How to Nurture Your Gifted Child

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Finding out your child is gifted inevitably leads to the question of what to do about it. Whether you noticed your child's advanced behavior or others pointed it out to you, you may be left wondering what (if anything) you should do if your child is gifted.

Some parents worry that they will do the wrong things for their child or that they aren't smart, talented, or educated enough to provide the types of experiences their child needs. However, all it really takes is a little understanding and creativity. Here are some ideas to get you started.

General Guidelines for Nurturing Gifted Children

Your first task as a parent is helping a gifted child to make the most of their abilities by learning what it means to nurture them.

Nurturing means feeding a child's interests and exposing them to new ideas and experiences.

For example, if you notice that your child is interested in dinosaurs, make sure they have toys and books on the subject.

You'll also want to expose your child to other topics that they haven't yet shown an interest in. For example, you can still get them ​musical toys even if they have not specifically shown an interest in music.

Interaction

You can also nurture your gifted child as you talk and play together. Gifted children need to use their brains, and they love to think and figure things out. Asking them questions is a great way to engage them. Gifted children also typically have plenty of questions to ask the adults in their lives.

The way you answer your child's questions can help your gifted child learn how to seek out and find answers. Instilling a sense of life-long learning and curiosity in your child will benefit them as they move through school and beyond.

Activities

As you get more comfortable with the general idea of nurturing the interests and abilities of your gifted child, you can begin to plan activities with this intent in mind.

Though in many cases, you won't need to plan very much. For example, a simple walk through the woods or around your neighborhood can lead to some interesting explorations and discussions.

Most gifted kids are highly observant and may notice things that you don't. While this is likely to prompt them to ask you questions, it can also give you the chance to ask them questions.

Programs

Keeping a gifted child stimulated at home can be tough. They seem to want (and need) nonstop intellectual stimulation. You might want to consider sending your child to a program that is either designed for gifted children or that attracts many gifted children.

If your child is old enough, letting them go to a summer or sleep-away camp is another option. If your child is still too young to go off alone, consider a day program at your local library or community center.

Games and Toys

A good way to nurture a child's abilities is to provide some good toys and books, though you may need to look around for something that suits your child's interests and intellectual level.

Gifted kids tend to become bored with typical or popular toys and books for kids their age.

Finding the right toys and books for gifted kids can be a challenge, but not if you know what to look for. Gifted kids tend to enjoy toys that allow them to learn, to think, and to be creative.

A gifted child's taste in books is similar, often featuring more nonfiction than stories. They may also skew a few years ahead of where their peers are in terms of reading level.

Nurturing vs. Pushing

Even when parents have found ways to nurture their gifted child, they may still worry that they are pushing the child too much.

Parents are repeatedly warned not to push children, so these worries and doubts are not uncommon. However, there are distinct differences between being a pushy parent and being a nurturing parent to a gifted child. It might take some time to find a balance, but doing so will help you and your child thrive.

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