Sunday, May 15, 2011

Discovering Our Kids Strengths

God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well. 
— Romans 12:6

You never know when a moment
and a few sincere words can have an impact on a life.
— Zig Ziglar

Mr. Randall drove a garbage truck for a living in his hometown of Peabody, Massachusetts. One day as he was getting ready to empty a trash container, he noticed a Wendy’s soft-drink cup with a contest sticker still attached. The week before he had won a chicken sandwich when he pulled a sticker off a cup, so he was hoping to win some fries or a soft drink this time. Much to Craig’s surprise, he peeled the sticker and found it was worth $200,000, money he could use toward the construction of a new home!

A careless person discarded the cup as trash, but Craig saw its potential and found a great treasure in the process. We may not always find the winning sticker in a contest, but we will always be a winner when we are looking for the treasure in people, especially the treasure in our kids. Every person is created with unique gifts, talents, and abilities that are just waiting to be discovered. When we look for the treasure in people, we will never come up empty-handed. The key is that we must be looking for the sparkling gems and shiny gold nuggets in others. As moms, we have the opportunity to look for the treasure within each of our kids, help them discover their one-of-a-kind gifts and talents, and then provide them opportunities to sharpen those abilities.

God has given every child unique gifts and talents, and we have the privilege of uncovering and developing them in our kids. Consider the story told of a sculptor named Antonio who chipped away at a huge piece of stone, but eventually decided he couldn’t do anything with it. He pushed the stone aside so he could work on another project. Later, Michelangelo carved from that stone one of the greatest works of all times: the statue of David. Michelangelo was able to see the potential that Antonio didn’t.

How do we discover the potential in our kids? Simply by observing them. Plain and simple, as we study their natural bents, we begin to see glimmers of possibilities. The challenge we moms face so often, though, is to not be so focused on what our kids are doing wrong that we miss what they can do right. Certainly we should be on the lookout for times when we must discipline and train our kids, but we also need to be looking for their potential and their gifts.

Here are three tools to help you on your treasure hunt:

1. Seek God’s Help: As we pray for each of our kids individually, we can ask God to open our eyes to the gifts He has given them.

2. Spend Time Together: Never underestimate the power of a little one-on-one time with each of your children. This is an opportunity to hear their unique voice, understand their interests, and begin to see their desires

3. Seize Opportunities: Discover ways you can help your kids pursue their interests and develop their talents. As you look for opportunities for your children—ranging from classes to contests to competitions—these experiences not only enhance their skills, but also show them that you believe in them and their ability.



So look for the treasure in each of your children. Not one of them is exactly like you or your husband, and not one of them is exactly like any of their siblings. Each child is a beautiful creation and a treasure chest of abilities, gifts, and talents. Again, build on their unique bent. If they love to draw and create, encourage their artistic side. If they walk around the house singing and dancing, explore their performing arts ability. If they are running around outside, kicking or throwing a ball, build on that. If they love animals, develop that interest. The key to having great expectations for our kids is realizing it’s not all about our great plans for our child, but about God’s great plans and purpose for them, plans that will enable them to use the unique gifts and talents He has given them.

This is an excerpt from my book Bright Ideas for Busy Moms (J. Countryman publishers).

Story about Mr. Randall
[1] Edward K. Rowell, ed., Fresh Illustrations for Preaching and Teaching: From Leadership Journal(Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1997), 148.


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Afsoon and Shapour said...

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God Bless,