Enabling Your Children To Grow In Their Gifts

My wife noticed it first… even as a preschooler, our daughter Samantha could draw an almost perfect circle. She just loved anything to do with drawing, art, crafts. There was something in the way she applied herself to it; she just seemed to love it!

As a single income family with 3 kids, my job as a Service Technician didn’t pay much (under $12 an hour if I remember correctly). Usually by the time we paid rent, food and petrol, there was very little left. We basically did what many people do and lived week to week.

Our focus was always on the well-being of our children though, so we somehow managed to do all the things a parent does with their kids: music, tennis lessons, and so on. I’m not saying we were perfect parents – raising children is a dirty, gritty, demanding business and we made mistakes… lots of them. But I think that if your heart is in the right place,  it’s better to try different things, improve and try not to repeat those mistakes… making mistakes is part of life!

When Samantha was aged five, we began taking her to Victoria Art Studio out at Camden (NSW) after school. It was a 45 minute drive each way and we did that for many years. Samantha says now that her art teacher, Vicky, was the inspiration for her love of the technical and traditional aspects of art. Later, when we moved to another part of Sydney, we had trouble finding a new place for her to develop her skills. Even at age 10, Samantha was frustrated that the art classes were playing with paddle pop sticks and glue, which she could at home. Eventually, we found a nice old Chinese man named Tom doing portraits at the local weekend markets and he agreed to give Samantha lessons on Friday night with a group of Chinese girls. The language barrier and stoic approach to drawing was difficult for Samantha, but she pressed on and her art improved and began to develop further.

We all hear about the pushy parents who are always running around, trying to vicariously live through their children’s glorious triumphs, but I’m not talking about that. God has placed gifts within your children and has entrusted an important job to you. I’m talking about being caring and resourceful enough as a parent that you enable your child to develop their latent potential giftings. This is a very good thing.

It reminds me of a conversation I overheard between my older sister and my Mum when I was five years old. They were talking about me and my brothers and what we would be when we grew up. I remember them saying they thought my brother Mick would be a bricklayer (he ended up being an electrician). When they got to me, they both agreed I would be a concert pianist. The reality was that we lived in a housing commission home and my Mum was raising eight children. Even she wanted to send me to piano lesson, she wouldn’t have been able to. However, I have often remembered that conversation and it made me determined to take action in regard to the future of my children.

Samantha is now attending a prestigious Art College, developing her gift and absolutely loving it. My wife and I take great joy in seeing her progress. Will Samantha ever be a famous artist? It’s possible but not likely. She will develop into a good artist, though and has the potential to be established in the art world, if she chooses. Are we concerned towards her ability to make a good living? Not at all – Samantha works part time as Marketing Co-Ordinator for a Educational Coaching company and is looking towards the option of doing a Marketing Degree when she completes her Fine Arts Degree and her future is bright. She has many amazing qualities and as parents, we are immensely proud of her!

So, here is my advice to you if you have young children: watch and observe them.  Get down on the floor and play with them at their level. Run around in the backyard with them. Get to really know THEM. If they don’t have any obvious talents or gifting, try different activities with them. Find out what makes them tick, how their brain works, what they love and what they hate. You can do it. Then, focus your attention on doing the sacred job that has been entrusted to you… you’ll be glad you did, and they will one day too.

16 thoughts on “Enabling Your Children To Grow In Their Gifts

  1. Beautiful Words Donovan. I agree it is so important to foster the interests of our little ones. Inspiring food for thought. Thank you do much for sharing.

    1. Thanks again for your encouragement Michelle. I know you and your husbands are similarly minded… don’t forget that YOU have untapped gifts as well! 🙂

  2. hey donny – that is such an inspirational story for me – I remember when i was at school I loved art and art history so much that it made me cry just tot look at a beautiful painting or drawing – i really wanted to stay at school and go to art college and i had a teacher who basically begged me to do this – but our dad said to me that i had to leave in 4th year and get a job – and in those days you never questioned these things–i always wished that i could have done it but at the same time have
    never had any ill feeling for my dad for saying what he said to me – life was what it was at the time and we were all struggling to survive – but saying that- my love of art has never wained -in 1992 howard and i went to paris and we went to monmarte and i remember being so overwhelmed at being there – where most of the great artists of last century lived and worked that i just cried and cried of happiness. When i heard that sam was going to art school – i was just so excited for her – and you as parents to see her talent but also be in a position to hear her and help her to go there i think it is amazing –
    love donna

  3. This post brought tears to my eyes. As a mother to a young boy (9 years old), I found your story instructive and inspiring. I hope I will do right by my boy as you have so obviously done by your beautiful and talented daughter!

  4. great post thanks … sand play, dirt, paper and pencils, paint, crayons, bucket, water, spade … I was speaking to a girlfriend the other day who said she gave permission to her daughter to draw on her bedroom walls as a child. Today her daughter is getting her MBA in Art ..
    On my side, we’re a professional family (whatever that means) and our 2 adult sons are NOT doctors or lawyers or accountants – one is a musician the other an animator, both happy and creative, hard workers ..

  5. It is a breath of fresh air to read you’re article. This made me see family life through a father’s eye of how a child can truly feel how enduring the love coming from a parent synonymous to the covenant love of God for human, as well as the human reciprocal love for God.

    My story might be in a different perspective, albeit another lesson, being a child of my parents who have already departed this world. Please drop by a line or two if you do like my little story to share:

    https://blogitxavier.wordpress.com/about-xavier/

    Thank you Donovan for simply being a FATHER. I wish your Samantha will continue to bring out that dad in you, the way He has designed you.

    1. It is a breath of fresh air to read your article. This made me see family life through a father’s eye of how a child can truly feel how enduring the love coming from a parent synonymous to the covenant love of God for human, as well as the human reciprocal love for God.

      My story might be in a different perspective, albeit another lesson, being a child of my parents who have already departed this world. Please drop by a line or two if you do like my little story to share:

      https://blogitxavier.wordpress.com/about-xavier/

      Thank you Donovan for simply being a FATHER. I wish your Samantha will continue to bring out that dad in you, the way He has designed you.

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