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Parenting A Profoundly Gifted Child!

Discussion in 'Schoolgoers & Teens' started by nuss, May 27, 2021.

  1. nuss

    nuss Platinum IL'ite

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    Dear Shyamala, Thank you for sharing your niece's story! So glad to hear that she is doing what she loves! My post might have given the idea that we are putting pressure on our son! Actually, it's quite opposite. We try to raise our kids as normal as possible. Our normal might be a bit different though. We all relax with a book (now my kindergartener has learned to read, we all can sit down with our book), bedtime involves reading for 45 min to an hour and we discuss work at the dinner table (I know it's not advised but that's when my husband and I see each-other usually).
     
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  2. nuss

    nuss Platinum IL'ite

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    Thanks again, @Laks09! I think I was a little overwhelmed (maybe scared) when his evaluator (a psychologist) mentioned that profoundly gifted kids drop out from school/college at higher rates if they don't see their curriculum challenging enough.

    You are so spot on with the musical inclination! Reading your post makes me feel like you have known my kiddo forever! Even when he was a baby, he loved to "sing". He had a sleep song, he would start "singing" when he wanted a nap. He has a beautiful voice. He loves writing his own lyrics and singing. Last summer, my husband brought out his saxophone (he played in the Marching band in college) and both kids have been having fun learning to play Sax and recently started on guitar. Our neighbor is a guitar player and she adores our kids. She has been teaching them once a week. I don't feel that our son is as much in musical instruments as our daughter is but he definitely likes to play esp' guitar.
     
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  3. nuss

    nuss Platinum IL'ite

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    Dear @DDream- Thank you for sharing your experiences! We are like you- we provide opportunities for him to explore but don't push him in any direction. He also likes Legos and other building toys like Plus Plus and magnetic blocks, electric circuits, etc. He loves reading, mostly non-fiction but he has also finished complete series of Magic TreeHouse, Harry Potter, Spiderwicks Chronicles, etc. We live within walking distance of the library and he has his own card to pick out books that interest him. He absolutely loves Martial Arts. He has highly motivated to reach to first-grade black belt by the end of this year.

    Thanks for putting me at ease re friends. Most kids his age like to talk about video games or superheroes but he is no interest in either. He is the kid who dresses up like Neil Armstrong on a Super Hero day at school :). He has started liking coding but he doesn't play any video games (we don't have any gaming system so he is not exposed to Minecraft etc.) Looking back, I didn't have any friends until high school either. My older sister and I were in the same class so never felt a need for another best friend.

    It's funny that my daughter is also a social butterfly. She can make friends in 5 minutes at the park and invite them over :).
     
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  4. Angela123

    Angela123 Gold IL'ite

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    Great thread @nuss. Thanks for starting this. Mine is not a gifted child, but I can totally take some pointers from this.
     
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  5. Laks09

    Laks09 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Thank you! You made my day.

    It's akin to driving at a 100 miles/hr and someone trying to get you to turn left as if you were driving at 30. Seems like your evaluator has prepped you well. I think it's because their neuron connections are different and more efficient that others.

    I think they will be able to guide you well. They have the experience in this.

    I hope he gets in to their regular program. He will benefit from them for sure. You are doing all the right things by having identified him early, getting the help needed and keeping him happy!

    It must have been a way to let you know the challenges that lay ahead for him and you. They keep needing to do different things and once they feel like they achieved a challenge, they lose interest in it. I think it may be because of the way their neurons are wired. It's probably that rush they crave - the achievement of something. Once that's over the interest isn't sustained. Maybe they also have a very high sense of morality. Black is black, white is white and there isn't any room for negotiations.

    Look at the positives. You are both educators. You have access to so much in academia. You've found this out early. You've already been in contact with people at Davidson. I believe all skills can be taught to any child. It's the way we teach that matters. Like @Rihana mentioned earlier, it's a good skill to have to know how to push through boredom. It is also an important life skill to know that not everything will end and a new challenge will begin. Mundane chores are often essential. Also that black and white thinking can be influenced. It's never too early to teach them to be politically correct. The feeling that the other person doesn't know as much as him will always be there. It's a good idea to teach him to respect everyone's ideas regardless of how "correct" it is. It's also alright to not do the best and the most optimal solution sometime. That sort of diplomacy! It's better taught young.

