Tips for Parenting Gifted and Talented Children
Naturally, parents want their children to do well. Sometimes when a child is identified as gifted, parents worry about "social concerns, insufficient educational stimulation, lack of challenge for their child, and feelings of parental inadequacy" (Jackson & Snow, 2004, p. 196-197). They may worry about their child no longer being "normal," or they may value their child's "accomplishments more than their personhood" (Jackson & Snow, 2004, p. 197). Perhaps they are concerned about underachievement, or even overachievement -- worrying that "their child will not be well rounded or balanced in his or her approach to life" (Jackson & Snow, 2004, p. 197).
Suggestions for Parents of Gifted Kids (Jackson & Snow, 2004, p. 197-198)
1. Listen for understanding, especially for what is not being said.
2. Help your child recognize feelings, rather than intellectualizing them.
3. Make time to talk and have private time.
4. Teach ways to express anger constructively.
5. As gifted children tend to be more sensitive and take things personally (Saunders & Remsberg, 1985), help your child remain grounded in reality.
6. Help you child avoid harmful self-imposed stress.
7. Teach your gifted child to be prepared for increasing amounts of stress as he or she progresses through school.
8. Model behaviors you wish your gifted child to acquire.
9. Uphold diversity and teach your gifted child to recognize and accept differences within and outside the home.
10. Seek out counselors and mentors who are knowledgeable about gifted students.
11. Help your child realize that other people cannot or will not always understand or agree.
12. Teach your child social skills and the ability to see another person's point of view.
13. Help your child realize that other people cannot or will not always understand or agree.
14. Cheer your child on to success in all areas of development without undue pressure.
15. Do not focus exclusively on academic accomplishments.
16. Be positive about challenges and problems and find ways to compliment and affirm.
"Warmth and sensitivity, combined with high expectations, may be successful in fostering cognitive growth because children in such an environment feel free to question and explore, thus expanding their horizons and challenging their and others' thinking" (Rudasill et. al., 2013, p. 21).