Each one of us has innate talents that we are born with, and perhaps some that we have enhanced over time thanks to practice and hard work. What talents does your child have?
If you do not immediately know that answer to that question, take the time to observe your child and notice what distinctive talents they possess. Some children are naturally skilled artists; whereas other children may lack creativity, but have athletic skills that help them thrive on a basketball court. Notice what activities your child gravitates toward when she is provided with different options.
Many parents want their children to experience activities of their choice, or do things that they enjoyed as a child. Resist the temptation to sign your child up for piano lessons because you always wanted them. Rather, ask your child what activities she enjoys, as well as what she thinks she is skilled at. Children should be encouraged to explore and try out various activities of interest to them. Now more than ever, there are many diverse activities that children can participate in. You can enroll your child in cooking classes, yoga, and even engineering workshops! However, involving them in too many different activities can be stressful and prevent children from honing their skills at something that they are truly passionate about.
Also, you may want to consider broadening your view of what can help a child determine and pursue her talents. Even seemingly insignificant activities, like playing video games, may help children hone their talents. For example, a child can build skills in the areas of problem solving, graphic design, animation, etc. through video game or computer play.
It is important for all children to have opportunities to explore their talents, and this can be especially beneficial for children who were adopted or are in out-of-home care. Discovering and/or building on a talent can help a child foster positive self-esteem. In addition, providing your child with a choice of activities to pursue provides her with some much-need control and freedom. Although the children in your home may not share your DNA or your talents, and they may not be the next David Beckham or Picasso, chances are they have some great talents that make them unique!