We all have talents. Every individual has at least one talent that God has blessed him/her with.
As parents and mums, it is our job to spot and nurture our children’s talent(s) early on, plus, we have a pretty short window of time to do this.
One of the things we owe our youngsters as parents is to spot their talent early on, help them nurture it, just so that they are able to grow up and use their talent to fulfill their life’s purpose.
It is not uncommon to have a child displaying the talent of drumming today, dancing tomorrow, and fashion design the next day.
Sometimes they have a host of talents which sometimes leave us asking, “So, which one should I really focus on helping them develop.?
We had a chat with Kafayat Oluwatoyin Shafau, popularly known as kaffydance. She is a world-renowned dancer, choreographer, fitness, and talent coach, and a proud mum of two.
She’s a world-famous and award-winning dancer, someone who has been able to nurture her talent up to where she is right now, she has also been able to do the same for her son and daughter.
Taking interest in and nurturing our children’s talent is so important and, often, it makes the difference.
Some of the most accomplished, some of the most famous people in the world, the likes of Beyonce, Venus Williams, Burna boy and others, undoubtedly attribute a major part of their success today to the fact that their parents nurtured their talents. Little wonder these parents at one point in time functioned as the career managers for these incredibly talented superstars.
However, we need to be extra cautious on this mission, so that we do not in the name of honing their talents, end up enforcing/ them to fulfill our own unfulfilled dreams.
For instance, if your childhood dream was to become a medical doctor doesn’t and shouldn’t mean that your child must now be a medical doctor. In spotting and nurturing your child’s talent, you must be thoroughly fair and honest.
Whatever it is, make sure you’re just following your child’s leading and just in the rear, guiding them in whatever way you can. Let it flow naturally.
Award-winning Nigerian dancer, Kaffy, shared some insight into spotting and nurturing your child’s talent during an Instagram session with FABMUMNG.
Read excerpts below
FABMUMNG: Kaffy, when it comes to discovering and nurturing your kids’ talents. How can parents nurture their kids right? Where do you start?
KAFFY: First is to identify what it is you are nurturing. What did you see? What do you want to encourage or nurture?
This is so important because your child can be likened to a fertile soil. And on this soil, corn is sprouting, but so is cocoa and beans.
What do you want to harvest at the end of the day? Decide and nurture that/those.
Bear in mind there are some talents in your children that if nurtured, you’d be able to harvest between now and before the child turns 8 (eight years old).
That your girl has a likeness for music at age 3 doesn’t mean that she will turn out to be a musician. She might end up being the youngest musical genius, and that’s okay.
So, don’t be too quick to conclude, and focus on nurturing one talent at a time for the best results.
Whatever be the case, you will often see the results of this effort, manifesting in other aspects of their lives, helping them build their self-esteem, confidence, and personality.
First, define talent. Second, look out for it, if you can look out for it, then you can n nurture.
Note that talent is divided into interest and ability.
As a mum, you are the first port of call. Look out for what they are interested in, encourage, and follow-through.
But be careful not to scare them off by overwhelming them. Support but don’t overwhelm.
They too are only just experimenting, so, don’t make it too rigid.
Teach them to express themselves. Be very involved in your nurturing and be diplomatic about it.
For my kids, my strategy was an environmental strategy. In as much as you might have house helps or nannies to help out, don’t be too busy to groom your own children.
You are their first mentor. Be intentional about what is prominent in your environment. You need to study them to understand them better.
Again, let them be involved in one art form or another. It will help them build confidence, communication, and all the necessary soft skills to help build capacity.”
FABMUMNG: My child is showing different interests. Trying to sing, dance, paint, act. How do I know which to nurture? What do I do?
KAFFY: Encourage all at first, and focus on the one you see they are taking more seriously.
It will just require you to invest a lot of time into them.
Also, you need to consider your lifestyle nurturing capacity. What is your financial capacity in the nurturing stage? All these affect your decision at the end of the day.
How many of these talents can you afford to groom at the said point in time? Decide and probably nurture the rest later on, when you have more time and finances to afford it.
You could have a conversation with your child thus: Baby, I see you’re multi-talented and I like that. But at this time, mummy can only afford to nurture two. This year we’ll nurture painting, and dancing, next year we’ll nurture graphics designing and coding, and so on. It is important you have a road map. For talent nurturing.
You can employ and an artist to come teach them how to paint, while they learn dancing freely on YouTube.”
FABMUMNG: How important can you say is having a mentor early on in life and how parents can adopt that for their kids?
KAFFY: “Mentoring is important because it simply makes everything better. You struggle less and reach your goals quicker when you have someone who’s gone through that route ahead of you, guiding you.
Once you notice your children are beginning to get to that stage in life where they are beginning to make decisions for themselves, showing strength towards what they want to achieve, you need to start encouraging them towards who are they looking up to, who are they watching? Who/what is influencing their mindset?
Who do you think is walking in the path that your child’s talent you’re helping them hone is tilting towards? Who can you trust them to emulate?
Also, when you’re looking for a mentor for your kids, you might also want to look into finding them mentors who do not just have success stories, but probably one who failed repeatedly but found a way around the situation to be successful. A lot of valuable lessons can be learned from such an individual.
Failure is also a lesson. Study them and avoid their mistakes.
Finding mentors for your young children early enough will help build a positive mindset and character; something they might not learn any other way because such things are not taught in school. Life coaching. Emotional intelligence.
Do not assume they are too young and chill. Kids these days know a lot more than you think they do. Times are different, this is the jet age. Spend quality time and have conversations with your children.
And nurture each according to their individual needs. Stop comparing them “see what your mates are doing” every individual has a unique personality. Such a statement will only push them to become who they are not, forcing them to end up finding/ discovering themselves late in life.
This is the reason a fellow will spend 10 years in school studying medicine, only to end up a baker.
Stop looking for career paths or life dreams that make us look good; bragging rights. It’s all about our children feel complete. “what will people say? Etc. selfishness. Ego. Be proud of them in whatever career path they choose. Do not make your kids live out your unfinished dreams.
On the road to spotting and nurturing your child’s talent, consider the fact that you cannot give what you don’t have.
Related: How To Know If Your Child Has Learning Disabilities
To raise confident, well-mannered intelligent kids, you too need to nurture these characters in yourself so your kids can adapt them from you.
As you know, you are their first mentor by virtue of being their mum; it’s why this is so important. It will be difficult to raise a confident child if you as a mum suffer from low self-esteem.
Raise them to be confident without giving in to pride, assertive without being rude.
In raising children, be open to the reality of the possibility of you being wrong sometimes.
Parenting is not so sort of mask that makes you correct every time about everything.
You are literally learning every day, so cut yourself some slack. You need to learn how a child in this age and time processes things so that you can better respond to and nurture them.
In conclusion, remember that one cannot fail to acknowledge the grace of God in this endeavor.
They’ve been kids with bad parenting who turned out great, as well as kids whom their parents gave the best quality parenting, but turned out below standards.
Quality over quantity. Be there for them as much as you can.”
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