“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid,” is a famous line commonly credited to Albert Einstein. Although we aren’t sure if Einstein said it, we do know it makes sense. Children have their own talents and tendencies, some attributed to nature and some to nurture.
As parents, we may not be able to control nature. But we can definitely nurture what’s there and help build what’s not yet there. We do this by setting opportunities for our children. Here are some suggestions to help you get started:
1. Observe Your Child
It’s hard to make good decisions if you don’t know what your child’s natural inclinations or problems are. You can do this by carefully watching what your child says and does throughout the day, in different settings. Try seeing what your child chooses to do on her own prerogative, and also watch how she behaves in situations presented to her. Since you probably aren’t always with your child (such as when she’s in school), you could always discuss your child’s behaviours and interests with other key individuals (such as her teachers).
You may note something new that could be further discovered. Try listing down the interests and natural talents you notice in your child.
2. Ask Your Child What She’d Like to Learn
Although children have much to know and learn, older toddlers and preschoolers may already be attracted to particular subjects, such as dancing or natural science. Think about it: Siblings who grew up in the same household can have very varied personalities and hobbies. Have a chat with your kid and ask her what she’d like to learn.
3. Explore Child Enrichment Classes in Your Area
Search online, take a drive around the neighbourhood or ask other parents and teachers to know more about the child enrichment options in your locality. You may unearth a new subject or skill area that you previously didn’t think of! Once you’ve narrowed down your options, spend time researching the curriculums. It might be helpful to arrange visits to the centres, so you can see what classes are like in action.
4. Let Your Child Try New Things
If you don’t expose your child to different activities, she may never know if she’d like them or not. How could she, if she doesn’t try them? Sometimes trying new things can be scary for both parent and child, but it can always be done in a safe and controlled environment. Nonetheless, try pacing out activities for young children as they can be easily overwhelmed.
5. Give it Time Before Giving Up
Children can be quick to decide what they do and don’t like based on knee-jerk reactions to new experiences. After all, they are still developing emotional regulation. If your child is reacting in a harsh way to a new activity, try speaking to her about giving it a good try (for maybe a few more days or weeks). This might give her some time to get settled in. Having said that, if your child still refuses, try not forcing her as it might cause an intense hate towards the subject. Let your child naturally ask to be involved if a desire comes up in the future.
This article was first published on Kiddy123.com.
Written by Irina Myriam
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