Saturday, May 2, 2009

What is Gifted, Part 3

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.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for writing this. I often feel very isolated and constantly judged as though I am the one causing my boy to be the way he is. The paragraph about how we don't cause our kids to be this way actually brought tears to my eyes.

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  2. Thanks so much for your posts. I still have an old Montessori teacher's comments ringing in my ears...my then 4 year old son was in her class and he very proudly went up to her one morning to read to her a new book he had just finished at home - he was SO proud. When he told her what he wanted to do, she looked at me and said, "you really need to stop doing this to him. He is much too advanced and he is too far ahead of the other students". I was floored, angry, sad...my son was crushed and for about the next 4 months refused to pick up a book again because of her comments. She honestly thought we were like hole-ing up my kid in a room and force feeding him everything...NO - we can barely keep up with him...what do you do when your child is reading at age 3 - lock him up and not allow it? Thanks for your blog - it's a breath of fresh air

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I love to hear your feedback! This website is intended to be a welcoming and safe space for parents and advocates of the gifted. All wholesome and encouraging questions are invited, as well as questions or concerns relating to gifted topics.