Let's continue on in defining what it is to be gifted. . . Today, we're going to talk about what giftedness isn't.
It isn't something you "did" to your child. Want to know how I can tell the parents of the truly gifted children in my class? They are the ones throwing up their hands and saying- "I swear, I didn't do this!" They are frustrated, exasperated and alone. Many, if given the option, simply want a regular childhood for their kids, and peace in their families.
It isn't a one way ticket to success. For a variety of reasons, few gifted children reach their potential, and way too many are underachieving. Just recently, the book Outliers by Malcom Gladwell really examined some of the reasons why certain children develop into successful people and others don't. But we know far, far too many gifted kids are falling through the cracks.
It isn't always easy. Gifted kids struggle with loneliness, isolation, peer pressure, perfectionism and a host of other real and serious side effects of giftedness. The depth of their feelings and perceptions are incomprehensible to anyone except another gifted person.
It isn't just how your child was raised. Comprehensive studies have looked at brain development, and we can say with confidence that many of the characteristics of a gifted brain develop in utero, before a child has been nurtured and shaped into their future self.
It isn't just how your child was genetically formed. Comprehensive studies have looked at behavioral patterns of gifted kids, and we can say with confidence that parents play a critical role in their child's intellectual development. What you do matters for your child's cognitive success!
Please, don't fall into people's ideas of what giftedness is and what it isn't. Keep reading, and keep learning. . . I will be back on Monday with more on what it is to be gifted.