My Kid Is Going to Be a Star

April Peveteaux

 child starsOr at least that's what I assume when I watch her illustrate an entire "day in the life," or genre painting, if you're going to go all art historical. Which we will. Because just like that four-year-old who sells paintings for $27K, my gal is surely going to be a super duper art star. Any day now.

Or, she just loves to color.

Because I'm not sure when one can recognize actual talent, versus childish enthusiasm for artsy things. So I decided to see if I could find out how old kids need to be before you can call it "talent" versus "playtime."

It turns out that everyone has a different opinion, depending on their motivation. Say you're an acting teacher for kids. Then you're probably going to indulge that mom or dad that signs their child up with hopes of nailing that Disney audition. No matter how young. So while Grandma may think that four-year-old Sheldon needs to have a few more years on the backyard talent show circuit, the woman who owns the acting studio is going to see that spark. And sign your kid up for weekly lessons starting at $200 a month.

Never underestimate the power of motherly (and fatherly) love, either. I may be holding on to my daughter's drawing of owls when she was three years old (only 3!), because I think it will be worth something someday, but most people would simply call me a hoarder.

Yes, it's very possible your kid -- and mine -- have talent. But pushing kids into a specific niche at such at young age can be counter-productive at worst, and damaging at best. What if your child believes her value only comes from her beautiful singing voice? But no one in the professional world ever confirms that she's got what it takes? That's going to be one sad little girl. One who requires years of therapy.

So let's all indulge our kids and let them dance, act, draw, and art their little hearts out. But when it comes to looking at their kid talent and seeing stars in their young eyes -- take a step back, and just enjoy the show.

Do you think your child is a star?

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