Can your family’s unique set of strengths and quirky interests help your son or daughter’s long term talent? Yes, it can.
Your family’s identity is one of the most overlooked assets for building talent in a child.
What is it? Your family’s identity is how others describe your family. That’s it!
If you understand how to use your family’s identity, it becomes emotional jet-fuel.
The younger the child, the more leverage you will get out of using your family’s identity to blast your child out of being in a state of being average.
You’d also use academic goals and personal interests. But the family’s identity gives the most emotional leverage.
Here’s a simple example of how you would enlist your family’s identity to push your child’s passion and talent forward:
Imagine that your daughter has a serious core writing skill she is developing as part of her long-term talent. She takes her craft seriously. She can write with poise and conviction.
Imagine also that your family’s identity = “providing hospitality”.
You are that hospitable family at church that everyone turns to whenever there is a person or event that needs to be honored appropriately.
Your family knows how to get people together, and you all take great joy in helping others honor those important occasions in life.
Let’s go back to your daughter’s skill = “writing”.
Those two apparent disconnected pursuits could stay disconnected. And that’s how most people would see the situation.
Here’s a better way: you MAKE those two worlds of writing and hospitality connect. This requires some imagination, but not anything outside of a little effort.
Enlist your daughter’s writing skills to enhance your family’s already great strength in the area of hospitality. A writer needs something to write about and needs to write for someone. A young person needs quick feedback as to whether what she is doing is appreciated.
This immediate outlet for her writing comes through your family identity.
Have her compose short biographical sketches of the people or events being honored and then follow up after with congratulatory and thank-you notes. Write summaries of the event for the rest of the people who could not be there.
This range of events to be written for, and for which she would almost have free reign within the safety of her family’s sphere of influence, would be amazing.
Typical events would be birthday celebrations, retirement events, wedding showers, baby showers, memorial services, post-ordination receptions, visiting missionaries, receptions for guest speakers, etc.
She can easily gauge the feedback she got from exercising her skill.
All of this engagement through her writing skills to provide value to others is guaranteed to emotionally super-charge her to take her writing skill to the next level.
It is critical to use her family’s identity and strength at a young age.
If she were thirteen and wanted to do such things independently, she would most likely be blocked (and correctly so) as being too young and inexperienced.
She would most likely not even have the vision or the social savvy to initiate on her own to such a service level to other people. But because it is her parents’ strength and joy to do hospitality, they can easily clear that way for her and protect her from any social danger.
Eventually, yes, that daughter, without her parents’ involvement, may find a way on her own to get that involved, but that is not likely to be possible until she is at least sixteen or seventeen.
The difference between her parents connecting her talent with her family and her parents being disconnected from her talent growth is the difference of three years. It is probably even more than that as the developed skills compound in usefulness.
What is your family identity?