Helping a Child Discover Her Talents


If a child has a talent won’t it just appear without any encouragement? If you’re meant to be an artist, it will be very evident. The same with being a writer or a musician or even a fireman. Surely, a talent can’t stay hidden? Or maybe it can.

When I was growing up, I didn’t think I had any talents. I was an unremarkable child. I was rather ordinary. I used to dream about being someone special without realising that I already was special. (All children are.) I just didn’t know it.

As an adult, I have discovered I do indeed have many talents. So why didn’t I find this out as a child? I don’t think I experienced the right conditions for my talents to become obvious.

The other day, I watched a Ken Robinson video on Youtube. It’s called Life is Your Talents Discovered. Ken Robinson said: “Talent is often buried. You have to go looking for it, and create the conditions for it.”

I used those words as a starting point for this week’s podcast. In episode 73, I explored how we can help our children discover their special talents. I invited my 21-year-old daughter, Imogen to join me so she could share her own experiences and thoughts on this topic.

In particular, we discussed the following questions:

  • Do children’s talents need the right environment in order to be discovered?
  • How can parents create that environment?
  • How can we support a child’s talents?
  • Should we be worried if a teenager doesn’t know what she wants to do as a future career?
  • Do we put too many pressures on teenagers?
  • How can we help children who seem to have no interests?
  • What if children don’t want to do anything but watch TV?
  • What if they don’t want to do anything but play?
  • Is play valuable? How has it helped Imogen as a musician and writer?
  • Do parents feel pressured to offer their kids impressive learning experiences? Do they feel pressured to show others that their kids are doing impressive things? Are we all too competitive?
  • How did we cope with multi-aged kids, including babies and toddlers, while homeschooling?

Towards the end of the podcast, I told Imogen about a new idea I’ve been thinking about. If I post my podcast on a Monday, perhaps for the next few days, I can post something to do with the podcast topic on my Stories of an Unschooling Family Facebook page. I can add links to blog posts or videos or books. Maybe people would like to comment. And then when I get my smartphone (it will happen, one day, I’m sure!), perhaps on a Friday, I could do a Facebook Live session where we could discuss any questions or points leading from the podcast. What do you think? Would that be a good way to continue the conversation?

Show Notes

Imogen Elvis‘ Facebook Page

My Stories of an Unschooling Family Facebook Page

Life is Your Talents Discovered: Sir Ken Robinson

Images: If you’ve watched Imogen’s latest music video, The Sound of Silence, you’ll know I took these photos during the video shoot!

If you haven’t already joined me on Facebook, please do! And watch out for some extra links this week which will relate to the topic of helping kids to discover their talents.

Also, feel welcome to stop by to comment or just say hello. I’d love to hear from you!

Thank you listening to this week’s podcast!

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  1. Reply

    Brilliant, brilliant. I'm the same age as Imogen and it sounds like we have similar moms, too! 🙂 If you (or her) are interested, I wrote an article yesterday reflecting on my time as a homeschooled child, and the independence that meant for me. I've written it here:

    1. Reply


      I'm so glad you could relate to our podcast conversation!

      Thank you so much for the link to your post. I enjoyed it very much. I especially love the final paragraph:

      "The recipe for learning was simple to me–curiosity, a dad with a big library, and a rebel mom who had dropped out of the comparison game completely."

      I am similar to your mother? Oh, I do like the thought of being a rebel mum!

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I'm so pleased you did!

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