Simple But Effective Ways to Raise Smart, Happy, and Talented KidsMusician and composer Ryan Cayabyab, veteran choreographer Teacher Georcelle, award-winning graphic artist Robert Alejandro, and engineering teacher Lei Sta. Maria share some tips and techniques on how you can nurture your child's potential.CREATED WITH WYETH NUTRITION PHILIPPINES
As your kids become increasingly exposed to the world, they may feel overwhelmed when they try to discover what they're good at and what they want to be when they grow up.This can be overwhelming for parents as well. After all, discovering and nurturing your child's potentials is no mean feat. Here are some ways you can accomplish that, according to experts in the arts, musician and composer Ryan Cayabyab, choreographer Georcelle Sy, graphic artist Robert Alejandro, teacher Lie Sta. Maria, and celebrity moms Dimples Romana and Toni Gonzaga.
1. Let your child know that being different is okay.
This is key to helping him reach his full potential. Dr. Lourdes Bernadette "Tippy" Sumpaico-Tanchanco, a developmental pediatrician, says, "You can see different things in different children in each development stage. As parents, we have to be sensitive about that."
Dimples Romana is mom to a teenage daughter and a toddler son. "While your kids may come from the same parents, each one can have different characteristics," she says. Never compare one child's development with that of another.
2. Play it by ear.
In nurturing a child's potential, Ryan Cayabyab, also fondly called Mr. C, believes that "spotting a child's talent depends on his level of developmental growth. I figure this out by helping the kid meet his expectations, then push him so he [will] not remain static."
Mr. C has spotted many kids with potential and has groomed their musical talent over the years. In the course of their musical training, he gives each of his students the same song exercises. "Here you can see their differences—how fast or how well one child picks up the skill or song versus how another child does," he explains.
3. Understand what motivates a child.
Dimples says that she learned how to listen better by understanding what drives her children: "It's easier to listen to a child who is motivated by the [same] things that motivate you. But if they are silent, it means you have to be more keen and observing."
Georcelle, the force behind the G-Force dancers and a mom of three, agrees: "Each kid has a different motivation. Each kid has a different personality, so we need to be flexible."
4. Expose them to different kinds of stimuli.
Dr. Tanchanco offers the same advice. "When children are very young, expose them to as many things as developmentally appropriate," she points out. "Some kids don't get the same amount of coaching or mentoring, and others are late bloomers and just need a nurturing environment."
5. Be careful about social-media consumption and influence.
According to Dr. Tanchanco, social media also presents some valuable learning opportunities. "Parents need to structure the way kids use social media," she says. "Keep it developmentally appropriate, and regulate when and how social media is used."
6. Be specific when you give praise.
Give the child a specific description to praise what he or she is good at, says Dr. Leticia Penano-Ho, a clinical psychologist. By doing so, you improve your child's self-esteem as well as his understanding of his talent. If he sings well, for instance, praise his enunciation of the words or the clarity of his voice instead of merely saying, "Very good."
7. Keep it fun.
Robert Alejandro's main goal is to engage kids in a fun manner. "I want to give them space to discover and enjoy because this is the best way to learn," he stresses. "Every individual has his own style. I like to nurture the individual gift."
Dr. Tanchanco concurs, "As long as your kid is having fun, it means you aren't being too pushy with him. Just give him a nudge to go a little beyond what he usually does, and know when to back off."
"Just keep on exposing your kids to different things," Georcelle says. "That is how you discover what's fun for them and what excites them."
8. Don't limit kids to labels or categories.
"The moment I box them in, that's it—that's also what they do to themselves," Dimples says, "so when my [teenager] Callie asks me, 'Mom can I do this?' I tell her, 'Whatever makes your spirit soar, do it."
Dr. Ho cautions against calling a child a "genius": "The term should no longer be used because it does not encourage him—it is excessive and exaggerated."
9. Watch your words around your kids.
New mom and celebrity-host Toni Gonzaga gives her two cents: "The way we speak to our kids becomes their inner voice, so we have to be encouraging as they aspire to reach their own dreams and goals."
Dr. Ho says that the way parents talk to children affects the children's attitudes. This is why it's important for parents to be careful with the emotional environment they create.
10. Make sure your child's body is well-nourished.
"I want my son Alonzo to be tall, but more than that, I want him to have a strong body as well as a healthy mind," Dimples explains.
Promil Four is specially formulated for children ages three and up to provide proper nutrition and strengthen their immunity at that crucial stage of development. Being well-nourished will help boost your child's physical and mental growth as he begins to discover and hone his potential.
Ready to take his development to the next level? The i-Shine Talent Camp, now in its sixth installment, is a smart way to cultivate your child's talents.
I-Shine Talent Camp 6 offers classes for kids interested in dance, music, art, and engineering. Renowned teachers from these fields will serve as camp masters: Ryan Cayabyab, Georcelle Sy and her G-Force dancers, Robert Alejandro, and Lei Sta. Maria.
Enrollment is now open and workshop starts on April 2. Click here for more information.