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Supporting Parents

GO programmes can be accessed from home, school, libraries, on the go... from anywhere, and at anytime. This means that parents can easily support their children as they work on GO programmes.

Ways to support your gifted child include:
  • Do provide intellectual challenge - give gifted children the chance to feel frustrated, to need to work hard and take time to figure things out.
  • But don’t overschedule your child; this is not the same as providing challenge – give your child the opportunity to make choices about their involvement in clubs and after school activities. Remember to build in down time, time to process and let ideas simmer.
  • Do follow your child’s interests and strengths – allow your child to fully immerse themselves in their own interest areas.
  • But don’t forget to show them and teach them how to prioritize and set goals – Gifted individuals discover early that they have many interests and can get more done – wear more hats – than most other people. Sometimes they get over-involved and can’t decide how to lower their stress and their commitments. Even gifted people need down time and processing time, so they must learn how to pick and choose carefully in order to allow the time necessary for emotional growth and self-discovery.”
  • Do give positive feedback about your child’s abilities and efforts – gifted children need recognition from those around them as much as any other children!
  • But don’t hold your child up for comparison – recognise the uniqueness of all children, without judgement or comparison.
  • Do give your child information about their abilities – “Children who differ from the norm and who therefore experience many things in life differently for that reason need help to understand why.
  • And don’t worry that this will give them a ‘big head’ – many maintain that gifted children who come to understand their own giftedness, if it is explained well to them, develop better understanding and acceptance of themselves and others.

Adapted from the work of Deborah Ruf, http://www.educationaloptions.com/, and her SENG article:  http://sengifted.org/archives/articles/dos-and-dont-for-raising-your-gifted-kids

Ways to support yourselves as parents:
There are many online resources to support parents of gifted kids:
  • Parents of gifted children were usually not regarded as gifted when they were at school. However, as they read up on giftedness, they quite often suddenly realise for the first time that they are gifted themselves. Here is a handy page if this sounds familiar!