Spotting and nurturing talent

by Jacqueline Harding. Encouraging your child to try a wide range of activities, without being a pushy parent.

Boy kicking football

Introduction

It can be difficult to find and nurture your child’s talent - along with washing their clothes, taking them to school or nursery and cooking their meals!

Perhaps your child goes through lots of different phases of trying out new things and it’s hard to keep up? Or, perhaps your child isn’t interested in taking up anything new or doing extra-curricular activities?

How can parents and carers encourage children to have a go at a wide range of things while they are still young – without being a pushy parent?

How CBeebies can help

If your child seems reluctant to try out different things, how can you encourage them in a fun, non-pushy way?

How about watching some shows that explore different talents - e.g. Mister Maker (arts and crafts), Carrie & David’s Pop Shop (singing), ZingZillas (music) or Boogie Beebies (dance)?

You can also take a look at the show’s pages on the CBeebies website. There are 60 different Mister Maker makes to have a go at creating. Carrie & David’s Pop Shop has a really fun online game you can play. The same goes for ZingZillas. And there are lots of songs to watch and join in with on the Boogie Beebies pages.

Watching the shows and taking a look at the online activities is an easy, low-key way to encourage and inspire children to try out new things. Why not give it a go?

How to make a magic moment

Finding and nurturing a talent or hobby in a child can be very helpful for their confidence and self-esteem.

Once they have found something they enjoy, how about filming them doing it? Or you could take photographs and place them in a special album.

Perhaps you could even encourage your child to put on a talent show in the living room where they are the ‘star’. They could dance around to the favourite music, demonstrate some ballet moves, play an instrument, recite a poem or nursery rhyme, perform a little sketch – whatever they enjoy doing.

This is likely to go down a treat and create excitement and pride for your child - and it could even create a magic moment that will last a lifetime!

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Top tips

  • Obviously, it’s good to encourage creativity in your child. This could include anything from painting pictures to making up dances with them - all good ways of discovering any potential talent or special gifts your child may have.Encouraging your child to try out different things - such as recorder club, art and craft workshops or piano/violin lessons - can be very helpful in nurturing a talent.Enrolling your child in a sports team or taking them to dance lessons could be nurturing a so-far unknown but natural talent!It’s often good to observe what your child likes to do naturally. What do they want to spend their time doing? This could be an indication of where their natural talent lies.

Expert opinion

The secret to being an ‘encouraging parent’ rather than a ‘pushy’ one seems to be all about fanning into flame a natural gift in your child, being the supportive springboard, the wind beneath their wings - and the safety net when things get tricky and they need to get up and try again.

Jacqueline Harding, Child development expert

Parent's tale

Encourage children to dance - it helps them with coordination, confidence and self-esteem. My little boy loves to boogie. We make sure we have 10 mins every day where we dance like no one is watching!

Annwen, From Halifax

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