SHKP Club has received incredibly enthusiastic support from members since the launch of the "Stay Strong and Fight the Pandemic" and the "Decoding Your Child" webinars. On the back of these successes, we recently hosted the "Nurture Your Child's Talent" webinars, inviting experts to share with parents how to identify a child's strengths early on and how to ignite their talents and creativity, so that to boost their learning ability and self-confidence. Participants responded enthusiastically, actively utilising the online platform to seek tips from the speakers on bringing out a child's innate talents, and suggestions for parent-child activities that help to foster creativity. The highlights of the two webinars are shared below, to help parents get on the right track for nurturing their child, and to promote harmonious parent-child relationships, embodying the spirit of Loving Home in Harmony.
Seasoned Educational Psychologist Dr Eva Lee pointed out, that each child has his or her own unique potential and talents. She suggested that parents should focus on their child's interests, observing what they love to do, the activities they never seem to tire from and those that they show proficiency for. In this way, you can identify their strengths, consistently cultivating and encouraging them from a young age. Through sharing a series of cases, real-life examples and interactive sessions, she explained that when nurturing and educating a child, it is especially important to remember that "everyone has a talent" and that one should "teach according to aptitude".
Everyone has a talent: Parents shouldn't solely focus on a child's development in terms of IQ factors, such as language and logic, because this ignores other types of intelligence and skills, such as physical movement, music, and interpersonal communication. Parents should explore their child's talents in a more holistic and multi-faceted way, accounting for their child's moral quotient (MQ), emotional intelligence (EQ), adversity quotient (AQ) and creativity quotient (CQ), which are all equally important for their development. It is important to appreciate aspects that make up good character, such as a child's sense of responsibility, patience and empathy, as these qualities are a potential treasure trove that have a profound, positive impact in life.
Teaching according to aptitude: Children learn using all five sense, including, touch, smell, sight, sound and taste. It is helpful for parents to gain an understanding which of these sensory systems their child is particularly good at using, or is interested in, because they will be able to express their talents more effectively when utilising the method that is best suited to them.
Excerpts from the member's Q&A session
Q: How do you avoid children comparing their talents and strengths with siblings and classmates?
A: Children may engage in comparative behaviour because they find themselves dwarfed by others when parents and other adults praising others. To turn this around, parents should provide immediate affirmation, support and encouragement to their children when they display their talents and demonstrate the courage to try. This helps to enhance their self-confidence and teaches them to appreciate themselves.
Q: Does taking your child to different extra-curricular activities help to uncover their preferences?
A: In fact, it is a good indicator of a child's interests if they take initiative to learn something or pick up skills on their own. Parents should observe their child's behaviour and habits, let go of their own opinions and enter into honest communication. Parents should utilise their observations to help guide their child in identifying their own goals and preferences and help develop their skills, through conversation.
Educational Psychologist Danny Wong (Daddy Danny) mentioned that the key to creative thinking is being able to leverage three key skills, the "analytic", the "synthetic" and the "practical". Wong cited the name and experience of Apple founder, Steve Jobs, along with his own examples of parent-child activities to showcase the use of creative thinking at a variety of levels. He encouraged parents to guide their children to utilise diverse learning, greater experimentation and understanding a broad range of life experiences in order to tap into their creativity. Below are a few ways that you can develop your child's creative thinking abilities.
Learn to level-up: Using your mind and imagination, you can transform something absurd or "useless" into something "useful", novel and interesting. Craftsmanship, data-collection and problem-solving during the training are all essential elements in creativity.
Find a connection: Creativity depends on the ability to bring together past experiences. Broadening a children's learning and allowing them to dabble in new things can enrich their experiences, help them to connect similar features, and give play to associations, enhancing observational abilities and inspiring creativity.
Discuss and communicate: Interacting with other people and discussing issues can stimulate thinking, develop speaking skills and self-expression. Parents should carefully describe the ways of thinking and analysis to their children, because it helps them to understand a comprehensive and structured way of thinking. You can also inspire a child to think creatively and come up with new ideas using questions in the process.
Excerpts from the member's Q&A session
Q: How can you instil abstract creative concepts in children? Can clips of music tutorials be used to help enhance creativity?
A: Parents can interpret examples in their daily lives, so that children can slowly absorb the concepts present in them. Some YouTube videos are educational and worth watching, but you should instil a "limit" on the watching, for both the time and number of clips they are allowed to watch at one time, so as not to compromise their focus and control.
Q: For children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), what should be the focus when working on their learning ability and creative thinking?
A: A child with ADHD often has a lot of new ideas whirring around in their mind, but don't have the ability to control or express them effectively. Parents can try to intervene and respond at the right time, helping their child to write down their ideas and give them a chance to reorganise their thoughts. This will gradually cultivate a more systematic model for thinking and learning.