Traits of your Gifted Child

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This is to all the parents – your child is gifted – nothing can take away from that. All children do and say the most adorable things and every parent would undoubtedly have anecdotes and ‘stories’ to relate about the number of times their child left them delighted, surprised and maybe even speechless. I do not mean to sound boastful but I just have to relate an incident from when my darling was only 2.5 years old. I had laboured to prepare some nice dishes for some friends coming over and on tasting one of the preparations; I blurted out “it’s very pungent” and rushed to sip some cold water. She stood there just looking at me – or so I thought. My friends came over, she sat on the lap of one of them, and I began laying the food out on the table. As my friend reached for ‘the particular dish’, my daughter knowledgeably commented, “it’s very pungent. You will need cold water.” I could not believe my ears and to this day, I cannot help but smile at both her capability to observe and listen at that young age.

The term gifted is used very differently by people but in its strictest sense. It is meant to identify people who have a well above average intelligence that is determined by IQ tests and other parameters. There are also certain traits that are listed to define a gifted person and it is highly improbable for one person to have all of them. Our children might exhibit some or many of the traits – what remains, however, is that each of them is special and unique in their own way and they add the zing and happiness to life for us.

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I will put down the list of traits that gifted children have but before doing so, I must add that it is every parent’s and adult’s responsibility to help the child make the most of her or his qualities and abilities. Avoid comparisons – they are demeaning and often push the child to believing that they are nothing if not what their parents want them to be. Do you really want to pile them with these negative and self-defeating feelings? It is up to us to help them reach for the stars and make the most of whatever they have and grow up as self-sufficient, confident and responsible human beings.

Before expecting our children to pursue anything or succeeding at anything, it is our responsibility to feed those hungry growing minds with positivity, love and nurturing. When my daughter was about to reach age one, I bought a number of colourful books with large lettering and left them around her. She obviously did not understand any of it, but she would pick them up and look wonderingly at the bright colours and letters – her mind was absorbing them. I would ‘read’ those letters and numbers out to her, making songs out of them and allowing her to use the books as she pleased. She would stack them up, bang her tiny spoon on them and giggle at the sound and remain occupied with them for long enough.

As she grew, I knew that it was not sufficient for her to understand what she was studying or learning but I had to remain a ‘learner’ myself. I had to set an example if I expected her to follow and imbibe. In addition, I kept a watch on her school performance but never pressurized her to study when she did not wish to. I let her develop a sense of responsibility – she was supposedly tired and did not want to do her homework. I told her that she was expected to do it but she seemed adamant. I let her be. She went to school the next day and sure enough, the teacher was displeased and asked her to complete the work in class while the others were drawing. She was not happy with that and since then has never missed a single home assignment!

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As parents, we are often guided by what the world says – but trust me, children really do not go by these rules and it’s best that they make their own. We must understand that being gifted or smart is not about high grades. Rather, it is about how much they learn, imbibe and appreciate of the world, their family, friends, teachers and even the school and domestic helpers. Being gifted is about making progress and truly learning and having the courage and tenacity to follow their aspirations and make their dreams a reality.

Here is the list I promised. Children are considered gifted if:

  1. They have a large and exceptional vocabulary, beyond their years
  2. Can learn quickly and with ease
  3. Have unusual powers of reasoning and common sense
  4. Strong memory but find memorizing an arduous task
  5. Have loads of self-discipline and control
  6. Love to stick with orderliness and are consistent.
  7. They are flexible, adaptable and are not easily flustered by change
  8. Their young minds are curious and continually framing questions that they will ask
  9. They do well school in every respect
  10. Their power of concentration is intense and can focus on a particular task without difficulty
  11. They are good problem solvers
  12. Great with communication and are able to express themselves clearly and succinctly
  13. They tend to be good leaders and their peers look to them for support and even guidance
  14. They are extremely secure emotionally and mentally
  15. Display open-mindedness and a willingness to learn

Once again, it is our job to let our children be what THEY WANT TO BE, not what we could not become or wished to be. Whether your child displays all or some or none of these traits, you know that they are special and gifted as they are.

Click here to know how to boost your child’s EQ level…

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