Is your child Gifted? – Here’s what I know
Gifted or Giftedness seem to be the optimum words for describing a child who has a natural affinity in academia. At least that’s my understanding. Is your child Gifted? Here’s what I know, that worked for us.
First you should know, my child did not have automatic straight A’s just because he’s smart. In fact, there was a lot of trials, tribulations and fiasco’s along the way that taught me so much – about him.
This is about you!
A parent has an intuition about their child, and you need to trust it. ‘People’, whether they are teachers or doctors, councillors or therapist seem to be quick on the draw with a “label”. I’ve read list after list on what the traits are of a ‘gifted’ child and I’m going to say, it’s not that simple. What is simple is that as a parent you know if your child is good at something – focus on that. Don’t worry about what the lists say. Don’t think you need to medicate to keep your child calm. And by all means, don’t think this is going to be easier because your child is smart. You actually need to pay very specific attention.
Did I know what I was doing? Not really, but I trusted my instincts. I knew my child needed more support but I didn’t know I would have to advocate for him on an ongoing basis, as much as I did. When I think back we were very lucky. I say lucky because some teachers didn’t think he was smart enough. Some teachers wanted to hold him back in the curriculum. And one teacher thought he should be labeled ADHD and be medicated because he wouldn’t sit perfectly still. But you see teachers have a lot of students to teach and as the years go by, they have more and more new ones, and it’s not one size fits all.
Here’s what I know
I met all of my son’s classmates over the years as I wanted to really immerse myself in all things ‘gifted.’ Here’s what I know – they were all different. There wasn’t one child that was the same as any other. They all had their little quirks and habits that made them unique. What that made me realize is that we are all like that and the school system is not designed to cater to individuality.
Being deemed ‘gifted’ is the same as being really good at a sport and that is your focus. But you have to work physically at that sport to really master the game. It’s the same as being musical, even pitch perfect and dedicating yourself to practice, every day. With giftedness it’s the same, being really good in one or all of the abilities that are tested, need the same mastery and practice. It’s just not as obvious as the other physical gifts people have.
We are all born with a gift, we were lucky to discover my sons at an early age. There is one trait I felt as a mom I noticed his classmates had in common and that is none of them liked to be bored. If they were not challenged enough, the tom-foolery would begin! Sounds like a ‘normal’ child, don’t you think? Is your child Gifted? If your instincts are telling you they have a natural talent that is ready to blossom, then yes – you are right! Children do not lack capacity, they lack enough teachers.
For more on this topic and natural talent, watch or listen to the Flourish episode –