Parenting A Gifted Child
In this article, Parent and Psychologist Dr. Audrey Kteily PhD LPC-S of Coppell Family Therapy shares her personal experience and professional views on parenting a gifted child.
Do you have a 7 year old that can explain complex math to you but can’t pick up their socks? Do you have a 10 year old that can debate politics but has a meltdown when they don’t get their way? These are the paradoxes that parents of gifted children face.
Your learner may be well beyond their years when it comes to academics, but that doesn’t mean that socially they are any further along than their peers. In fact they may be behind. Emotions do not always come easy to the gifted set, and when they struggle it often leaves their parents very confused.
Your gifted learner is trying to manage two very different areas of their lives. In one area they are accomplished and confident. In the other they may lose control and lack understanding. This can impact their self esteem greatly. Providing your child with access to multiple outlets often helps them learn that they aren’t going to be the smartest in everything and that struggling with something doesn’t mean they are stupid.
Here are a few tips to helping your gifted learner share their emotions:
- Remember that your child is still a child no matter how mature their scholastic leanings are.
- Remember that your gifted child may not always know why they react the way they do.
- Remember that your gifted child may feel generally overwhelmed by emotions and shy away from expressing them.
- Remember that your child may have some negative thoughts about emotions because they don’t come easily to them.
Parents can model good communication for their learner by talking about feelings at the family dinner table. Ask open ended questions that give them space to open up and actively listen to their thoughts and feelings. Over time you can help your gifted child become more confident with sharing and understanding their feelings.