When I was teaching, I was promoted quite early on to our head office as a gifted and talented advisor. Whilst I was teaching I developed programs that made a huge impact on all children, but in particularly children who needed their social and emotional needs supported so they could reach their full potential. Whilst this started out as a specialist field for gifted and talented students, I developed personalized programs that used these strategies for all children.
How did this impact children’s lives?
- Decreased anxiety
- Love of learning and school
- Decreased in relationship issues amongst friends (as everyone was interested in their strengths and goals)
- Increase in academic achievement
So let’s look back in history to see how BIG heroes were inspired by their parents as LITTLE heroes:
- Steve Jobs: his dad taught him electronics as a kid because he was curious and loved figuring out solutions
- Oprah: her grandmother taught her to read at 3 because she always carried them with her
- Mark Zeckerberg: his dad taught him basic programming because he loved gaming
- Jay Z: his mum bought him a boom box because he kept banging on the pots and pans in her kitchen
- Gandhi: his mother taught him as a small child to always help others because he was empathic from a young age
What these parents did was: THEY RECOGNISED THEIR LITTLE HEROES: strengths and interests then they allowed for opportunities to deepen this.
So what will you start with your little hero today? What do they love?
During my research as an advisor, I noticed the key problem was children were stressed and focused on the ‘processes’ (eg. exams, group work) rather than focusing on their knowledge and strengths. Group work can often be difficult for kids (especially gifted and talented kids – but all kids and toddlers!), so let’s help them with some simple strategies so they aren’t worried about this and can focus more on developing strengths, talents and impact.
I have created a simple ‘group work’ strategy which you can laminate and put in their playroom, study or use as bookmark.
After making that transition from teacher to parent, I thought to myself, will I be able to apply what I did so well in the classroom with my own children? At first if I am honest, I don’t think I did it so well. Well I didn’t think I was at the time. I thought I needed to be teaching Hunter to spell at 3 years old or Archie to count at 2 years old. I was completely going against what I would advise parents when I was teaching.
YOU DON’T NEED TO TEACH YOUR KID TO READ AND WRITE, LEAVE IT TO THE TEACHERS!
Unless they are showing huge potential in these areas and you want to, then go for it, but RELAX and enjoy them, teach them those life skills.
I have put together 6 easy strategies that you can do now to help:
- TALK TO US! Make our questions open ended! (ie. not just one answer to your questions)
- READ TO US! Research it says it stimulates how brain
- PRAISE US: Our results not just for tiny little thing, make it meaningful and linked to our actions!
- CELEBRATE CURIOSITY: Take us to the Zoo, museum and then lets us teach others about our experience
- FIND TEACHABLE MOMENTS: In the grocery store, get us to pick up skinny carrots, 4 cans of peas and something with a blue label or get us to draw what we want for our breakfast
- SUPPORT OUR SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL WELLBEING: so the learning comes easy to us, teach us skills like resilience, goal setting, trust, gratitude, how to overcome fears, how to eat healthy and exercise and how to help others.
If you would like to know more about how to support your child’s social and emotional well-being and to build a solid foundation for life and learning, get a copy of MY HAPPY BOOK.
I have created a learning kit for parents to assist their child with deepening their understanding of topics, understanding their thinking processes, develop curiosity and support their social and emotional well being to provide a solid foundation for learning.
This kit is for children (ages 3-6 years) which is guided by their parents and independant use for children (ages 6-12 years).
In this kit, I go through practical activities that you can do with your child to further develop these skills.
NOW OVER TO YOU:
What are some talents of your kids?
How do you nurture your child’s talents?