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


Unlocking a Child's Potential - Easier Approaches to Help Children Realize their Hidden Potential

By Andrew Loh

Realizing one's own potential to achieve desired goals is a psychological act. It involves tweaking the present mindset, repair current state of mind, catalyze and motivate it enough to open the floodgate and eventually unlock it to achieve tangible goals in life. In the case of young children, this exercise is very difficult because of the mental age of the children and the degree of brain development. The younger the child, more will it be difficult to realize them the importance of using hidden talent and skills. However, consistent training and working exercises would help them understand that even they can do well in their life just like other children who are currently performing well in the classroom and out of it.

Here are some more methods and techniques that can be used to make children unlock their hidden potential:

Let them make decisions and solve problems on own - Children who know how to choose and pick the best option are naturally the most endowed individuals with an acute ability to unlock potential. This personal trait can easily be instilled in children in their early ages.


Hint: Present children with choices and decisions to find the best alternatives.

  • “What happens if I do not complete homework in time?”

  • “If I do not complete homework today, would I fail in my test?

  • “If I fail in my test, would I lose my face in the class?”

  • “What happens if I study hard, work well and perform better to pass the test?”

  • “Would the class teacher, then, appreciate me about my performance?”

  • “If I realize my inner strength and convince about it myself, would I be able to perform better in my next test that is important than the present one?”

The main goal of asking questions to self is finding the best option and work according to it to achieve the desired goals.

Find out children's hidden strengths and weaknesses - All children are not created equal. Some are skilled in a specific skill while others are adept with a different one. Hence, it makes sense to find out child's inherent strengths and weaknesses before trying to train them with the art of unlocking hidden potential. Unlocking potential in a domain where the child is not skilled is almost impossible. In fact, parents may not like to force children to pursue an area of expertise in which the child does not possess enough skills.


Let us say that a child has lots of hidden talents and skills in singing and music. In fact, the child may display flashes of musical talent at times either by singing or by playing some instruments. Intelligent parents easily detect and find out this talent in their children and start training children to unlock hidden potential by admitting them to a music class. Parents may also like to ask children many questions to elicit their responses in the following manner:

  • “Do you like to play some musical instruments?”

  • “If yes, what kind of instruments do you like to play?”

  • “Is it piano or guitar?”

  • “How do you like playing violin?”

  • “Do you like singing?”

  • “If you like music, do you feel that you can perform well?”

  • “Do you know the amount and extent of hidden talent in you?”

  • “Do you know that you can do extremely well if you practice well?”

  • “Many intelligent children have great talent for music and you are one of them”

Motivation is a great way to unlock one's potential - Without proper motivation, a child cannot unlock his or her potential. Every child needs encouragement and internal motivation to open up and display inner talents. Many children feel cocooned and bound up because of many reasons that are usually psychological in nature. If you feel that your child has lots of hidden potential but he or she is hesitant to open up, you can do the following:


  • Positive reinforcement and encouragement

  • Convincing that there is nothing wrong to show off one's skills and talent

  • Explain that unlocking potential might help more positive than negative

  • Taking children to the most appropriate places where there is a display of a specific talent. For example, music concerts, operas, orchestras, dancing performances, libraries, and instrument playing schools where young ones are learning to play some instruments etc.

Unlocking hidden potential might open up hundreds of options and possibilities for children. They are more likely to succeed and perform well, when the hidden potential is realized and used to the maximum extent. What they need is a key to open up the reservoir of talents and skills. Only parents and teachers can provide the right type of key to help children realize their personal and professional goals. Be the key to unlock the chamber of hidden talents and skills and help children to become the best.

Featured Resource

Beyond the Label: A Guide to Unlocking a Child's Educational Potential
By Karen L. Schiltz Ph.D, Amy M. Schonfeld Ph.D and Tara A. Niendam Ph.D

This superb guide shows you how to obtain the necessary assessment(s) that will help you to better understand a child's strengths and weaknesses. It also describes what an educational "accommodation" is and how it can serve as a bridge to learning. Every child has the legal right to fully access the learning environment and to show what they truly know when taking tests.

The authors describe how accommodations specifically target a child's weaknesses in order to level the playing field in the classroom and during test taking situations. Accommodations can be as simple as giving the child extra time to finish a test or allowing them to take a test in a smaller group to minimize distractions. In addition, this handbook outlines the relevant research to help you understand the big picture of a child's learning and emotional needs.


Featured Resource


Child Development

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