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“Feeling Special and Talented are Gifts All of Us Deserve”, according to Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, Positive Psych

Posted Jul 07 2010 4:11pm

“I think everything I make is a master piece!” These words were spoken by Cecelia who is a fashion designer. What makes her particularly unique is that she is 10 years old. She has been designing since she was 6.

When I saw Cecelia on television a couple of months ago, talking about her passion, sewing her creations, and then saw other children wearing the clothing, I was amazed and impressed. It was fascinating to see her in a fabric store picking the fabrics for her clothing. She clutched a bolt of fabric, saying “I can’t live without that piece of fabric.” She now has Trunk shows in exclusive stores and is often busy sewing her clothing for other girls her age. Truthfully I loved her clothes and could even imagine liking them for myself in a big enough size. It is unusual to find people of any age so connected and centered to a passion. It is extremely unusual at 10.

Obviously Cecelia has been able to recognize and hold on to her talents and potential. And as they say, behind every great King is a great Queen. Well, behind Cecelia, must be parents who are guiding, encouraging and helping her with her talents.

What can Cecelia teach the rest of us? Certainly not that every kid must have a talent that makes them famous. Rather she reminds us all the living our dreams, doing what feels really significant to us, is a gift we should all try to get to at some point in our lives. Why? Because it makes us feel whole. We are useful to society and we thrive. These are but some of the good reasons. And how do we get there? And when?

These are big questions and not so easy to answer. But we do know that the ways we parents are critically important. Here are some guidelines:

1. Recognize and help your child to recognize her talents, strengths, coping skills, interests and of course potential.
2. Never say never to a dream of hers, (unless it is harmful). If she can’t take ice skating lessons this year because of money, leave the door open for next year. Help her figure out a way to make sure it happens by next year. Perhaps she can get a scholarship. Perhaps you can offer your services, whether making phone calls, or baking cookies or cleaning the waiting room for parents, in lieu of payment. Get on your thinking cap and try.
3. Bring interesting information and ideas into your household. Encourage good use of time. Collecting rocks or leaves or anything can lead to a science discussion or a fascination into the ways of nature. A family walk can be meaningful, healthy and leave everyone in a good mood. Always stay alert so you are opening your child’s mind and senses to the positive dimensions of being alive.

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