Intentional parents take time to draw out the gifts & talents in their kids. They cultivate their potential through encouragement & support.
Every single human being is filled with gifts and talents, kind of like a locked treasure chest, just waiting to be opened. When my children were toddlers, I used to watch them intently, trying to understand what made them sparkle. Over time, I noticed a pattern. Certain things made the one smile and not other, the one enjoyed a creative expression whilst the other kept on trying to figure out how things worked. These are all clues.
1. Cultivate awareness and take notes
Without a doubt, we live in a distracted world. The competition for our attention is fierce out there. However, one trait of a parent who raises a world changer is that they are an intentional parent. Cultivate awareness when you’re around your children. Take notice of the things they are interested in or the compliments they receive. Notice what makes them tick and what drains their hearts. These are all clues and then write it down. Keep a record of these things so that in years to come, you can look back and see how far they have come.
Why don’t you take a few moments and record the following about your children:
- Their name and the meaning thereof
- Their talents and gifts.
- Don’t forget to include what kind of adult you dream of them becoming.
- Scriptures or comments they have made that are significant.
Intentional parenting happens when we look at the big picture and long-term vision and then head in that direction. I created a parenting journal that I’ve done just that and plan of giving this as a gift to my children when they are 21.
2. Intentionally develop their skills
What talents are your children displaying? How can you open up an invitation to develop those talents with skills? What do you need to do to help unfold their lives? Depending on your children’s age and stage of development, make time to teach them skills they can build on in years to come.
3. See, hear and encourage your children
Barbara Coloroso said, “Encouraging a child means that one or more of the following critical life messages are coming through, either by word or by action: I believe in you, I trust you, I know you can handle this, You are listened to, You are cared for, You are very important to me.”
If we are to bring out the potential within our children, then we would be wise parents to create a safe place at home. When our children feel safe, then they can take risks and try new things. Let them know that you are on their side and are cheering them on.
4. Pray for your children
Like any mother, I carry many dreams in my heart for my children. Since pregnancy, my journals have records of the hopes I stored within for my two kids. I have watered these deep thoughts with prayers and care. When we pray for our children, we can partner with the Lord in releasing them into their own destiny, not what I think it should be. It’s in those times of prayer, that I surrender them again to God’s care, and faithfully raise them to become healthy, well-adjusted adults.
I’ve prayed prayers of intercession, of petitioning, of repentance (for when I didn’t parent my children as I should have) and I’ve prayed about the releasing aspects of being a mom. Did you know that even Mary, Jesus’ mother, carried the thoughts and prophetic words in her heart (and thought about them often). Read Luke 2 and the account of what happened from when He was born till he was about 12 years old.
5. Learn about different types of creativity/intelligences.
In my book, Parenting World Changers, I wrote about this at length:
“Remember that education isn’t just our children going to school or learning to read. If God created us, then we must express the way He made us through our creativity.
“Great things are not done by impulse, but a series of small things brought together,” wrote Vincent Van Gogh. The desire to create is one of our deepest longings. So, what does this have to do with our response to education? If more parents realized that children could learn in different ways, then we can cultivate a generation that learns creatively.
How can you develop your child in different ways:
The eight multiple intelligences offer plenty of options for raising your children to think with creativity, mystery and boldly.
Social or interpersonal relationships – help your child build relationships and discuss ways to grow this form of creativity. For example, you could encourage your child to do community projects, join the debating club and participate in team sports.
Visual or Spatial – create space for your child to express creativity. Gift your son or daughter with art supplies in various mediums. This child loves to draw, paint and enjoys colors. Teach mind-mapping as a means to learn, create and dream.
Musical – Educate your child in this area by taking them to concerts, allow them to learn to play an instrument, sing with them. Expose your child to various musical genres.
Logical/Mathematics – These children love to solve problems and work with numbers. Give them money to count or let them create a schedule for the family. Kinaesthetic – Children like this thrive and learn via movement. Get them a big ball that they can sit on while they do homework or encourage them to move while they learn. Teach them about body language and encourage physical activity.
Verbal/Linguistic – Help your child to tell stories,engage in conversations with their peers. They might also be verbal processors.
Naturalistic – These children are fascinated with nature. Encourage them to collect specimens, watch nature programmes, follow animal footprints or even photograph landscapes.
Intrapersonal – These children like to study alone. Encourage them to keep a personal journal. Give them space to be energized through alone time.
As you raise your children, you are part of unfolding them into becoming a man or woman who can truly make a difference in this world for good!
Click here to download this free printable to cultivate gifts & talents in your children.