Having a gifted child can certainly be a blessing, but it can also present a distinct challenge for parents. How can they support their gifted child and help him or her reach full potential? Read on for four methods that parents can use to help their child get the most out of his or her giftedness.
Parenting a Gifted Child
Although some people may think that parenting a gifted and talented child is a walk in the park, the truth is that it can often be tricky because gifted children have unique needs that require special support and attention. For parents, it can be hard to know how to go about providing this support, especially if they have other children who aren't gifted. Thankfully, there are some methods that parents can use to help foster their gifted child's overall growth and help him or her reach full potential. Let's check them out.
1. Connect With Other Gifted Children
It goes without saying that authentic peer relationships are a healthy, essential part of life that can help all types of children learn and grow as people. Unfortunately, gifted children often struggle socially and may have a hard time making friends. Because their hobbies, interests and ways of thinking are typically quite different from other kids, gifted children may feel alone or as though they don't fit in, and other kids may even be intimidated by them.
To help, one of the best things parents can do is connect their gifted child with like-minded individuals. Once a gifted child sees that there are other children who have similar hobbies, interests and thought processes, chances are he or she will start to feel more comfortable in his or her own skin, and making friends, gifted or otherwise, may be much easier. There are several online resources that can help parents and their gifted children connect with others who share their situation.
2. Arrange Learning & Enrichment Opportunities
Families of gifted individuals may find them a challenge as they tend to be passionate about learning new things and exploring their personal passions and interests. In order to keep their gifted child engaged and help him or her reach full potential, parents should make it a point to organize a wide variety of learning and enrichment opportunities.
Here are some brain-stimulating possibilities to consider:
- Trips to museums, science centers and theaters
- Vacations/day trips to historical or culturally diverse locations
- Household activities such as landscaping, cooking or redecorating
- Workshops or camps geared specifically toward gifted children
- Educational television shows
- Challenging toys and games for gifted children
3. Provide a Multitude of Resources
It can also be very beneficial for gifted children to have access to a multitude of educational resources at all times. Parents should try their best to provide a large selection of books and other reading materials as well as access to the Internet, which alone offers several useful resources for gifted children. Online courses and innovative online reading platforms like Newsela can keep gifted brains enriched and in motion.
For those parents who have a gifted child who's especially interested in art, it can be helpful to keep supplies such as paint, canvas, drawing paper and clay on hand. This will allow him or her to create a masterpiece whenever the mood strikes. If a child happens to be musically gifted, keeping instruments around is another good idea.
4. Be Completely Honest & Open
The last method we're going to discuss focuses on the need for parents to always be completely honest and open with their gifted child. By sharing information about giftedness and talking about the issues or experiences that often go along with it, parents may help their child become more comfortable with and understanding of his or her differences.
Being honest and open can also help parents establish a level of trust that gifted children may benefit from. If parents let their child know that they'll always be their advocate, chances are his or her self-confidence will go up thereby increasing potential.
Making a Positive Impact
As you can see, there are several (fairly simple) methods that parents can use to help their gifted child reach his or her full potential. By making him or her feel accepted and providing stimulating experiences and resources, parents are likely to have a long-lasting and positive impact on their child. For more information on building self-confidence and building emotional awareness, check out our comprehensive information and resource pages on the subject of Social Emotional Learning.
Are you a parent searching for some high-quality educational resources for your gifted (or non-gifted) child? Be sure to explore Study.com's membership options today. They provide access to thousands of engaging online video lessons in all sorts of subjects.