As kids develop their personalities and show off more of who they are, some parents may notice something a little different about them. Does your child have a vocabulary uncommonly large or advanced for their age? Do they have a little trouble fitting in with peers, prefer being with older kids or adults, or find schoolwork too easy or particularly boring? Are they constantly asking questions about random topics at home or finding interest in things that other kids would find boring or hard to understand? If so, then your child might be gifted.
Parenting a gifted child isn’t always easy, though. Why is that? Our licensed psychologists and therapists in Tampa would like to discuss the signs and types of giftedness along with what it might be like parenting a gifted child.
The Signs of Giftedness
The California Association for the Gifted (CAG) explains that gifted kids often exhibit the following:
- Higher social and emotional needs
- A strong sense of justice, perfectionism, and hypersensitivity
- Extreme sensitivity to criticism
- Setting unreasonably high expectations for themselves
- Showing wide swings in mood and maturity
- Showing aggression one moment and timidity the next
According to the CAG, the discrepancies between a gifted child’s physical, emotional, and intellectual development is one reason why parenting and teaching them can be especially challenging and emotionally draining.
The Type of Giftedness
Did you know there are different types of gifted children? Barbara Klein, Ph.D., an educational consultant in the greater Los Angeles area, says there’s no one-size-fits-all type. Bright and gifted children come in all varieties.
They can be introverts, extroverts, and even dramatic at times. This can be challenging for a parent. You might be thinking that if your child is gifted, they shouldn’t be so shy, right? Or if they’re so bright, why do they get bored with certain things? Dr. Klein also says that there’s no stereotype of giftedness that can be used to identify your child’s unique strengths and struggles.
Just because your child is gifted and may be throwing behaviors at you that are beyond your own wheelhouse, there are things you can do and people you can talk to to help you understand and manage a bit better than what you’re doing on your own.
First, talk with your child about their experience of what’s going on. You can start with how they feel, what’s stressing them out, what’s getting in their way, and what they believe to be their strengths and weaknesses. Ask him/her/they what frustrates, interests, and motivates them. This will give you a clearer idea of what you might want to discuss with us, their teacher, or other person knowledgeable about gifted children.
Next, consider reaching out to us. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re providing gifted testing in our office and via our telehealth service. If virtual testing is needed, we’ll explain what to expect. We’ll then set up an appointment for an evaluation.
Know that we test in the morning and sessions usually last about an hour or two. About one week later, we’ll provide feedback by phone and will mail a copy of the report to you. To learn more about how telehealth testing works, click here.
Let’s Talk in Tampa
It’s okay to be scared or nervous about your gifted child’s well-being. Get in touch with their school and learn what they’re doing to accommodate them. And don’t forget to take care of yourself, too. Reach out and speak to us if you need some guidance or advice.
We carefully select the best test for each child we evaluate and do all we can to ensure that yours feels comfortable so they can show us their best selves during their time with us. We’ve collaborated with Hillsborough County Public Schools to ensure that our evaluations are accepted by them, whether they are conducted in person or virtually. For more information about our services or to schedule your free, 10-minute consultation, contact us in Tampa today.