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“Hey, Mom and Dad!” – Advice from gifted kids

August 31, 2013

You can find many resources written by “experts” on gifted children, but what advice would gifted adolescents themselves give parents?  The following tips are excerpted from “A Few Pointers for Parents” by Bob Schultz in NAGC’s Teaching for High Potential, Fall 2011.

Q:  What do you think is the most important thing that parents do not know about being a gifted kid?

  • “There is a lot of pressure on kids who are GT.  They are expected to know everything by everyone at school.  Most GT kids put a lot of pressure on themselves since they really don’t know what being GT is really all about.” (Brenda, 14)
  • “Stress.  Most GT kids are expected to do more.  This includes more work in regular classes, depth in answers, and helping other kids who don’t understand by tutoring.  This stress is really painful.” (Abigail, 14)

Q: What do you wish parents would say to GT kids?

  • “I love you for who you are, not what other people expect you to do and be.” (Tawnie, 14)
  • “Go ahead, make mistakes.  Fall down, trip up.  Make a mess.  Wallow around and see what happens.  Life is supposed to be explored and lived based on your terms.  Try something new and see what happens.  Don’t always try to do your best – sometimes good enough is good enough.” (Dale, 14)
  • “It’s just a label.  This doesn’t make you better than other people.  It shows you are different and that you need different things to be happy and content.” (Debbie, 13)

Q:  What do you wish parents would do with their GT kids?

  • “”Try new things and grow together in adventures. Read with me and share the story.  Help me try to overcome my fears, and maybe yours too.” (Val, 13)
  • “Help your GT kid feel like a regular human being.  Trying to be best or perfect only paralyzes us and we stop taking chances out of fear.” (Francis, 14)

Please note:  A membership in NAGC, the National Organization for Gifted Children, entitles you to receive the publication Parenting for High Potential.

For more perspectives on what it is like to be a gifted adolescent, come to MEA/MFT’s Educators Conference in Belgrade in October and hear Bozeman High student Milou de Meij speak about her experiences.

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