Discovering your child's talent, the best gift for everyone (him/herself and as a society)
Mindset is “the mindset of the possible, the mindset of believing that you can do better”. This is how renowned Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck defines the human capacity to embrace flaws, persevere and believe that personality change is possible. Her scientific research indicates that a fixed mindset will struggle to grow, while a growth mindset, one that is willing to learn, is more likely to achieve degrees of success in life. “Those who think they have talent may believe that it survives without effort. But they are wrong,” says Dweck.
So the first step is believing that everyone has a talent, that there are always options, and to talk to your child about what is possible in order to offer him or her the options of what is “possible”. Let’s take a basic example. Let’s imagine that our children are like barcodes. Instead of focusing on the black bars that could be the defects palpable by all human beings, let’s look at the white stripes yet to be defined where we will find their talents, the positive characteristics that are yet to come, the qualities to be developed?
How to identify and enhance our children’s talents
People who use their talents are happier, “they feel they contribute to the world, they have a purpose, they enjoy what they do and they achieve things within their interests”, said Noelia López-Cheda, engineer and author of the bestseller “Don’t be your children’s agenda: And prepare them for life”.
Having a talent doesn’t mean that we don’t know how to do anything else, so we can talk about your child perhaps having several talents. Some children are good at sports, they can practice almost any discipline with great skill, of course, there will always be one in which they excel much more; however, their talent will already be directed towards sport.
However, a child who has a talent for sports may also have a talent for mathematics, singing or may be a great orator. That is why it is essential that the main motivation is the child’s own passion for one of the activities he or she is involved in.
No one says that it is easy to discover our children’s talents, but if we observe them, we will soon see that there are things that interest them more than others and that they are particularly good at.
Albert Einstein said that “We are all geniuses. But if we judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid”. You have to observe, identify the abilities of each one (the fish’s ability is not going to be to climb a tree) and focus on improving every day, encouraging them to continue to develop it.
Steps to discovering your child’s talent
- Observe, observe and observe. See our children as special beings, with their own interests, and respect them. You must pay close attention to what your child does in their free time; the important thing is to identify what they like to start the long process of developing their talents.
- Trust in their potential and do not hold back their desire to develop their talent with our fears and prejudices. Your child’s school preferences are reflected in their subjects, you can ask them which subjects are their favourites and why.
- Encourage them to overcome challenges and to understand mistakes as a way of learning. We have to provide them with demanding experiences that will make them bring out their best version of themselves. Once you have identified what your child likes, it’s time to make the most of that talent. If you discover that your child likes to cook, you can enrol them in a children’s cooking class, or if they are inclined towards dance, you can sign them up for a class. The important thing is that your child begins to develop the skills that will enhance their talent with the help of their teachers.
- Encourage them to think for themselves, don’t give them all the answers. You should encourage them to continue developing their talent, but also as a parent you should know when it is time to let them rest.
- Inject them with passion and enthusiasm for something. One of the ways your child will feel more confident to explore their talents is in the company of other children. Through healthy competition and teamwork, your child will be able to develop their skills and learn to share with children who like the same things they do.
- Be an example of the desire to learn, of self-improvement. If they see us with a desire to improve ourselves, with a curiosity to learn, etc., we will inspire them and encourage them to contribute to society in a more significant way with all their potential.
At O Castro British School we believe that a great education enriches personal and social life. Through a broad and balanced curriculum that goes beyond purely academics, we build a deeper experience of the world. This fosters an environment in which each student can discover and develop his or her own talents, and appreciate the perspectives and gifts of others.
We create the favourable environmental conditions capable of positively nurturing, in a rich way, the intelligence under construction in our students: the language, our behaviours, our movements, our way of reacting, the knowledge offered by all the activities proposed are disseminated in an extremely powerful and effective way among the students.
In our school, we believe that every student has the potential to forge a better future. The coming decades will present extraordinary opportunities and challenges for humanity and the planet. Our aim is to equip and inspire every student to contribute to a more just and sustainable world through their unique talents. These stem from the development of integrity, confidence and character, along with the collaborative global mindset and knowledge we help them build.