Nurturing Children's Talents
A Guide for Parents
by Kenneth A. Kiewra
January 2019, 195pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-6792-7
$45, £35, 40€, A62
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-6793-4
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Parents are in prime position to help their children discover and develop talent in any domain. Most parents are eager to help their children traverse a talent path but don’t know how, untl now.

Explains steps that parents can take to help their child develop talent in any activity that has sparked his or her interest.

Nurturing Children’s Talents: A Guide for Parents is a book for all parents. That’s because talent is made, not born, and parents are in prime position to help children discover and develop talent, whether the talent domain is archery, baton twirling, chess, or zoology. Moreover, talent development is a continuum along which all children can grow. Carnegie Hall might be the destination for some while community band is for others. Meanwhile, most parents are eager to help their children traverse a talent path but don’t know how . . . until now.

Nurturing Children’s Talents offers parents insights and step-by-step plans to help children reach their potential. These recommendations stem from author Kenneth A. Kiewra’s personal experience raising a chess champion and his extensive research interviewing talented performers—including national, world, and Olympic champions—and their parents, across many domains.


  • Chronicles the talent experiences of Olympic medalists, professional athletes, award-winning artists, high-school phenoms, child prodigies, champion coaches, master teachers, and committed parents across a wide array of talent domains from chess to rodeo
  • Offers parents step by step plans for maximizing early experiences, arranging mentors, facilitating practice, boosting motivation, building a center of excellence, and managing talent development
  • Addresses how to promote academic talent using the SOAR system: Selection, Organization, Association, and Regulation
Kenneth A. Kiewra is a professor of educational psychology at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. His research pertains to talent development, particularly the roles parents play, and to strategies for academic success. He has published extensively in professional journals, authored three academic success books for students and teachers, and given hundreds of invited talks for educational and corporate groups.


"Parents are crucial as to whether a child’s talents ever get noticed and developed. Parents are often the first teachers and while their teaching role diminishes as children age, their support is continuously needed. Dr. Kiewra combines his research on learning and giftedness to give parents helpful tools and advice to optimize their children’s talent development. As a parent of a daughter whose talent area I knew nothing about, I wish I’d had Kiewra’s book to guide me."—Paula Olszewski-Kubiliusm, Director, Center for Talent Development, Northwestern University

"We all want our children to succeed, but how do we as parents help make that happen? Nurturing Children’s Talents: A Guide for Parents provides the answers. It offers helpful parenting tips on how to help children discover and develop their passion in all walks of life—from baton twirling to football to rodeo to chess. The book is about more than developing talent; it offers a path to healthy and enjoyable parent-child relationships. Enjoy Dr. Kiewra’s book and let the potential for success begin."—Bonnie Blair Cruikshank, 5-time Olympic gold medalist in speed skating

"Almost any child can become talented but doing so requires a guiding and helping parent. Most parents, though, have little idea about how to nurture talent and sort of muddle through the process. There has never been a parent guide for helping children reach their talent potentials—until now. Nurturing Children’s Talents: A Guide for Parents provides the blueprint. The book weaves the talent stories of many families—including my own story raising three chess champion daughters—and offers explicit and valuable parenting recommendations. All children have talent seeds waiting for parents to cultivate them. Finally, this book tells you how. "—László Polgár, Father, mentor, and coach of the famed Polgár sisters, three chess prodigies

“As a journal editor in gifted education, I see virtually all of the new ideas that come forth in the talent development area. This excellent, informative book by Dr. Kiewra stands out as a helpful, go-to resource for those wanting to launch talent development into the stratosphere and to guide its course. I was surprised to struggle while helping my and my wife’s two children in the development of talents that were far beyond my own. I certainly could have used this excellent, informative book.”—Don Ambrose, PhD, Editor, Roeper Review, and Professor of Graduate Education, College of Education and Human Services, Rider University

"Some children, early on, manifest a great interest and perhaps aptitude for something—be it chess, cello, gymnastics, or zoology. Most parents, though, are not prepared to feed such interests and to nurture children’s budding talents. Nurturing Children’s Talents: A Guide for Parents provides the roadmap for navigating children toward success in any talent area or in the classroom. This is an uplifting, engaging, and helpful book for parents—teachers and coaches too—committed to helping children develop talent. Moreover, it conveys the positive message that talent is within the grasp of all, at any time. It is never too late to pick up the flute or lace up some running shoes." —Michael F. Shaughnessy, Eastern New Mexico University, Editor of Nurturing of Talent, Skills, & Abilities, Nova Science Publishers
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