Supporting gifted children can be a challenge for parents. Because of course you want to do everything right. But it can quickly happen that you overshoot the mark. In the end, everyone is stressed and under pressure. We have collected tips to prevent this from happening.
Diagnosis of giftedness and now?
After you have been diagnosed with giftedness, you are probably feeling chaotic. On the one hand, it feels good to finally have something in hand and to have your own assumption confirmed. On the other hand, this diagnosis can lead to frustration. Because it is not at all clear what and how much you have to do now. So the most important advice is: stop first. Because most of the time you instinctively do a lot of things right.
You have known your child since it was born and the giftedness you found should not change anything in your relationship. Your children need this security. So you first quench the already existing thirst for knowledge as before. Whether visiting museums, reading books, doing arithmetic, watching films, everything that you’ve done together before, you just keep going.
Be open and stay open
Talk to your children openly, even if you cannot answer all of the questions that come up. Nobody can do that anyway. But children often have a lot of worries after being diagnosed with giftedness. Be it that they believe that they are now becoming an outsider, that they are considered a “nerd” in the class or because they are worried that everyone else will laugh at them.
Make it clear to your children that giftedness is simply a gift that they haven’t chosen, but that doesn’t have to dominate their lives either. People are different and curiosity is always great.
First funding opportunities after the diagnosis of giftedness
- Depending on age: let them read (learn)
- If you are interested: learn new (computer) languages
- Exercise is good for you: Let your child try a new sport
- Part of the group: Your child should not be lonely, but should seek closeness to other children right now. Ideal for this: A club membership or youth meeting in the afternoon
- No prohibitions: If your child wants to learn to read or do arithmetic before school, then they can help
If your child feels permanently underchallenged in school, is bored or is noticeable negatively, talk to the teaching staff. The teacher will be able to assess very well whether the respective school can quench the thirst for knowledge with the help of extra tasks or whether it is necessary to attend a special school.
How can you support gifted children?
- Realize that you can never have all the answers to all questions. Of course, that’s what we parents want, and gifted children in particular have many, many questions. But also give yourself a break and the admission that you don’t know everything. This is ok and shows your children that you are not applying any pressure.
- Find out what strengths and weaknesses your child has. What motivates your offspring and what is it that they don’t feel like doing at all? If you know what your children like, it will be easier to find the right support program. Knowing about the weaknesses is also important in order to take a more targeted look and to be careful that your offspring does not suddenly completely avoid things that they are not good at.
- Work against isolation . Because after the diagnosis of giftedness, many children withdraw for the time being. Getting her out of this hole is not that easy. So take a look and react if your offspring wants to crawl more and more into solitude.
- Watch out for emotional problems. Always make your child appear sad and exhausted, do not hope that they will get better on their own. Talk to them about it and stay approachable. Together, think about which relaxation techniques can help, which could strengthen resilience and thus be available as first aid for emotional problems.
- Looks for funding opportunities outside of daycare and school. There are children’s academies and working groups that have been specially developed for gifted children.
- Do not slow down your children’s eagerness to learn. Gifted children have great areas of interest and often want to learn a lot quickly. See if the pace really suits your child, but be sure to support it, even if comments come from outside that children are not allowed to do this or that at a certain age. Parents of gifted daycare children in particular are often confronted with the fact that they are advised to forbid their offspring from learning to read and arithmetic. But this leads to frustration in the child. Better to accompany that accordingly.
- Register your offspring in the sports club. Exercise is important to provide new input and also to develop friendships. Your children get to know each other differently in the sporting competition and experience a different kind of community.
- Go to libraries with your children. In this way you can independently develop topics that interest you, stock up on materials and you get a break. It is important to nurture your gifted children, but you shouldn’t fall by the wayside.
Do gifted children need a special school?
A lot has happened in the last few years in the area of promoting gifted children. There are now private schools that specialize in gifted children. In the mainstream schools there are more and more special classes or AGs that take care of the intellectual high-flyers. In case of doubt, a change of school can also have a positive effect on your offspring.
If you do not offer this, you can support your child by asking the school authorities whether they allow your offspring to attend certain subjects in a secondary school. Especially with primary school children this is a good way to quench the thirst for knowledge and counteract an underchallenge.
Should gifted children go to boarding school for encouragement?
Finally, you can promote your gifted children by sending them to boarding school. However, this decision should not be taken lightly. Not every child feels comfortable in a boarding school and not every family can or wants to afford this special kind of support. It is worth looking out for scholarships, especially for people with giftedness there are always opportunities here, at least not to have to pay the high fees all alone.
Let the German Society for Gifted Children advise you on school challenges . They offer help over the phone. If you know other families with gifted children, an exchange on a personal level is definitely worthwhile. And if it’s only good for you parents, because don’t forget, it’s all a process for you too.