What Kind of Kid Do YOU Have?

Jade works with Jennifer Trausch at the Polaroid 20x24 Studio

My kid is predominately a kitty cat kid…and an artist kid…and a musician kid. Her best friend is a puppy dog kid. In her kindergarten class, I can point out the architecture kid, the princess kid, the dinosaur kid, the magician kid, and so on…

As parents, it’s a hard lesson when we realize our kids might not be cut out to follow the same path we pursued, or the one we might want them to pursue. Instead, it’s about encouraging and enabling them to follow their own path, given their unique package of strengths and talents.

I wonder, if my parents had “made me” pursue opera singing lessons as a kid, would I be a great opera singer today? Did parents of Tiger’s Woods encourage his 10,000 hours of golfing because he loved putt-putt? Did Renoir’s mom realize he had a knack for painting when he was helping paint tea cups or  do some other art activity?

When and how do we discover our child’s strengths? Perhaps we’ll discover it when we sit back, watch and listen to what they give us…the obvious and the subtle hints: their home reenactments of a play they just saw; their copy of a painting from a museum visit, or a song self-taught on the piano or toy saxophone.

Instead of enrolling your child in ballet or piano lessons, for example, first expose them to it through performances or concerts. Show them alternatives, like jazz, tap, hip hop, before signing up for the class. If offered in your community, consider having your child take a career or talent sampler workshop, or create your own, where you expose them to different talent areas so they can see what piques their interest most.

Organize a sampling of interest activities: a visit to a local photographer’s studio; the neighborhood vet’s office to see how science plays a part of a vet’s life; or visit a local art museum and ask about tours or sample classes to expose your child to an art experience. You can do the same with food. Maybe your child is the next Bobby Flay or Julia Childs. Expose them to great foods, local restaurants and experiences at farmer’s markets and area farms to discover new options.

Jade captures her Vegetable Still Life

Use this summer to learn about your child’s unique talents and interests with these great tools and resources:

1- The Renzulli Profiler identifies your child’s strengths, interests and learning styles.

2- The Primary Interest-A-Lyzer– developed for kids k-3 to discover their non-academic interests.

3- The Secondary Interest-A-Lyzer-developed for middle schoolers

4- An Interest Inventory for High Schoolers

5- Interest-A-Lyzer for Adults– Developed by Joe Renzulli at the University of Connecticut

6- Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

7- Child’s Play: Enriching Your Child’s Interests, from Rocket Science to Rock Climbing, Stamp Collecting to Sculpture by Monica Cardoza

8-Your’s Child’s Strengths by Jennifer Fox

9- Career Tech, Career and Academic Connection-a great resource for parents to find career information based on the interests of their kids

Helping understand, develop and nurture children’s interests and talents is paramount at Jade’s ToyBox. Consider one of Jade’s ToyBox Concept Boxes that match the interest of your child, or call us to create a custom box, like a dinosaur box, a kitty cat box or a magician box to match the strength and interests of your child.

"Vegetable Still Life" by Jade


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