Nurture Your Child’s Talents and Set Them Up for Success

Every child has something special to offer. And with a little help from their parents, each child can find a social issue or cause that sparks their passion.

By Craig Kielburger and Marc Kielburger

We are all energized by our passions—and when we apply them to an issue in order to create change, the impact is extraordinary.

Young people are eager to make a difference but often don’t know where to begin. Start with this universal equation packed with world-changing power: Gift + Issue = Change.

The Gift + Issue = Change equation is the heart of our philosophy for changing the world. It has inspired thousands of families to share their unique talents to make the world a better place.

Begin by discussing as a family—what are your individual talents? Which activities and skills are you proud of? And what’s your strength when you come together as a family?

Help your children understand that every person has something special to offer. Some have a knack for making friends, others for drawing; some are natural-born leaders or problem solvers. And just as everyone has a talent to share, everyone can find a social issue or cause that sparks their passion.

When you match the talents that drive you with the issues your family cares about, you’re able to take your volunteerism to the next level. Help your child think about what they love to do. Here are seven suggestions:

Be inspired by this TED Talk from Heidi Hass Gable, a mom who shares how she has learned to parent her creative, gifted kids. She is president of the City of Coquitlam‘s District Parent Advisory Council, attending countless advisory committees and working to build relationships between parents and teachers.

Academics

Becoming a peer tutor is the obvious choice. But what about encouraging your children to do a charity math-a-thon or geography contest in which they collect pledges for the number of countries they can name on a world map.

Athletics

Organize a sports tournament for charity, or raise pledges through a challenge event. Your children can set a dollar amounts for each mile they run, or each goal scored.

Art

Help your child or teen start a community mural project that invites participants to express their thoughts about an issue. Design greeting cards to sell during the holidays for charity or to raise awareness.

Music

Set up a charity concert or open mic night at school, or write a personalized song for a friend or relative who could use a pick-me-up.

Computers

Suggest your teen or preteen contact a local charity or non-profit and offer to develop their web site or presence on social media.

Listening

Encourage your quiet kid to start a peer counseling group, or be the one their friends come to when they need a friendly ear.

Talking

Running for student council is a great way for every young person to gain leadership skills and create positive change. Talk to them about speaking at school about an issue or a cause they care about.