Bringing out the talent in your child

MANILA, Philippines — Talent, artistry, a vivid imagination — all things that any parent would hope to foster in their children.

Often, parents want to cultivate in their children the same talents and passions that they possess themselves, whether it’s a sport, craft or hobby. Not just because having talented children is an asset, but also because it would give the parent and child something in common to bond with. It's something that both can share.

But raising a talented and creative child is a lot trickier than it seems. It’s not just a matter of handing your kid a box of crayons or a big, bouncy orange ball and hoping for the best. According to an article by Greater Good Science Center of the University of Berkley, talent is not something inherent, rather a skill that’s honed. Particularly, it's a skill that parents can help their children develop. Unfortunately, sparking interest and honing a skill involves time and effort that simply making the tools available is not enough.

While it is also advised to leave your child to his own devices every now and then, parents have to step in at an early age in order to draw their potential out to the surface. But don’t make the mistake of making painstaking observations and taking down lots of notes.

It’s play time, and it involves a lot of good old fashioned quality time that should be fun for the whole family. If you need some advice on how to help your kid find his niche, here are some tips. 

1. Spend as much quality time as possible
Parents are the first teachers. You have the power to influence your child to love what you love, so start from there. Activities that are fun for the both of you will not only bring you two closer, but will also motivate your child to pursue that talent or hobby. Go on a vacation to a rest house with a beach, play some basketball, or hike down a scenic trail. And don’t fret if your kid doesn’t seem to develop a liking to any of these activities. The more time you spend with him the more you’ll figure out what he has a knack for and what activities he might like. 

2. Always encourage and follow through
Now that you've figured out what your kid likes to do in his spare time, the next step is to follow through. Encourage him to keep doing what he loves and support his progress along the way. Maybe for the summer, enroll him in a futsal clinic or a junior basketball league somewhere fun and reputable and never miss any one of his games. 

3. Limit their screen time
Kids can get rowdy, and it can get out of hand sometimes. So it’s no surprise that tired parents would opt to expose their children to TV and iPads if it will pacify their moods. But as much as possible, limit their screen time. A little boredom now and then isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s an incentive for kids to start practicing problem solving skills and it's also an opportunity for them to rev up some creative juices. In their idle time, kids are also more likely to give something new a try. 

4. Give them space
Other than a TV and an iPad, make other tools available to your children as much as possible. Having nearby recreational centers like basketball courts and swimming pools, or regular access to the great outdoors, like hiking trails, beaches, and parks is always a plus. Letting your kids see their possibilities as being only an arm’s length away will help them broaden their horizons and encourage them to pursue a hobby. 

5. Go green
Nature infused living is highly encouraged. Exposure to green scenery is already a big plus to an average adult’s daily routine, what more with children? First of all, it not only benefits their overall well-being, it also stimulates creativity. Kids are calmer, more optimistic, and healthier when they have regular access to the majesty of the great outdoors. Plus, who needs a playground? Kids can take off their shoes, go frolicking in the grass with other kids, and roll down a slope as kids do.

Environment plays a big factor in honing your child’s talent, and plays as an enabler for some family fun as well. When you go on vacations, keep these in mind: the availability of fun, recreational activities, nature, and lots and wide, open spaces. Take these into consideration the next time you’re picking out your next bonding experience, and you’ll maximize your family time. —

Anvaya Cove is Ayala Land Premier’s seaside leisure community that is a haven for fostering talent and imagination. With its unique environment that is surrounded by sunlight, sea and nature, as well as the number of activities available to any family, Anvaya Cove is sure to bring out the best in both parents and kids. So inspire talent with an inspiring space.