I believe that every child is a gift from God. I believe this deeply in my heart, not just because I have a strong faith but also because it makes sense. I also believe each child is blessed with God-given talents and gifts. I feel it is an important part of our job as parents to assist our children in realizing these gifts and talents. Finding these gift and talents will allow our children to fully be who they were created to be. Who knows what greatness awaits them?
I have four treasures — what I call my children — two girls and two boys. My princesses are 15 and three, and my princes are nine and ten. Our family has gone through many diagnoses in the past several years including asthma, scoliosis, autism spectrum disorder, sensory processing disorder, dyspraxia, developmental coordination disorder, ADHD, severe anxiety, plagiocephaly, severe reflux, and other developmental delays. I think it is important that you know that I am one of you. I am a stay-at-home mom who never feels fully capable of handling the day-to-day chaos that is my Perfectly Imperfect family.
I am writing this to all parents, but especially for those parents who live with treasures with differing abilities.
I realized pretty recently that our treasures don’t necessarily see or believe they have any gifts or talents because of their diagnoses. This has really hit home this summer because my fifteen-year-old princess will be starting high school in the fall. She is starting to ask questions about her high school years and beyond. She is thinking about her future and what she wants to be when she grows up. She has several diagnoses that she deals with daily and does not see her gifts or talents clearly at all. She sees everything through the lenses of these diagnoses first and foremost. It is our job as parents to talk with and share that our kids have to see what they CAN do — not what they can’t do. Every treasure has something he or she can do or give to the world. It is our job to help children find their special gifts or talents.
My Children’s Talents and Gifts
For example, my oldest has a natural eye for photography and fashion. She has a talent for working with her hair (naturally extra curly) and has learned all these amazing styles by watching others on YouTube. She has shown interest in possibly becoming a beautician. She loves sports and is a quick learner when picking up new skills. She loves to be the center of attention and was born to be an actress/performer with her larger-than-life personality. She has just begun to write songs.
It is my job to help her look into each of these talents and look at how to make them a reality. It means taking photography classes during high school to grow these skills. It means encouraging her to participate in plays and get involved in the theater program at high school. It means watching shows like Songland to show that you can actually make money as songwriter. It means talking about what it takes to become a beautician or masseuse.
For my princes, talents look very different. It is supporting and encouraging them by trying out several different sports until they find one that they enjoy or want to continue. My youngest son does not like any sports besides swimming. We have tried a few but swimming is his thing! He does it year round, and though he has yet to learn to swim, he has improved so much. Just recently he floated by himself for two seconds for the first time ever. He may or may not ever learn to swim, but that is not the only goal. His confidence has increased so much just by participating in swim. Someday he might swim for the Special Olympics team! He also loves video games, especially old school Nintendo. He picks up how to play games very quickly. I have spoken to him about taking coding classes and learning to create his own video games. Coding could open up many long-term opportunities in the future for him. His knowledge of all things video game is his talent.
My ten-year-old prince loves all sports. His favorites are soccer and basketball, which he excels at. He also loves the water and is swimming this summer. He is our little professor, as he is extremely intelligent. He has an incredible memory, especially for history, politics, and science. We always joke with him that he is going to win big in the future on Jeopardy! He also loves all things military. I know without a doubt his special brain and intelligence is his gift.
Our little princess who is three is the epitome of a Girly Girl. She loves the three P’s: Pink, Princesses, and Puppies. She is still very young, but I already see an inkling of what her gift or talent might be. She is also a natural performer who loves music, dancing, and singing. She loves all animals, so maybe she will be a future veterinarian. She will start preschool next year, and it will be interesting to watch her blossom and grow.
Finding Your Child’s Gifts
Our kids are bursting with talent in one way or another. Find out what makes them happy, what their gifts are, and go with it! The most important part is to nurture and support their gifts. Who knows what our awesome and talented kids have in them just waiting to burst out? I don’t know about you, but how amazing would it be if one of our treasures was the newest sensation on America’s Got Talent?