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New Year's Resolutions for Parents of Gifted Children

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Each year on January 1, many people make New Year's resolutions. Instead of making the usual resolutions to lose weight or quit smoking, consider making a resolution to be a better parent to your gifted child.

  1. Show your children you not only love them; you like them
    Gifted children tend to be emotionally sensitive. This senstivity may cause them to misinterpret some things parents do or say. For example, if we indicate that we don't like their sense of humor or their latest obsession, they may interpret that to mean we don't love them. Make an effort to share your child's interests and try to accept your child just as he or she is.

  2. Don't argue with your child
    Some gifted children are quite adept at reasoning and debate. However, just because they're good at it, doesn't mean it should be encouraged when discipline or rules are involved. Participating in a debate with a young child under such circumstances is not a way to nurture their talents in debate. It doesn't help improve behavior and can create problems for your child. There are ways to avoid arguing with kids.

  3. Understand your child's temperament
    Sometimes parents have an idea of what their children should be like. When the children are gifted, additional expectations may appear. For example, a parent of a gifted child may expect the child to excel at everything, to get top grades, and to follow a particular career path, usually something pretigious like law or medicine. A parent may also expect the child to be outgoing and highly motivated. While that might certainly describe some gifted kids, it doesn't describe them all. Many gifted children are underachievers with little interest in academic success or typical career paths. They may need more unconventional careers. And a good number of gifted kids are introverts.

  4. Spend time with your child
    It can be difficult to find the time to spend with our children, especially when we have more than one. We are busy and sometimes our kids are busy, too, with their activities. However, the time we spend with our children pays off. Some activities are family activities, like family fun nights. Other activities are simple ones like sitting together and coloring or reading a book together. A good way to spend time with your child is to share their interests. If your child likes dinosaurs, learn something about them together with your child. If your child enjoys videogames, play them with your child. By sharing interests this way, you not only get to spend time with your child, you also get to know him or her better.

    Sometimes in order to find time to spend with our children, we might have to stop trying to be perfect or we might have to reorganize our priorities. Is it really important to have a perfectly neat and clean house all the time, for example?
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