Spot Your Child's Talent

Every child has a talent and exploring this talent in the child’s early years can help to positively influence his development, but sometimes it takes exploring various areas before a child’s talent might be spotted.


Talent is as important as academics and they should balance out each other and we see this in famed athletes, musicians, dancers, chefs, actors and even lawyers who have excellent debating skills.

Rihanna, the little girl who grew up in a simple, small home in Westbury Road here in Barbados climbed to the top of the charts and is now a world celebrity and she did it through talent.  Gary Sobers of cricket fame did like-wise, from holding a cricket bat on the playing field near his Bayland home.

Darian King, Megan Best, Sade Williams, Alex Sobers, Danielle Titus, Amber Joseph, Kraigg Brathwaite are some of our young talented Barbadians who are making a mark on international scenes through their talent.

How often have we, as parents, boasted about what we consider as our children’s special achievements and abilities.  Parents will admit that at some point or the other, they have suspected their children of possessing superior abilities in some field but what is important is the ability and courage to develop that talent.
 
Some children’s talent can be easily seen, while it might take some nurturing to bring another child’s talent to light.   Talent can be spotted in many ways, but it is good for parents to watch how children play and use free time. Sometimes a child may show a heightened level of interest in a particular field and this can help you identify their natural interests.
 

This could be sitting quietly and watching a piano recital on a You Tube video, a child prancing around the house every day, pretending to be a model or singer or dabbling in paint and drawing in quiet times.  Give your child the opportunity to try out his/her talent by allowing them to join groups of their interest.

Listen to the coaches and teachers as they are best suited to identify your child’s unique talents. Their suggestions and observations are based on your child’s performance in class discussions, tests, assignments, and general child-to-child interactions, and can help in supporting your own impressions.

If your child shows excellent academic performance in a particular subject in school, it points out their inherent talent in the subject, let them pursue it.  If he child has the makings of an artist, you can observe that through the types of activities that draw his attention. Children with artistic skills will enjoy creative activities like crafting, painting, designing, etc. 

Talents need not always be present only in conventional fields like drawing or singing. For instance, if your child is very good at making conversations and is always able to make his point firmly while debating or arguing on a subject, your child has qualities which can make a good lawyer.  The more the opportunities a child gets to participate in different activities, the simpler it will be for him to identify and further develop his talents.

Children usually show interest by asking tons of questions or they might want to repreatedly do a particular activity like going on the Atlantis Submarine and that might be as a result of a fascination for the field of marine biology.


Knowing that your child is exceptionally gifted or talented in any field is a source of great pride for any parent, but it is also a tremendous responsibility. Once the area of potential is identified, steps can be taken to develop and nurture that talent and that includes practicing and working hard at developing the talent, motivating and coaching.

 

“Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates. There's plenty of movement, but you never know if it's going to be forward, backwards, or sideways.” - H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Allow your child to savour his pursuits without putting any demands on him. Over – scheduling lessons or excessive parental direction may make them dissatisfied and disinterested.  Parents must also allow children to make mistakes and help them to use mistakes to get better at their activity.

 

Praise his efforts not his talent.  When we praise a child’s natural talent, he tends to become complacent and takes less effort to learn more. But if we praise their effort to learn and develop further, children are more inclined to taking risks, making mistakes and learning from them.

Parents need to instil the value of hard work in their children as a means to keep them motivated and constantly striving for excellence.  Training, dealing with success, failure, and criticisms all play a vital part in the likelihood of achieving greatness.

As Magic Johnson stated, “Talent is never enough. With few exceptions the best players are the hardest workers”.

While it is true that parents want only the best for their children, pushing them to be better in an area where they have the skill but not the inclination is merely pushing them to fulfil their parents’ dreams and not their own.

Support and encourage children, but give them the space they need to enjoy their talent.