Giftedness in children is usually designated when intelligence tests indicate that a child is rating above 140 in I.Q. These children generally show high levels of curiosity about the world and how it works, may always be asking questions, and may spend a great deal of time reading and investigating various subjects that interest them. They may be far ahead in subjects at school, which offers challenges for their teachers trying to keep them interested and engaged. Here are a few ways parents can nurture their gifted children, to help them make the most of their gifts.
Offer Enrichment in Many Areas
Parents can help gifted children make the most of their heightened talents by providing an enriched environment at home, with books, movies, art, creative work, puzzles, sports equipment, and other items that will help them to develop skills on many levels. In addition, trips to museums, the theater, local parks, preserves, and nature centers will provide mental stimulation to offer new ideas and concepts to ponder.
Letting Kids Be Kids
Even gifted children need time to just be kids. Spending time on the playground, playing games with other kids, watching TV, and doing creative projects allow children to exercise their bodies, relax their minds and simply learn about the world and how people live. These are important lessons for development as a well-rounded human being. It may seem like “doing nothing,” but it helps kids to learn about themselves and others in a less formalized way.
Be Present For Your Gifted Child
Listening is even more important for parents of gifted children because these kids often process a great deal of information that they need to bounce off a more experienced mind. Even if your child sometimes seems to know more than you do, it’s important to be engaged to offer your perspective, encourage their efforts, listen to their opinions and offer whatever answers you can provide.
Fostering Friendships and Social Engagement
Because gifted children often spend a great deal of time investigating the subjects that interest them and doing their own projects, they sometimes spend less time with peers learning the rules and etiquette of social interaction. Parents can help by fostering friendships with peers, chauffeuring to events, sponsoring sleepovers, and helping out with group activities.
Having a gifted child offers many joys and challenges. Understanding the unique needs of these children can help parents to provide the right environment for taking advantage of their special gifts and helping them to develop into healthy, well-adjusted adults.