When I first began working with the gifted, one of the things my boss told me to be on guard for was connections. Gifted children are experts at making connections. Their brains have a hierarchy that makes short cuts and draws connections in both fascinating and amazing ways. Why be on guard if that’s the case?
I’ll share a story from my own life to illustrate. My daughter is a precocious one year old. She is constantly making connections. Recently, she wanted to “drive” her little plastic car. My husband and I both laughed in amusement when she went and got her little plastic set of keys, thinking this was the solution to her car driving woes.
The first brush we introduced her to was a hairbrush. While she doesn’t have much of it, she loves for us to brush her hair. The funny thing is when we see her using a paint brush, a make-up brush- even attempting a toilet brush- to brush her hair. All brushes though not necessarily hair brushes.
I share these stories not to say how smart and wonderful my child is- although I, like all parents, think so! I share them to remind each of us that we are the still parents. No matter how intelligent our children may be, they need us to help them when they are making these important learning connections. We provide meaning and structure, a framework for reinforcing and correcting the connections that they are making. Our children will make as many erroneous conclusions as they will make brilliant ones. Correcting their fallacies will help them develop humility while guiding their correct ones will shape and enhance their innate abilities.