Gifted Children - Several Faces of Gifted and Trying to Understanding Them
By Andrew Loh
Gifted children are quite unique and special with their innumerable
qualities that are either negative or positive. A gifted child with only
positive qualities filled inside is almost difficult to find. Parents
might have testing times to raise and nurture their gifted children
because of the following reasons:
Gift and its impediments
When someone calla child as gifted, it means
that he or she is abnormal in their brain development. In other words,
the quality of giftedness could be found only in few numbers of
children. In a sense, normal children with normal brain development are
wired for normal living and they may not pose any problems for their
parents as raising them may not take too many hassles. However, gifted
children are entirely different lot. They are blends of both the good
and bad. Some of their characters could be very good and they may act
boon to children are specially endowed. On the other hand, many of their
other characters could be very difficult to manage especially for
parents who raise them. Nothing could be exasperating for a parent when
she finds that her gifted child throws tantrum because it wanted to
achieve some sort of perfection in the work just finished. The lengthy
pursuit for excellence is far different from achieving perfection in any
topic or subject.
Strong will is another problem with gifted children
Almost all gifted children are strong
willed and unconsciously determined to reach unlimited success levels in
their chosen area of activity. Similarly, this excellent personality
trait may sometimes act in reverse direction too. Gifted children are
known to resist when anyone tries to direct and lead them even if they
are parents. In a school and traditional classroom setting, this might
not work just because children are supposed to follow whatever their
teachers say or do. When such scenarios do not allow gifted children to
express their mind and follow their intuition, they may feel averse
towards lessons and classroom work. In other words, they simply resist
direction and they may never like someone to lead them.
Impatient with basic routines
The aforementioned character may lead yet another weakness: getting impatient with daily
and basic routines especially when they relate to classroom work. Gifted
children are created exactly the opposite. They might never fit into the
classic education system. To define a gifted child in a traditional
classroom setting is quite difficult because they are always
unpredictable and unsure of what they do and perform. What most normal
children like and adore, gifted children are exactly the opposite!
Difficult to find out “likes and preferences”
Gifted children, because of their unpredictable nature, may hide
their likes and preferences within themselves unless their parents work
hard to understand them. On the corollary, this might also mean that
most gifted children waste their lives by hiding their likes and
preferences. This is perhaps one of the most difficult phases of raising
gifted children and manages them through their young age. Parent's
important duty is to know their core area of likes and dislikes and life
Disruptive and out-of-step behavior
When gifted children are not given a vent to express their talent
and skills, they may start displaying occasional disruptive and out of
line behaviors at home and in the classroom. This is yet another
instance of gifted children channelizing their wonderful ability into
something that unproductive. Schools do not like children expressing
their disruptive behavior in the classroom although someone like gifted
children doing it unintentionally and without their knowledge. This is
possibly the area where parents may need to help their children to tone
down in-appropriate behavior.
Complicated rule setting and a tendency to “boss” around
Gifted children follow their own set of rules and they can even create them to suit their
lifestyle. This negative behavior might lead to a sense of “bossism” to
control others in the family. If this negative quality is controlled,
gifted children could be the best-behaved and perform oriented children.
Parents may also need to train them set new rules that are acceptable to
everyone in the family not just to the gifted children. When rules are
acceptable to everyone, one can expect a sense of deep cooperation among
all other members.
Although, gifted children come packaged with a good mix positives and
negatives, they could be the best of the lost when parents support them
in every way possible. For example, parents may need to identify several
characters of giftedness and try to know their likes and preferences.
Later, if they wish, they can consult an academician or psychologist to
seek the best parenting techniques to manage and nurture the gifted.
Now, the most important question also arises regarding gifted children -
are they boon or bane to their parents. The answer is very simple - no
gifted children should be left behind and parents should consider their
gifted children as boon to their families.
A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children
By James T. Webb, Ph.D. Janet L. Gore, M.Ed. Edward R. Amend, Psy.D.
Raising a gifted child is both a joy and a challenge, yet parents of gifted children have few resources for
reliable parenting information. The four authors, who have decades of professional experience with gifted
children and their families, provide practical guidance in areas such as:
Characteristics of gifted children
Motivation & underachievement
Intensity & stress
Depression & unhappiness
Finding professional help
and much, much more!