"Is my child gifted?" That is the question asked most often by parents of gifted children. After that question, the most frequently asked question is "How do I nurture my gifted child?" Here are five simple answers to that question.
1. Follow Your Child's LeadWhat does your child enjoy? What does your child seem to be good at? Provide opportunities for your child to works with things he or she enjoys or is good at. For example, if your child loves dinosaurs, get books about dinosaurs, fiction and non-fiction. Get games and puzzles about dinosaurs. Go see dinosaurs at museums. If your child is good at music or a sport, provide opportunities for him or her to learn an instrument or play a sport.
2. Expand Your Child's InterestsWhile it's important to provide opportunities for your child to work with his or her interests and strengths, it is also important to expose your child to new things. Children only know what they have been exposed to, so if they've never been exposed to music, they may not know whether they like it or are good at it. Children need not be forced to try new things, but they should be encouraged. It is not forcing a child, however, to insist that they not quit something after two days.
3. Be CreativeThis may seem as though it's easier said than done, but once you start thinking "outside the box," it gets easier. Gifted children love to think and solve problems, so provide them with ample opportunities for doing so. For example, if your preschooler or kindergartner likes to read, you might write daily notes to pack in their lunch box. If your child likes science, you might cook together and then ask your child why vegetables get soft when they're cooked or why cakes rise when they're baked.
4. Look for Outside ActivitiesMany towns offer classes for children as do museums, zoos, community theaters, and many universities and community colleges. In addition, most every region has places of historical interest. Some also have botanical gardens, planetariums, and other places of interest. If you are unsure of what is available in your area, you can call or visit the nearest "welcome center" for your state or province. They have this kind of information to give to visitors.
5. Keep a Variety of Resources at HomeThese resources need not be expensive or elaborate. They just need to allow your gifted child to develop his or her interests or get exposed to new ones. For example, to encourage artistic talent, all you need initially are simple paint brushes and a paint box, plain white paper, crayons, and other basic supplies. It's not difficult to create boxes of such materials for your child to use whenever he or she is interested.