Hearing the Well Done
- Monday, October 22, 2007
SO MANY OPPORTUNITIES!
Music. There are many instruments, many choices. Perhaps the Lord has given your child an interest or a musical bent and you can help free this gift. Be prepared though—in most cases you will have to function as the power behind the practicing, once the novelty wears off. But it is worth the effort, for there will come a time—usually a few years down the road, when the child will become self-motivated, and more than that, will thank you for enforcing practice time.
Maybe your child loves animals. Animals may not seem to have much to do with God's ultimate purpose in a child's life. However, small beginnings often lead to grand endings—who but God is able to see all the connecting lines He draws in a person's life? A specific animal they are interested in could become an area of expertise and may prepare and/or equip them for something later in life. There are clubs for certain breeds, shows, obedience trials, etc., that the child could become proficient in. Are horses her love? Seriously consider bringing that dream into reality. Even if it is not possible to own a horse, what about riding lessons? Perhaps your horse-crazy child could even trade labor at the stables for horse time. Do you live in a place where having a dog is not a feasible? Look into helping your child volunteer at a dog groomer's, or some other related field.
Machines. Boys often find their niche here. It may be small engines, bikes, cars, inventive or creative mechanics. If he (or the occasional she) has a bent in this direction, make the materials available, help him find learning resources, or perhaps locate an older person he can apprentice with.
A word on computer whizzes. It is totally amazing what some children can do with a computer. But playing computer games doesn't exactly qualify as developing a gift. You might explore courses on computer programming or other ways to stretch his gifting and mold it into something useful, not just time-consuming.
These are just a few possibilities, but you may discover your child's strengths lie anywhere from cooking and handiwork to gardening or carpentry. If he likes to work with his hands, look for a class or books that may give him an outlet.
To make the whole process more challenging, each child will vary in self-motivation and the intensity with which they attack a field of interest. Some children will work at something they aren't very interested in, just because they think it is important to you as a parent. That is not the goal here. Again, this is not for us as parents. We are the stewards. God is the owner.
Sometimes you may have to investigate an area, try something for a while, and then assess the child's interest. Do it for six months or more, long enough to truly ascertain whether it is working or not. If that particular field is just not drawing out what is within, phase into another. The important thing to keep in mind in the change is two-fold: Firstly, the child must not feel like the switchover is due to failure on his part. This finding and developing God's giftings in a person is not an issue of success or failure, but rather of discovering and exploring an area of talent, enjoyment and/or service. Secondly, we must be careful to communicate that following through and finishing something is important. It would be to a child's detriment to start many things, yet carry none to a definite conclusion.
With that in mind, it is helpful to keep the focus narrow—one or two areas. Helping a child achieve excellence in one area is more valuable than facilitating a dabbling in many but mastering none.
Beware of starting a child too young. This can be a tricky one, especially for home school parents. A common trap is to try to prove to the skeptical world that you are indeed schooling your child, and isn't he amazing. See? He's playing the violin at three years old! Young starters often "burn out". Also, for many young children, it may be too early to really discover their strength(s).
Recently on Homeschool
Have something to say about this article? Leave your comment via Facebook below!
Listen to Your Favorite Pastors
Add Crosswalk.com content to your siteBrowse available content