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How to Approach the Endless Questions of a Gifted Child

Updated on May 1, 2007

If you live with a gift child, one of the things you will constantly contend with are her endless questions. Curiosity is a prominent characteristic of gifted children and you may as well get used to it. Gifted children are driven to explore their world, to know it and categorize it. Relax and enjoy the ride.

Questions Everywhere

Your child may delve deeply into one subject collecting encyclopedic knowledge anbout anything from penguins to the time space continuum. You can bet she'll out-ask you in no time. On the other hand, you may have a broad learner on your hands. This child wants to know at least a little something about everything. Either way, you are in for more questions than you have ever imagined.

Set some boundaries to help you and your child cope with the endless questions because nobody has endless energy. There's nothing wrong with letting your child know there is time for asking and time for quiet.

Become a Conversationalist

Maybe you learned, or maybe you didn't, about making nice conversation. Isn't it all about the other person?

How are you today? - Oh I'm fine, and how are YOU?

You make another person feel important by putting the attention back onto him. This is a handy trick when you have absolutely no idea what the answer is. Engage the child's imagination.

Why do YOU think trees have bark?

How would YOU construct a time machine?

Don't fool yourself. This only buys so much time. Gifted children find out soon enough that they're running on a different engine than you, especially if they participate in a formal program for gifted children. But this strategy will get you out of enough jams to get by.

Learning All the Time

Traveling is a great catalyst for learning. Just make sure you've got guidebooks on hand or you have handy access to and Internet connection. Thank goodness for that. Stuff you thought was boring as a kid, like reading the little markers on the trees of a nature hike, will fascinate some children. A gifted child can spend a while taking in the information and then turn to you and ask:

Why do you think God made Redwoods so big? Or

What is so special about the fern that it's survived this long?

And if you're lucky, she'll go on to answer her own question.

This is an amazing book of daily learning that is great for adults and gifted children alike. Once you suspect your child may be gifted, you might want to get a

Look It Up

A gifted kid usually has an excellent memory, so don't try to bluff your way to an answer. Look it up. The Internet makes it so easy. Remember when you're plucking those easy answers to also teach your very smart but naïve child about healthy skepticism. Teach her to check different sources and compare information. That is a key skill in this information age.

Invest in some quality reference books too:

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Almanac
  • Book of World Records

When you're on your last nerve, ask the child to write down some of those burning questions and save them for another day. Buy her a special notebook and tell her that you'll work through it together. That should buy you enough time to make dinner!

Comments

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  • life-anequation profile image

    life-anequation 

    6 years ago

    I think the biggest problem with gifted kids is their sensitivity. They are often considered as 'special' which usually discourages them...

    I'm 14, and I'm pretty sure I'm gifted. My parents just believe that I'm bright.

    I hate making people feel stupid, even though I don't mean to. I always get in trouble for not conforming, which means school is a struggle. So it is very important that a gifted child has gifted associates.

    And I'm a perfectionist. Which is good, I guess, but it often annoys the heck out of other people.

    I also believe that everyone is gifted, even though only some are recognised for it. I'm gifted in Maths, I believe it's everywhere, and I feel a strange calmness when I do algebra (guess I was born to be a weirdo)

  • profile image

    Chris 

    7 years ago

    Help

    my son is 5 and believe he is gifted

    he has been reading level three books past year. he questions everything, understands concepts beyond his age. He recites obscure lines from movies, and remembers

    details. saw a map of the solar system once and new all the planets. However, the first two weeks of Kinder has been so challenging, i think his teacher is getting burnt out form his freuqent taking. she tells me that my son has a comment for everything. he's been sent to the pricipal office several times for talking too much, and not following her instructions. i fear that this constant battle with trying to make him conform to the standard school setting will affect his self esteem,

    she's referred him to see a counselor for "behavior issues"

  • profile image

    Appalachian Ed 

    7 years ago

    I'm gifted. My perfectionism ruins my life in different ways. My parents over-rewarded my phenomenal performance and now I see it caused me confusion and failure of many sorts. My parents and most everyone else consistently failed to answer what I thought were simple questions.

    If you have a gifted child, you better do every f*n thing you can to meet the developmental demands of that child,you DO NOT want to see your little prodigy fail as I and COUNTLESS others have. Resources such as genius and skill can feel themselves being wasted...

  • profile image

    Rebecca 

    7 years ago

    To Hathaihong, I think the difference between normal children and gifted ones would be that gifted children will ask a question, then another, then another, then another, until you don't know what to answer because you never really studied science or whatever they're asking about. At least, that's how it was with me and my family. My family used to get frustrated at me because they didn't know all the answers to the questions I asked.

  • profile image

    ็Hathaihong 

    7 years ago

    Is it not like normal that the children always ask so many question because they are curious normally childhood? How can we identify that is the gift child more precise?

  • profile image

    Robie  

    8 years ago

    I have myself four gifted/indigo/crystal children, they have opened my sense of the universe we are in. They constantly are challenging authority and the way things are done. These are the qualities that were crushed when i was a child which I am now reawakening through my children's gift of consistent love and kindness. Thank you to all who believe and for letting us feel accepted.

  • Danny Lee Graham profile image

    Danny Lee Graham 

    8 years ago from Zephyr ,Texas , near Brownwood ,Texas

    I was a gifted child , they called me , special !

    I realize now that my mother misunderstood and had me placed in a ' Special Education class ' in our local school.

    After a lot of test I was put back in regular class , not retarded enough for special ed. not smart enough for regular school .

    My mother still considers me to be retarded and I am 52 now , even after she has seen the papers stating that I have an I.Q. of 162 .

    I never met my father , so I can't address that missing aspect of my life .

    She tried as hard as she could to prepare me for life as a retarded person ,or as she put some one who is "Special" !

    Being a genius is worthless , I spent so many years thinking that I was a retard and I never tried any of the

    things I dreamed of , I think even now that I am an IDIOT

    not a moron , but an idiot .

    any way it is too late for me .

    I really do like the way you suggest handling gifted children .

    even though I was not treated that way .

    thank you .

    Sincerely danny l. graham

  • profile image

    Millionheir 

    8 years ago

    Thecounterpunch has the ultimate punch line... i really think he hit that on the head!

  • ohwhatfun profile image

    ohwhatfun 

    9 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA

    Thanks for the hub. One of the things we bought when our gifted son kept asking questions was an almanac. What a great resource! Of course, google comes in handy, too.

  • MotherHubber profile image

    MotherHubber 

    9 years ago from Southern California

    Thank you for this hub - it was recently brought to our attention that our son is academically gifted, and I am just beginning to read up on the subject of parenting a smarty pants. :-) Your hubs are a great place to start - thanks for the info!

  • profile image

    Char 

    11 years ago

    I have two very gifted children and one who is bright, but gifted athletically instead. The two who are gifted are always asking questions and think way out of the box. Thanks for the tips - my youngest has a tendency to really come up with the stumpers!

  • thecounterpunch profile image

    thecounterpunch 

    11 years ago

    I was considered a gifted child by my teachers in France. My mother couldn't stand it, she felt like she was an idiot in front of me. I frightened not only my mother but many people and It does continue :( ... well I'm now accustomed :)

    The most problem in front of gifted children is not, in my opinion, to answer their curiosity. The biggest problem is that gifted children have more global thinking because they can relate things that most people think are not related. So they are more sensitive to humanity problem and they feel helpless and some can become depressed because they see how the rest of humanity is so ignorant.

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