Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Parenting a Gifted Child Can Be a Challenge

Have you ever wondered what it is like to parent a gifted child? Or maybe you have one and are not sure how to handle it. In any case parenting a gifted child can be a challenge. If your child has an IQ over 136, he or she is considered gifted in the United States, but what does it mean?

Essentially it means your child is very intelligent or skilled in one or more areas that were assessed in an IQ test.
But knowing that your child is gifted does at first not help you much. Did you know that gifted children actually can be at risk students for failing a grade. Yes, you have read right. Often time’s gifted students get bored in the class that they are in or do not feel properly challenged and therefore loose interest in classes, learning and tests. In many newer studies, psychologists and educators actually demand the states and government to pay as much attention to gifted children as they pay to special needs children. A special needs and education act guarantees every diagnosed child education till their 21st birthday with equal chances as their other peers. There are programs and special arrangements for special needs children, but there is almost nothing in funding for gifted children.

Gifted children need special lessons adapted to their fast paced or different paced learning style and also need stimulating, interesting content. Most public schools do not offer anything extra to gifted students they just inform the parents that their children are gifted in some or more of the tested areas.

Often times it is even challenging for parents to keep up with their children. Finding activities for a curious highly gifted child that appeal to him or her and additionally challenge the child can be difficult. For example, buying a game or material can be difficult. Using the age guidelines given on the packaging generally does not help. Gifted children do not fall into the age bracket mentioned on the packaging of many games and educational materials. Often time’s gifted children are ahead cognitively and therefore would be bored with games their same-age peers like. So how can you find activities and maybe even help in raising and parenting a gifted child?

Should you have access to the Internet, you will be able to find lots of information and help for raising a gifted child. Many families with gifted children that have not the financial support to send their children to special private schools have started up informational sites on the Internet and in many cities these parents also form a community for their children.

Another place to find help and information on gifted children, parenting and activities is your local library. Many books address the issues of parenting gifted children while other books offer stimulating games, educational and extracurricular activity ideas that are geared especially towards gifted children.

When parenting a gifted child, there is one thing that all parents should keep in mind. Gifted children are different from their pees in the same age group. Therefore having them fit in might just not work. Of course you want your kid to fit in, have friends and be as normal as possible, but when you force this point, your child might do nothing but try to fit in and then not learn new things in school or worse, start to hate school. Find a middle way between having your child fit in at any price and showing your child to be confident about him/herself and the skills that the child possesses. You should make sure to give your child challenging activities, but try not to overwhelm and over-schedule. A child should always have fun. Fun makes learning easy for anybody and is just as necessary for a gifted child as it is for a regular or special needs child.

Be proud of your child for the accomplishments, but do not overdo the praise and do not use your child as an example for other children and parents.

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