Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What Do You Mean My Kid Has No Talent?

I hate politics?

It doesn't matter if we are talking about nitty-gritty government politics or just social politics.

The school out here is having a talent show. I don't remember when I was in grade school if we did talent shows. If we did, I never applied. I was to embarrassed to actually admit I had a talent others would find interesting.

I have yet to find the talent that I can actually stand up on stage and do. (For those who remembered my awesome performance mimicking Rick from The Walking Dead, I stay away from acting because I need to avoid future concussions!)

Singing makes me nervous. I have two left feet. And I certainly can't read poetry the way Mike Myers did on "So I Married an Ax Murderer."

Personally, I think anybody who gets up to try out is brave and therefore somewhat talented. Unfortunately, the rules of the talent show kind of stink and to me it just doesn't make sense.

Last year my daughter was in softball. They never kept track of the score. Why? Because they didn't want the kids to feel bad if they didn't win. So even though the kids knew, there was no determined winner or loser by the time the game ended. It was because the adults didn't want to discourage them from getting better and from trying. It was a way to let them experience all positions without feeling bad if they, well, to put it bluntly, sucked!

softball, girls softball, batting
Hey Batter Batter... SWING!
My daughter is the one in green!

But the same rules did not apply for the talent show. In fact, they could just downright tell your kid they sucked. You were required to try out and show off your best talent. But if the judges didn't like it, you didn't make it.

Well, one of my kids made it... the other did not.

It leaves me wondering... what is the difference between softball and talent shows?

picking nose, hidden treasure, buried treasure, nose picking kid
Admit it, you want to see that talent!
The kids trying out for the talent show are at the oldest, in fifth grade. Isn't that a little too young for them to be told they are not talented, hence why they didn't make it in the talent show?

Now I understand if a kid thinks they can go up on stage and pick out a big juicy booger and say "Treasure Finding" is their talent.

First off, I bet almost every kid has that talent... and secondly, no one really wants to see that.

But what about those that want to go up and sing. What if they ALL want to sing? If they don't impress the judges they don't get through. But what if that is all they feel comfortable doing? Maybe this is them trying to break out of their skin and do something they are uncomfortable with?

I know my children are talented and I don't need a talent show to tell me that. They are both so talented in so many ways. They can both sing, they are both learning the piano, they are both smart. They both look at the world through a different set of eyes. But they are still young and they are still developing those talents.

playing piano, talent, learning piano
My daughter practicing on the piano while we were getting ready to
go on vacation.
This could very clearly be evidenced by the choir and band concerts kids put on in the early years. Sure, everybody tries to put on their proudest face when the recorders start squawking and the band is all playing a different version of Hot Cross Buns and the choir is so quiet you can't even hear the song to begin with. But we all have to start somewhere!

I just hope in a world where it is ok not to keep score in baseball, but telling a kid they are not talented enough for a school Talent Show, doesn't keep these kids from trying and exceeding to the best of their ability.

After all, we are the ones building the kids up to the future. And if we break them down and make them think they aren't good enough, what kind of future are we making? I also understand not all kids can participate in everything, but there has to be a better way.

I would much rather bring a pair of ear plugs as I smile and encourage that child to keep trying then to go ahead and tell them they weren't good enough to begin with!


  1. I think that it's wrong to do that to a kid so young. When my girls were in school, they had an open talent show that everyone could participate in up until the 5th grade. Starting in 5th they had to audition and many were not allowed to perform. I don't think it's right.
    I hope your little one isn't too heartbroken. I feel for you both!

  2. OMG Stace! I can't believe that they would do that! Those girly girls are SO talented and are much too young to be taught to be competitive in such a way. How dare the schools kill a child's spirit like that.

  3. Shew, this is crap! I get so angry reading stuff like this because I know how detrimental things like this can be toward kids. Why single some out and let others in? That's not right. When I was in school THE WHOLE SCHOOL participated in the end of year concert. Yip. Every single class and every single pupil had a chance to get dressed up, get on stage and perform. We were trees, dancers....whatever, but it was great. I loved it. It taught us how to work together and was nice for the shy ones to blend in. Of course there are lots more kids today in classes - think we were around 25 or so, but teachers can make it work if they really wanted to.

  4. Of course they're talented- they've got you in their genes. And speaking of talent- what can those dumbass adults do? What a power trip. Uughhh!

  5. You know, I just had a thought: I know that the talent shows can be long and drawn out. Why doesn't each class have its own talent show and then everyone can vote for their top three choices. Those top three choices get sent on to whomever directs the show and those three acts from each class are the ones who perform. That way, everyone who wants to tries out, they get to be "heard" and if they're good enough, they go on. If they're not, they don't, but they still had a chance, you know? I'm in total agreement, though. "Oh let's protect their feelings," they say. But throw that out when you do a talent show? wonderful post!


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