Discovering Your Child’s Gifts and Talents
When noticing that your child is ahead of his or her peers, a parent often panics. What happens next? Do I age match or skills match? What happens with social? When will I know they are ready to move forward? While these are all valid questions, discovering your child’s gifts and talents is not as daunting as you think.
Here are some important questions to consider as you help your gifted child on their journey.
How Do I Foster Independence in My Gifted Child?
There is no exact age for independence, as countries have different laws regarding acceptable behavior. Generally speaking, children should be able to make decisions about certain activities, such as going to the bathroom, taking care of personal hygiene, dressing themselves, and eating without help from parents or caregivers by the tween years. Children should also be able to independently do homework, prepare simple meals, manage household chores, and manage money. All of these things require independence and self-discipline. If your child’s academic acceleration or talent distracts them from building these skills, get a coach to help make a workable plan.
What are Some Effective Self-Care Habits I Can Teach My Gifted Child?
There are a lot of things you can do to help your gifted child learn and grow. The most important is to model the self-care that you want your child to develop for themselves. When your child learns that everyone needs a little time to demonstrate love for oneself, they will learn to be empathetic toward others. In turn, they will learn the importance of balancing their natural flow so they don’t burn out.
What Is Important When Hiring a Tutor for My Gifted Child?
When hiring a tutor for a gifted child, consider the following qualities. A good tutor should be knowledgeable about a specific subject, patient, encouraging, and organized. They should also be able to provide constructive criticism. Look for someone who is enthusiastic about teaching your child and interested in helping him/her achieve success in their area of talent. Keep in mind that most tutors do not specialize in teaching gifted students, but rather teach several subjects. If you need help selecting a tutor, connect with our network of professionals and like-minded people.
How Can I Help My Gifted Child Socialize With Peers His or Her Age?
Encourage your child to participate in social activities and play with peers of his or her age. Help him or her to join sports teams and clubs. Play games together, like board games and card games. Participate in a range of activities that your child enjoys, such as hiking or arts and crafts projects. Be sure to help your child learn how to manage his or her emotions while learning new things and playing, such as anger management techniques. When homeschooling a gifted child, you may notice their frustrations more as they develop. This is part of normal development, and socialization with peers helps to curb anger-based anxieties.
Should We Keep Our Gifted Child in a Class that is Socially Appropriate, but Academically Poor?
That depends. It is important to keep your gifted child in classes and programs that are appropriate for his/her abilities. However, remember that gifted children are still just a kid like any other. They may be intellectually advanced or talented in one or more areas. However, they are often not behaviorally advanced. That is, their executive decision-making skills may not match their “ability brain”.
Solution: Relax and Relate to Your Child
Just relax and know that your child needs to have fun, too.
The challenge of keeping your gifted child in a class or program with low performance is obvious. When children are bored in class, they may become disruptive or discouraged with the learning process. They may need to change classes or even schools. The lack of stability means that you may be setting them up for failure later in life. This is why many parents with gifted children decide to homeschool or develop a hybrid home education program.
You must understand that your gifted child is still a child who needs guidance, support, encouragement, and love. Your child needs to learn how to develop good study habits, how to manage stress, how to deal with bullies, etc. All these things take practice. And practice does not mean just sitting down and studying all day long. Instead, it means learning self-discipline and managing your emotions, so you don’t get frustrated when you try to do something difficult.