Having a gifted child can feel like a big responsibility. You want your child to be able to live up to their full potential, and don’t want to hold them back. Gifted children have some areas that come easily to them. Like all children, however, they each have unique circumstances that can both help and hinder them.
As you learn more about your child’s unique strengths and challenges, you will find yourself becoming a wonderful advocate and helper for him (or her). The following are ways in which you can do your part in order to give your gifted child the best education possible.
Avoid Authoritarian Parenting
Gifted children may seem as though they are constantly challenging their parents and those in authority. From the time they are young, gifted children seek to know why things are the way they are, and how it relates to them. Though your child may appear defiant, they are simply prone to questioning every single direction and suggestion. Instead of shutting them down, use this time to teach them about how the world works. Educate them by answering their questions.
Be Your Child’s Biggest Supporter
Your gifted child may encounter all kinds of frustration with various aspects of their academic experience. Choose to be the one your child can confide in. This will allow them to feel comfortable letting you know when they are having conflicts with the teacher, feeling bored at school, or getting picked on by peers. Be someone your child can trust to listen to them without judgement, and to be the one who will fight on their behalf when necessary.
Encourage Multiple Interests
Gifted children may often feel under-stimulated. This can lead to trouble if it becomes a constant feeling for them. Children naturally seek stimulating activities. By encouraging your child to pursue multiple interests, even at home, it reinforces that learning new things is enjoyable. This will affect every area of his life, including his school studies.
Look at All Options
There is never a one-size-fits-all approach to dealing with your child’s education. Your child may do well in a public school with a gifted program, a special school for the gifted, or even as a homeschooled student. Online programs are available, and some colleges will even admit older students part time. Taking into account the needs and personality of your child, sit down and compare all available options. Determine which options are compatible with your goals. Pursue information on each of them in order to make the best decision possible.
Raising a gifted child needs to be faced with the same bravery and determination that all parenting requires. Resist the urge to see only the “gifted” label, and instead view children as the unique individuals they are. There are many things you can do to help your gifted student achieve excellence. With you by his side, your gifted child can succeed in reaching his or her potential and even excel to greater achievements.
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