As a parent, one of your greatest joys in life is watching your child succeed. We love nothing more than watching our children learn new things and discover their talents! This form of success can help boost children’s self-esteem, help them develop a positive self-image, and as they get older, help them evaluate school and career options. How can we encourage them to continue trying new things, learning, and discovering their talents and developing competency at every age? Here are a few ways you can help your child discover and cultivate their gifts!
Help your child feel like they can learn
Most children are born with some level of curiosity. We have all met preschoolers whose response to every statement is “but why?” or “how?” While answering these questions in age-appropriate ways whenever possible is a great start, in order to encourage that curiosity we must also help them feel competent. After all, if they don’t feel like they can learn, understand, and get better, why continue questioning? Make sure your child feels they are capable, and that learning is worthwhile. When they feel competent, and like they can learn competency in different areas, they get a confidence boost that further empowers them to try new things and cultivate their gifts!
Develop a growth mindset
There are two basic mindsets when it comes to learning: growth and fixed. A growth mindset says that talent can be developed, we can always learn and grow and become better, and we are not limited based on the skills or talents we were born with. A fixed mindset says “I’m just not good at some things so I shouldn’t even try,” holding people back. Encouraging a growth mindset in your family can help your children approach things that are difficult for them at first with a positive attitude, giving them the chance to learn and succeed! By giving them growth-centered feedback, you can encourage them to try new things, and let them know that even if they don’t succeed at first that doesn’t make them a failure. Praise them for their efforts, not just the results they may achieve, so that they understand the value of hard work instead of the value of simply checking a box or completing a task.
Try new things together
If you’ve fallen into a steady habit of not trying new things, your child may pick up on those patterns. Many parents find that encouraging their children to try and learn new things means they must as well! This gives your child an opportunity to see you try new things and learn! By doing it together, you are teaching them that learning new things is a normal and important part of life. You can also use it as a great opportunity for one-on-one time with your child as they grow up. As they see you learning and trying new things, they will learn to do it on their own as well!