Inspiring the genius in your child…

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In my prior note, I stated that your child had genius potential within him or her, in fact we all do. The challenge is finding and unlocking the potential to further develop a skill in which we naturally have an inclination to perform. A great deal of this depends upon you as a parent making it a safe place for your child to open up as well as creating high expectations of him. Another thing that is important to consider is that your child’s genius may not come in the form of academics. She may be a great artist, he may be a future entrepreneur. Your job as a parent is to provide as many resources as possible to foster your child’s potential. Below are a few ways you can seek to inspire your child.

  • Always encourage their ideas, Always.

    No matter how infeasible you think an idea may be, it is vital that you encourage your child to continue to think creatively. Remember 20 years ago, we never could have imagined that we would have smart phones.

  • Identify careers related to what he likes to do and the standards required to achieve them.

    For instance, my sister was interested in Korean culture and language, I informed her of the various careers available for linguist. Artists might be interested to know about careers in architecture, geospatial intelligence, or web design.

  • Identify stories of kids who have done what they seek to do.

    All over the world there are inspiring stories of children entrepreneurs, musicians, and intellectuals pushing the limits and achieving great feats, there’s no reason your child can’t be the next.

  • Show them the positive news

    Statistics are always identifying black students as falling behind academically. Inspire your child by providing news stories showing black students who are excelling and how that is ultimately impacting their lives. In this way, they can see from someone who is a peer what they can aspire to.

  • Shoot for the moon.

    Encourage your child to shoot for the best and begin preparing them early. Learn the standards for top tier schools in their field of interest. Learn what it takes to be a CEO or lead developer in that field. Read mini biographies and identify people as proxy role models.

  • Encourage them to take chances.

    Do not make them feel that if they fail it is the end of the world. Failure is a part of life and is often the way in which people learn the greatest lessons that lead to their success. If you discourage them at the first sign of failure, they will be less inclined to try again.

  • Invest in them.

    Act as an investor when they want to start a business, buy books to help them learn a skill or craft they are interested in and hold them accountable for doing it.

  • Ensure they have a Plan B.

    We want our children to follow their dreams but sometimes things outside of our control can limit that potential. The coal business was booming before they discovered electricity. Encourage your child to be skilled at more than one craft and flexible in his or her skill set.

  • Lead by Example.

    Parents often say things like ‘Do as I say, not as I do’, but in the long term your child will follow your example and not your words.

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