What Parents Need to Know

  • What Parents Need to Know

    What is giftedness? 

    Characteristics of young gifted children can include, but are not limited to:

    • Advanced use of words and language
    • Early reading skills
    • Keen observation and curiosity
    • Unusual ability to remember information
    • Periods of intense concentration
    • Talent in the arts
    • Sticking with a task longer than other children the same age
    • Understanding concepts usually grasped at an older age
    • Seeing relationships between information and concepts better than children the same age
    • Thinking beyond the obvious.

    A child’s physical, social, emotional and language development happens in steps or stages. Children usually progress through these stages in their own unique time frame, but it is common for young gifted children to be developmentally advanced in some areas and typical in others. For example, a gifted preschool child may be able to read independently but need help tying shoelaces. As a result, families can find it challenging to meet the educational needs of their young gifted children. Parents can benefit from working with
    early childhood teachers to recognize and meet the physical, social and emotional needs of their young gifted children while nurturing their children’s intellectual talents.
    An appropriate early childhood setting is one that offers children choices, open-ended
    experiences and opportunities to explore topics of special interest to them – particularly with intellectually similar friends.

    How can I develop my child's gifts and talents?

    Parents play an especially important role in developing the special capabilities of a young
    gifted child. To be effective, parents should:
    • Promote their child’s growing need for independence
    • Set clear limits and guidelines
    • Communicate clearly and with enthusiasm
    • Expand vocabulary by using new words
    • Provide a variety of learning materials,especially books
    • Help develop special skills
    • Find playmates who have similar interests (young gifted children sometimes enjoy the company of older children)
    • Promote creativity and encourage the child to try new things that help him value learning and creativity
    • Read to, and engage in, creative hobbies with the child.

    How do I address my child's social-emotional needs?

    Because of their emotional intensity, it is not unusual for young gifted children to achieve academically in preschool, yet be judged “not ready” emotionally or socially to enter
    kindergarten.When a child’s social and emotional needs are understood and met, she will develop a positive self-image and the coping skills necessary for meeting life’s challenges. Some common social-emotional characteristics of young gifted children include:
    •   Intensity;
    •   Perfectionism;
    •   Persistence and prolonged concentration;
    •   Procrastination;
    •   Curiosity;
    •   Complexity;
    •   Willingness to take risks;
    •   Advanced imagination; and
    •   Frustration, moodiness and, in a minority of children, depression.

    See attached articles below for even more information.

    Ten Things All Parents of Gifted Children Should Know

    By Sylvia Rimm, Ph. D.

    1. Children need very gradual empowerment with increasing choices, freedom, power and responsibilities (V of love - see attached article below) as they mature. Although gifted children sometimes seem adult-like, giving them too much power and too many choices early can cause them to believe they should make their own decisions too soon without adult guidance.

    2. Gifted children are children first, and only secondly gifted. They need parental limits and guidance.

    3. Praise words set expectations for children. Too high praise may cause pressure. Continual negative comments cause children to be unmotivated and have low expectations for themselves.

    4. Children learn through play. Parents who love learning with children, including reading, educational toys, playing games, building activities, creativity, exploring nature, science, and numbers encourage children's interests and curiosity.

    5. Parents should be respectful advocates for their gifted children's special needs in school.

    6. Respect for other adults, including other parents, grandparents and teachers, encourages children to learn from these adults.

    7. Parents are role models for their children. Their attitudes toward work, learning and life strongly influence their children. Good family relationships, including family fun together, are protective for children throughout childhood and adolescence. Children with good family relationships are less likely to feel pressured about appearance and popularity, and less likely to get involved in alcohol, drugs and promiscuous sex.

    8. Work projects with an adult teach perseverance and a valuable work ethic.

    9. Gifted children need healthy involvement in activities and reasonable limits for media and technology.

    10. Children are not always evenly gifted. Although they may learn easily in some areas, they may struggle in others

    Information for this website retrieved from the Ohio Department of Education, 2009

    Gifted Web Page for Teachers:  Locate resources and information used during professional development in Jackson Local Schools.

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