Helpful Hints for Parents of Gifted Children
- Expect behavior appropriate for the age.
- Do not compare your gifted child to other children.
- Listen to your child. Give your child your undivided attention often.
- Expose your child to varied experiences.
- Provide time and resources for your child to fully explore topics of interests. Let your child specialize early if he or she prefers.
- Provide unstructured time for your child.
- Praise your child's efforts. Inquiring minds must take intellectual risks and risk-taking needs support and praise.
- Provide structure and discipline in the home. Giftedness is no excuse for unacceptable behavior.
- Help your child feel a sense of progress in tasks.
- Assist your child in establishing relationships. Gifted children often challenge what they are told. They also have a low tolerance for "stupidity". Help them learn to be tactful, especially with adults.
- Gifted children often have a need to be innovative. Learn to listen to the reasoning and then decide if the innovation is acceptable. Also, help your child to see the simple.
- Recognize that gifted students are serious-minded. Include them in adult conversations when appropriate.
- Gifted students often have a well defined value system. Help your child learn to be tactful without compromising his or her standards.
- Allow your child to make as many choices and do as much as possible for himself or herself. Authentic learning comes from making real life decisions.
- Remember, your child may be gifted in some areas, but will not be in all.
- Enjoy! Of all the problems children can have, giftedness is the best.
Help your Gifted Child Be Successful in School
- Know your child's teachers. You know your child better than anyone and you have information about your child which will be of value to the teacher. Also, if a problem does arise, it is much easier to work with a person with whom you have established a relationship.
- Examine your own attitude about school. Your child is more likely to be successful if you demonstrate an ability to work with the people who work with your child. Emphasize the positive.
- Be a positive role model. Parents who work hard and enjoy their work are more likely to have children who succeed in school. Gifted children need to see the joy of achievement to accept the parent's model as appropriate for themselves.
- Listen to your child and help your child to explore options for solving problems. Intervene only when a problem is extreme or prolonged. Helping children to solve their own problems builds confidence.
- If you feel your child is not being challenged enough, discuss the situation with your child's teacher. Teachers are very conscious of students who are performing below grade level and often do not realize other needs are not being met.
- Help your child to see school as preparation for the "real world". Most gifted adults must work with a variety of people and do some tasks which are considered boring. Help your child find ways to use free time wisely and creatively.
- Let your child be responsible remembering homework, lunch money, etc. as soon as he or she is able. Help your child learn to organize. Establish routines and teach responsibility at an early age.
- Celebrate achievement and encourage effort.
Avoid phrases such as: "If I were you" "One good way is..." "Why don't you..." "You ought to..." The thing to do is..." "Don't you think..."