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What's Going On In There? How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life
- By Lise Eliot, Ph.D

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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 preferences.

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.

Featured Resource

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

  • Peer relations

  • Sibling issues

  • Motivation & underachievement

  • Discipline issues

  • Intensity & stress

  • Depression & unhappiness

  • Educational planning

  • Parenting concerns

  • Finding professional help

  • and much, much more!

 

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