It was 'the first of a two-part series by Phoebe Fong-Smith which provides an insight from Victoria, Australia, where parents of gifted children are struggling with both the private and public education systems. Often, inadequate support and a lack of understanding on the part of schools means that the educational needs of such children are being neglected.'
''They are energetic, assertive and persistent. Bored easily, gifted children may often become disruptive in class."
"Highly emotional, some may also cry easily. Many are sensitive to fairness, justice, moral issues and dilemmas; they may at the same time be sceptical, critical and judgmental of others."
A case study...
"It was even suggested that perhaps Mark was suffering from epilepsy or some other disorder. It was woeful and distressing." she elaborates.
"Finally, at her wit's end, she took Mark to a psychologist who confirmed that Mark was in fact gifted, and that he was suffering from boredom and distraction."
Is your child intellectually gifted? A quick checklist
A gifted child:
Learns quickly and easily;
Has an extraordinary memory;
Reads from an early age, and extensively;
Displays a high degree of sensitivity;
Has, and uses appropriately, an extensive vocabulary;
Displays curiosity, imagination, creativity and originality in thinking;
Has an advanced sense of humour;
Has a questioning mind;
Has keen powers of observation and reasoning;
Develops a deep interest or passion in a particular topic; over a period of time;
Has a great interest in nature, humanity and the universe.
To become a member of Mensa, the high IQ society, one has to have a formally assessed IQ score of at least 130. This represents the top 2% of the population for intelligence.
Ten tips for parenting gifted children
1. Remember that your gifted child is still a child. No matter how superior his intellect, a 10-year-old's physiological, social and emotional needs are still those of a 10-year old.
2. Encourage your child to take intellectual risks and to go a little further, don't push. The gifted child knows his own limits and pushes himself if and when his intellect is stimulated, motivated and challenged. Parental pushing often causes a gifted child to withdraw into himself.
3. Praise your gifted child for his efforts and perseverance. His anxiety to achieve needs constant reassurance and encouragement. Support him in his learning efforts as he needs help and guidance, too.
4. Listen to your gifted child. Give him your attention. His curiosity makes him want to ask questions. His enquiring mind needs answers. His intellect needs nurturing and stimulation. Provide him with access to a range of educational sources such as books, magazines, encyclopedias, the Internet and other information-based resources.
5. Support your gifted child in pursuit of his passions and interests. Don't force your own unfulfilled aspirations on to him. Let him aspire to be what he wants to be and not what you want him to be.
6. Remember that your gifted child is a human being, too. Let him live like one. His mind doesn't have to be "working" every waking minute of the day. His mind is still being stimulated even when he's reading, playing, daydreaming or watching TV.
7. Take your gifted child to visit libraries, bookshops, museums, art galleries, zoos, science exhibitions, historical sites and places of interest. Let him join a special-interest or hobby club.
8. Don't compare your gifted child with his non-gifted siblings or other children. Don't favour or single him out just because he is gifted. That causes jealousy, resentment and alienation among children.
9. Discipline your gifted child as you would his non-gifted sibling. Don't spoil him just because he is gifted. Teach him right from wrong. Giftedness is not an excuse for unacceptable behaviour.
10. Lastly, remember that you are human, too. You have a life to live. You need help, guidance, support and understanding in parenting, and catering to the special needs of your gifted child. Don't be afraid to reach out for help. Enjoy your gifted child.