January 26, 2017
What it means to be gifted
When we say a child is gifted, we mean their intellectual abilities are very highly advanced compared to the average for their age group, while their emotional and social development is on par.
Every gifted child has a unique personality, but they share certain traits:
- Strong sense of curiosity and desire to learn (e.g., asking a lot of questions, ability to learn on their own)
- Anxiety about themselves, who they are, and the consequences of their frenzied thoughts and emotions
- Interest in, and even obsession with, certain subjects
- Solitary nature
- Use of formal language
- Strong sense of justice
- Difficulty dealing with failure
- Long attention span
- Excellent memorization skills
- Ability to follow conversations while completing other tasks
- Difficulty making decisions when confronted with problems that cannot be solved through logic alone
Does your child show signs of being gifted? A psychologist can perform an evaluation to confirm whether or not your child is truly gifted. The evaluation will establish your child’s IQ using exercises that test reasoning skills, verbal comprehension, and memorization.
Supporting your child
So it’s official: Your child is highly gifted. This will have to be taken into account throughout their education.
Boredom will be your child’s greatest enemy. Bored students can quickly become disengaged, and their grades can suffer. Watch for signs of boredom, and provide a stimulating environment.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Enrol your child in extracurricular activities (e.g., music, theatre, sports).
- Send your child to a school that offers more challenging programs in areas like science, music, or sports.
- Find activities that expand on the class curriculum.
- Hire a tutor that can build on what is taught in class or provide more challenging exercises.
If you notice your child is not being challenged, provide more difficult games and exercises. Talk to their teacher or a special education teacher. The goal is not to overwhelm your child, but to develop their problem-solving skills and get them in the habit of working hard so they won't rest on their laurels and hit a wall a few years down the road.
At the end of the day, your role is the same as any other parent—listening to your child's needs, loving them for who they are, providing support, and helping them become independent.
This article was written in collaboration with School Success, a company dedicated to the academic success of primary, secondary, and college students. School Success offers homework help, remedial classes, curriculum enrichment, and test preparation services.
“When I grow up, I’m going to be a firefighter!” Little kids are so touching when they talk about their future so enthusiastically! And rightly so. Their enthusiasm comes from things that affect and inspire them—they admire firefighters’ bravery, love animals, or want applause just like their favourite singers!