A gifted child is one who learns and understands concepts and solves problems at a younger age and at a faster rate than other children. On an IQ (intelligence quotient) test, he will score anywhere within the range from 115 to 180. For parents, having a gifted child is a blessing, but raising him so that he will achieve his highest potential is both a responsibility and a challenge.
Indications of giftedness appear at an early age. Here are five of the most noticeable signs which will alert parents to the fact that their child may be among the approximately 6% of children who are gifted.
1. Advanced Development
These children will understand the spoken word and talk earlier than their peers. Their vocabulary will grow quickly and they will have phenomenal memories. They will be fascinated by books and often teach themselves to read before Kindergarten. They will distinguish reality from fantasy earlier than their peers and may stop believing in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy long before their class-mates.
2. A Thirst for Knowledge
Gifted children have a wide variety of interests and are always asking questions. They will take things apart to see how they work. They become bored easily and are always seeking new learning challenges. They are active and will not stay focused long on things they find uninteresting, However, they have remarkable powers of concentration when intrigued by a new diversion. They will even lose sleep when absorbed with a puzzling problem or a new pastime.
Gifted children have a highly developed social conscience and may worry about death, war, pollution, violence, injustice and world problems. They are sensitive and compassionate and anxious not to hurt others’ feelings. They can discuss abstract topics such as ethics, religion and morality and can amaze you with their insights. They are often self-critical and hold themselves to very high standards. When they fail to do as well as they hoped, they are very upset.
4. Preference for Adult Company
A gifted child may consider himself odd, because he does not fit in with his peers. In fact, it is because his mental processes are so far ahead of other children his age. He relates better and more comfortably to older companions or adults. However, he will argue with them and insist he knows better ways of doing things, and he very possibly might.
Gifted children are usually very creative. They have vivid imaginations and can make up songs, and write stories Their art work will be original and colorful and if they are musically talented, they will work diligently until their performance is as perfect as they can make it. If they are athletic, they will try to win every competition. They push themselves to be the best at whatever they do, and get upset because they cannot be perfect at everything.
Raising a gifted child is difficult. He should be constantly challenged. If bored, he may become a behavior problem. Since parents cannot answer every question or satisfy his boundless curiosity, he should have unlimited access to books, and to information sites on the Internet.
He will also benefit from extracurricular activities in music, sports, art or wherever his particular talents lie. When he is old enough, volunteer activities in the community will provide him with real-world experience which will benefit him in adult life.
Raising a gifted child is not easy, but if parents and teachers do a good job, the whole world may benefit from his accomplishments as an adult.
Accessed: November 19, 2010