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5 Ways to Encourage Your Kids Gifts

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May 3, 2013 by admin

I recently heard a speaker talk about maximizing your talents. The speaker said that one of the greatest lies we tell our children is “You can be anything you want to be.” Instead we should tell them “You can be everything God designed you to be.” His own personal example was growing up wanting to be a professional baseball player. He wanted it so bad he could taste it. But no matter how hard he tried, no matter how much extra practice he put in he couldn’t even be the best baseball player in his home town of Weed, CA. There was a gap between his desire and his aptitude. Yet we he found what he was gifted to do; preaching, teaching and speaking to large groups he excelled at it.

According to sports digest baseball is the sport with the best chance of a high school athlete becoming a professional, yet the odds are only .4%. Basketball is .03% and football is .08%. The odds of becoming president are about 1 in 10,000,000. The odds of becoming a doctor are 12%. You have a less than 1% chance of becoming a successful actor.

When polled kindergarteners #1 answer for what they want to be when they grow up? Superheros.

Obviously being a superhero isn’t realistic and they will figure that out by themselves soon enough. To help your kids set realistic desires for career life here are 5 tips:

  1. Find their love language. Make sure that the kinds of affection and affirmation you give to your children are the kinds they recognize and accept. Are they a hands-on child? Or do words of encouragement lift their spirits? Do they like to do things for others to show their love? Maybe they just enjoy quality time together. “To be their best, children need to feel loved. But if you and your child speak different love languages, your affection might get lost in translation, affecting the child’s attitude, behavior, and development.” I highly recommend getting the book “The 5 Love Languages of Children.
  2. Introduce them to lots of different skills. Instead of focusing on just one area help them to diversify. Were I live our parks and rec dept has 1 week summer camps for kids that have themes like super science, kids in the kitchen, amazing animals, or country fun. These are a great way to acquaint them to new skills without any long term expectations. How many parents have enrolled a child into a term of soccer or ballet or music lessons to find out that their child hates it and just wants to quit? A week long camp or a one day class is a great way to get started.
  3. Read together, and read a lot of different thing together. Books are a great way to explore new topics and taste out new skills. Get a book on cooking, or crafts, or geo caching or a new sport then read it together and try it out. When your kids are old enough to begin reading short novels makes sure to try to introduce them to new genres. You never know what will spark their imagination.
  4. Volunteer at their school, but give them space. Volunteering at your child’s school not only helps the teacher and can create an richer learning environment for all the kids. Believe me even just prepping projects or making copies is HUGE. It frees up that time for the teacher to be TEACHING. It also helps instill a sense of civil responsibility in your kids, but more importantly it gives you a chance to observe them. To sit back and watch how they interact with the teacher, the other students and tasks they are given. Use this time to be on the look out for hint about what they do well on their own.
  5. Plan family trips to museums, fairs, zoos and art exhibits. There are museums large and small for just about everything you can imagine. If you do a local search you might be surprised at what you find nearby. History museums, train exhibits, wild animal parks, hands on science exhibits, and historical places. These trips can be fun ways not only to spend quality time as a family, but to engage their interests and help them explore their gifts.

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