Identifying someone as a gifted child has actually been around for probably longer than you imagine – Mozart for example was 3 years old when he composed his first piece of music. The actual term applied to gifted children however, wasn’t really established until Francis Gatton coined the phrase in the 1870s. Today, we know it to mean a child of prodigious or special talents, especially applying to those whose ‘gifts’ are evident at an early age. If you have an exceptional child, you obviously want to help them reach their full potential. Here are 10 Tips for Nurturing Gifted Children.
1. Support Your Gifted Child
Encourage your child and their goals for the future. Identify and support their love of learning, and help your child recognize their true worth. A gifted child may feel excluded at times, especially from groups of children their own age. It is important for you to be able to gauge their feelings, listen to how they feel and to ultimately reassure them.
2. Listen and Respond
It is very important to try to understand the feelings of your gifted child, and not just assume that their words tell the whole story. It is a case of building up a mutual respect between yourselves, and for your child to understand that you are there to listen, support and help them. Talking to gifted children about their feelings, and how they feel about certain things, is key to being able to respond to their needs in the best possible way.
3. Accept and Encourage Your Child’s Interests
It is important for exceptional children to discover their own abilities within the learning environment. As parents we all have goals that we would like our children to achieve, however we have to remember that what we envisage as our main goal, may vary to that of our offspring. It is good to talk to your child about current issues and for them to be able to engage and relate to the consequences.
4. Accept Their Individuality
A gifted child may find it difficult to form relationships with children their own age, as they often interpret things in different ways. It is important to help your child to recognize, appreciate and accept the differences they will encounter between themselves and of others. A key factor to enable this is for you to provide your child with a safe place where they can discover their true self.
5. Appreciate Your Child for Who They Are
Extremely talented children still have the same needs as other children. They still require love, support, friendship, security and a good role model in their life. Try not to focus on what they may become but appreciate them for who they are, and the joy and happiness that they contribute to your life. A gifted child will still rely upon you to help them develop and gain their own independence.
6. Be a Role Model
It is important for your talented child to respect you and to look up to you as being a good role model. You can encourage this by sharing experiences, such as voluntary work, together. By demonstrating the role of helping others, it will help to engage and teach your child important values within society. It will emphasize the importance of helping others.
7. Share Experiences Together
Take the time to enjoy activities together and visit places of interest to you both and of the whole family. These special moments create loving memories to look back on and talk about over the years.
8. Spend Time Together Learning
Providing high achieving children with books and learning games is a great way to interact with them and for you to encourage their thinking and math skills, plus increasing their vocabulary and comprehension. It also enables you to spend quality time together, whilst doing something that is both beneficial and enjoyable for your child.
9. The Experience of Learning is Far Greater than the Outcome
Help your child to understand that the most important aspect of being in school is the experience they gain from what they are learning, rather than the grades they are given. It is important to question your child on the positive things that they have achieved, and to encourage them to describe how this made them feel.
10. The Importance of Conventions
At times, the importance of spelling, grammar, rules and conventions seems questionable in the world of gifted children. At times, a gifted child can even lack patience towards others. It is important to explain the need for conventions whilst maintaining to encourage their creativity and individuality.
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