Talking With Your Child About Gifted
As a parent or caregiver, you may understand that the differences your child exhibits relate to her giftedness, but your child likely does not. When children notice and feel different from their peers, they seek explanations. Sadly, their peers may be eager to provide them with poor explanations for these differences. Age mates may describe the gifted or 2e child as odd, weird, or strange. Some kids may criticize or humiliate gifted children for their knowledge or behavior. Even well-meaning adults can unreasonably expect gifted children to know all the answers or to always behave appropriately.
Many parents are uncomfortable with the term gifted, as some see negative connotations—even though the term is intended to highlight a strength area, not make a value judgement. Gifted is a common term in education literature and legislation; parents are encouraged to become comfortable with this term. If you feel uncomfortable using the term gifted or seek other words to describe your child, you can substitute other descriptors such as accelerated learner, quick learner, bright, precocious, high ability, and high potential, to name a few. Modeling is also important. Adults have strengths and weaknesses, too. When parents acknowledge and show they're comfortable with their own strengths and weaknesses, it helps children become comfortable with their own giftedness and areas of weakness. Using descriptive terms to label our children’s strengths helps them become more comfortable with those strengths.
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