By using common, everyday games and activities, you can help your children be happy and successful.
Imagine a child who is learning how to walk. He tries and fails several times, but he doesn’t give up. With his, “I can do it,” attitude, he keeps trying until he succeeds. Perseverance and patience are natural qualities built into a child’s nature. As a child grows, however, his child-like enthusiasm, ability to focus and motivational instinct begin to disappear. As your child’s parent or tutor, you need to keep your children from giving up on their dreams. You must keep them from losing interest in the things they love to do.
Many people, from Thomas A. Edison to Bill Gates, never gave up on the things they loved to do. They kept working at their dreams until they achieved what they were striving for. Although you may not have the qualities that you want to teach your kids yet, you can still work with your kids. You can help your child and yourself learn that success is the result of persistent passion.
With this goal in mind, I have listed 10 crucial talents and abilities that your child should develop as he plays and grows, day by day.
When, as things get more difficult, a child may quit. A pattern of quitting makes it difficult to overcome his own future obstacles. One of the most effective methods to fight hopelessness, at whatever age, is the, “I can and I will,” attitude. Encourage your child to play with things that he likes. By doing this, he will learn how to solve problems.
2. Emotional intelligence
Make sure your child plays with toys that stimulate her imagination and that stretch her limits. Ensure that she plays games that are appropriate for, or just above, her age group — not below it. As you do this, she will be developing her abilities. She needs to experience both victory and defeat, so she can learn to tolerate frustrations. Be sure to validate her feelings and interests.
Praise your child when he is successful and help him deal with the pain of failure. You can tell him stories of people who never gave up, like Einstein. If your child is younger, have the characters in your stories be animals. Most importantly, be sure to show your child that YOU never give up. Encourage your child’s enthusiasm.
4. Positive attitude
Your child learns from you how to deal with the daily deceptions and difficulties that fill our lives, such as the frustrations of work or traffic jams. What you say or do during these times are not as important as the way you feel. Your child is sensitive enough to know whether you are feeling depressed or determined. She will learn to react to similar problems by watching you. Therefore, if you want your child to have qualities like determination, courage, perseverance, patience or any other good quality, you need to develop these qualities in yourself first.
5. Courage and curiosity
Curiosity develops talent. Motivate your child to participate in different types of activities and help him develop several interests. Talents may not come in early childhood, but it is important that he learns to not only choose the things he likes to do most but he also needs to learn to explore many different types of activities, games and toys. Take him to a museum, an EXPO, a sports event or a musical concert. Have your child meet your extended family, look up his heritage and learn to help around the house. Concentrate in the areas that he identifies with most, and let him explore the things that he most wants to learn. The amount of time you spend with your child will benefit generations to come.
6. Work the system
If your child shows interest in a particular area, like music for example, the optimal age for him to expand his talents is between 3 and 10 years old. This timeframe aside, a child can still develop a talent at any age that he shows desire and an attitude ready to learn. As he learns, be sure he understands that to develop a talent well, he will need to practice and work hard to succeed. As your child learns this, he will also learn that anything is possible so long as he works hard at it. Take pictures and document his progress. As he sees the results of his hard work, he will become more excited and work even harder toward his goals.
Proper development of a talent requires education. However, too many extra-curricular activities can hurt your child’s individuality instead of building it. Each child is unique. Allowing your child the confidence to develop whichever talent he chooses and perform any activity he enjoys is a central priority. Forget yourself and be surprised by the power of your child’s true personality.
As you work with your child to develop his character and gain the necessary skills and qualities for success, you will also be building your own character. Relationships with other children are essential, and your child needs to learn that it is more important to be recognized for who he is than for the things he can do. That way, he will learn to be humble while working hard to become a better person. Encourage emotional expression.
While honing and developing talents, including physical talents, a spiritual side should also develop. Be sure that your child understands that the talents and skills she learns are divine gifts.
As your child develops his talents, is successful, recognizes that his talents are divine gifts, is grateful for each of his divine gifts and recognizes his true potential, he will be gaining true experience, which will be useful for the rest of his life. But remember, happiness without gratitude will not last.
Helping a child discover her talents as she grows gives her an opportunity to choose. She gains the liberty and encouragement to express her individuality. She will make good decisions early on, even as she takes her first steps or plays innocently with others.
Translated and adapted by David Hall from the original article Descobrir talentos brincando: 10 qualidades a desenvolver nas crianças desde cedo, by Chris Ayres.