This Children’s Day, understand your child’s true potential

Written by Dr. Mona Gujral
Published: November 6, 2022

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Dr.Mona Gujral is a certified parenting coach with a background in psychology. She is the author of the best selling book-'Raising a Mindful Parent', a speaker on Mindful Parenting, and comes with over 5 years of experience.

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Those days are long gone when the son of a king was supposed to be the king or when the lawyer’s children were supposed to be lawyers and join in their family business. These days when there are a plethora of exciting new careers and amazing opportunities to choose from, why limit your child’s potential and growth by making a life plan for them according to your wishes?

Discovering and developing your child’s potential is like discovering the notes of music, you know there are different notes and by mixing them in various ways there is a possibility of creating endless music pieces. Bring out the potential of your child, seek how to know the interest of a child, know how to find their hidden potential and you will be amazed by the most wonderful outcomes.

Even though many parents wish to do so, many don’t know where to start. Here are a few ways parents can bring out the potential of their child and hone them.

1. Introduce your child to different activities:

Every child is born with some potential and talent and to bring out the potential that is hidden requires that they be exposed to different learning opportunities and experiences. This way, you are giving your child more opportunities to find the things he or she can absolutely thrive or excel at. Unless parents give children a chance to explore, they will not know how to know the interest of a child. 

Many a time adults end up in the wrong profession and are not happy with what they are doing. At that point, they take the time to discover their true passion and work to bring out potential in themselves. Why not give children opportunities at a young age so that they do not have to go through a phase of unhappiness in their life as far as career is concerned? 

In order to help the children discover their potential early, you need to give them plenty of opportunities to explore and find themselves, so that they are aware of their strengths and potential. Parents also need to provide or create opportunities for children to know how to find their hidden talents. They can encourage them by enrolling them in extracurricular activities, in various clubs in schools, doing fun activities together as a family, or volunteering together in some social programs.

Even as the parents expose children to new experiences, they have a responsibility to check in with them regularly to find out what really excites them, and what does not. Ask them questions about why they enjoy a certain activity or hobby or reading about a particular topic. These questions will lead you in some direction to bring out the potential in the children.

2. Listen To Your Child with Eyes & Ears

Children are great storytellers. They weave a magic world around them and if you listen mindfully, you will get a lot of clues as to what they like, How to find their hidden potential, how to bring out the potential in them, and how to know the interest of a child. Their stories tell it all. So, parents please pay attention to their childish stories and blabbers.

Listening with the eyes is observing them carefully. By observing them carefully you will know if your child is a magician in mathematics, a champion in chess, or maybe a pro at programming. 

In order to know the interest of a child, parents should practice mindful observation, which is much deeper than just watching or casually witnessing the activities. It is important to ensure that their full mind is in place while observing the child.

It is also important to put the effort into understanding your child’s behaviour. By behaviour, it means how they carry themselves in their friend groups, family circles, and social gatherings. How they interact with others and how they project themselves speaks a lot about their personality and interpersonal skills. For example, children who know how to handle a situation all by themselves and can communicate well with others around them, and are able to take decisions all by themselves will do really well in media, communication, marketing, sales, journalism, or management.  

So, listen to them, and observe them with your eyes and ears to know the interest of a child and bring out the potential in them.

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3. Help Them Understand and Nurture Their Talent

When nurturing a child’s talent, it is important that he or she understands the subject, or the topic concerned in depth. For example, if your child is pursuing chess, speak to him about the various types of strategies, introduce the great players of chess to them and their achievements, and so on. Parents must use the opportunities to enrich and broaden their understanding of the subject.  

There are many indirect ways to provide background information about a particular activity to sustain their interest and curiosity. The important thing is to not be too intrusive in this process, as you may scare them off from the activity.

However, if you think your child has the necessary skills to advance in a particular activity yet refuses to continue it, you will have to find ways to bring out potential and ensure that your child retains an interest in the same. Maybe giving a temporary break is a good idea, only to make a come-back sooner than later.

4. Do Not Underestimate Non-Academic Skills

If your child shows interest in music, sports, or art just encourage them. Do not have that mindset that these are a waste of time and will not help them in the future. These days with lots of new avenues coming up, you never know if this non-academic activity is what your child would excel in and has the potential to make a great career in. 

Letting them hone their non-academic skills helps in the brain and overall development of the child. Sports help in the development of their gross motor skills and encourage brain development. It also teaches them social skills such as teamwork, camaraderie, and cooperation. Painting or arts in any form enhances their creative abilities. Playing a musical instrument is one of the few activities that stimulate both the left and right hemispheres of the brain at the same time and so helps in brain development. 

All these other related activities such as singing, dancing, acting, musical theatre, and drama workshops play an important part in increasing the child’s self-esteem, and confidence, and developing a positive self-image.

5. Create a Peaceful & Non-Critical Home Environment

A healthy, stable, and peaceful family environment plays a very vital role to bring out the potential of a child to the fullest. Give them the space to talk about their hopes and dreams, no matter how big or unattainable these might seem. This is an opportunity for the parents to know how to find their hidden potential and interest.  

The more inspiration they get from their parents to pursue a specific thing, the more motivated and confident they feel in their abilities. Build an ‘I can do it’ attitude in them. Let your kids know that they can be whatever they want to be, and do whatever they want to do, in their life.  

Too much criticism can discourage children and cause them to think that they are not good or not talented.  While it is important to share your feedback with the child, provide them in a constructive manner. Parents need to be careful of the kind of feedback they give to children as it may cause them to shut off from pursuing their talents.  

One thing that is common among all successful people is that they discovered their passion at an early stage in life and their parents helped them pursue it. Their parents did not refute them as silly or asked them to follow the family businesses. You can bring out the potential of the child and help them achieve greatness in life if you let them follow their heart, and not try to mould them into a person they are not meant to be. Let them fly and mark their own success.

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The views expressed are that of the expert alone.

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