Raising gifted kids: 5 things your child wants you to know

Posted in Learning and Development.

According to a report from the Australian Association for the Education of Gifted and Talented, up to 10 percent of children in Australia are classified as gifted, so that’s roughly 300,000 kids.

What are the signs of a gifted child?

The Raising Children Network website states that gifted and talented children learn differently from other children. Signs to look out for include:

  • Concentrate and focus on tasks for longer
  • Have intense curiosity and ask pointed questions
  • Grasp concepts quicker
  • Have an extremely good memory
  • Are very imaginative and creative 

Read more about toddler development:

Speaking as a mother of two gifted children, over the years I’ve learned that my parenting for them has been slightly different.

Five things your gifted child wants you to know

1. Being bored in class is just as hard as falling behind

For a child who is above their peers academically, not having enough stimulation in class can be just as upsetting as being left behind. It’s essential to ensure your gifted child has enough challenges throughout the school day, keeping her engaged and on her toes. If this doesn’t happen, the outcome can be class disruption due to frustration.

2. Opportunities are needed to help pursue areas of interest

It’s really important for parents of gifted kids to help them embrace their passions and interests. This means setting up opportunities for them to actively chase and pursue areas of interest – even if that means the parent is out of their comfort zone.

3. Interacting with like-minded peers in important 

Gifted and talented children often know very well that they aren’t like their peers, and this can be isolating. For this reason, it’s vital that parents of gifted kids find their children likeminded peers on a similar academic level who they can engage with. It does wonders for self-esteem and confidence when gifted children ‘find their tribe’ and realise they aren’t alone.

EDITORIAL: Mum and daughter

4. It’s hard when things don’t go according to plan

Gifted kids often fly through many areas of life when it comes to academics, but struggle when things don’t go to plan. Teaching gifted children how to manage failure is a crucial skill that will help them handle life’s inevitable ups and downs. According to one study, perfectionism and giftedness can go hand in hand and unfortunately lead to higher anxiety levels. For this reason, parents need to teach them that it’s OK to fail and make mistakes.

5. Extra support might be required when it comes to social and emotional needs

Because some gifted children can hyper-focus on their areas of passion and interest, sometimes they may be a little socially immature – or perhaps pretty emotionally intense. For this reason, they may need extra support to help understand their peers and process their own feelings.

It can be both a bit of blessing and a curse to have a gifted or talented child. But with the right amount of support, education and awareness – these amazing children can flourish and blossom. It just requires the parents to be willing to see things from a whole new angle and to actively embrace their incredible little wonders for who they are, and what they have to share.


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