So, your child is gifted. What now? How can you best support and nurture your child’s development? What sort of things should you look into to make sure that your child is getting an education that will continue propelling them forward in their learning? Here are a few tips for parenting a gifted child.
Have your child assessed
If you think there’s a chance your child is gifted, have them assessed at their school. Schools that typically offer accelerated learning programs will have a series of tests that will best determine whether your child should be moved up in a grade, if they should be in an accelerated learning program, or if they should stay in their lane.
The school will most likely be able to best determine whether your child is actually gifted, and what steps you need to take moving forward. Reach out to your child’s teacher and ask about the possible options you may have. You may even consider sending your children to a charter or academy school rather than a traditional public school.
Support your child’s creativity
A great way to support your child is to encourage their creativity. Encouraging your child to be creative will allow your child to flourish. Try giving them crayons and a piece of paper and tell them to draw their feelings. Or, tell them to act out a scenario. Anything to get their mind flowing with possibilities.
Advocate for them
If you think your child may be suited in an accelerated learning program, reach out to their teacher and let them know. Share with your child’s teacher what you have been observing, and reasons why you suspect your child would be better suited for a higher grade or an accelerated learning program. Be open to hearing their suggestions, and they will respect you enough to listen to yours. Every parent sees their child as special, it’s important you articulate why you think your child actually is.
Let your child be a child
At the end of the day, it’s important that you let your child remain a child. Don’t try to helicopter-parent them, or hone them into the next Einstein. It’s important to let them still enjoy their childhood and to pursue their studies with healthy boundaries. Let them go outside and play with their friends, or just goof around and be silly. It’s important that they still get to experience this time in their lives, as they will never be able to experience their youth the same way again.
It’s okay if your child struggles
If your child struggles, that doesn’t mean they aren’t smart or adept. It just means they’re human. Don’t give them the answers right away to a difficult problem, or baby them into giving up. It’s okay for them to struggle–it doesn’t mean they’re not gifted. In fact, thinking more about something, rather than getting the answer automatically, will be better for them in the long-run. It’ll teach them critical thinking skills, and will allow them to develop their problem-solving skills.
At the end of the day, all a child wants is to be encouraged. It’s important that especially as a parent, you continue to look out for and support your child through anything that comes their way. Your love should be unconditional, and not based on whether your child academically succeeds. Even if your child doesn’t pass a gifted assessment or struggles in their accelerated learning programs, it’s important that you remain supportive and remind your child you still love them regardless.
These are a few quick and easy tips on how you can parent your gifted child. Remember that your child, though gifted, is still a kid. Let them enjoy life, and everyone will breathe a bit easier.