up comedian. As parents, we need to learn to keep an open mind about our child’s abilities.

Nurturing our child’s talents

We are already doing the best that we can to raise our child to be a well rounded individuals. Once the child’s natural abilities have been identified, it is up to the parents to provide the child with opportunities in the form of formal lessons.

This usually involves juggling schedules and dropping and picking them up from different activities. And if there is more than one child in the house, schedules can get very tricky. But the most important thing that a parent needs to remember is giving the child adequate time and energy to practice his/her skill.

Letting the child lead

The biggest mistake that a parent can make is dominating the child’s passion. Children have their own way of following their heart. We often think that just because we are older, we are more  knowledgeable.

In the process, we often hinder the child’s natural abilities to make a decision.  While it is good to keep reminding children to practice their skill, it works even better when the children are themselves motivated to work on their skill. The parent’s role is to gently shift the responsibilities on their child’s shoulder, constantly reminding them that they are way more capable than they think.

When interests change.

Not every child finds and sticks to one passion. Just like grown ups have changing interests, children are allowed to change their minds too. There are some kids who like to try everything before they pick one ability that they would like to develop. We may be raising a Jack-of-all-trades, and that may not be the end of the world.

As I grew older, I moved on to so many different interests and passions. I found that I had a natural ability to express my emotions in words. I also learnt that I could convert my love for books into another hobby of writing book reviews. Music is still a big part of my life. Both my children have musical abilities.

My older daughter is experimenting with musical instruments such as guitar and actively participates in her school chorus. My son, on the other hand, loves Carnatic music just as much as I did as a child. And as I attempt to guide and supervise their natural talents, I find myself continuing to develop my own talents and passions.

I have come to accept that learning is a life-long process and it doesn’t have to stop at any particular age.

Find more tips on raising kids who accept themselves and grow with a confident mindset to achieve long term success in life.

 


 

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19 Replies to “Be Mindful in Nurturing Natural Talents in Children

  1. I have never heard of that kind of music! You should link to you singing it 🙂 That’s amazing you were able to find your natural talent and interest. This reminds me of many of the tips in Grit. Love that book! It helped me realize to provide opportunities for my toddler who is showing great interest and talent in certain things like singing, dancing and sports! My oldest showed interest in engineering and origami when he was a toddler and now is quite good at it! Thanks for the tips!

  2. One of the reasons we chose to homeschool was so we could find our children’s strengths and natural talents and make sure they would have time in their schedules to hone it. It’s worked! Our oldest son is an amazing guitarist, and our daughter is a very talented ballet/lyrical dancer.

  3. I love how you mentioned to let the child lead. There are a lot of parents out there that like to “live through their children”. That usually doesn’t end well for the kid’s happiness. I think just encouraging your child to try new things is great to find even hidden talents as well.

  4. I love your post. I often wonder about this with my kids. They’re still very little so I don’t have to worry about their talents just yet. But it’s so fun to watch what my preschooler and toddler gravitate to. Both seem to love music, even though neither their father nor I have particular musical talent. But I can’t wait to see what passions will develop within them.

  5. It is so good to be able to nurture, not push kids, when it comes to trying things and figuring out what their talents are. So important to give them these opportunities to flourish!

  6. This post really hit home for me. I have two kids with very different talents and interests. This keeps us very busy and running in different directions. My daughter has developed a love and talent for playing trombone. I nurture this by making sure she has access to private lessons and is able to tryout for more challenging roles. My son is a very good baseball player and has now played for 4 seasons. He is shifting into basketball right now, which is new to him. I try to let my kids try the things they want to try while encouraging them to stick with the things they have a natural talent for. It’s tough, but worth it.

  7. We do this with our daughter. I don’t like forcing her to do things she doesn’t really seem interested in, rather I’d love for her to hone her natural abilities.

  8. You’re such an advocate for children as you help parents discover their hidden talents and passions. We just recently discovered my daughter’s, which initially appeared to just be “an escape” or a distraction. Now that we have embraced it as her talent and passion we have her honing into it and learning more of the technical parts of it while still keeping it fun and light. Great reminder to be open minded with our kids.

  9. This great advice for the months/years coming up for me. I have 3 kids and I want them to explore and try things and see what they like.. My husband on the other hand wants them all to take karate and some sort of musical lessons. He said sports maybe later…. I think they should pick and try what they want!

  10. This post is so informative. I only have one child, but when I do decide to expand I definitely understand that each child is different in there own way. Such a powerful message. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Totally agree with you. I also believe that it is very important to let our children to take the lead. When they reach a certain age, it is important that they start making their own decision. We just have to remind and encourage them to reach their full potential.

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