As parents we naturally seek the best for our children, particularly when it comes to education. Parenting a gifted child, however, provides a distinct set of challenges and circumstances for which parents may not be prepared. While raising a gifted child is a unique experience, there are steps parents can utilize to help children develop their talents and abilities.
Parents may find it difficult to tell if their child is gifted. The article “Parenting Gifted Preschoolers", explains how gifted children often reach developmental milestones at a younger age than other children. Some basic characteristics of giftedness include:
Gifted experts recommend testing to establish intellectual ability, which is typically done once a child is old enough to attend school. The article, "A Place to Start: Is My Child Gifted?" answers a multitude of questions about assessment, including why and when to test. When a child has an I.Q. 120 or above (depending on the test), he or she may be identified by a school district as "gifted." This means the child requires an appropriately challenging educational program. Students at the extreme end of the intelligence continuum, or those referred to as profoundly gifted, will need an educational program that is modified even further from the norm to accommodate their special learning needs. When you receive your child’s intellectual assessment, it is important to carefully review the tester’s recommendations for home and school accommodations included in this report.
Research shows that parents play a more important role in a child's development than do schools. A supportive parent can often make the difference in creating a meaningful education and offering a nurturing environment for students who feel misunderstood at school. Whether or not your child is gifted, there are activities that parents can do with their children, such as these suggestions from a mother of gifted students:
Unchallenged bright students are at risk for frustration, depression, underachievement, and often give up on school as a place of learning. Here are a few techniques to keep these students from falling through the cracks:
Parents can also learn more about giftedness, advocacy, gifted education policy and local resources by visiting the Davidson Institute’s website.
Your life together will be a great adventure if you value your child for who he or she is and what he or she has to offer. As parents, we are truly blessed to be so intimately involved with such marvelous people, our children.
About the author: Jan Davidson, Ph.D., and her husband, Bob, founded the Davidson Institute for Talent Development in 1999, after a successful career as educational software pioneers. They are the co-authors of "Genius Denied: How to Stop Wasting Our Brightest Young Minds", published by Simon & Schuster in 2004. The Davidson Institute for Talent Development is a national nonprofit foundation created to support gifted students, their parents and teachers with free services and resources.
©2006 The Davidson Institute for Talent Development.
This article is provided as a service of the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to supporting profoundly gifted young people 18 and under. To learn more about the Davidson Institute’s programs, please visit www.DavidsonGifted.org.
The appearance of any information in the Davidson Institute's Database does not imply an endorsement by, or any affiliation with, the Davidson Institute. All information presented is for informational purposes only and is solely the opinion of and the responsibility of the author. Although reasonable effort is made to present accurate information, the Davidson Institute makes no guarantees of any kind, including as to accuracy or completeness. Use of such information is at the sole risk of the reader.