Raise up a Child the Way He Should Go......

Updated on January 21, 2008
J.A. asks from Grand Rapids, MI
5 answers

My son is only 3.5 years old. So, I know I have lots of time to figure this out. But, I have a general question in regard to the direction to "Raise up the child." When I was growing up, I showed a talent in the area of drawing, spacial relationships, etc. I entered contests, and did well. BUT, my parents never gave me private lessons for art, painting, drawing, etc., but rather opted to concentrate on music lessons, etc. While I have my elementary education degree, that can use all my talents, I sometimes wish they had invested their money where my true talent was, especially during high school. How can I be a good mama in this are for my son? He's probably too young to really know what's best right now, but how do you know what a child is really the best at??? You don't want to spend too much time on any one thing, as that might block his knowing the larger picture to begin with, and also then his options that he may not have thought of otherwise. I guess what I'm asking is WHEN did you know it was time to focus and invest in one area?

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answers from Davenport on

Hi J.,

One of the MANY struggles we face as moms...how do we nurture them to be the best they can be.?. I certainly don't have any answers but can tell you what I do. I have 4 children from 21-5 and have definitely changed my approach over the years.

With my oldest I involved her and put her in front of those things that she naturally loved...reading,writing, socializing, dancing. What she struggled with we didn't involve her in or helped her through when necessary(if a school subject).

My oldest is grown and doing what she loves. She is in a very social field (International Business), she travels often and she loves it. There are areas she is very strong in and areas that are very weak, that she is now trying to strengthen.

With my others, again by around 2-5 yrs were very strong in certain areas. I realized these things come natural to them and will always come easy for them and when given a choice these are the things they will do...now I focus on activities that strengthen those weaker areas.

For example, I rarely read to my daughter who was reading long before she started kindergarten. She already has a love for reading. We spend our time cooking and playing games that encourage math skills. She has music lessons because she loves music but I always encourage them to do 1 thing they love and one thing that will grow them and be a challenge.

I don't think you will question what your child's natural tendencies are because they will always find a way to do them. The only time I have ever seen value in focusing on one area is for scholarships and I always encourage my kids to go for the academic one...least amount of injuries and best pay-off long term. A lot of prayer never hurts!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Lansing on

You sound so much like me. I was also concerned as to how to help my children develop their talents. I believe it is a parents responsibility to help their children to develop their gifts. Sometimes though, they have to find out them self and it might not show up until after they leave home. I can't wait to see your responses. So much good advice I would of never thought of. I wish I had something like this when my children were little. I believe mostly that you will see the talent by what they gravitate to. Just like you did. What you do to help also depends on your finances. My help comes in the form of encouragement and affirming and pushing them to try if they get an opportunity. I also pray for open doors for my children. I have some that are musicians. They are amazing! I didn't have to force them to practice. They did everything on their own. They also showed talent in art but they chose music. I affirmed even though I like art. Others were pulled to sports, so there is school and going to the home games to root them on. One will be going to camp to learn scuba diving. He has a rich friend who's parents needed to find a friend to go with him. He was chosen hands down and I didn't need to push him for this one. ha. The one who liked to take off all the time and be free spirited has a heart to be a missionary now and has gone to Africa, China, Australia, Philippians and Viet Nam. He is 30 now and he is ready to go at anytime. He also loves music but running is more what he likes most. My little girl liked babies and grew up to be a mom of 2. She is a natural. I grew up drawing like you with no private lessons either. It actually gave me an adrenaline serge. You can see some of my art (if you want, along with pictures of my family) at: www.itsalthea.mysite.com. I had to give it up to take care of my babies but hope to go back to it. Well, this response probably isn't helping much, but I have found that kids will let you know what they like even if you don't. The only thing I wished my kids to get experience in that didn't was dance. I took dance lessons and loved dancing. But I did get a daughter-in-law that is a dancer and dance teacher. So how do I rate? yes! A.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Lansing on

I always listened to my children, and let them try what they are interested in if we could afford it. Most kids try many different areas before they find what best fits them. Expose them to many different arts, crafts, and sports as you can, and eventually they will let you know--then expand on that.

I don't know if this helps, but that is what we did with our children.



answers from Bismarck on

J.--A friend of mine recently sent us this link:


because we have a son who is sensory challenged in some areas but very gifted in others. Maybe it will give you some insight as to you son's natural abilities and shape a path to walk. Enjoy every minute!

C. M


answers from Lansing on

I don't think there's an exact answer to your question. You know your clild and what he likes and dislikes right now so go with that. As time goes by if you see something new he likes then go in that direction. I think the most important thing is exposing kids to as many different things as possible so that they are able to become a well-rounded people and to determine what they do and don't like.

Good luck!

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