Guiding Children Successfully Educational Guides
Program 5. Helping Children Use Their Gifts
Self-esteem isn’t the answer.
Self-celebration is not as important as self-acceptance together with a
commitment to growth and service.
1. You have a gift. Every person does.
There are several good ways to help children discover their gifts
• Talk with children about their interests.
• Give children feedback on things they do especially
• Give children opportunities to explore their interests
Consider how well you are doing the above with each child. Make plans to
do more in areas of need.
Weaknesses you can even see strengthen. The stubborn child can be seen as
having strong character. The crybaby can be seen as tender. The worrier can
be seen as sensitive. What characteristics in family members bother you at
times? How can they be seen as strengths?
2. You don’t have every gift. No one does.
Sometimes we get discouraged because of gifts we do not have. It is
helpful to show children that wise people combine their gifts with other
people’s gifts to accomplish many tasks. Discuss times when you family has
worked with other people in order to accomplish something important. For
example, have you gotten help from a neighbor to fix your home? Have you
called on other people’s talents to get something important done?
Children sometimes assume that adults are good at everything. It is good
for them to hear us acknowledge other people’s ability: "Uncle Billy is
unusually good at cooking!" "Cousin Beth can fix anything!" While children
should not be rushed to see our limitations, it can be helpful for them to
see that each person excels at something but not other things.
3. Use your gifts to serve.
In what ways does each child already serve? What projects might he or she
undertake? What family projects might be undertaken?
For background information and additional reading, see web units at
Of particular relevance to this program is:
Learning and Growing Using Your Talents.