Here at Together Families, we connect Early Childhood Educators, Teachers and Parents. We encourage the sharing of ideas, knowledge and experiences to help build stronger and healthier children and families.

How to Encourage Gifted Children

A gifted child is a wonderful experience for parents and teachers, but it does come with it’s own set of challenges. Often gifted children act and feel different from their classmates. The National Association for Gifted Children states that, “gifted individuals are those who demonstrate outstanding levels of aptitude (defined as an exceptional ability to reason and learn) or competence (documented performance or achievement in top 10% or rarer) in one or more domains. Domains include any structured area of activity with its own symbol system (e.g., mathematics, music, language) and/or set of sensorimotor skills (e.g., painting, dance, sports).” Read on below to see how you can nurture these children.

It’s common for gifted children to become disruptive in class, yet go on to do very well on their academic work. While this can be puzzling, cut the child’s active brain a bit of slack and continue to remind them that their disruptions prevent other students from learning.

Encourage the child’s out-of-school interests. Perhaps they show the beginnings of great musical talent or a fondness for numbers. Spend time developing these skills though classes and tutors.

Teachers are often able to spot giftedness in children but have a hard time describing it. Look out for key words like ‘different’, ‘special’ and ‘talented’.

Organize a sit down talk between the parent and the teacher. Chances are that each party witnesses different behaviors. Perhaps how the child interacts in large groups or adeptness with a certain toy.

Remember that the curriculum isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal and the program isn’t going to work flawlessly for every special need. If you feel that the centre can’t meet the needs of the child, perhaps think about relocating them to a centre with a special program.

Suggest a comprehensive assessment of the child’s abilities from the school or a psychologist. Merely taking an IQ test isn’t enough to determine giftedness. Some children have gifts that extend beyond the standardized areas.

Talk to your child about what words they would like to use to refer to their talents. Some children will feel mocked by the words ‘special’ and ‘different’. Use something that both of you are comfortable with and will also translate to outside parties.

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