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


Motivating Underachieving Gifted Children Tips

By Andrew Loh

Motivating underachieving gifted children involves a series of techniques that attempt to induce an air of positivity and hope in the mind. In fact, it is a serious problem in gifted children. Poor grades and disappointing classroom performance may likely to drain a gifted child's body and mind. Here are ten simple and effective strategies to motivate underachieving gifted children.

1) Never ridicule or be sarcastic if your gifted child is not performing well in the classroom. You should understand that it is more common among gifted children to perform somewhat poorly in their studies. As a parent, your responsibility is not to put down your child but to understand what is going on in his mind and how some events are shaping his or her personality.

2) Discuss with them the importance of academic achievement and its relevance in today's competitive world. Explain how academic achievement would help them in getting a decent job in the future. The main objective is to kindle the light of motivation from within so that they will work on their without your intervention.

3) Gifted children are often very good at hiding their real intentions from parents. They may even trey to manipulate parents by not telling truth. Many of them of them may loathe following the rigid rules of a traditional classroom, overpowering presence of teachers and peers. In fact, they just want to get out of the classroom and start experiencing their own journey that is usually non-academic in nature.

4) Many gifted children have their own intrinsic interests and preferences over which they want to work and achieve excellence. Parents may like to become aware of these special interest areas and start working on them to build further. Use success in such areas as a tool to motivate them to achieve further success in academics also. Parents may like to share their children's special interests and talents with their teachers and seek their assistance to build children's interest in traditional academics.

5) Motivation should come from within! It's more of lighting fire and catalyzing an interest to learn by using self initiatives. It is also a learned activity by consistent practice. Success is a key to develop motivation. Let your child experience success in the area of chosen activities. For example, motivating your teenager to push their artistic abilities to another level. Or, some children may be good in painting while others may be excellent in music. Whatever the areas of excellence are, let the children taste the success of their skills. Help them compose their first painting world or learn singing some popular tunes.

6) Gifted children are usually weak in certain areas of academics. It could be math or science. It could also be any other subjects and it could even be all of them. They may not like the pace of learning which could be very slow for their liking. The fist important things are to create an interest in learning in a traditional way. In other words, you should help gifted child by put down breaks on their fickle mind that is usually very dynamic and quick. It should be re-adjusted to the slow pace of classroom learning.

7) Differentiated learning approach is a universal method to teach gifted children. In many cases, boredom might lead to underachievement. A special classroom that takes into consideration the present talent levels of children might help them learn in their own pace. The best choice is to differentiate assignments for gifted learners that incorporate children's gifts. Parents may also like to incorporate known strengths in learning assignments. For example, thematic and visual learning works best for children who have talent and skills in visual arts. This simple approach would help them develop motivation to learn further and achieve success in a specific area of activity.

8) Goal setting is an important activity that links achievement and motivation. Goal setting will also help gifted ones to streamline their daily life and classroom activities. It will also help them create their own schedule and calendar of events. When they know how to work on their goals, they might develop motivation on their own and without parent's active intervention.

Achievement and motivation are strongly linked. Whenever, a gifted one achieves something in a classroom, that instance of success is more likely to act as a catalyst to put in additional effort to repeat more such instances of success. In fact, developing motivation is a psychological exercise that involves creating an intense urge to reach the desired goalpost quickly and in an assured manner. Help gifted ones to escape boredom of a conventional classroom by achieving academic success and excellence. A one on one discussion with their classroom teachers is perhaps the best known way to start.

Featured Resource

The Underachieving Gifted Child: Recognizing, Understanding, and Reversing Underachievement
By Del Siegle, Ph.D

Why are some gifted children willing to tackle new challenges whereas others seem insecure or uninterested? Why do some gifted students achieve while others become caught in a cycle of underachievement? Are there strategies teachers and parents can implement that promote an achievement-oriented attitude? The Underachieving Gifted Child: Recognizing, Understanding, and Reversing Underachievement answers these important questions.

Although there are many factors that contribute to achievement, achievement-oriented students exhibit four key traits: they believe that they have the skills to perform well, they expect that they can succeed, they believe what they are doing is meaningful, and they set realistic expectations and implement strategies to successfully complete their goals. This book offers specific strategies to help increase student achievement by improving students attitudes in these four important areas.


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