The latin phrase Cura personalis encompasses a holistic approach of taking care of the whole person. In this case, caring for whole aspects of the child and young persons. In our experience at Boresha Talanta, talent identification, nurturing and circulation is more than just focusing on honing a specific skill in a particular area. It is essentially about taking in the child and responding to eight important spheres of their lives: spiritual, education and lifelong learning, family, recreation, career, health, talent/gifts and relationships.
Over time, we have discovered that focusing on the child talent/gift sphere alone and ignoring the other spheres affects the level to which a child can gain and sustain competence in their talent development processes. Life is not linear (straight line) it seems to be about shifts (movements)/transitions/changes. Sometimes we move forward, other times backwards, or at times we do not move at all or we move sideways but still remaining at the same place. All these movements in life require us to continually adapt effectively.
Children and young person’s experience these shifts and changes too in their various spheres of life. Sometimes they have inner resources to help them cope or they have external resources (people) to guide them through or sometimes they are too afraid to reach out to these resources for support. Some of the shifts/transitions/changes children and young person’s experience can be:
- Transitioning to new schools or to news levels of learning
- Changes in caregivers (including house helps, teacher, parent) or absence of care giver due to work related responsibilities or abandonment.
- Changes in their bodies
- Changes in Friends due to relocation or betrayal etc.
- Changes brought about by loss: loss of parents, siblings, friendships, or loss of some physical or cognitive abilities due to injury or illness etc.
- Changes in places of worship or ways of worship due to exposure to more belief systems, or institutional demands to worship a certain way,
- Changes could also be positive experiences like family becoming more economically stable, meeting ones expressed and unexpressed desires, family harmony and cohesion etc.
- Transitions brought about by difficult experiences that change perceptions about self and other e.g. a child facing sexual abuse from a trusted family member, or being a victim of robbery etc.
- Changes in their environments for examples disasters like floods, droughts, conflict or crime.
In light of the transitions which children and young persons have to contend with, it is imperative that they are provided with tools that help them make meaningful and safe adjustments and adaptions to their circumstances. This is even more important when developing talent because talent development is intense, needs mental steadiness and spot-on attitude. Therefore, a talent mentoring process needs to attend to and guide the child during these transitions.
We propose a seven ways in which a talent mentoring process can implement the Cura Personalis approach.
- Apply basic yet very effective methods like: empathy, actively listening to the child. Listening to their words, actions and silence.
- Applying a nonjudgmental attitude so that the child or the young person can feel safe to speak their mind at any time.
- Applying the principle of confidentially this builds trusts and encourages open communication between the mentor and the child/ young person.
- Encouraging children to trust and have a growing relationship with God (Supreme Being) so that even when situations seem too gleam for them they know they are not alone.
- Inclusive care giving: this is where the mentors involve the parents, teachers in the talent development process because some of the issues the child or young person may be undergoing are best resolved with the inclusion of parents, teacher or even counselors.
- Positive affirmation: this is a critical principle so that the child knows that no matter what they face they can face it and remain solid.
- Encouraging peer to peer support: children and young persons can learn a lot from each other. Therefore talent mentoring processes are not just isolated pathways. They exist within an environment of mutual reciprocity among peers through words and actions.
This article is brought to you by the Boresha Talanta Team and is based on our lived experiences when mentoring children and young persons talents.
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