Parents are a child's first and most influential teachers. No matter
what the abilities of a child might be, the goals of parenting are
essentially the same. Whatever distinct demands result from a child's
gifted ability can readily be met by parents if they are familiar with
the characteristics of gifted individuals, informed about the unique
needs of the gifted child, and persistent in assuring that appropriate
provisions are in place within the school system that will meet their
child's special needs.
How to help advance learning characteristics:
- Be a strong facilitator for
- Provide many complex and challenging
- Nurture a love of books
- Read widely, critically, and
- Encourage language/vocabulary
- Promote critical thinking (ask why,
- Teach the thought processes that
underlie learning, inventing, and problem solving
- Use resources that are not designed
for a specific age group
- Use a variety of resources including
maps, newspapers, etc.
- Go places and do things
- Listen to and answer questions
- Discuss various topics and ideas
- Teach research and study skills
- Seek professionals knowledgeable in
the field of giftedness
How to help develop creative characteristics:
- Value play and invention
- Use imagery when playing or working
with your child
- Listen to and talk about unusual ideas
- Establish outlets for creativity
- Allow time for the child to work
- Brainstorm ideas
- Elaborate on an idea
- Appreciate uniqueness
How to help develop motivational characteristics:
- Encourage self-exploration
- Encourage self-reliance
- Teach organizational skills
- Praise the child
- Display the child's work
How to help develop social-emotional characteristics:
- Establish well-defined standards of
discipline and conduct
- Teach self-discipline
- Do not let family life revolve around
the gifted child
- Value the gifted child for who they
are, not just what they can do
- Expect and allow for regression in
- Help your child learn to manage stress
or tension they might experience over performance expectations
- Balance social experiences and time
for solitary experiences - avoid "over-scheduling of activities or
How to help advance your child's abilities within the school
- Stay involved and informed
- Work with teachers; prepare and
propose alternatives if necessary
- Be persistent in requesting changes
and challenges that meet the child's needs
- Supplement and enrich the school's
- Keep a portfolio of things your child
has done (writing samples, video or audio tape of a performance,
drawings, your own anecdotal notes....) A portfolio can be started
even before the child enters school.
- Be an advocate for gifted students and
- Join or form a parent support group
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Alvino, J. (1989). Parents'
guide to raising a gifted toddler: Recognizing and developing the
potential of your child from birth to five years.
Alvino, J. (1995). Considerations
and strategies for parenting the gifted child. National Research
Center on the Gifted and Talented. Storrs, CT.
Delisle, J. & Galbraith, J. (1987).
gifted kids survival guide II. Minneapolis: Free Spirit Publishing,
Felker, R. M. (Ed.) (1982). A parent's
guide to the education of preschool gifted children. Washington,
D.C.: Council of State Directors of Programs for the Gifted and National
Association of State Boards of Education.
Galbraith, J. (1984). The gifted kids
survival guide for ages 10 & under. Minneapolis: Free Spirit
Galbraith, J. (1983). The gifted kids
survival guide for ages 11-18. Minneapolis: Free Spirit Publishing,
Galbraith, J. (2000). You know your
child is gifted when...a beginner's guide to life on the bright side.
Minneapolis: Free Spirit Publishing, Inc.
Rimm, S. B. (1990). How to parent so
children will learn. Watertown, WI: Apple Publishing.
Rimm, S. B. (1994). On raising kids.
Watertown, WI: Apple Publishing.
Smutny, J. F., Veenker, K., &
S. (1989). Your gifted child: How to recognize and develop the
special talents in your child from birth to age seven. New York:
Walker, S. Y. (1991). The survival
guide for parents of gifted kids. Minneapolis: Free Spirit
Webb, J. T., Meckstroth, E. A., &
Tolan, S. S. (1994). Guiding the gifted child: A practical source for
parents and teachers. Scottsdale, AZ: Gifted Psychology Press.
Teacher Resources: websites, books, handbooks, magazines
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American Association for Gifted Children (AAGC)
The AAGC is the oldest advocacy organization for gifted children.
1121 West Main Street
Durham, NC 27701
The Association for the Gifted (TAG)
A special interest group of the Council for Exceptional Children
1920 Association Dr.
Reston, VA 22091
Hollingworth Center for Highly Gifted Children
PO Box 434
Portland, ME 04112-0434
Michigan Alliance for Gifted Education
3300 Washtenaw Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Michigan Department of Education
National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC)
1707L. Street, MW
Washington, DC 20036
Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted, Inc. (SENG)
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The College of William and Mary,
Center for Gifted Education, Curriculum Units
Eric Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education:
Digests and articles
John Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth
National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented (NRC/GT)
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