Gifted Child: Nurturing Advanced Development
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
I went through the gifted characteristic checklist that you provided and our
daughter meets every criteria but one, she has never
required or needed "little sleep." Everything else was a
definite yes. Our daughter is now 22 months old and can
memorize songs, tunes, etc very quickly. We read at least an
hour to her a day and she has really clear verbal skills.
Other people always comment on how smart she is but I have
always let the comments go. It is not unusual for her use
7-8 words per sentence. Am I just over-analyzing here or is
there something I need to do to maintain and grow her gifts?
A: It is indeed not quite
possible for a child to demonstrate every criterion on the
checklist, so if she fits in most, she is likely to be
advanced compared to her peers. The fact that she is
absorbing learning quickly indicated advanced abilities.
Sometimes, parents do tend to over analyze their child's
potential which may not be very healthy.
What is important for parents here, whether their child is
gifted or not, is to nurture the child's potential as much
as possible by providing the means and environment to learn.
Your daughter appears to be advancing at a higher pace that
her age mates, therefore, naturally you would need to
maintain that spark and nurture her gifts. Quite simply, the
best parents can do is to observe the child well. This
requires spending quality time with the child and awareness
of their developmental milestone. If your child enjoys
reading, make it more interesting for her by getting
different kinds of reading materials, pop out picture books,
and many other easily available at any bookstore for
In fact, if you are a reader, you may want to share, say,
the magazine that you are reading with her by explaining the
pictures and getting her to do some talking/making stories
from the pictures. This will also enhance her communicative
skills. Educational toys, visual and audio materials also
provide a good base to develop her other senses. It is very
important to observe her interests and provide her with what
she learns best with. In addition, you need to monitor her
advancement in order to keep stimulating her by giving her
more difficult material as soon as you observe that she may
be getting bored with what she already has. Most
importantly, enjoy her growth by involving yourself in her
world of discovery. Good luck.