Is My Child Gifted? One Mother’s Experience
More on Gifted Kids:
I've written several articles on how to tell if your child is gifted, how he or she may be tested, and various other resources for raising gifted children. I want to share with you some of my personal experiences with my son, who by no means is headed to Harvard at age twelve, but is has been identified as gifted.
It's More Than a Test Score
Before I ever heard the term ‘gifted and talented', before my son ever took a standardized test, his dad and I knew he was special. Some parents will deny what they know because they don't want to be an obnoxious brag (or was that just me?), but you know when your child is different than the other kids.
Perfectionist Tendencies - My son needed to have everything just so. This came out for us when he was very young and would get in trouble for whatever reason. He was always so upset, more than was merited by the mistake or our punishment. If your child seems extremely sensitive or obsessed with perfection in any area, pay attention.
Fascination With Order - My son has loved to play with Legos since the day he could grip. At age three he was creating multi-level structures that were completely symmetrical. No matter how we took the things apart, each layer had the same bricks in the same colors on either side of the center. His favorite game was to create something, then have my husband or I turn around and take off a single piece and then give it back to him to identify what was missing. He accomplished it in seconds every time.
Different Development - My son skipped the crawling stage almost completely. At ten months he started walking, and had crawled very little prior to walking.
Particular About Peers - My son does not exhibit the common tendency for shyness that many gifted kids seem to have. He is very social. That said, he is also quite particular about who he befriends. Kids that don't get his humor or word play don't last long in his circle, although he is also exceptionally kind to everyone.
Advanced Sense of Humor - One of the first things the teachers started telling me about my son was that he got their jokes. Be careful with this one. Now that he's ten, we have to be vigilant all the time about what we're giggling at. He gets it all. And he has for a very long time!
These are just a few of the particular traits of one gifted child. Although the fact that your child is gifted shouldn't really change the way you parent him, we all do right by our kids when we know them as fully as we can. Understanding traits my son shares with others has really helped me to know him more deeply. It also helps to know I'm not alone. Other parents have been there, and will be again!
Please share your own experiences in the comments!