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 a note from the teacher to parents

by Jennifer Cummings, M.Ed.

Encouraging Talent in Your Child

Every child has specific natural talents that are special to them. These are areas of high interest and ability that motivate a child to achieve well in those areas. Often, talent in children is simply viewed as when presented as an aptitude for academics.

Besides having exceptional learning skills, children may have talents in art, music, drama, sports, nature, or any number of other areas. Nurturing those talents and interests is important, as with development, many children may go on to have a happy, fulfilling life-long career based on their individual strengths.

Supporting children’s individual strengths is important for developing healthy self esteem. All children should have an area of their lives where they know they excel. There are many different ways to support those talents, from classes to mentoring programs with people of similar abilities. However, it is important not to overwhelm your child with too much pressure.

Let their abilities develop naturally, with their interest level, and be supportive. Try not to always compare them to others who may be substantially more accomplished; continually being compared unfavorably to others can lead to discouragement. Rather, let your child have their own “moments of glory” as they celebrate their personal achievements, while also exposing them to how far they can still go in their study area.

In addition to developing the talents your child shows naturally, it is important to allow your child to develop other areas of his or her life. By allowing your child to have new experiences in areas they may not excel at naturally, they will continue to develop personal skills for learning new information and dealing with difficulty.

Learning new material keeps brains healthy and functioning to their best ability. Therefore, challenging your child with new skills that may be more difficult helps to build both personality and brain power.

Regardless of their natural abilities, it is important to remind children that education is always important to their future. Some children tend to think that their single skill or talent will be enough to serve them for their entire life.

While it is true that talent may make life easier, they should remember that most true achievement results from a combination of education and talent. Successful artists learn new techniques from master artists, great players learn new moves from talented coaches, and successful writers learn new styles from accomplished authors; regardless of the area of interest, successful people are generally well-rounded individuals who know they have much to learn.

Be sure to instill a sense of inquisitiveness in your child, even as you help them develop their talent. This will help them to seek out new information for themselves, instead of believing they are already the best of what they can be.

It is important for all parents to find the area or interest that is a talent for their individual child, as all children have some innate abilities and interests that are special and unique.

Over time, by supporting these talents and enriching life overall, you may be able to help your children acquire a life-long love of learning while you help to develop the natural talents your children were born with.

 

Jennifer Cummings

Ms. Cummings, author, and editor of the Education and School Section, she has a B.A.in psychology and an M.Ed. in special education from Framingham State College in Massachusetts. She was an elementary teacher in Massachusetts serving both regular education and special education students. She has taught grades 1,4, and 5.

"I believe that families' involvement in their child's education is one of the key ingredients to creating a successful school experience for children. Keeping parents informed about school-related issues helps parents and teachers work together for the best possible outcomes for their children. Learning together makes learning fun - for everyone!" - Jennifer Cummings.
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