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How can I nurture my child's talents?

Michele Borba
Psychology
Here are the steps to apply the results of noted educator, Benjamin Bloom, and a team of researchers at the University of Chicago, who conducted a five-year study of 120 immensely gifted or talented young people. They found that these steps help to nurture your child’s unique gifts:

Identify “the gift.” Bloom found that the parents’ first step was to recognize their child’s unique talent. Watch for areas your child shows intense interest.

Make it be your child’s passion. Be sure it’s your child’s interest—not yours. Then choose one.

Emphasize encouragement. The parents made sure their children’s early talent development was positive, fun and not pushed.

Make practices enjoyable. The parents made their practices enjoyable and usually sat with their kids as they practiced.

Provide resources to cultivate the talent. The children’s talents improved because parents constantly provided the necessary resources to nurture their skills.

Show interest. Parents attended every major activity to show support, and often learned the skill themselves just so they could spend more time with their child. They encouraged – not pushed.

Stand by your child–win or lose. Each superstar had an encouraging parent standing by his side, celebrating his wins and cushioning his loses.

Focus on the talent. All parents placed great emphasis on their children’s evident talents and spent tremendous time cultivating it for years.
Charles J. Sophy, MD
Adolescent Medicine

You can nurture your child’s talents by:

  • Following his lead in expressing and developing his likes/interests
  • Providing abundant resources to cultivate his expressed talents
  • Establishing an environment that is conducive to the cultivation of his talents
  • Creating opportunities for the expression and expansion of his talents
  • Affirming his strengths and talents on a consistent and ongoing basis

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.