Is your child gifted?

Is your child gifted?

gifted intelligence Parents must deal with gifted children very sensitively.

Did your child count, identify colours, alphabets as early as 18 months? Was your child able to speak in sentences by 2? Does your child have a remarkable memory? If yes, then your child could be gifted. Most parents are not aware of or do not understand their child's advanced learning skills. Due to this, gifted children go unnoticed and lag behind in their social skills and eventually become under-achievers contrary to the popular belief that they are winners.

Who are gifted kids? Gifted children are those with extraordinary learning abilities. These kids read before going to school or show an amazing ability to learn languages or have an amazing memory. They are endowed with a 'gifted intelligence' that helps them understand concepts beyond their age. 

How to know if your child is gifted?
* Some of the early signs include — to walk earlier than usual, speak early, read books and play with shape sorters as early as 11 months! 
* Does your child reason logically?
* Does he strive to get things done perfectly?
* Does your child ask a lot of questions? Even questions you couldn't think of?
* Is your child good with numbers?
* Does your child show clarity of thought?
* Does your draw/create amazing pictures/models like railway bridges with toy tracks or models with building blocks?
* When your child becomes interested in something, then is he persistent?
* Does he read/write very easily and uses words that normally adults use? 
* Is the child very good with puzzles and enjoys doing things that are mentally stimulating and challenging?

If some of the answers to the above questions are 'Yes' then, chances are, that the child is gifted. There is however no perfect way to find out if a child is gifted. But in most cases, these are the common traits that are visible.

So, what should we do if the child is gifted? One of the biggest challenges that parents face is to keep those little brains working and to keep the quest to learn growing. Many children naturally tend to be bored in school as teachers tend to cater to the entire classroom. Since these kids are naturally curious with high cognitive skills, it is important to recognise their skills early and help. Authors Jan and Bob Davidson with Laura Vanderkam in their book — ‘Genius denied – How to stop wasting our brightest young minds’ talk about taking kids seriously when they talk about boredom in classrooms.

Every child deserves to be supported and nurtured well. For a gifted child, parents and teachers have to work very hard to tend to their insatiable appetite to learn and develop their talents.

Gifted children, because of their advanced memory and knowledge base, have difficulty speaking with their peer group and many times are able to make perfect conversation with adults. Parents/teachers should collectively make sure that these children have enough social interactions to make friends and learn to play together.
But, in the process of keeping their social life busy, we should not forget that their foremost desire is to learn. As parents, we should keep their knowledge base wide and varied.

There is also a common misconception that gifted children are high achievers. Many gifted children have very bad handwriting that works against them. As their brain works faster than their hand, they tend to make spelling mistakes. Also, some of these children don't like to be tested about their intelligence. As parents, we should make the children aware and be patient.

Interacting with gifted children
Most gifted kids have an intrinsic ability to understand adults. So, we tend to treat these little ones as adults and expect them to behave differently. So, knowing giftedness is just a small part of the bigger picture of parenting.

Parenting these kids comes with the onus of advanced reasoning. Many strategies of disciplining may not work as these children tend to recognise patterns and can easily manipulate adults. Perhaps, the best way to parent these children is patient reasoning and keeping them busy.

It is also important as parents to realise that although these are advanced kids, we should not become over ambitious as many of these kids hate failure. If the child believes, he cannot achieve it, he will never attempt it.

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