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


Different Types of Giftedness in Children - Part II

By Andrew Loh

The second part of this article series deals with two specific types of giftedness that are not usually covered in a conventional discussion on giftedness. These gifts in children are unusual, because they deal with a sense of practicality and purposefulness.

Leadership Gifted

Great leaders are born and not made! Most of them lead by examples and with their intelligence, courage and commitment. They are fearless and courageous. If you feel that your child belongs to this category, then consider yourself as the luckiest person in the world, because not many people in this world are born leaders.

The main characters that indicate leadership giftedness are as follows:

  • They simply love challenges and risks. Their inherent nature makes them to accept them and eventually find solutions those are challenging and risky.

  • They can solve any problems with creativity and intelligence. Their sense for finding solutions to problems is extraordinary.

  • They are the so-called critical thinkers. They want to probe an issue with all seriousness and planning.

  • The can make or create new relationships that are strategic in nature.

  • They are verbal in their attitude with a fine voice and commanding nature.

  • They are flexible in their thinking and actions. They are ready to change their plans in the last minute but still able to find out the best solutions for an emergency.

  • They have an excellent motivational mind and they can easily catalyze others to carry out assigned tasks.

Note: Some boy scouts and girl guides belong to this category. Sir Powel and his wife were born leaders and their scout and guide movement has been legendary in the world. Gifted leaders are always found in political and military circles.

Nurturing gifted leaders is actually very difficult because children with this gift tend to be very active and commanding. They seek similar response from their parents too. Parents who wish to train their children for giftedness in leadership skills should take active advice from professionals in the field. To help gifted leaders, you can do the following:

  • Induct them into Boy Scout or Girl Guide movement.

  • Encourage them in the decision making process, selection, planning and execution of different tasks.

  • Assign them the leadership of family activities for a day in the week. Ask them to prepare a plan for a day's activity that ranges from cooking food to working in the backyard garden to a visit to the local mall.

  • Help them plan and initiate the above mentioned tasks.

  • They should be allowed to do their own work. Help only they need it.

  • They should start some individual projects at home and make your other children team members for the projects.

Note: You may wish to develop independent thinking in your children by discussing about current events and occurrences. Any help during an early age will assist your children develop decision making skills and reasoning abilities that are so much required for becoming a leader. Discuss about great leaders of the past and tell them stories about these personalities. Role-playing that involves military and leadership games often work as wonderful tonic to nurture leadership skills in children.

Creatively Gifted

The term “creativity” has several meanings and connotations. In a general science, experts tend to link this term with the term “giftedness” itself. However, some educational experts classify this as a special term and they believe that this type of giftedness is present in some children. Some of the areas of interest are painting, arts, sculpture, pattern making, design making, calligraphy, forensic science, hand writing recognition and others. Some of the main characters of creatively gifted children are:

  • An uncanny ability to make patterns, designs, shapes and formats from any raw materials like clay, mud, sand, chalk and paper. Origami and paper modeling belongs to this category.

  • Some children may show an early tendency to creative gardening. Pruning, grafting and bonsai art are some of the areas of gardening that your children might an active interest.

  • Some children are excellent in providing creative ideas to any problems at hand. They are very quick in suggesting a creative idea and this ability comes as an instantaneous reaction to a challenging situation. For example, a child was just 10 ten years old and he was gifted in nature especially in giving creative ideas. There was a wooden remodeling work in progress in his house. The carpenters and woodworkers wanted to bring inside home a lengthy piece of wood but could not because of the shallow hallway. As they were trying hard to find a solution, our child came with a brilliant yet practical suggestion - use the window grill gap on the corner to inert the wood so that they can drag it slowly inside the room and later transport it to the other room!

  • Some of the finest stone carvers and wooden artists have been creatively gifted children. For that matter, people who designed and created wonderful Roman and Greek stone columns for big houses were definitely gifted with the ability.

Tips to enhance creativity skills

  • As soon as you notice this skill, approach a child education specialist to find out methods to train the area of giftedness.

  • Give them challenges that demand creative and skilful solutions. For example, you may ask your children for a creative solution to clean the house or decorating their rooms.

  • Assign only those activities that relate their area of giftedness. For example, if you feel that your child is proficient in making models from clay, provide them clay with different colors and materials. Give them paints and shades to work on the finished products.

Giftedness is children are a rare occurrence. Possessing giftedness is one thing but developing and nurturing it is a complex task. Parents should consult gifted children experts to find out ways to nurture the giftedness for practical realization of their talents and skills.

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This practical and compassionate book explains the reasons behind these struggles and offers parents do-able strategies to help children cope with feelings, embrace learning, and build satisfying relationships. Drawing from research as well as the authors' clinical experience, it focuses on the essential skills children need to make the most of their abilities and become capable, confident, and caring people.

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.


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