Sept. 22, 2017
In recent years, there’s been a lot of buzz in the educational community about kids with special needs or abilities. What many parents don’t realize is that students who are labeled gifted and talented, also fall under the special needs umbrella. Gifted children also need support to help reach their potential, regardless of their talented status. If you know or suspect that your child is gifted, keep reading to discover some of the most commonly misunderstood facts about raising a gifted child.
Gifted Children Are Not Necessarily Overachievers
Upon hearing that a child is gifted, many parents jump to the conclusion that their child is simply smarter than other kids, and therefore is destined to succeed in school and life. While it’s true that gifted kids do have higher IQ’s than their peers, this doesn’t automatically mean that your child will succeed or be more successful simply because they’re gifted.
Some kids, as well as adults, are simply overachievers regardless of their IQ. This means that given hard work and perseverance, many people who aren’t gifted are highly successful. To be successful, your child will have to learn to put their giftedness to work, using their talents to make them successful.
Giftedness Does Not Guarantee Future Success
To continue the above point, just because a child is gift does not ensure future success. Some kids, regardless of giftedness struggle with motivation when it comes to learning. Just like any parent, your gifted child will have to learn to:
- to discover their passions,
- to build motivation,
- how to work hard to reach their fullest potential.
Using their talents, they can exceed beyond your imagination, but kids need to learn how to put talents to work.
Giftedness is Thought to Be Inherited
Because giftedness differs from simple overachievement, it is widely thought that gifted child is born, not made. That means that giftedness is thought to be inherited, and no amount of overachievement can make any child or adult gifted. Think about it this way: everyone is born with a certain potential for intelligence and possible talents.
Some people are beautiful singers, when others can barely keep a tune. This isn’t the fault of any one person, but because of a person’s individual genetic makeup, some people are naturally gifted… or not.
Gifted Kids Can Have Learning Challenges, Too
Many parents might not understand that gifted and talented kids can face many of the same learning disabilities and challenges as other kids. For instance, a gifted child may excel in one subject area, like logic and math, but face learning challenges in a different subject, like reading.
Simply being labeled as gifted does not safeguard anyone from facing academic challenges. Because of this, many gifted kids slip through the cracks at school, being looked over for intervention methods because of their gifted status.
Gifted Children Can Have Behavioral Difficulties
Just like other kids, gifted kids can face behavioral challenges in school or home. Some gifted kids can become bored and act aloof at school; others may face sensitivities common to gifted kids, known as overexciteabilities. According to SENG, a nonprofit organization for the emotional needs of gifted kids, psychologist Kazimierz Dabrowski created the term “overexciteabilities” to describe how gifted children can experience sensitivity to various types of stimuli.
Gifted Kids Sometimes Face Difficulties Finding Friends or Fitting In
Because of a child’s individual behavioral challenges, your gifted child might feel like he or she doesn’t fit in with peers. Oftentimes, when a child advances in grade levels or ability before same-aged peers, a gifted child may feel alienated and different from potential friends. Gifted children may need extra emotional support to keep emotional issues, like depression, at bay.
Raising a Gifted Child May Not Always Be Easy
Many parents assume that raising a gifted child is easy, but this is not always the case. Just like other children, each is his or her own individual, and each face their own challenges in life. Your gifted child is special and unique in his or her own way for sure, but being gifted doesn’t mean that it will be easy. Because of the stereotypes often surrounding giftedness, others in your community may lack the compassion or understanding when your family or child needs it most!
Raising gifted kids can be highly rewarding, and watching your child blossom into a highly talented adult can be an amazing treat! If you are aware of what giftedness means for little learners, you can help support them in every way possible to achieve a future beyond your imagination!