Nurture, don't stifle, kids' talent

OF COURSE, there is more to life than being gifted ("Gifted tests: Ensure we don't create elitist mindset" by Mr Jeffrey Law Lee Beng, and "Risky to gauge potential based purely on IQ" by Mr George Lim Heng Chye; both published last Friday, and "Don't make gifted kids an easy scapegoat for inequality" by Mr Mark Chia Mingde; last Saturday).

But being gifted makes life much richer and more useful. What a waste if such a gift were not discovered and nurtured early enough.

Contrary to the wishes of many, nature is not impartial. Some are given gifts that others are denied.

We must help the latter but we must, by all means, pay special attention to the former as early as possible, so that their talents will be fully developed.

But the gifted must not be snobbish, and must also have social skills and possess high emotional quotient.

Parents who discover that their children are gifted are like botanists who discover rare species of tulips or orchids.

Such plants may need special fertiliser but too much fertiliser can also kill them.

Parents of talented children must realise that such children require parents who themselves possess the talent to nurture talent.

Ee Teck Ee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 23, 2015, with the headline 'Nurture, don't stifle, kids' talent'. Print Edition | Subscribe