4 Mistakes to Avoid With Gifted Children

For gifted children, feeling the support of their family members in every area of their lives is extremely important. With it, they'll be able to show off their abilities without fear.
4 Mistakes to Avoid With Gifted Children

Last update: 04 December, 2018

When you’re a parent of a child with a high IQ, it’s normal not to know how to handle certain situations. Let’s take a look at some of the most common mistakes that parents tend to make with gifted children.

In general, these errors take place because we don’t know the right way to react to our children’s brilliant abilities and weaknesses. 

Educating children at home can often be difficult, stressful and intimidating. This is even more true when it comes to children with higher intellectual abilities. Their demands are much more challenging.

Tools are scarce, desperation arises, and this is when we begin to place certain hurdles in the paths of our children. Of course, this is unintentional – in fact, we often do so without even noticing.

However, willingness and the desire to help our little ones motivate us to look for the right tools and strategies to highlight the brilliance they possess. What’s important is finding the right educational model that fits their needs, and complement it at home.

So then, the best thing to do is research the advantages and disadvantages of having children with high intellectual ability. This way, we’ll be able to help them reach optimal development.

Mistakes to avoid with gifted children

1. Scold them for their poor handwriting

In general, when parents go over their children’s assignments, we discover a penmanship that makes us feel anything but proud. So then, we call their attention to it without understanding the reason behind it. The reason lies in an internal dyssynchrony between their intelligence and their motor abilities .

This discrepancy refers to problems with writing due to a difficulty in coordinating hand movements. Insisting that our gifted children write neatly and properly may cause them to feel anxious and dissatisfied with themselves. This is a very common situation in the homes of gifted children.

In these cases, we should treat our little ones with plenty of patience and affection. It’s pleasing for them to feel recognized for their achievements. Placing negative emphasis on this weakness could contribute to low self-esteem.

If you notice your gifted child has this difficulty, it’s best to help him correct his writing with simple calligraphy. That way, he can learn to mold his words. This is a challenge he can easily overcome.

4 Mistakes to Avoid With Gifted Children

2. Punishments for providing poor explanations

When we assign some reading to our children, we assume that, because they’re gifted, they’ll provide an extraordinary interpretation. When they don’t meet our expectations, in some cases, we may show disappointment.

In doing so, we fail to understand the reason behind their failure, and this attitude does anything but help our children improve.

One of the causes behind this difficulty is that children with high intellectual capacities have more reasoning skills than they do language skills. They don’t memorize what they read. Understanding the text is enough for them.

Therefore, when the time comes to explain what they’ve read, they have a hard time. They often can’t find the words to explain the text. This is another type of dyssynchrony, between language and reason .

“Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh, and the greatness which does not bow before children.”
—Khalil Gibran—

3. Force them to belong to a group they aren’t comfortable in

Gifted children often seek the company of adults, as their IQ and maturity is similar. They participate adequately in their conversations, offer ideas and, in some cases, can resolve problems quite easily.

Many parents have an inadequate perception of this attitude. As a result, they force their gifted children to gather and interact with children their age.

However, this can lead gifted children to feel isolated, introverted, and inhibited in regards to demonstrating their abilities. In some cases, this can even result in peer rejection and bullying.

4. Show a lack of interest in helping them

Gifted children tend to be very curious. They have a need to investigate everything that catches their attention and learn all the time.

However, some parents don’t have the time or the desire to help them. For this reason, they respond negatively to the questions their children ask, or simply leave them alone when they have an assignment.

4 Mistakes to Avoid With Gifted Children

This is a serious but common mistake. The intention of parents should always be to help 100% so that their children can improve in all areas.

If children ask too many questions, it’s because they have a need and desire to learn. We should respond kindly, so that our children can be nourished with knowledge and feel the support of their family.

To avoid these mistakes that we often make with gifted children, it’s important to accept them as they are. Avoid losing patience in the face of their curiosity, don’t force them to do anything, and provide counsel. Also, encourage them to take on new challenges without fear of failure.

In conclusion, it’s important to dedicate time to helping your children with their tasks. Gifted children also need recognition for reaching their goals. 

If you put today’s advice into practice, you’ll contribute to your children’s overall happiness, and teach them to show their abilities without fear.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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  • Gálvez, J. M. (2000). Alumnos precoces, superdotados y de altas capacidades. Ministerio de Educación.
  • Sánchez, C. (2006). Principales modelos de superdotación y talentos. Universidad de Murcia, Departamento de Métodos de Investigación y Diagnóstico en Educación, España.
  • Sastre-Riba, S. (2008). Niños con altas capacidades y su funcionamiento cognitivo diferencial. Rev Neurol, 41(Supl 1), S11-6. http://www.carei.es/archivos_materiales/AACC.pdf
  • Tourón, J. & Reyero, M. (2001). La identificación de alumnos de alta capacidad. Bordón, 54 (2), 311-338.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.