Helping Your Child Pursue Their Talent?
Guest Blogger: Stephanie from And Twins Make 5
It’s a happy day when your child finds that certain something that they are really good at and an
even happier day when you figure out how you as their parent can best help them pursue that
talent. With 5 children (17, 13, 11, 3 & 3), I’ve worn my fair share of different hats as I’ve aided
each one of them to reach their goals and fine tune their particular forte. My role in helping
each child has been both different for each child and mutable as they grow. The two constants
are that all of their quests have demanded a good deal of our time and some degree of financial
We recognized “speed” was our oldest son’s greatest strength at about age 5 and initially
helped him find sports where he could use that speed to his advantage while having fun with
peers. It was a huge blessing JC found this talent early on, because he was a child who really
struggled to succeed in other areas. For JC, school was a constant challenge due to his
dyslexia and he had food allergies which created further day-to-day difficulties. My help was
mainly in the form of transportation and supportive fan in those early days. Once JC hit high
school and was showing great promise on the track team, my role evolved to something best
categorized as amateur sports agent. I suddenly was tasked with helping him reach his next
goal, running on scholarship in college. I’m now helping to answer recruitment letters, filling out
college recruitment forms, photographing him at his track meets, keeping track of his times, and
putting together his video highlights. In my spare time, I joined his team’s parent booster club.
Our second oldest son, Hayden, pursued a few passions before he found one that seemed
to stick. We supported Hayden as he tried Karate and Guitar lessons before settling into his
current love of team sports such as football. He hopes to play on the high school football team
in a couple years perhaps as quarterback. I’m currently in the “transportation and supportive
fan” phase with Hayden now. In fact, he has just begun weight training at the same gym his
older brothers attends.
A love of dance by our daughter Cordelia has extended me well beyond the “transportation
and fan” role. Her participation on a competitive dance company team has me playing Makeup
Artist, Hair Dresser, costume dresser, and her general lackey. A recent ankle break also
created new roles including psychologist, physical therapist, and nurse. Luckily Cordelia was
able to return to dancing competitively last week. Only 11, she’s already set her sights on her
high school’s dance team.
When it comes to preschoolers such as my twin 3.5 year old boys, passions tend to come and
go. Additionally, some of their dreams and perceived talents tend to be less reality based. One
of the easiest ways to celebrate a little one’s current fixation is with a birthday party or playdate
planned around their latest preoccupation. For example, my twins are currently infatuated with
the idea of becoming superheroes when they grow up. As a result, I’ve begun planning their 4th
birthday party around that subject.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that financial backing has been another big part of helping all
the kids. There is the equipment and shoes, the costumes, and uniforms, the skill camps and
lessons, the gas and travel expenses, the fundraising requirements, and all those miscellaneous
items that seem to constantly pop up. Even with used equipment and carpooling, the monetary
side to helping your child chase their dreams can be a huge one.
My payoff for all I do is that my kids are living their dreams. Seeing their joy as they do what
they love is all the reward a mom could really want. It may sound corny, but I really am happiest
when I see they are happily reaching their goals.