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


Frequently Asked Questions about Gifted Children - Part 2

By Andrew Loh

The issue of giftedness in children raises more questions than answers, because its complexity. As parents of such children, they usually ask tricky questions that need convincing answers. Here are some of those questions that parents ask experts on gifted children:

What are the most common problems that gifted children face at schools and home?

Most children always face some intricate problems with their gifted children and some of them are as follows:

  • They find classroom very boring, and often fail to find interesting work in classrooms.

  • They might face associating with other children troublesome.

  • They may become hermit-like in classroom, if they do not find something that does not interest them.

Note: Parents should try to consult gifted children experts to find out whether there is a need for special education or a gifted child program. If parents feel that, their children do not fit in a conventional classroom, or if they find that classroom-performance is going down on a regular basis, then they might choose a special gifted program that takes care of their needs.

What are the most common signs of giftedness?

Speaking generally, here are some of the most prominent signs associated with giftedness:

  • They need constant mental stimulation and encouragement.

  • They are very quick in learning something and process learned data in a quick manner.

  • They can go to extreme deep while exploring topics and subjects.

  • They are extremely curious and inquisitive, with an endless series of questions and nagging queries.

  • Precise and defined thinking process makes them more accurate in their study.

How do I help my gifted children and what are the options for their studies?

You can follow these simple guidelines to make your children fit in an ambiance that might be hostile to their interests.

  • Enroll them to kindergarten classes or first grade as soon as possible.

  • If possible find a self-contained and multi-age gifted class that caters to the needs and requirements of specially talented children.

  • If possible, offer an accelerated learning environment, where children could apply the new ambiance to quick start learning process.

  • Dual enrolment works very well for children who are gifted and talented. If possible, enroll your children to middle high school and high school at the same time. This will allow them an opportunity to learn at dual speeds.

Do gifted children sleep less?

One of the important things you might notice is that gifted children do not seem to sleep much as much as other children do. Their sleep is characterized by less intensity, shorter naps and more often spells of troubled sleep patterns. There are many reasons for this sleep anomaly and disassociated sleep pattern.

  • Their minds are taken over by continuous thought processes.

  • Numerous questions crop and they need to answer those questions.

  • Interesting thoughts and inspiring ideas occur throughout day and night.

  • They keep giving reasons within their brains to any questions that interest them.

Why gifted children are often neglected at school?

More often, gifted children are at disadvantages of proper identification and recognition. Teachers often fail to recognize such children, because they tend to do badly in their studies, and while their academic performance will be just above average. There are many differences between a gifted child and bright child. Bright children are just very bright in their studies and they do very well, because of their scholastic and studious nature; they tend to have a very good memory retrieval power that might be better than that of a gifted child.

These are probably the reasons why gifted children tend to lag behind in their studies, while teachers usually neglect them too. Do not worry, if their teachers neglect your gifted children. History is full of amazing examples of great people, who were extremely gifted and talented, and who were neglected by their teachers and the community around them:

  • Isaac Newton, a great scientist, was a very poor student in his grade school.

  • Edison's teachers accused him that he was stupid and dull to learn lessons.

  • F.W. Woolworth started working in a dry goods store when he was just 21. His manager used to scold him that he lacked proper sense to serve any customers.

  • Walt Disney was removed by his newspaper editor because he lacked good ideas.

  • Caruso, a great musician, was abused by his music teacher because he was not able to sing because of his bad voice.

  • Great people like Tolstoy and Von Braun failed miserably in their classes.

  • Admiral Richard E. Byrd was forced out from navy, because he was not good and fit for naval services; however, he was the first person to fly over both poles.

  • Winston Churchill was a failed student.

  • Louis Pasteur was a very bad chemistry student when he was studying in the Royal College.

What are the strategies and techniques parents could use to train their gifted children

Unfortunately, there is no single, defined and one-size-fits-for-all type of training strategy to train gifted children. Parents may need to use a combination of several strategies. The first important thing is to concentrate on their children's academic studies. Meeting school authorities and class teachers to tell about gifted children would help them sort out many problems. It is possible that teachers will like to use an accelerated strategy to solve classroom problems. Alternatively, they may even like to give somewhat advanced project works to keep gifted children busy and in tune with rest of the class.

Gifted children need special attention because of their fickle-mindedness. If left alone, they may even turn academically very dull and socially incompetent. Teaching them importance of time and discipline may help them regulate their emotions and passions in tight check. Trying to give proper answers to their nagging questions, teaching them how to set goals, helping them to sleep properly, providing good nutrition, stopping arguing with them and controlling their intemperate behaviors are some of the parental strategies to help gifted children.

Featured Resource

A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children
By James T. Webb, Ph.D, Edward R. Amend, Psy.D, and etc

Raising a gifted child is both a joy and a challenge, yet parents of gifted children have few resources for reliable parenting information. The four authors, who have decades of professional experience with gifted children and their families, provide practical guidance in areas such as: Characteristics of gifted children; Peer relations; Sibling issues; Motivation & underachievement; Discipline issues; Intensity & stress; Depression & unhappiness; Educational planning; Parenting concerns; Finding professional help; and much, much more!



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