Last year, Sapphire had a difficult time with school. Homework was a big struggle for…
Gifted children are often held to high standards. This leads to heavy loads of responsibility and expectations on their shoulders. We certainly want to encourage our gifted children to excel, but we also have to remember that they are just children. From educators to parents, it is important to understand how you can encourage their skills and growth without crossing the line.
Check out these six tips to help your gifted child better handle the study pressures they may be facing.
1. Don’t Overdo It
Yes, your child is gifted and should be challenged. But every gifted child has a breaking point as well. They are so smart, but when they take on too much or enroll in all the gifted classes, they can be overwhelmed quickly. While they likely qualify for all of the accelerated classes, this could be too much for them.
Instead of focusing on putting them in every high position, pick a few strategic gifted classes or activities and then back off from there. Putting them in something like art, PE, or music might be a great way for them to take a breath now and then.
2. Engage in Support Systems
Your child will have times when they feel set apart from their peers, and this can really weigh on them if you aren’t careful. Their gifted natures may make them awkward or more challenged to fit in socially and make friends. This is not necessarily true for all gifted students, but it is for many.
What you will find is that even if your gifted student is a social butterfly, they are still different in many ways. Some of the best counseling services for teens provide great resources to support your child where they are and help them through these challenges as well.
3. Let Them Be Kids
Even the most gifted kids need time to just be kids. Sure, they will need to study and be engaged in extracurricular activities. These are an important part of their lives. But in the end, they also need to be allowed to act as children. Give them time to play, socialize, and simply take a break from school or activities.
Don’t forget they are kids, and they should have some opportunity to act as such!
4. Focus on Skills Such as Balance
Work with your gifted student to find a good balance between studying, accelerated classes or activities, and taking a break. There is always a balance. In addition, when it comes to keeping up with studying and activities, learning how to juggle everything and prioritize can be just as overwhelming.
Learning how to prioritize and set limits is hard. Your child is going to need your guidance. Make sure they have designated time to relax and designated time for studying/activities. Then, create lists and a schedule to help balance out the details. This will help the “to-dos” feel a little less overwhelming.
5. You’re Their Biggest Fan
As a parent, you have the unique responsibility of being an enforcer and a supporter all in one. It’s up to you to help your child learn how to balance and to make sure you aren’t pushing them harder than they can handle. In addition, they need to know that life isn’t always just about living up to high expectations.
Be their biggest fan and show support and pride for their hard work and achievements. Consider little things like an uplifting text, encouraging notes in their lunchbox, telling them you’re proud, and other little things like these.
It’s easy to forget to show support in the midst of pushing them to do their best.
6. Set Goals Together
Another way you can work alongside your gifted student is to set goals together. This goes back to pushing them without overdoing it. Have you asked your child what their goals are? You might be surprised to find that their goals differ significantly from your goals.
How can you come together and create goals that work for both sides? Really, your focus should be on helping them reach their goals, but it’s also ok to encourage them to reach higher in some ways too.
Being a gifted child can be a big responsibility. Being the parent of a gifted child also comes with challenges. They will certainly feel the pressures of their abilities throughout life, but you can simply support and encourage them along the way. Help your child learn how to prioritize and balance while also ensuring they get time to just be a kid and take a break too. These little things can make all the difference!