My Kid has talent

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Smart Money, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. Thought I'd throw this out there since this is a chit chat board and you guys are my peers.
    My kid has talent in a couple areas. She's 5 years old, and I know that its way too early to be looking at this stuff yet, but I've noticed she's got quite a talent at endurance running compared to other kids.

    Also (and I know this sounds silly), she has a natural talent as a driver. She's a "gear head" and just has a natural understanding of how to drive, what to do in video games when a car gets in a drift, etc. Its kind of uncanny. My Dad was a great racecar driver who could have been great with sponsership and all that so its in the blood.

    I recognize you guys are talented, and since the apples don't fall far from the tree, you probably have some talented kids of your own, so you're a good sounding board.

    How do you know when (or how much) to foster these talents. For example, judging from my daughters endurance, and how my wife's and my physique is, and my daughter's physique (i.e., long arms, short waist), I think my daughter would be an excellent swimmer.

    But I don't want to put her through that. 3 hours a day, every day, for years, for the possibility of maybe getting a scholarship.

    Likewise, do I build my daughter a go kart, and take her racing trying to make her into another Danica Fitzpatrick for years and then find out she doesn't quite have what it takes? Yet if I don't do that, am I not doing my job as a parent if I can?....(I have the resources).

    How do you know, as a parent, when, or how much to push a kid? Yeah, its early yet, but when to start, and how much?

    SM
     
  2. Kids are unsure of themselves, they often give subtle clues, be on the look out for what they want to pursue and how much.

    They are afraid of disapointing you and themselves, so don't be overbearing yet let them know you'll go all out for them and won't be mad if they change their mind.

    Kids almost expect encouragement from thier parents because of the love and blood bond, so with this being said, encouragement from unrelated adults is very re-enforcing.

    Don't gripe, if the kid hears you complaining about the expense, time, or work involved they may feel they are doing you a favor by not asking.

    Kids are wierd.

    :D

    I knew a kid who was an school record setter in 6th grade track. His parents lacked discipline in other aspects of the kids life and he never amounted to anything, what a waste of talent.

    Point being, a well rounded lifestyle.
     
  3. Thats an odd question. Her ring fingers are a little longer than her index fingers.

    SM
     
  4. Thats too wild. I'll have to compare her fingers to those of her sisters. I googled some other studies and found that the greater the ratio, generally the higher correlation to higher levels of excellence. Of course, there is also the individuals desire, which is a huge factor, but it is an interesting study.

    SM
     
  5. I know what you mean there. I was at a paintball tournament once with this kid in his early 20s. He smoked, and drank like a fish, but I've never seen anyone run as well as him. Amazing athletic ability just squandered. If I had half of that, I'd have been an olympian. Unfortunately, I inherited math nerd genes.

    SM
     
  6. As a guy who was pushed to extremes, I advise you not to do it unless you have signs that your kid is naturally interested in something.

    I'm a mental wreck as a result of what my parents did to me. Always feel like a perpetual loser in everything I do, even when I succeed. I succeed (and fail spectacularly) often, but what is the point if I feel like dirt on the inside? Maybe I -am- a talentless loser, but that's not the point. The point is that there's a right way and a wrong way to nurture focus and interest. Try not to, for example, show extreme pleasure when your child does something you like but something she does not necessarily like.

    I had this real deep interest in astronomy in 5th grade. I wanted a telescope really badly, but my dad made fun of me and never got me a telescope. He said astronomers don't make any money and that I was stupid for considering anything outside of medicine.

    By 7th grade, I had a skinny friend on the track team. He told me I could get fit by running track after school. I proposed the idea to my dad and he basically said my body was shit and I was an idiot for even thinking I could ever be good at track.

    By 9th grade, I was in and out of psychologist offices, on various drugs, had disciplinary problems. By 10th I had a police record. I had no friends and was a miserable wreck. The internet was starting to take off, and I just started computer programming as my hobby and for entertainment. By then, I ignored my father and just did what I wanted.

    I sometimes wonder what it would have been like if he encouraged me and worked with me instead. I turned out to be an ok programmer, but my brain is so warped and tortured I doubt I will amount to much more.

    Things are "calmer" in life now for me, but what I mean to say is that when a child has genuine interest, they will talk about their interest, go out of their way to read about their interest, want to practice their interest, etc. It's your job to encourage and guide, calmly discuss learning from mistakes, etc.

    In a way, trading taught me more about being human and accepting error than my parents ever did. It's the learning from mistakes part that keeps getting me through life now, not the perfectionist-created-by-my-parents part. I wish I could impart this knowledge about being a proper loser to everyone in the world, really. I feel as if this is applicable to raising children to be winners, too. One of those "if I knew then what I know now" things.
     
  7. Don't encourage your kids in anything. They will do what they find enjoyable, without any prodding from you. Just offer them a wide variety of things to try, and then support them in the things they enjoy and get motivated by.

    Also, she's 5 - this is ridiculously young to even be asking these kinds of questions. Many people have no idea what they want to do until their 20s, 30s or even later. You sound like a prime candidate to become a pushy controlling parent, so be careful.