Growing Gifted Children: Friday Thoughts
We all carry greatness wrapped up in tiny (and immense) potentials.
For the exceptionally gifted, the activation of innate potential depends on:
- Delving into, and then stoking, deep interests;
- Available resources;
- Personality and personal history;
- Cuing and miscuing variables (in their families, especially in education, and, more broadly, in society);
- Opportunities to develop wholly, and, most importantly;
- Recognition, encouragement, and hope.
The gifted-child-in-the-world can be both robust and fragile, in varying degrees...
Optimal development demands right circumstances and (at least) good-enough experiences.
And they are often extremely hard to find...
A young exceptionally gifted child – primed to learn and open to experience – can shut down especially quickly in the face of an insensitive teacher, an unresponsive environment, deficient learning experiences and age-peers who find them too intense, too sensitive, too curious and (extremely) difficult to understand.
Let us, therefore, not forget the importance of a kind word, of a welcoming stance, an open door, and a wink and a nod to courage.
For all our children.
Let us link arms in support, and scale-down comparisons and unhealthy competition.
Let us do our best to help our children develop wholly, in their areas of obvious strengths, and in those areas that need shoring up. Both need attention.
Let us model healthy risk-taking and self-care.
While we care for our children with our love and attention, it is desirable – even though it is tricky -- that we also attend to our own needs as emerging adults.
Even when there are competing demands and limited resources.
Even then, where we can...
For we know that our children are truly better off when they are not the epicenter of our family life but are, instead, an essential member of a working-playing team. A family team that is incomplete at times, stumbling at times, and grace-filled and joyous at other times.
* Feature image photo credit: Charleen Kennedy 2019