Ways parents can support gifted children

Jul 2012
How can I encourage the development of my gifted child
Gifted children should be provided with freedom to encourage independent learning.

There is a surprising amount of research which suggests that gifted children will often need more guidance than other children when learning in class.

However, rather than being told how and what to learn, gifted children should generally be provided with the freedom to encourage independent learning, as well as receiving the necessary support from their parents and teachers.

So, what can you do to help your gifted child progress in the right manner?

Avoid repetition
More often than not, gifted children learn a concept the first time it is presented to them. Once this information has been digested it will be retained permanently in most cases.

Therefore, repetition can be extremely tedious and frustrating for gifted children as it makes learning boring rather than interesting. Parents need to keep topics fresh and exciting for their gifted child.

Whether or not a child will benefit from repetition is determined by the intelligence of that individual.

Place emphasis on the abstract
Gifted children learn best when the concept in question is complex and more abstract. Parents who want to encourage the development of their gifted child need to avoid presenting them with tasks that may be too straightforward.

This again relates to the need to avoid a repetitive routine or repetitive learning, as it is simply not necessary.

Making tasks repetitive and simple can, with some gifted children, lead to behaviour issues. The chances of inhibiting learning, as opposed to developing it, are far greater in this scenario.

Encourage the idea of 'controlled debates'
Parents of gifted children will be more aware than anyone that they like arguments and proving themselves correct.

Therefore, parents need to encourage techniques for fair arguing and 'controlled debates', as well as the skills to help them understand precisely when arguing is appropriate.