Enhancement of Early Giftedness
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
My 6 month-old daughter exhibits many of the signs of early
giftedness on your list. She has demonstrated a keen sense
of humor and advanced social skills since birth. On her
first day, she smiled in response to a chorus of laughter.
First, she smiled when my husband and I laughed aloud in our
hospital room, and then smiled again when three nurses
laughed in unison as we strolled passed their station. She
continued to exhibit the social smile from that time, and
was laughing by six weeks.
She was highly active in womb, and has continued to exhibit
a high level of physical and social activity since birth.
She is keenly aware of human emotion, and strongly responds
to the moods of those around her and on television. She
could recognize and repeat several vowel sounds (a, e and o)
at 3 months, and displayed separation anxiety at 5 months.
She has slept only 10 to 12 hours daily since birth, and is
highly active and aware when awake. She recognized her
caregivers by 2 months, and showed a remarkable sense of
humor by 3 months. By 4 months, she was aware of the family
cats, stroked them gently, smiled and laughed at their
antics, and tracked their movements.
Her Daddy has been deployed since she was two weeks old, and
will not return after her first birthday. She is a reflux
baby with extreme colic, though the situation is
significantly improved on her current regimen. These factors
have contributed to an especially strong bond between mother
How can I best enrich my child's development without her
becoming overly dependent on me as the caregiver?
A: From your description, your
girl certainly demonstrates clear signs of giftedness. She
must be one by now and probably have reached a milestone
ahead of her age group. You certainly need to work very hard
to maintain and further enhance her potential.
You may want to, if you have not done already, expose her to
an early literacy program now. This can be fun and
interesting and have been linked to better performance and
higher IQs. It would also help a child with their
self-esteem. More than anything else, a gifted child needs
early stimulation to help with brain development. Reading
also helps enhancement of verbal skills.
You need to constantly stimulate her with various
activities. Gifted children burn-out when they are over or
under challenged. Make sure that she is ready for the
challenges you had set out for her. At the same time, she
would also need free play time where she should do her own
activity which is very helpful as they explore their
surrounding without interference (as long as it is safe).
Join a gifted association in your area to meet with other
parents of gifted children for better support. The best way
to learn how to help your gifted child is through
experiences of other parents who have gone through it. Keep
a constant look out for
books on giftedness to help you with
your parenting skills.
On the issue of being overly dependent, you may want to
expose her to other significant members of the family, i.e.
her grandparents, aunts, uncles and close friends. It would
good if they could share the joy of taking care of your girl
which will help your daughter be exposed to others apart
from yourself. Last but not least, enjoy parenting your
daughter at this stage to the very best of your skills
without over-challenging her. Best wishes!