According to the official definition of the US Department of Education, gifted kids show “evidence of high performance capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity, or in specific academic fields, and who require services or activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop such capabilities.” Are your kids gifted?
How to tell if your kids are gifted
Look for the following behavioral signs:
- Extreme curiosity, ask questions a lot
- Long attention span
- Need less sleep, even during infancy
- Extraordinary memory
- Enjoy learning, learn quickly
- Fascination with books
- Developed extensive language at an early age
- Vivid imagination
- Great sense of humor
- Keen abstract reasoning and problem solving skills
- Intense interest in a specific field, such as music or math
Early identification of giftedness between the ages of 3 and 8 is vital to kids’ mental and psychological development. The sooner it is recognized, the sooner they can be given the appropriate curriculum and environment that would enrich their learning experince.
Tips on Nurturing Gifted Kids
Raising kids is never easy, but raising gifted children is probably harder.
These geniuses are often misunderstood, lonely, and frustrated, not only because they are different from the rest of their peers, but also because their respective cognitive, physical, social, and emotional developments do not progress at the same rate. Their uneven development can make it difficult for adults parents and educators untrained un nurturing gifted kids to relate with them. They also struggle internally when their physical abilities, having failed to keep up with their advanced mental skills, deter them from realizing their ideas. Disappointment then leads to tantrums and a willingness to give up easily.[pq]To help your prodigies reach their full potential while developing a healthy socioemotional life, you need to be more attuned to their needs.[/pq]
In essencce, you go where the kids’ talents lead you. You have to be flexible and be a strong advocate for your little ones, because they will need you full support in finding the right mentor and learning environment. Experts also give the following tips for nurturing your wonder children:
- Spend more time with them. This will tell you what your kids are interested in and give you an idea how best to support their interests.
- Encourage them to explore and discover new things. If one of them is a science whiz, do not structure his or her life around science alone. Introduce him or her to art, music, and sports. What your child learns from other disciplines will promote creativity and spill over to his or her first passion science, or whatever it may be.
- Read frequently to your kids, even if they know how to read by themselves.
- Make your home a stimulating learning environment. Invest in eductional toys. Keep television out of your kids’ bedrooms. Line their shelves with books.
- Have your kids spend time with other kids who are also gifted. Being with similarly talented individuals makes them feel less like “outcasts.” They might even find a kindred soul, or at the very least, a friend who understands.
- From the start, let your kids’ educators know of their unusual skills.
- Talk with your kids as you would a sensible adult. What a little reason and respect can do, a whole lot of authoritarianism won’t.
- Don’t forget that first and foremost, they are still children. Parents of gifted kids often fall into the trap of becoming their kids’ unforgiving personal manager. Afraid their kids might slack off, they constantly push them excellent, not accepting anything less than the best. They end up hating what they do and resenting their parents’ efforts. Let them breathe, play, and make mistakes.
- Best of all – relax and enjoy. Your kids should see the fun in being gifted.