Saesha, my 8 year old niece, is a born artist. She draws her heart out on paper. I can’t think of anyone else in the family who has this unique ability. Congratulations! We have a gift.
US Department of Education defines Giftedness as the “Children with outstanding talent who perform or show the potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared with others of their age, experience, or environment.”
These gifts could be in intellect, academics, creative, art or leadership ability.
Every child is special but is your child gifted? Read the stories of two of my friends who were gifted.
Story of Mukti
Mukti sketched exceptionally well. All her classmates knew that. But when she entered 3rd grade, something happened which changed the course of her life.
That day, Mukti had done a sketch for her new teacher. She handed the sketch to the teacher and waited in anticipation. The teacher examined the sketch and what she did next surprised everyone. She tore the sketch apart and threw the paper bits on Mukti’s face. Mukti has never forgotten what the teacher said, “You liar! No 7 year old can make such a beautiful sketch!”
Tears came rolling down Mukti’s cheeks. None of the classmates could gather the courage to stand up to her defense.
She never drew a sketch again.
Story of Kshitij
Kshitij, my friend from school, sang very well. I can’t think about him without thinking about him singing. He sang at the school assembly, in the playground and in the bus. Everywhere!
He was once caught singing to the class when the class was supposed to be doing an assignment. Fortunately, the teacher liked his voice and let him finish singing.
She said, “You have a wonderful voice. Class, complete the work quickly if you want to hear another song from Kshitij!”
Everyone clapped. Kshitij’s confidence knew no bounds.
Fast forward 20 years
Kshitij is a successful playback singer. He has performed at coveted musical shows like “K for Kishore”, “Indian Idol” and “SA-RE-GA-MA-PA”. He has worked with many top playback singers. He has sung for Bollywood movies and has debuted as a Music Director. He is currently off to Dubai for a performance.
Mukti, on the other hand, is doing a standard IT job. She has recently woken up to the fact that she once dreamt of being an artist. She wants to pursue her dream now.
WHAT I LEARNT
1. Tune in!
I need to stay tuned in to my child. I need to keep looking for their areas of giftedness. Okay, agreed, not every child will be gifted. Reality. And that’s fine.
Whether or not your child is gifted, they surely have strengths. That, at least to me, is a gift too!
Tanav, my 5 year old son’s strength is that he really uses his mind. He just can’t cram. Good for him but never an easy day for us. We have to have reasoning for everything we teach him. A small price to pay to further strengthen his strength.
2. Teach Them to Keep Walking…
My child will meet several people along the journey of life. People like Mukti’s teacher or Kshitij’s. I need to keep them prepared for those times when someone tries to shatter their confidence.
Keep reminding them that Good things are coming down the road. Just don’t stop walking.
3. Do What You Can.
I want to play my part in helping Saesha become a great artist. I am not an expert myself but I can look for opportunities to show her works of Picasso, Michelangelo and other great artists.
4. Treasure the Gift!
Less than 2% people in the world are truly gifted. I need to treasure my child’s gifts and strengths!
“Don’t caste your pearls before swines!”
Never ever ever ever ever ever let your child’s gift get in the hands of those who don’t value it or, worse still, ridicule or reject it.
Stay tuned to know if your child has a gift. Open the package. Instill Confidence. Be a Guide. Treasure the gift. Praise. Celebrate. Don’t ever let the gift go waste. Will you rise to the occasion?
Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams, for when dreams go, life is a barren field frozen with snow.
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