The abilities that are gifted by nature to a child can help them find their niche in life – the key is to carefully observe your child’s aspirations. You may know people who dreamed of engaging in a particular activity, but life had other plans and they felt unfulfilled. To help a child succeed, it’s important to understand how to develop their talents. We will discuss these nuances in this article.
Stages of development of abilities in children
It is incorrect to claim that geniuses are born. The development of a child’s abilities is a long and complex process, which is classified according to the stages of its development:
- The initial stage (up to 2 years old) – during this time, children gain their first knowledge about the world through intuitive understanding and imitation of adults in the activity that appeals to them.
- Early development stage (from 2 to 6 years old) – children begin to develop their motor and language abilities.
- Middle development stage (from 6 to 12 years old) – children continue to develop their motor, language, and logical abilities, and they also begin to develop their own social identity.
- Late development stage (from 12 years old and beyond) – this is the adolescent stage, when children begin to form their personality. This stage is characterized by critical thinking and self-determination skills.
Types of intelligence in children
Based on a series of studies related to the stages of formation and children’s inclination towards certain activities, American psychologist Howard Gardner classified types of children’s intelligence. He documented his work in the book “Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences.” Gardner described the key points as follows:
- Linguistic type. Children effectively use language as a tool for self-expression. They actively participate in discussions, willingly express their opinions, are able to listen to others, and can articulate their thoughts effectively in written form. Children with this type of intelligence have difficulty mastering exact sciences and find it challenging to solve mathematical problems.
- Logical-mathematical type. Children gifted with this type of intelligence are capable of logical thinking and can find creative approaches to solving mathematical equations and problems. It is important for parents to pay attention to the development of their children’s cognitive abilities and to provide further development of such abilities by experts. This is a great start for realizing their personality in the future.
- Spatial type. Children endowed with this type of intelligence are capable of perceiving visual images. They can easily imagine a geometric figure in their mind, orient themselves on a map, and will not be confused when given a certain task. The task will immediately arise in their mind.
- Physical-kinesthetic type. These children are restless. Their own body is their main tool for self-expression. Therefore, it is very important to support the development of children’s creative abilities, for example, by enrolling them in a sports section or dance group. Usually, these children are extraverts. They are eager to perform in public and are ready to demonstrate their abilities to other people.
- Musical type. Children with this type of intelligence love music in all its forms of expression. They can listen to music compositions for hours, sing songs, and even write their own works. It is important for parents to timely notice their children’s musical abilities and provide their development to competent professionals.
- Interpersonal intelligence. These children have excellent organizational skills. They are ready to become a leader in a team, capturing the moods of other people. Such children easily establish contacts with others. Communication for such children is the main tool for self-realization.
- Intrapersonal intelligence. Usually, these children are introverts. They think a lot, observe, draw conclusions that they may not even share with others. It is important for parents of children who have this type of intelligence to encourage the child to express their thoughts and emotions.
- Naturalistic type: These children are interested in the world around them: flora, fauna, and the structure of the world as a whole. Offer them literature related to natural sciences or enroll them in a club where they study the basics of natural sciences.
It is important to emphasize that most children do not fit into the framework of one or another type and have a combination of different types of intelligence.
How to uncover a child’s talents?
Parents play a crucial role in diagnosing a child’s abilities. They are the first critics and mentors who can motivate their little ones to develop in a particular direction. Let’s provide key rules that parents should follow for the successful development of their child’s talents.
- Firstly, pay attention to what your child is interested in and what they excel at, as well as what they struggle with. This will help determine how to develop your child’s talent further.
- Give your child the opportunity to explore and practice their talents on their own. For example, if your child expressed interest in joining a dance group, don’t dismiss their desire – let them try it out.
- Boost self-esteem: remind your child of their achievements and help them feel confident in their abilities, even if things don’t go as planned.
- Find qualified mentors who can help your child develop their talents to the highest level.
- Allow room for experimentation and failure: don’t rush to determine your child’s activities. Children may have a keen interest in polar opposite areas. However, your child will eventually make their own choice and focus on a specific activity.
- Provide a positive and supportive environment: show interest in your child’s talents. Encourage them to follow their passions and provide the necessary resources for their creative development.
- Be tolerant: your child may genuinely not understand why you don’t share their interests. Remember that every child is unique and gifted with a unique talent.
Your child’s achievements are the main reward for parents. We have outlined the fundamental principles of how to identify a child’s talents and abilities. Remember, no matter how talented a child may be, parental support is essential for achieving success and dealing with failures.