    There will come times when he's bored of whatever activity he is enrolled in but it's probably not a bad idea to make him complete it. I learned this from my DH. He would always tell my DD that not going for something is an option. Think before you sign up. Dropping off is not an option. Once you sign up, you will do it, no matter who stays or leaves. That has taught her to be tenacious and not run away once it's boring.

    I've always thought the ability with musical notes is not an art but a mathematical skill. I also assumed that the neural network being wired so efficiently helps in analytical thinking and hence the ability with notes.

    Just a lucky guess!


    Keep track of all those poems and songs. Not all kids can do that. I also think it's a great idea to record his performance for the future.

    Maybe because the instrument isn't as challenging as creating new scores. Pair it with the act of making songs and he will probably love it!
     
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  6. Laks09

    Laks09 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Btw - since he likes Legos, robotics is a good thing to explore. Also there are the legos that can have gears and parts that teach them something. Look here and here.
     
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  7. deepthyanoop

    deepthyanoop Gold IL'ite

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    Thank you nuss for the reply ! Yes, he gets pretty frustrated with the repetition in classroom. In fact his teacher noticed this ! When she asked all the children to use a number bond or tape diagram to help find the solution for complex word problems, he would tell the answer first ( calculate in his mind) and then make the number bonds and tape diagrams because teacher wants to see that :)
    Always requests us to ask him riddles or hard word problems to solve. He loves to teach his friends math ! In PreK , when his teacher talked about sky and atmosphere, he asked his teacher a counter question “If we go up and up, what comes after sky and where does it go after that” ? Teacher then gave him a short text about the layers of atmosphere to read.She emailed about this to us later. Also he loves to have grown up like conversations like educating us about the historical cities since BC 2000! Not interested in kids movies or superheroes ! He has a friend from Japan in his class and now self learning ( initiated by himself ) Japanese with the help of Google.

    Yes, we are planning to have a talk with the School Principal later.

    Thanks again for this informative thread. I enjoyed reading all the replies here !
     
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  8. Srama

    Srama Finest Post Winner

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    A very long post. Sorry :(

    Dear @nuss ,

    Perhaps a tad too late but I get to see some wonderful advise from many parents. Here's what I have to say - both as a mom and a teacher, since my kids are grown up mostly as a teacher. Profoundly gifted puts your young man in a different group altogther and he is fortunate to have parents in academia with a solid support group.

    I am writing in a little more detail, as a teacher keeping all the other parents who may be looking for tips in mind. All of it can be applied easily at home as well. There is of course a lot of literature available but I am going to share some things I do in my classroom to keep my students engaged - more like what has worked so far. This creative way of teaching also keeps me challenegd, creative and eager to get to classroom every morning. I might end sharing more than needed and perhaps subjectwise - that is only to make sure that as parents you can get creative with handling children also.

    With gifted children and importantly with profoundly gifted children, there is a need not only for learning but a bigger need for expression. It becomes challenging to have an audience or a friend who is interested in the same areas as they are. Frustration can be at two levels – at their inability to express and when they cannot learn something as well as they think they should. Gifted children are very often hard on themsleves - when things come easy most of the time, they tend to be hard on themselves when it does not come easy.

    While being an involved parent is important, being an intuitive parent is even more important – at least that is what I believe. Teaching them to express themselves, not necessarily just to others, not necessarily about what they know becomes important. Some of the profoundly gifted students have an ability like @laks mentioned, an ear to music and learning, an artistic ability, or information say about all the countries of the world. From what Ihave observed, a creative outlet is important - be it art, music, origami, paper plane making, making some comic strips, using legos to build, learning a foreign language or even caligraphy :) Some students find writing cursive very soothing. It is very important to guide these little ones toward an activity like that that can help them relax. I see all of these and more often and i realize the importance. I also know of parents who allow their children to explore nature in their back yards, gardening can also be very satisfying and gratifying. Being aware of what problems they may face can help you prepare them better. Also, Personally and it goes against many, I have never sent my kids to summer camps. Allwoing them to get bored is important too. Setting realisitic expecattions even with giftedness, teaching them to cope with emotions (EQ) goes a long way.

