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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


Develop Your Child's Genius - Gifted Children Unlock their Full Potential with Active Parental Help

By Andrew Loh

One of the foremost things that you should remember is that the type of dedicated practices that drive internal giftedness in your children should come from within their heart and soul. It means that they should work hard to fine-tune their character of giftedness. It also means that patents can just praise their children's effort to unlock their potential. Parents should try to catalyze their children's internal motivation and drive to unlock their gifted potential. Empowering a gifted child is an intricate process.

Gifted children have their potential locked inside their brain. All perceived potentialities of a gifted child remain a potential unless, he or she opens up the door to let them out. In other words, parents should help their children integrate and infuse their brainpower. It means that you should supply very complex and challenging experiences to your children to allow them to start using their brainpower. Two important needs for a gifted child to develop his or her potential are parental love and affection, and a responsive and catalyzing environment.

At this time, parents should introduce mentally challenging activities like playing puzzles, solving brainteasers and responding to open-ended questions. Ask your child to invent self-generated quizzes, questions and puzzles so that his or her quest for acquiring knowledge and skills is satisfied. Time is of important essence. You should allow your children enough time to experience success of meeting challenges. Another tip is to introduce imagery while facing challenges. It is a great way to stimulate critical thinking, imagination and problem solving skills. Extensive use of imagery helps children many intuitive processes and to solidify all brain functions into one single and seamless package.

Critical questions are the essence of unlocking giftedness in children. Open ended questions are always better because it makes children think twice before answering, and it leads to next round of questions as well. Questions should be probing, problem solving and may or may not be led to some solutions. Open-ended questions always lead to mental introspection and problem solving. Here are some basic tips on question and answer sessions:

  • Make sure to start the session by praising your children. You can include some empowering words like "good", "better", "best", and "very well". This will urge the children to perform better in the current session.

  • Never criticize your children unnecessarily. Do not use negative words. Avoid asking questions like "Where is the Moon?" or "Why do humans have only one nose?" They are too trivial and even you cannot answer that question!

  • It is normal for children to commit mistakes. Never try to challenge their version of answer. Instead, try to clarify the issue and drive home the correct answers.

  • Do not compare your children with others who might be very well in academics. Instead, try to explain the situation in a non-judgmental manner.

Note: Learn how to ask the right type of questions at the right time.

Practice makes perfect! That is what elders have been saying since time immemorial! If you observe that your child is gifted in hands-on activities like painting, sculpture, arts, dance, music and writing, you may urge him or her to start practicing their potential. Hours of consistent practice will help them become perfect in the chosen field of activities. Just look at the London Olympic Games! Sure, there were so many child prodigies taking part in different games like diving, table tennis, swimming and gymnasium. All of them started honing their skills right when they were in their early teens or sub-teen ages!

As explained before creativity is the main door to giftedness. You can fuel the skills of creativity by introducing the principle of "cause and effect" at an early age. For every effect, there is a specific cause! Without a cause, an effect would never happen. Learning to know what causes a particular effect is a great way to unlock the potential of a child.

Tips to enhance "cause and effect" relationship:

  • Bring home activity kits that help children learn this skill. Mechanical toy sets and playthings are some of the best tools. For young children, you may bring large block games, shape sorters, puzzles and push toys.

  • Cause and effect is a surefire way to the world of discovery! Discovering new things open up true potential of a child. For example, a musical toy will help children learn how they can synthesize musical sounds just by pushing a certain button on the toy. It is just learning means and the end! These simple exercises will help children crystallize their memory power.

Note: The subject of "cause and effect" is an intricate matter. Click here to learn more.

Some gifted children are academically very weak and they may not have manifested their true potential in a conventional classroom. Such children may also undergo tremendous stress and pressure of coping with the rigors of traditional classroom where rote learning is normal. Do not worry, if your children are not performing too well in a classroom. Instead, support them in other ways to ignite their minds and inner potentials to make them the best in a specific field of activity. Life skills, social and emotional steadfastness and a display of tenacity to face critical life situations are the known ingredients for success in life. Gifted children are bound to shine in a preferred area of activity, and it is just a matter of time before they excel in their life. Just look at those wonderful teen Olympians, who displayed their skills and guile in the just concluded London Olympic Games!

Featured Resource

Smart Parenting for Smart Kids: Nurturing Your Child's True Potential
By Eileen Kennedy-Moore, Ph.D and Mark S. Lowenthal, PsyD

It's ironic that the children (and adults) who are most frightened about not being good enough are often the most capable. These children may become extremely anxious before tests--even though they're very competent academically. They may spend way too much time on assignments or refuse to do anything where they aren't instantly successful.

The world tells bright children that their performance matters; they need us, their parents, to tell them that they are much more than the sum of their accomplishments. They need to know that we love them for their kindness, curiosity, imagination, determination, and sense of fun. Qualities like these aren't necessarily impressive, but they matter deeply.


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