A Guide to Recognizing and Supporting your Gifted Child at an Early Age. Children who are gifted often show the signs of their advanced knowledge from their early years. If you find that your child often uses big words in the right context, or discuses concepts that are way too advanced for her age, you might be dealing with a gifted child.
Who are gifted children?
The term ‘giftedness’ has been misinterpreted by many to mean a person or a child who is an overachiever, or who works extra hard to be a symbol of perfection in every area. To an extent, gifted children can seem like overachievers as they tend to excel in some areas of life, but giftedness does not necessarily go hand in hand with excelling academically. Rather, your child’s own intelligence, and their mental skills will come in to play in the matter of their academic excellence. Many would be shocked to learn that a lot of gifted children do not perform exceedingly well in school, and might even be termed ‘academic underachievers’.
A Guide to Recognizing and Supporting your Gifted Child at an Early Age. Giftedness can be defined in more than one way, but one thing that stands undisputed is that gifted children are proven to show higher potential among their peers.
How to spot a gifted child
Most states do not offer testing for giftedness until young kids get to kindergarten classes at least. In some other states or districts, the testing is offered much later. However, as the parent, there are some signs you can watch out for to detect if your child is gifted, even before they begin school.
- Your child uses advanced word in the proper context. This could be a word you say, or one they picked up from the television or the media.
- Your child discusses or thinks about concepts which are too abstract for their age.
- Your child proves to have a shockingly good memory. They hold on to information you might have given in passing, or they remember things that other children their age do not.
- They learn skills that you do not teach them. Your child might suddenly begin writing the letters of the alphabet, or adding numbers when you have not taught them how to.
- Your child displays a thirst for information, asking a lot of smart questions, and wanting to constantly build their knowledge.
- Your child would rather play with children older than them.
If your child ticks off most of the things on this list, you might have a gifted child on your hands, and that is good reason to be excited. However, you should be careful not to get too excited, or expect your child to achieve great feats. Rather, encourage your child in a healthy and supportive way to help them be the best they can be.
Supporting your gifted learner
Gifted children are eager to learn new things, and the main thing you should do is try to keep them entertained; providing new challenges and tasks.
- Don’t refer to your child as ‘gifted’
Every parent wants their child to feel special, but be careful not to make them feel better than everyone else due to their giftedness. Also, constantly reminding them of their giftedness might make your child too pressured to excel beyond expectations.
- Provide them with enough tasks and activities to challenge their minds
Keep your child challenged with varieties of academic play such as flashcards, printable worksheets, educational apps, and gamified learning.
- Don’t limit their knowledge to just academics
Don’t limit what your child is exposed to. Allow them learn from everything possible. Take them on field trips, sign them up for any extracurricular they show interest in; such as dancing, singing, or piano lessons.
If your child shows signs of being gifted, inquire about how you can get them tested when they begin kindergarten. At home, offer them enough support, and provide ample opportunity for learning with material from parenting articles and blog to keep them occupied.
A Guide to Recognizing and Supporting your Gifted Child at an Early Age. Your support and encouragement will encourage your child to constantly strive for better, and also keep them from being bored. Remember that gifted children are often able to grasp things that are too advanced for their peers, so keep their hunger for knowledge well fed.