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The Five Reasons Gifted Children Have Problems At School

Mothers and fathers call me and ask, “We know our child is gifted. Why does she have problems with reading?”
    “Our son can do math three years above grade level; why won’t he write?”
     Here are five issues to consider:
    1.  Gifted children have learning highs and lows—asynchronous development. What they “get” quickly they pursue with passion. Learning that is difficult for the child means that he or she will give up or just avoid the subject or task in the first place. My advice is to pay attention to your child’s learning issues patiently and calmly. The child's strengths and challenge areas both need to be worked on as the child grows. Focusing on one aspect of your child’s potential is dangerous. Gifted children can be quite complicated.
    2.  Gifted kids have perfectionism about how well they need to perform. Usually their expectations for themselves are way too high. Try to show them what you expect in a positive and helpful manner. For example, “We just want you to write your name. You don’t have to write an entire story.”
    Or, “I would like you to say ‘Hi’ to a child you don’t know. I don’t expect you to make a play date.”
    3.  Your child can’t sit still in class and the teacher asks you if he or she has attention issues. Gifted children are extremely curious and easily get over-excited. Talk to your child’s teacher about this tendency. Elicit help from the teacher. Review the teacher’s concern with your child. Make your child accountable for his or her behavior.
    4.  “My daughter sits alone on the playground. She is not learning to get along with other children.” This is a common problem that can be worked on by introducing games that teach social skills or adding outside activities where your child gets extra encouragement and help for their social skills. Remember, social development is learned by trial and error. Talk with your son or daughter about problems you had growing up.
    5.  “My daughter always has the answer. She will blurt it out and talk over everyone in class.” This behavior is so predictable with gifted children. Work with your child on taking turns and social correctness at home when it is dinner-time or anywhere else you can. Gradually your son or daughter will learn this important lesson to listen, which is truly a priceless skill. Gifted children need to learn the value of paying attention to other people and taking their turn.
    In conclusion, gifted children can and do have these five challenges (and more). Work on these issues as if your child were learning reading or math. In other words, don’t exaggerate these challenges. Instead give your children tools to overcome their obstacles. I guarantee your child will get over their “awkward” behavior.

Posted on Friday, August 23, 2019 at 02:53PM by Registered CommenterBarbara Klein, Ph.D., Ed.D. | CommentsPost a Comment

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