Identifying your child’s innate gifts and talents is an important part of parenting. It gives you the opportunity to motivate, encourage, and build upon what they need to develop and grow. When trying to identify a child’s strength, there are two aspects to consider: (1) their natural tendencies and (2) their chosen hobbies – as these can often overlap.
When children are very young, you may have observed their every move and discovered what types of activities and toys they naturally gravitated to. And as they grow older, you begin to see their personalities form and their interests become more prominent.
- For example, if your child has strong extroverted tendencies they may enjoy public speaking, group projects, and being around others. If they are more introverted, then they might enjoy reading books or listening to music alone.
The child’s chosen hobby will often be what sparks the child’s natural strengths.
- For example, if someone enjoys playing video games at home by themselves this could point towards introversion as well as focus on detail-oriented tasks.
Watching them can help us decide how we should support them and best meet their needs. It may provide them with an environment that feels safe and where these skills are valued. This is important because children need opportunities to practice using those strengths.
Kids who like baking might have exceptional fine motor skills and an eye for detail. Kids who are obsessed with tech gadgets might know how to code or troubleshoot better than anyone else in their class.
One other thing to do is pay attention to SMILES. When a child smiles and laughs, they are happy at that moment. Make a mental note of what your child is doing at that particular moment and encourage them to explore their interests further.
You never really know what your child is capable of until you take the time to observe. In order to make it a priority, get them involved in activities that best suit their natural interests.