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Most parents are worried about their child’s talent.
And with the onslaught of prodigies springing up in every corner of the world, you are concerned too.
In this post, I’ll be sharing some perspectives that’ll help you understand how to set up the right systems to help your child navigate their talent.
So, let me make this clear, I don’t want my child to be a genius.
I don’t want her to be left open in a domesticated space and time.
I don’t want her to be bringing to life the unfinished stale ideas and dreams of my wife and me.
So, I don’t want my child to be a prodigy.
Making your child a prodigy comes at a cost.
Cost of fatigue from life and people.
Cost of negligence and being negligent.
Cost of abuse, both emotional and physical.
Cost of misuse of fame and money.
Fast forward years later we know where the prodigies will end – they’ll be tired, scarred, lonely, and craving for ‘a normal life’.
Saturation, complacency and high vulnerability take over the kids. They are being constantly crafted to become something that they don’t believe in. They are made to live someone else’s dream.
Over the last two decades, I have seen families devastated and going bankrupt.
These were the same families who pursued stardom, fame and money for their kids.
They invested time, money, effort in fuelling their false hopes of taking their kid to the ‘next level’.
But then, there are times when they strike gold too.
Then all of a sudden, the kid is the world’s best, a genius, a prodigy and a legend in the making.
And we know how this concept is hammered into us. All with the intent well enough to make the kid marketable and her skills scalable.
With this noise, the commercially activated maestros and greats want a piece of this attention-pie.
All this seems good as a point of entertainment.
Entertainment for the ever bored viewer, who is ready to consume into a tub of anything that pops and is salty.
They don’t care about what is being presented to them.
They want the edge of the seat finishes, easy and recognizable presentations, powerful dramas and parodies. They want their mindless brain to be scraped louder.
I don’t want my child to be a prodigy and exposed to this sordid section of society.
I want my daughter to explore the wilderness.
I want her to keep changing paths, questioning, altering all her thoughts and beliefs.
I want her to decide what is the right choice for her.
I want her to not stick to any life systems that she gets inspired from.
I want her to build her own life system with her own influence, experience and struggle.
As parents, it’s easy for my wife and me to build a passion ecosystem for her. I can influence her choices and limit it to what we like.
It’s very easy for us to place a child in a world of dreams and goals that is not theirs. And that’s not meant for them.
It is very easy for us to generalize the statement saying that “this child is destined to become the greatest musician” or “the greatest actor” or “the greatest mathematician”, or “the greatest spelling bee champion” for that matter.
We blatantly impose our beliefs, systems, dreams, thoughts, and values, which have corroded inside of us.
We try to polish our rusty passions and dreams through our kids.
It’s like you’re giving an old worn out vessel to your child and asking her to scrub it till it shines. In the process, you make the child believe that their life is in and around this vessel.
Some soul-searching questions to answer
The parents who want to live their dreams through their children have some soul-searching to do. Starting out with these tough questions will help…
Why should a parent imprison their children into this world of stardom?
Why do you want your child to be out there, exposing her candid spirit and her innocence?
Why do you want to exchange her naive-ness for acting mature, for being talented, for being smart, for being the Master?
Why would you want your child to bear the burden of your own unfinished dreams?
You also might want to read this Reddit conversation
I can manufacture my child into a prodigy, but…
Today I have all the means, resources and a burning passion to make my daughter a prodigy.
I can build a limiting world around her, and make her believe that she is limitless. How nice!
My wife and I have got diverse passions. I love music – I could make her the next biggest all-rounder-musical sensation. My wife loves maths, she could make her a genius mathematician. But we as parents chose to build a path that’s tough to build. We are making an effort to let her sample anything and everything that she thinks of. We have equipped her with a huge life explorer binoculars to zoom in and zoom out of things that stimulate her interest.
We want her to decide what’s her right and wrong.
We want her to be in.de.pen.dent in a practical sense.
I don’t care if she does something great in life or not. I don’t mind if she chooses to do absolutely ‘nothing’ in life. But I know that for the path we are building for her, she will come out of it strong.
She will be unscathed and unscarred by what the world around thinks of her and her journey.
I know both my wife and I will be proud of her, for being the master of her own destiny. And we as parents are proud of building this road that’ll lead her to wild freedom.
And if what I shared has resonated with you, I would like to help you out. Below I’ve listed the core things you can do to avoid falling the commercial loop of exposing your child. The steps are brief but enriching.
Here’s how to nurture your child’s talent
This is a very crisp version of what you must be doing to nourish your child’s talent. The defaults before you kickstart this 5 step advice is to stop panicking, stop worrying and stop comparing. Just like me, you want the best for your child, and it is achieved with you being mindful and embodying positive energy. Now that you’ve understood this, let’s jump into the 5 Steps…
1. Be Clear
Make sure you as parents or siblings are clear headed. Just because you like something, does not qualify your kid to like it too. Seeing the kids initial interest aligning with your passion does not mean you can ‘lock’ them in that field. Avoid pumping in all your resources, time and money to make your child a superhero. Understand the reality. Don’t force your kids to become something that you wanted to become. Act on your truth.
2. Give a new experience
Open your kid to a world that even you have not experienced. This should typically be the things that you have not thought off.
- Example –
- Maybe you as parents had this longing dream of becoming a singer, so you’ll start instilling that vision in your child. All your references, materials, viewings will be around music.
- Instead of doing this, try picking a random area of interest – let’s say wines.
- Take your child to a winery. Let your child see how wines are made. What are the career options in the field? Let him take a walk in the grape farm, let him chat with the farmers. And collectively as a family let the curiosity simmer.
- You’ll be amazed to be part of engaging in conversations as a family. Poof. It’s like a small door to a huge world burst open inside all of you’ll.
3. Build an experience path
Next step would be to build an experience path. Continuing with the winery example – create a winery world. Buys books, download videos, games, watch interviews, make DIY wines at home. Experiment and dive deep into the world of winery. Give it a good 90 days.
Documenting the learning from this experience is important. If your child can’t you as parents can make a series of videos, write blogs or even make a podcast around winery. When a child repeats his experience by documenting, his concepts and ideas become broader. The energy the child embodies in this stage is an early indicator if she wants to dive in deep into this area of interest or let it pass.
5. Review and Repeat
The last step as a takeaway for you is to review and repeat. Review your child’s progress and based on her interest extend the experience path. Engage them in more richer mediums to content and learning. And when you see the interest reaching its saturation, restart and discover a new field or area of interest. Repeat the process – let your child soar.
Give her new worlds to live in.
She must fly, discover, experience, live and choose what she wants to be.
And I sincerely wish this for your child too.