Recognizing and nurturing children’s talents
In the days when most of us were children, maybe our parents did not even know what grade I was in and what our grades were like. So that their children have higher education.
These days, however, many things are different from the past. Today, every parent, due to the declining number of children in the family, not only has enough knowledge about all the details of their child’s developmental stages but also from the moment of birth has a detailed and obsessive plan to nurture and strengthen the child’s skills.
On the other hand, various non-profit educational institutions, focusing on this obsessive sensitivity of parents, have devoted a huge amount of educational advertisements in various media. But from a psychological point of view, how necessary is this training for children? What criteria should be considered for each level of education and each age group? Do these institutions consider scientific methods in their teaching?
Recognizing children’s talents is one of the duties of parents
How much educational burden do such institutions take from the parents? We spoke with Dr. Azadi, a psychologist, and counselor, to find answers to such questions.
What is the reason for obsession and sensitivity to developing talent and increasing skills in children under the age of seven in the parents of the new generation?
These children are probably the first child or the only child of parents who are usually around 20 to 30 years old. Such obsessions often occur for this group of parents.
This sensitivity and orientation created in the last few years are due to various factors, including the situation that has arisen with the decrease in the number of children along with the increase in parents’ awareness of various issues in life. Limiting the parents’ relationship with the child, raising social awareness, and looking beyond traditional frameworks have made parents devote more focus and capital to raising their children.
The problem is that the only child in the family must be able to make up for all the shortcomings that the parents had in their lives or the experiences that they did not have. That is why investing in raising a child and focusing on this issue is more. This is a good and valuable thing, but it also has consequences that can cause problems.
What are the problems?
It should be noted that the main concern and obsession of this group of parents revolves around the question of whether they perform their duties as parents towards their children properly? This condition causes children to be under a lot of pressure.
A child under the age of seven has not yet entered into social relationships beyond the family and has needs and capacities that must be developed in proportion to each other. That is, on the one hand, the needs of the child must be well met, and on the other hand, his cognitive, perceptual, motor, sensory, and even social capacities must be developed.
That is, it is not right to place children in educational conditions that are disproportionate to their developmental needs?
Yes. In fact, if we can understand the situation of children well and know what characteristics and abilities, and capacities they have at any age and what limitations there are for them, and we are aware of their developmental capacities in general, then we can create the training conditions accordingly, in which case there is no problem.
The problem arises when these calculations are not done correctly. In fact, on the one hand, there is a social wave for children to participate in the training courses of such centers and there is too much insistence on it, and on the other hand, the awareness of families is not enough to be able to distinguish between needs and changing conditions. Coordinate the child on the one hand and their own expectations for their child’s development on the other. It is as if the parents want to do the best they can for their child.
And does this emphasis on “being more” and “being the best” put pressure on children?
Yes. On the surface, it seems that parents who insist on their child attending such courses are very perfectionists and have a great sense of responsibility towards their child, but in reality, they impose their will on their child.
These parents are mostly employed. Do you not think that the insistence and emphasis on the development of children as much as possible and faster is a kind of deprivation of responsibility for raising and educating oneself and entrusting it at the expense of institutions and centers for strengthening and nurturing children’s talents?
Perhaps one aspect of the problem is that by delegating some of the parenting responsibilities to such institutions, parents are given more freedom of action. At the same time, they may think that if such responsibilities are taken over by centers that are specialized or, in fact, professional, the work will be entrusted to the skilled and the result will be better. However, this does not apply to working parents who do not do anything for their children.
Note also that life today is not like in the past where grandparents can take care of grandchildren. They also usually have their own activities and some parents no longer like their parents to interfere in their child’s upbringing. We are facing a mutual necessity here; Parental employment and child-rearing.
Fostering children’s talent in the early years of their lives
In general, how ready and capable are children under the age of seven to receive this training, and at what age should the training start?
One of the most important theoretical foundations in this field belongs to Jean Piaget, who years ago outlined the cognitive, moral, and emotional capacities of children and adolescents. For Piaget, the age of seven is not a logical age for thinking. After the age of six or seven, thinking becomes logical, but before that it is visual. The visualization capacity of thought allows children to deal with problems. That is, although a five- or six-year-old has no logical reasoning, he or she has great visual acuity. For this reason, most of the games that children play before the age of six or seven are visual.
