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Encouragement

Encouraging Talented Children

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As a student you might have wondered how one or two students in the class were able to solve the questions in unbelievably short time during class tests or even annual exams. If you recollect, such students generally resorted to making some kind of mischief in the class or they walked out of the examination hall with a pride. This gives an indication of the sharp mindedness and extra-ordinary ability of the students in solving the questions. Such students more or less belong to the category of talented children. Here one noticeable trait is evident that talented children experience boredom when they compete with the average ones. From this analysis it is obvious that there should be appropriate atmosphere, curriculum and company for these bright children to meet their special needs. In order to let creative mind of a talented child flourish it is essential that parents and teachers should try to let the child have a free play of mind without pressing it to conform to the set standard.

Broadly speaking, children who are gifted with comparatively a better ability to learn or grasp are termed as gifted or talented children. Every child develops grasping or learning power according to its age but some of them have extra-ordinary capabilities to pick up things. Such a distinct talent is wasted if it is not recognized and encouraged or adequate facilities are not provided for its development.

How To Make Your Child A Winner
The first trait we need to develop in our children is not to let the feeling of awe overcome them even when confronted with a person of exceptional stature. They should fully understand that all men, be he the President of USA or the Chief Justice of India , have feet of clay. What one person have achieved can not only be equalled but also bettered by them. The only thing they have to learn is to be able to draw a line between disrespect and being at ease in the presence of elders or authority-figures. They would do well to respect authority but not fear it. There are rules, as in any game, to be observed in the arena of life. Let the children learn to play the game well.

To achieve this , children should be exposed to varied experience from early life. They should meet eminent and successful people to be able to realise that there is nothing so great about someone, which is not within their reach. They will then be able to actualize their dreams. In addition to encouraging them to acquire knowledge from anywhere, including reading of books.They should be taken to places of interest to give them an idea of the physical world. Knowledge gives confidence and adds to the personality of the child.

Goal Setting
The quest for success begins with a target. The child must know where he has to reach. "Going up Yonder", Clinton used to say, his eyes on the White House, and he did achieve his ambition. Children without goal squander their energies in going in different directions. People wonder through life like sleep-walkers, not knowing where they are going : they lack goals. Goal setting is actually focusing your energy to move in the decided direction. We should help our children to set goals for themselves. The goal can be a rolling one, that is , short term goals-like getting 80% marks or standing first in a debate or becoming the captain of team-leading to the long term goal- like becoming the Chief of Army Staff or Chief Election Commissioner. Our children can draw inspiration from the example of a journey undertaken : it has a purpose, direction and destination. They should not stop till the goal is reached. Human beings are like thermostats : they can not go higher than they aim at. They should thus be led to set achievable goals, and having reached, they should fix new ones.

Perseverance
The next on our list is the quality of perseverance and patience. Talent does not pay so much as perseverance does. Successful people rose and fell in their lives.Yet they did not quit. The famous jurist Mr. M.C. Chagla had to wait for 5 long years before he got his first client. Zarathustra did not gain even a single convert to his faith for the first ten years. Europe laughed at Columbus for his attempt to span the Ocean , but he did. Thoman Edison recorded over 50,000 failures before he developed a satisfactory storage battery. Pt. Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mendela, they all went to jail for many years before they could achieve success or win adulation. Great monuments of the past are made with a lot of labour, patience and perseverance.

