Create a template for success
Every kid is born with natural talents that develop in their first few years. This template is a simple guide to identifying and applying your kid’s talents. It is also a guide for setting goals for success.
Use this template to connect your kid’s talents to multiple school subjects. You can use this template by itself or in combination with other programs and activities. Here is one way to discover your kid’s talents.
Transforming talents into strengths
This template is a guide for transforming talents into strengths, with the goal of increasing academic and social success. Using this template, you and your kids can focus on their talents and less on their weaknesses. The list below is a set of natural talent showing one or more of the natural talents that your kid may own. While this may not be an exact science it gives you and your kid an advantage which can be leveraged in many ways to create higher levels of optimism, positive self-awareness, and healthy relationships with others.
Student natural talents
Doer – Kids who have a powerful work ethic and are not satisfied until finished with what they have started. Doers are results-oriented and are driven by producing things.
Questioner – Kids who search for why things happen and think about all the factors that might affect something. Questioners analyze and look for cause-and-effect.
Organizer – Kids who like to shape and mold people into action with the goal of making things happen. Organizers enjoy producing results with different individuals and groups knowing that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
Believer – Kids who have unwavering fundamental values that drive their life experiences. Believers act with meaning, purpose, and conviction.
Communicator – Kids who enjoy transforming ideas into words, images, or symbols and readily feel comfortable speaking with individuals and groups Communicators use both verbal and nonverbal techniques to convey their thoughts to provide information to others.
Competitor – Kids who enjoy measuring everything and believe progress and merit can be determined through the proper measurement tools. Competitors are motivated by opportunities to apply their other talents where success is defined as how well they perform compared to others.
Connector – Kids who look for themes and patterns which link people and things together. Connectors understand the world around them looking for why things happen and making sense of what on the surface are separate entities and events.
Developer – Kids who are motivated by creating something new and are always looking for the potential in things and people. Developers look for small and big things to create and improve and are never satisfied with the status quo.
Appreciate – Kids who value the characteristics of individuals, groups, organizations, or entities and seek to fully understand their positive contribution. Appreciators make a special effort to discover and acknowledge intrinsic or natural qualities and how they can be applied to create opportunities for success.
Thinker – Kids who love to use their mind where their other talents determine where they focus their time and attention. Thinkers are constantly looking for intellectual stimulation and opportunities to overcome problems and challenges.
Woo – Woo stands for winning others over. You enjoy the challenge of meeting new people and getting them to like you. Strangers are rarely intimidating to you.
Six steps for creating kids success
The deficit model is alive and well in the public schools. In other words, the public schools are not interested in what our kids know or their talents. The public schools are only interested in what kids don’t know and what they must learn. The public schools exist to teach a specific curriculum that has little to do with the talents, interests, or needs of kids. The curriculum is not designed to identify talents and certainly not to teach kids critical thinking. Rather, the goal of the curriculum is to make kids submissive, in many ways, and obedient.
To reverse this emphasis on curriculum and to have talents and strengths drive the learning process, requires parents to take an active role in their kid’s education. Below is a template to get you started.
Step One: Select a Natural Talent
Hold a conversation with your kid around the above list of natural talents. Discuss them in detail. Provide examples. Tell stories. Once you have discussed the natural talents thoroughly, select one talent from the list you and your kid would like to explore in greater detail.
Record your talent here: ___________________________
Step Two: Choose a Subject Area
Choose a subject area for the Natural Talent you have selected. From the list below, circle the subject area it would fall under. For example, the natural talent, Questioner, might go under the subject, science. However, it should be obvious, that the natural talent, Questioner, could easily fall under multiple subjects. It all depends on the subject you want to emphasize. Circle your subject now.
- Language Art
- Physical Education
- Social Sciences
- Fine Arts
- Career and Technical Education
Step Three: Generate interests
Continue the conversation with your kid around her general interests that might fall under the subject area and the natural talent selected. Record the interests here.
Step Four: Transform Natural Talents into Strengths
Before you begin take a look at the difference between talents and strengths.
To transform your selected natural talent into a strength we must first identify the knowledge and skills required to grow the natural talent you and your kid have selected. This can be done in multiple ways but the best way is to begin with an Internet search on individuals who possess and have applied the natural talent selected.
For the natural talent, Questioner, you might want to learn about individuals who are considered expert interviewers, such as lawyers, news people, and law enforcement officers. Your Internet search could examine: Why they ask questions in certain ways? How do they ask their questions? What type of questions do they ask? When is the right time to ask questions?
As you and your kid participate in this investigation, you will be using all kinds of subjects you would normally find in a traditional curriculum. You will also identify the knowledge and skills which help to trasnform your kid’s natural talents into strengths. Record the highlights of your Internet search below.
Step Five: Just Getting Started
This is just the beginning. Because the public schools do not emphasize the talents of your kids, it’s up to you, their parents, to be the driving force for their strength-based education. Fortunately, you have several options to provide your kids with strength-based learning support.
First, you can build their talents around school required subjects. The template above will help you do this. You can also create your own learning program based on their natural talents. This could be a special project based on talents and interests. Be sure to include a reward system.
You can also support hobbies and interests outside of school by helping your kids see how they are using their natural talents with things they really enjoy.
There are plenty of ways to emphasize talents, it just takes a little bit of imagination.