Parenting highly gifted children: The challenges, the joys, the unexpected surprises
Kathi Kearney discusses the developmental, educational, and social/emotional issues of highly gifted children from the perspective of parenting. Typical challenges, difficulties, joys, and surprises are discussed. Also, suggestions for maximizing both the child’s development and family’s balance are provided.
Andrew, age eight, has just completed his older brother’s algebra text. Lynn, age four, has been reading the Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis. Anna, age ten, is a full-time college student.
For families of highly gifted children, the practical consequence of this situation is that the parents and children themselves often must use their own resources to seek out information about extreme giftedness and its impact on schooling and family life. We find that many times parents and children are unnecessarily isolated from other families in the same situation, and unaware of the resources and basic information that would help them. This results in part from the common, but mistaken belief that highly gifted children are so statistically rare as to warrant little attention from educational systems.
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