Harnessing a Natural Talent

This is a post about my eldest Daughter, Priya.

She would be the first to admit that she is what her teachers describe as “creative more than academic”. I’m with her teachers on that one too.

In the last year or so she has enjoyed making slide shows. She chooses photographs and places them next to one another and adds a song to accompany this choice of photos. Recently, she has been taking new photos to better fit in with a line or verse of the particular song she has chosen. It’s a creative process and one that she gets better and better at.

The other day she asked permission to download some video editing software. I agreed and for the next day and a half she was outside with her phone and our camera videoing traffic, her little sister and her mates, and various scenes from around town. Again overlayed to one of her favorite pop songs, she came back to the PC and created her first video.

Proud Dad would have loved to have shown you what she created, but with pictures of other children in it and all that malarkey, I can’t.

Priya is one of those kids who (sadly) has never been able to feel that she is really good at something. But with one video under her belt (and it is so good!!), she is already discovering that you can download more complicated “professional” editing kit. I will be encouraging her to do so.

Apart from marvelling at her ability to navigate “techie” sites with ease (she never reads the instructions) it is her creative ability in determining what scene goes where and how to merge them in an artistically satisfying way that has really blown me away. It seems to come naturally to her.

Being a bloke, part of me wants to send her on a course and get her extra tuition to really move her on in this new-found skill. But that may not be the right thing to do. P is a free spirit (tell me about it!!) and just facilitating her passion for this creative streak may be the best thing I can do.

I have used the word “harness” in the title to this post. I’m sure now that’s the wrong word. What I want to happen is for P to excel at something – because I know the all round knock-on benefits for her will be huge!

How as parents can we best harness/encourage our children when they display an aptitude and a real talent for something like this?






About onlydads

Single Dad living near Totnes in Devon. I founded www.onlydads.org in 2007 and live with my daughters Priya, 14 and Anya 11. I write about single parenting, work, overcoming trials and tribulations and sometimes not overcoming trials and tribulations.
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8 Responses to Harnessing a Natural Talent

  1. Pippy says:

    Maybe we can’t, perhaps that’s their journey?

    Although on a journey we need transport, shelter, food and sometimes help with directions and a smile from the locals. Feeling your truly accepted, acknowledged and entitled to be somewhere always brightens the way and eases the mind.

    However, I often wonder the same, not just about children, but about some of the many very talented people I’ve met, who hide their talents, sometimes through embarrassment, sometimes through insecurity, sometimes perhaps coz they just don’t see it as others do.

    I’d like the answer too.

    • onlydads says:

      PF – wise words as always. As with Liz’s “take her lead”, your anaolgy of supporting P on this journey is very apt.

      As for people hiding their talents – I blame schools and red pens for concentrating on what’s wrong too much…

      …but that’s just me perhaps

      Bob x

  2. Liz says:

    How wonderful for her and for you! Many children can spend years trying to discover their talents and abilities for many different reasons. You clearly want to encourage her but come across as if you don’t want to be seen as the ‘pushy parent’ and start sending her off on courses etc. I agree with Pippy in the sense that she is on her own journey and one which may have many twists and turns to it, but you being there for her, accepting and encouraging her abilities is the most important thing you can do. It helps her navigate her sense of self worth and helps her to have that spring board in which to be confident in trying new things and discovering her own identity. If you think extra tuition or courses may be helpful and an option for her why not discuss it with her? Take her lead and see if it is something she would like to consider, but don’t be put out if it’s not something she is ready for yet. Either way knowing she has your interest and support will spur her on. Just shows that you are an amazing Dad for allowing her that space to discover and experiment with her new found abilities and that is more important than any ‘end result’. With your support she will find her way.

    • onlydads says:

      Liz – thank you. What spot on advice 🙂

      I will “take her lead”. That is exactly what I will try to do.Thank you giving me the words.

      Bob x

  3. CoffeeCurls says:

    I believe the best thing any parent can do is believe in their child and tell them liberally how good they are at what they are doing.
    Round here there are courses via the schools in ‘media’. If her school doesn’t have a media suite does another one?
    As you’ve already seen though, if she is interested in it then she will find a way to pursue it. Let her upload them on youtube and gain a following. Start a vlog.
    Let’s face it am sure there are a zillion other ways that us oldies aren’t even aware of.
    Most of all – make sure she knows how proud you are of her.
    Go superdad

    • onlydads says:

      CC – thank you so much for the comments. I have a sneaking suspicion that Priya and her Vlog ambitions will thrive (perhaps only thrive) outside of school!!

      BTW – you are a supermum – I can just tell 🙂

      Bob x

  4. Wow! How fantastic that P has such a natural ability for getting in there and producing such twork.
    It’s refreshing to see a dad so encouraging and supportive of his kids, (as you usually are). It’s great that you are going with the flow and are so in tune with P. She clearly has the creative instincts and a lot of logic to be able to breeze through techie stuff, if she doesn’t have to read up beforehand.
    I remember seeing some college students doing some filming of trains, for a music video (media studies). They looked (and sounded) like a proper film crew. Which of course is where they were heading, through their studies.
    The thing with kids, is they sometimes do extremely well in the thing that they first showed an interest in and sometimes they end up doing extremely well in something completely different. There are no hard and fast rules. And unless you are a parent who pushes their child to go for gold all the way, in something that isn’t their choice, then I’m sure they find their way sooner or later.
    The thing I can remember saying to ours when they were deciding what to do, was for them to do something they would enjoy doing every day as a job. No point being miserable doing something we can’t stand doing, every single day. And if they succeed… brilliant! If not… it’s not failure, it’s a lesson learned to help them map out their futures.

    • onlydads says:

      Thank you for these comments Evie 🙂

      Your final thoughts come straight out of my parenting manual! “Do something you enjoy” is a lesson whole generations of people (myself included) who have benefitted from hearing and learning!


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