Authored by Douglas Mefford in Child Education
Published on 12-06-2009
While every parent wants to think his or her child is special and better than the average, it is often merely parental bias. There are, however, many children who are truly gifted mentally and emotionally. It is necessary to identify the signs of a gifted child so as to encourage their growth. All too often in this culture of conformity, some of these signs that a child is above average are mistakenly seen as mental problems like attention deficit disorder (ADD) and obsessive, compulsive behavior (OCD).
Many of the signs of a gifted child will begin to exhibit themselves by the time the child is a year old. By the time a child is school-aged (5 to 6 years) one should have their child tested for giftedness if they are displaying the behavior patterns common to gifted children. These patterns are not exclusive to the gifted child but, taken as a whole, should give a fair indication.
The first signs of the gifted child lay in their being interested in a wide variety of topics. They will usually have very good memory function and have a long attention span for subjects that interest them. It is when they are bored that the gifted child may get into trouble in institutionalized environments like school. The gifted child will like a challenge and can become restless and inattentive if the subject is uninteresting or too easy for them.
The gifted child usually has a great curiosity about the things around them. They will not be afraid to tackle difficult tasks and will often find solutions, even unusual solutions. Another good sign of the gifted child is in their creative ability. They will often exhibit their greater intellect through artistry or other creative endeavors. A gifted child will be able to learn quickly and exhibit an understanding and deeper comprehension ability with the information they have learned.
A gifted child is generally full of energy, often to the regret of a bedraggled parent. They are generally of good mood and have a well-developed sense of humor. They will often be highly emotional and have an interest in being with older, more mature people that they can more easily relate to. The gifted child also tends to understand morality better than the average child does and will be more inclined to maintain a sense of justice in their dealings with others.
The gifted child has a tendency to seek perfectionism. They often get in trouble for wanting to give up on flawed projects in favor of starting over so they can “get it right” on the next attempt. Unless the gifted child has been constantly reprimanded and put down for their unorthodox behavior they will tend to exhibit a firm confidence in their performance and behavior. It is for this reason a gifted child should be tested and identified early. Their creativity and high intellect can be repressed and stifled if they are treated as a troublesome or deviant child.
If your child exhibits the characteristics of one of the gifted, you should check with professionals to get a proper evaluation. What can be worse than a dull child is a brilliant one who has been kept from developing their full potential to become a valued part of society.