How Parents of Gifted Students Can Nurture Intellectual Growth

  • The beginning of appropriate education for gifted children, as for all children, starts early in childhood. Often parents recognize traits in their young children which lead them to suspect that their son or daughter is different. That “differentness” however, may be greeted with a variety of parenting responses. The alertness and curiosity which lead the toddler to open drawers, taste dirt, bang pans and demand the identity of dozens of objects is welcomed and encouraged by some parenting styles. These same parents delight in their child’s discovery of the world and take joy in the child’s growing powers of observation. Parents who value compliance and conformity may discourage the curious child by showing displeasure when the child experiments with objects and asks a number of questions. Alertness and curiosity, the ability to name and compare many objects, sensitivity to detail and persistence are some of the early traits which may lead to giftedness in school behavior. The continuation of these abilities may be largely dependent upon parental acceptance and encouragement of those abilities.

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