    Some of the things I do with my students is projects based on the concepts I teach. Be it Math, Social studies, Science or even reading. I am learning that this brings out a side to gifted children that we do not see often while teaching them a whole lot of other skills. Students are also required to make presenattions to their classmates and sometimes to other students from other classes - needless to say, it gives them power of expression. I will try to elaborate on some of the projects and that can give you ideas that help you get creative. The best compliment I have got so far is when a 10 year old told me "Wow! I did not know I could transfer what I had in my mind to actually build something". Math for example when say I teach Volume, area and surface area, I include a mine craft project - students have to come up with minecraft theme, build their shapes (usually rectangualr prisms and sqaures) and using those build their theme. Then calculate area, volume and surface area of their entire theme and write a simple story around it. For example, on child decided to build a sloth hanging down from a tree and gave me the whole nine yards I asked :)

    Some of my favorite books for the age groups we are talking about (and I am assumin 8 to 12) include "Phantom Toolbooth", "The Little Prince", "The big Wave" - in this book, we pause to learn our names in Japanese and write them out along with chooising to explore one weather phenomenon an dof course a mini project on Japan, "Bridge to Terebithia". I choose these books because I do want to expose children to some emotions, ask them questions about all of the emotions and how to cope etc, introduce some foreign authors and most definitely "Hugo Cabret" - this last one especialy because I let students build their own automaton. Rob Ives has done some fantatsic work here. Anothe favorite book of mine is "The Number Devil" oh! the joy of reaidng this book is something I cannot explain and a wonderful book to read to a child, not to forget Matilda - I lean toward fiction a little more. Many gifted kids could be right or left, this or that and to teach there is an inbetween is important. Poetry can get exciting if you choose the right poetry to explore but it can be hit or miss. I do a lot of creative projects in Science and Social studies as well.

    The long and short of all the explanation I have tried to provide is with giftedness come many challeneges and it is work in progress. There is a balance to be created - between learning and expression, between appreciation and not overdoing it, between eagerness to learn and get bored as well, between knowing it all conceptually and working to show it. Parent involvement is definitely needed. Children often shift their interests and as parents we should be able to shift gears and go with the flow. It is not uncommon to see these children explore different areas. With many a people, giftedness is often directly linked to ho well they succeed - be it ivy league or work. I think fulfillment and teaching the child to use their full potential (as they see it)is important. Dealing with the emotional aspects of giftedness will be your challenge - to balance between appreciating and yet not making it all about them is another challenege. Helping them understand that many people could be gifted in many ways will go a long way.

    I feel, I might have shared a tad too much. I hope it makes sense. Once I started writing, sorry could not stop and if I hesitate to post, I may never share. So!!!
     
  9. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear SRama,
    So wonderfully written.I felt I was in your class.Thank you very much for the great ideas,which I could share with my children/grandchildren
    Kids world is a wonderland which moulds us also.
    Jayasala42
     
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  10. Srama

    Srama Finest Post Winner

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    A few more thoughts - as a parent it is important to allow the child to lead with learning. With giftedness may, 'may' come certain challenegs mostly because of their inability to adapt to the environment around them. Teaching them that is okay, and that there are kids who are interested in different areas is important. Children themselves do not judge but because of the awkwardness they feel because of their lack of interest in sport, lack of coordination, not being able to understand etc, they may show their reactions in different ways. Understanding that and teaching to cope is important. The common things I see in students include anxiety issues, a need to feel important all the time, a need to express, disinterest, doing only so much and not more, an artistic ability (and frustration with not being able to translate that to other areas) etc.

    My parenting style and teaching style has been child focused on 'how do I help this child to get stronger as an individual'. They don't need me for learning as in knowledge alone as such but more as a parent and a teacher. I pause to remember that I need to play a holistic role to help the young ones. I feel guilty @nuss that you asked parenting tips, but I ended up writing about teaching. In my world, they overlap, applicable and interchangable. I will chime in more as I remember things as a parent.
     

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