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


Develop Your Child's Genius - How to Treat a Gifted Child to Bring Out the Best

By Andrew Loh

Giftedness in children is a natural phenomenon. A God-bestowed giftedness always lies invisible in children! Conventionally speaking, people link giftedness in children with school related skills and specifically reserved for those children who excel in their studies by getting good test scores, write extremely well and generally perform well in scholastic tasks. Yes, this is very important for a child' career as academics is the only way one can measure children's success in today's competitive environment. However, children may also excel in many other activities other than academics.

Children can display their giftedness in a range of non-academic activities. They can display their giftedness through words, syllables, expression, music, dance, images, pictures, arts, sculpture, social and emotional competence and any other abilities that relate to practical and hand-on abilities. Some gifted children show their abilities later than others while more number of children open up slowly as they grow and become adults. To nurture gifted children, parents have a lot to do and perform. They should work towards awakening the giant within (as Tony Robbins says!) and help them display their talents and skills. Here are some tips to help your children show their optimum best irrespective of how the giftedness is contained in their persona:

Note: Take your time and study your children's behavior to notice whether they have any giftedness. Do not be disappointed if you find that they do not possess giftedness. Mind you, a child can excel even without giftedness!

Learn in details about child giftedness and tips to identify gifted children:

  • Give freedom to your child to find out his or her own pet activities. Let children explore their interests and work on them one-step at a time. When you allow your children to pursue their own activities, they tend to express their real skills and talents. This is the time when parents can find out whether they have signs of giftedness.

  • Giftedness is not restricted or related to any one area of activity. It can express in many forms and patterns. Therefore, parents may need to expose their children to a wide range of activities and life experiences. Constant exposure to varied and diverse activities might trigger some of the latent talents and skills.

  • Curiosity is the mother of all inventions. Likewise, highly curious children are likely to be more productive and efficient. Let children learn the art of developing curiosity. Take them to a public park to discover new things and in what manner they work. Accompany them to a small picnic to the wilderness and find out more about nature. Bring home those materials that help them discover their real talents and skills. Books, art materials like pencil, paper, modeling clay, watercolors, oil paints, writing boards, drawing boards and other related materials are some of the recognized tools.

  • Ask questions and probe their minds. As you start asking more number of questions, somewhere you will notice the presence of giftedness in your child. As soon as you trace the presence of some giftedness, hold on to that clue and proceed to work on it slowly and gradually over time.

  • Apart from curiosity, another special skill called “creativity” is very critical to hone the qualities of giftedness. You must link it with curiosity so that the child develops a special interest for the preferred area of interest. When your children are curious to find out more, they will be inclined to be more creative.

  • An inclination to be more creative depends on the environment in which your child grows and thrives. The ambiance in which a child grows should be productive and sensory-rich enough to trigger the character of creativity. Bring home materials that catalyze your children's creativity and giftedness. Bight and vivid colors are likely to trigger creativity among some children. Patterns and shapes may enhance some children's productivity.

  • A particular inclination to show giftedness should not be confused as a definite occurrence of child giftedness. Almost all children tend to show an active interest in some specific activities like painting, drawing, sketching, building patterns or playing with sophisticated board games. All these activities are normal and you should never confuse it with natural giftedness. Instead wait for some time until your child reaches a certain age, say six or seven years.

Chess legend Bobby Fisher displayed his legendary ability to play middle level chess game when he was just five, and it is very rare to find this type of genius among children of that age! On the other hand, great painters like Dali displayed his ability to paint stupendous pieces of painting when he was just 10 years old. A fine thin line divides greatness and normal abilities. Some children are extremely talented and skilled in sports and athletic activities. Such children need encouragement and a supporting ambiance. Parents may need to find a responsive environment where they can fine-tune their sporting skills.

The next article provides additional information on how parents could foster giftedness in their children and raise it to a high level. Parents are as duty bound as a teacher in a classroom in nurturing giftedness among children.


Child Development

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