The ultimate goal for any parent is for their children to be financially comfortable in their career and happy in their personal life. If they’re able to combine the two and find happiness and satisfaction in their career, all’s the better. Not only will this lead to a more enjoyable life overall, but accurately matching your skills to your job is key to staying employed. According to a recent survey by Robert Half, 36% of surveyed executives said that aside from performance issues, a poor skills match was the top factor leading to a failed hire.
You can help your children get closer to jobs that are right for their abilities by identifying and encouraging their natural talents from an early age. This is the best way to also provide them with a well-balanced future. Let’s take a look at some of the easy ways you can start helping your child’s talents blossom.
Keep a keen eye out
At an early age, children will start to instinctively pursue their talents but usually won’t be able to recognize them as such. Little ones will see a box of paints or an electronic keyboard as opportunities for play. It’s your job to recognize that your son repeatedly returning to the crayons and coloring books means that he could be a future artist.
You should keep your eyes peeled for potential talents even into early adolescence. At any point in your child’s life, an interest in certain subjects or fields could be the prime opportunity for cultivating talents. Even the more seemingly frivolous ones could lead to a career they love. The average woman will change her hairstyle about 150 times in her lifetime, but if your daughter is already making steady gains towards this number with multiple changes in hair color and lengths, she obviously has an eye for style and innovation. This could lead to a future as a professional stylist.
Validate their interests and forget about yours
Many parents will want their children to love the same activities and subjects that they love. They think it will give them a special bond and they’ll be passing down a legacy of sorts. You and your spouse may be among the 37% of U.S. adults who say that their favorite sport to watch is football and you want your child to also love the sport so that you can all watch Sunday night games together. While it’ll be great family time if your child happens to be interested in football too, forcing them to have an interest when they don’t will only cause strife in your relationship.
Instead, it’s important to give your child the choice in the activities they want to pursue. When children can actively choose their interests, they will have the necessary drive to cultivate their talents.
Although you will have your own opinions about your child’s interests, be sure to leave those opinions at the door. You may think that anything to do with cars is boring, but don’t ignore your child when they share with you that Carroll Shelby constructed 654 small-block Cobras between the years 1962 and 1968. Even if those words mean nothing to you, ask your child more questions about Shelby and tell them how good they are with all of this car stuff. This small dose of encouragement can lead them to a promising career in the automotive industry.
Give them opportunities
A key step to nurturing talent is to give your children the chances they need to develop them. Without opportunities to exercise talents, they may remain suppressed during a child’s formative years. These opportunities can be small, like giving a budding percussionist a drum kit. They can also be bigger, like taking your young animal-lover who told you last week that alpacas are one of four species known as camelids to a local petting zoo or alpaca farm.
As your children become teenagers, give them bigger and bigger opportunities. Look online for events at local colleges or in your community that are in line with their talents and interests. This will help your teen get out the door and give them real-life experience in their interests. Connecting your teen with a mentor in their field also provides them with a great opportunity for future career and talent growth.
Watching your children grow and develop into their own unique personalities is a wonder like no other. As you see them become their own people, remember that you can help transform basic interests into lifelong passions. Simply be observant and do what all parents are meant to do for their children: provide.