Parenting is really the noblest yet toughest job in the world. A parent has to be everything to a child; the loving one, the stern one, the provider, the comforter and many more job descriptions. All these aspects of parenting are aimed at nurturing these little bundles of joy to become successful and responsible adults.
Most parents do excellently well in many parenting aspects; the problem comes in when you are told that you have a responsibility to discover and nurture talents in your kids. The first thought many get is, “How are his grades?”, “Is she excelling in mathematics and sciences?” If the answer is positive to these questions then we assume that they are gifted kids. Woe to them if they do not excel academically; they are assumed to be ‘normal’ and the only solution is to push them beyond their limits so that they can succeed academically.
Our society has established a trend where we classify a gift as only academic. We therefore overlook many other types of talents in areas such as music, art and cooking. This is why you will rarely hear of an international-famed musician or a globally acclaimed artist in Kenya. From a young age we teach our kids that being books smart is the key to a successful life. Parents are in particular responsible for quashing gifts that would have flourished and led to a more fulfilling life.
The truth is, children are very much like a diamond in the rough; you blow of the dust around it and it shines, you step on it and it goes deeper into the dirt and out of sight. You must work at discovering what your child is really good at and then work together to nurture that gift. It does not matter whether the talent is academic or not; what matters is that you encourage your kid to excellence in that area.
To make sure that your child is pursuing his or her passion, expose them to a variety of things at a young age. Sign her up for cooking, music and art classes or get several educational toys to observe his academic ability. After a while you will know where their gift lies. After that your main job is to cheer them on, in both words and actions.