Taking Risk Without Fear Of Failure
To move in a rut is the easiest thing in life. "Ships are safe in the harbour but they are not meant to be there". They should be up on the high seas and if need be , facing the storms. Therefore, encourage your children to take risks in life : Nobody can rise high by playing safe most of the time. Unsuccessful people instinctively avoid taking risks. We should urge our children to continuously take on something new and more challenging than they have already achieved. Overcoming problems generates a tremendous thrill and the achievement is highly satisfying. They should not fear failure. They should be made to recall how they were learning cycling, they fell a few times, injured themselves but gradually steadied and rode on. Nobody has led a failure-free life. We have all failed in our tasks and failed often. Children can draw inspiration from the example of Robert Bruce who finally won his kingdom back, and Benjamin Disraeli who could not speak in the parliament the first time he tried to deliver a speech, but later he became a very successful Prime Minister, or Gandhi who failed to argue his first case but later shook the mighty Empire. Each setback should be treated as a rung on the ladder of success. Success eludes us because we have not failed enough. Failure his merely the cost we have to pay for success. Children must fully grasp that failure is not always to be viewed negatively. A dose of misfortune is often an effective tutor. So the youth should not be deterred by temporary setbacks : they should pull themselves up and try again.

Persuade the child not to think much about obstacles, most of which are imaginary but do deter people from trying.

Will Power
Perhaps the most important ingredient for success is a strong will power i.e. the power to control ones impulses and actions and not to give up in the face of difficulty. Beethoven turned deaf but he did not surrender to his fate : he struggled and made a resounding success of his life by his indomitable spirit. One is not necessarily born with his spirit ; it is a skill which can be sharpened by practice. People who indulge in vices like excessive drinking, gambling and taking drugs sometimes wish to stop but can not because they lack in will power. It can be built up gradually by resisting temptations. Children can begin by refusing to see a movie or a favorite TV program for a week : they can refrain from indulging in gossip or criticizing somebody for ten days. Setting deadlines for achieving a particular target, say reducing one's weight by 2 Kgs within one month, would help tremendously. Writing your specific goal would go a long way in developing a will power. By saying that, "I am going to study more" would not be of use but deciding to study to study for 2 hours a day is indicative of definiteness.

Children should be allowed to succumb to peer pressure : They should follow their own beliefs. Let them tell themselves that they are good. Self esteem and positive feeling about oneself spur people to excel. So a child's concept of self should never be trampled upon. Let boys and girls feel that they belong to a respectable family, a good community, a good school and a great country. it gives them the will power to overcome their moments of weakness.

Communication
Kids ought to know that we communicate in many ways : orally, in writing, through body language, not doing something which is expected, silence, tone, pitch, eye contact and so on. The way we sit, stand, walk or talk, all speak of our personality, confidence and character. Children should fully grasp that clear and precise speaking presupposes clear thinking crystallized ideas. Therefore children should be made to practice communication skills in all possible ways.

Training In Childhood
Encourage your ward to take on responsibility in early days. Whatever position is offered to your child ( say Monitor of the class, a perfect, Captain of a team, secretary of a club or society, participation in debates, dances, comparing a program, taking parts in dramas etc.) should be voluntarily accepted by children for getting trained, besides assisting them in developing and sharpening their talents. There are thousands of situations where responsibility can be undertaken and the qualities needed for a successful life honed. At home parents can provide an opportunity to their children to express their views fearlessly in family matters. They could be asked to initiate discussion. They can be given the responsibility of soliciting the opinion of other family members and then either take a decision or bring about a consensus. Inspiring stories of great men to their progeny: tell them how they achieved greatness. Inspiring stories quotations, parables, anecdotes, examples of tenacious, adventurous people go a long way in instilling the spirit of success. Great players, musicians, artists, inventors, and authors have all climbed the ladder of success by constant practice.

Hard Work
This brings us to the fact that rarely do we achieve something without hard work and sacrifice. Spectacular achievers can be distinguished from low achievers because they focused more on what they wanted to achieve and worked towards it with full commitment and enthusiasm. They applied their energies to their strengths with total dedication and relentlessness.

Enthusiasm
Let children be enthusiastic about what they are doing. They should think, talk and dream about it. Enthusiasm helps one to do a great deal of work without fatigue. Those who achieve success are always full of fired . The spark is there in most of the youths : we as parents have only to ignite it. The process may be slow but surely it is possible. So allow your child to dream the impossible, for if there is no dream there will be nothing for him to achieve! Remember the winner's podium is for those who seek it and try for it.