Friday, April 16, 2010

Top Five Ways to Identify Your Child’s Gifts

Hey Everybody!

Children keep us guessing, don't they? When it comes to our middle schoolers, they can be particularly baffling! One way to help your child stay focused during these turbulent years is to keep her pointed toward the particular giftings and abilities that you see already there.

Be observant. When is your child happiest? When he is serving/helping others? When he is engaged in a particular activity? Become a student of your child and seek to know him well simply by paying attention to him.

Encourage interests. Often the very things that are happening in your child’s life right now are encouraging him toward God’s plan for him. For example, a trip to the emergency room gets your son interested in medicine. Buying a new home has your daughter considering interior design. My son Derek has discovered a passion for radio. What began as calling the deejay, Josh, to request songs and win contests turned into a mentoring friendship! Derek has been down to the radio station several times and Josh is teaching him how to run the board. He also gets airtime, introducing songs and making public service announcements. Now Derek is all over broadcasting! What are your kids interested in? Find out!

Understand differences. The Lord often pairs an outgoing mother with a shy child (and vice versa). Encourage that child with some behind-the-scenes roles, rather than constantly pushing her into uncomfortable situations. Watch her shine as you assure her of her value and importance.

Look for mentors. And pray for them! Ask God to lead you to people who can mentor your child and people who may recognize the giftings that you might not be aware of. Often the Lord speaks to us about our kids through the fresh voices of strangers.

Get ready to be surprised. Don’t be too quick to put your middler into a categorical box. God will reveal timely gifts and attributes; your child will develop new talents and acquire additional interests as he experiences life.

Have a great weekend, everybody!


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