Helping Your Children Discover Their Gifts

Lori Vacek

Lori Vacek, Memorial Mommy Blogger

I remember when I was a girl, I had so many big ideas about all the things I would do some day. I look back now and see how adults around me squelched my ability to blossom. They seemed to take my exuberant personality as more of a nuisance. It took many years before I could enjoy and revel in my person hood. It is so important to encourage our children to love who they were created to be. Here are some ways I have found that not only promote children in their gifting, but help them discover what their gifts are.

  • When you have an inkling they like a particular activity promote it
    My oldest son loved to draw. He would make his own comics and stories. We made it a point to make sure he had lots of art supplies in several mediums—crayons, paints, markers, different kinds of paper, books on drawing and lots of comics he could read. He has become a very talented artist and I am still amazed at his creativity.
  • Help them participate in activities they love
    Join a team, take a class, buy an instrument. Watch for areas they seem to really take to. Recently, we won a bowling party and the kids and I enjoyed the package together on a school break. We rarely bowl. My daughter, who had never bowled before, rolled one great score after another. We all had a great time. We are going to keep bowling. And next season she can join a team.
  • Express exuberant praise for a job well done
    Mention their accomplishments to friends and family and watch them beam with joy!
  • Go to their special performances and, make sure they know you value their efforts
  • Take time to listen to what they are saying – really listen
    I always say to them “I am listening.” This solidifies that I care about what they say. 
  • Hang good papers, art projects, cards they make in a prominent place
  • Let them try different activities and gauge their interest
    School lessons can be a great place to explore poetry, a certain subject, a time in history, or a famous character. My one son did not like to read. He did the minimum requirements needed. He always complained about the stories we read, until we read a book about Thomas Edison. I found he enjoyed reading about real people in history. His personality was such that he found fiction ridiculous.
  • Help them overcome obstacles that make them feel less confident
    Do they struggle with reading, or sports, or using a screwdriver? Give them opportunities to explore and try that difficult activity in a safe non-competitive way. You can always employ the help of someone else. Maybe a grandparent or friend to teach basketball skills, or build a bird house, etc. A friend of ours paid for her son to take a class to help with his reading and he blossomed through it!
  • Don’t take on the guilt
    If their interests are something hard to obtain like surfing in Michigan, or going to a school you can’t afford, don’t take on the guilt. I was sure I wanted to climb mountains as a girl, and I realize now that was not for me. Adversity, disappointment, and failure, if dealt with as an opportunity to grow, can be as powerful as success. Dr. Dave Williams of Strategic Global Missions says, “Failure is NOT fatal.”

Invest in your children’s gifts, talents, and abilities and watch them blossom into magnificent citizens. They will become encouragers of others around them. And promote opportunities for others to grow as well.


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One response to this post.

  1. Good advice, Lori. I have a daughter begging to be in Girls on the Run. It is time we start running.


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