We think our children are brilliant at everything they do – that’s just part of being a parent. Chances are, though, they’ve got some skills that really stand out, or traits that could be nurtured to benefit their future career and endeavours. Here’s how you can help…
Have a chat to your child – ask them what they enjoy doing, what they think they do well, and what comes naturally to them. Feel free to chime in if they’re stuck – you do, after all, know them better than anyone else. This should be extended to personality traits too. Be sure to validate their interests, because ultimately, your role is to create a safe, positive and encouraging space.
Ask them to make a list of the things they enjoy and are good at doing. Then, ask them to list activities they think might help them to ‘exercise’ these skills, in as many ways as possible. You might like to make suggestions and talk through other ideas and options once they’ve had a go. Your role will be to help them think of the bigger picture and the possible puzzle pieces they can put together to practice and fulfil this skill.
Don’t decide for them
This might be the hardest part – for you, that is! If you want your child to develop their skills, then you’ve got to let them take the lead and make their own choices. By leaving it up to them, you’ll be empowering them to take responsibility and ownership of their decisions. The chances that they will succeed in growing their skills are more likely, because they have driven the choice themselves and made that commitment.
Keep an eye out
If you’ve noticed your child’s interest in an activity waning, they may have had a negative experience. It’s important you identify this as early as you can to see if the situation is still salvageable and whether there are changes that could turn their experience into a positive one. Of course, if they simply no longer enjoy the activity, that’s okay – be receptive to their feelings and reasons for leaving it behind.
With these practices in mind, their skills, interests and adaptable traits are bound to flourish.