We base this cognitive capacity, which has many aspects and angles, and we want a child under the age of seven to be educated with such mental conditions. According to Piaget, we can not put too much pressure on children beyond their ability. That is, we must move forward with their capabilities and transformational capacity.
In the case of bilingual children, for example, it remains to be seen whether we have acted in accordance with their age and abilities when they are in a bilingual situation and we expect them to develop their language skills to a high degree.
The child begins to develop and develop speech in the mother tongue from about two to three years of age. This start is often a mental exercise. The child at this age usually uses language to organize his thoughts. In this situation, we expect a child who is still in the early stages of learning the mother tongue to learn a second language. While he uses the first language to communicate with his family and playmates and the second language is used in a small range.
On the other hand, cultivating other qualities, such as creativity, is the result of freeing thought and action from habits. That is, the more intellectual and practical habits are broken and the child can think and act beyond them, the more creativity develops in him.
Institutions try to teach the same to the child. But when the child does not have the mental conditions to accept the breakups at home, that education will not be very effective. It is necessary for parents to be educated and not only children but also parents to take time for their education. This issue is of fundamental importance and in fact, it is the parents who can provide a suitable educational environment for fostering creativity and intellectual and problem-solving skills in the child.
In addition, it is necessary to pay attention to the content of the training that is given in order to provide the conditions at home for its development. Based on this, it cannot be said with certainty that such training is good or bad. This depends on several factors. The first is the institution and content and method of educating children, the second is the age and developmental capacities of children, and the third is the situation of the family and parents who must be more prepared and able to expand education in the family.
Thus, in the process of raising a child, all three factors of the institution and the family and the capacity of the child must be carefully and harmoniously considered and related to each other. To conclude whether it is good or bad to cultivate different dimensions of a child’s talent and skill, it is important to pay attention to the coordination of these three parts.
It seems that the parent’s relationship with the parents of other children is one of the reasons for their insistence on children participating in educational courses and causes children to be forced to attend classes that they may not really need. Should children’s participation in such classes be at the parents’ discretion or does it require careful assessment?
It is important for parents to know what class their child needs to be based on reality or a function of the social wave. In fact, it may not be easy for all parents to diagnose. It is better for a psychologist and specialist to identify the characteristics and needs of the child before entering the educational process and to determine the direction of movement there.
It remains to be seen whether this will happen in institutions as well. At present, it seems that if there is such a process, it is to some extent affected by the profitability of institutions. But if a psychologist can make such a diagnosis regardless of the benefits and financial benefits, the process of raising a child will be more accurate and the family will be guided to the right and principled goals.
Participate in group activities and discover the talents of children
When the type of education the child needs is not properly identified, will he/she cooperate in learning?
Here it is better to ask ourselves what this non-cooperation means. We must give the child the right that when he does not know why he should go to school at a young age and sometimes has hard exercises at home, it is a duty, he will not go under it.
The child is supposed to take on a relatively formal job in the institution and in the classroom, as well as homework, a task that has become more of an imposed behavioral framework than a spontaneous one.
Therefore, a healthy child, at least at home, does not go under the burden of doing these tasks because he wants to be comfortable at home and behave and live more freely, and this closes his arms and legs. So we have to find a way for the child to do the homework more spontaneously and acceptably.
The problem is that the child sees these tasks as imposed. If the task is interesting and enjoyable for the child, he will do it. How the child cooperates depends on the content and the method used. The methods should be chosen according to the child’s developmental characteristics and individual characteristics, and this is where the work becomes a little harder.
Is it hard work for institutions?
This is not easy for institutions and work centers because they have to study and practice carefully and analyze and use experts who can tailor the training to the individual characteristics of children and the circumstances of families. What is happening now is exactly what is happening at school.
It is the same there. See how much most kids are interested in school, they are just as interested in these institutions. Most children are unmotivated and uninterested and school has extra workload and homework for them. While children are taught a lot at school, there is no motivation, happiness, or influence from school.