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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


Developing Academic and Personal Talent - Basic Rules

By Andrew Loh

Professor Sidney Moon of Purdue University's Gifted Education Resource Institute described children as “someone who can discover their personal talent to lead an extraordinary life as well as accomplish difficult objective and goals of life.” To boost both academic and personal talent, children should have more choices that are more likely to boost their personal talents. Children as latent talented as they are, are more likely to fail to develop their abilities because of an apparent failure on part of their parents and teachers. A majority of time, children may never get the required number of choices that they are supposed to get. This eventually results in decreased academic and personal talents.

Before trying to boost academic and personal talent in children, parents may need to learn more about three important areas of knowledge:

Developing self-knowledge

Children should have enough knowledge about self and their personality. This step is very important because it can help them recognize the following:

  1. Recognize values

  2. Identify personal strengths and weaknesses

  3. Recognize personal history and antecedents

Moon's recommendation to develop self-knowledge depends on two techniques: in direct and indirect. First, indirect method involves combining intrapersonal intelligence with experience. This involves the following techniques:

  • Including learning daily experiences about events, space, nature, classroom association and by reflecting on experiences learned during the day.

  • Reading books, magazine, journals, useful media watching and travelling in the country side.

  • Indulging in extracurricular activities like music, dance, painting, drawing and literary activities.

Second, indirect method involves the following activities:

  • Learn what goes on inside the mind and brain by conducting a common debating platform in the house where all the family members join together to share their mind and expressions.

  • Take a personality inventory survey to know and identify current interests, talents and preferences. Once you know your children's preferences and liking, you can introduce those activities that match them.

Developing environmental knowledge

Moon also recommends parents to help their children develop environmental knowledge to develop personal and academic talent. She believes in the concept that children's “lives are constructed in different contexts.” It is quite important to understand and learn more about the environment that children live in. Again, there are two methods to enrich environmental knowledge: direct and indirect.

First, indirect method involves finding something new and fresh by using fictional materials, playing, reading drama, fiction and exploratory books. On the other hand, direct method involves getting hands-on and real, life-time experience by involving in identification, detection and observation methods like trekking into the wild, tour to a different place, travelling to different locations around the world and staying in wild-life camps.

Developing psychological knowledge

Academic and personal talent boost is possible when children develop their psychological knowledge. It includes three main categories of learning:

  1. Learning self-efficacy and self-efficiency

  2. Learning hardiness to face difficult situations

  3. Developing hopes and optimism.

To streamline this knowledge, children may need to develop challenging activities that mandates:

  • Various skills that match and reflect the current skill levels of the child.

  • Develop how to set clear goals.

  • Develop a deep sense to get immediate feedback on the lessons learnt and experiences gained in the past.

Repetition and a disciplined follow-up action are necessary to boost both academic and personal talent and skill. When children are given an opportunity to repeat the learnt activities, it will help them hone advanced skills and enhance concentration and attention. Parents may need to provide children with enough situations that promote a flow and orientation to face challenging learning activities. A tip to enhance psychological knowledge in children is to include a learning behavior that includes modeling and feedback; modeling activities after a set routine and learning to collect feedback after finishing those activities is a surefire way to learn psychological knowledge set.

Two more activities that Dr. Moon suggests are personal decision making and self regulation. These are very critical for their practical orientation and application of ideas in a calibrated manner.

Personal decision making

Children should learn how to make personal decisions because they can easily choose the best options and alternatives that they feel will be the best for their learning. When they are allowed enough freedom, they will be responsible for their own actions and learning. With self-made decisions, they can face any type of future challenges.


Self regulation means selecting careful goals and attaining them over time. Again, parents will need to give them enough freedom to create a solid goal map for future achievement. In a similar way, they can also help them time management activities and schedule making.

The above mentioned tips and tips and suggestions will help children lay a solid roadmap to enhance their academic and personal talent and skill development. A well planned academic and personal life will also help children create a productive path that can hoist them to achieve the best in life. You may also want to read Developing Academic and Personal Talent - Simple Tips.


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