Saturday, October 20, 2007

Helping your kids find their niche.

Well it has been quite awhile since I have blogged. Work has been crazy with a move to a new location and all the stresses that are part and parcel of moving a business. Now I finally have a day off and lots of catching up with one of the joys of my life that I have sorely been neglecting lately, my writing.

If you follow the kidsgoals blogs you are familiar with my now sixteen-year-old daughter Savannah and that she has a neurological disorder, Asperger's. If you are familiar with Autism Spectrum Disorders than you realize how hard it is for the children on the spectrum to develop meaningful relationships with their peers. Savannah went through a really bad week feeling very depressed about the fact that her Asperger's will never be cured like the flu or the common cold and the fact that she would have to accept this. While her fellow classmates were dating getting part time jobs and planning their futures, her future remained a question mark. Her thoughts were about if she would ever have a career, marriage, live on her own and all the other things that come with becoming an adult?

My daughter struggles with a lot of the things that we take for granted and nothing has ever come easy for her other than the fact she is a very talented artist and also an incredible ear for music, perfect pitch and an amazing singing voice. With this in mind I have always tried to get her to take voice lessons in order to reach her potential. Until just recently she showed no interest in doing this but I persevered and even found a woman who is a very gifted voice coach. Savannah was a bit nervous but was willing to follow through with it and when she first returned from her first lesson she seemed a little happier and was looking forward to her next lesson. When she returned from the second lesson she had a grin on her face and with a little bit of coaxing she asked me to guess what the teacher said to her? My first guess was that the teacher liked her singing voice, and she said yes, but a bit more than that. My daughter is a bit shy when it comes to positive comments about herself and I urged her to just tell me what the coach had said. She looked at me with a huge grin on her face and said, "She said that my voice blew her away!!!" I still get goosebumps when I think of that night because my daughter finally realized that she was given a god given talent and no matter how many times her Father or siblings or even I told her that, she never really believed it until now. She now goes to singing lessons every Friday night and practices her voice training and breathing lessons diligently. Her confidence has increased ten-fold and she is starting to reach out to her fellow students. Her attitude is that she is going to say hi and smile to everyone and if they smile and say hi back that is great and if they don't, so what. Having my daughter come to the realization that she can sing really well has given her a new lease on life. She is a much happier girl and willing to try new things and even tale a few chances..

Every child on the planet has a God given talent, and that is without exception. It may be singing or drawing like my daughter, or may be just the gift of gab, or maybe you are looking at a poet and you don't even know it. :- ) Whatever your child's niche is you need to help them bring it to its full potential. The best way to find your child's talent is to observe them while they are playing. When kids are doing something that they really have a passion for they will get lost in it and it is like they zone out for awhile. With my daughter I noticed she would sing in her room with her headphones on listening to her favourite songs. We would call her for dinner and her little brother would pound on her door when she didn't come to the table. It was like she was in her happy place and the rest of the world didn't exist. Help your child find his or her happy place.

Happy Parenting,


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