Gifted Children - Should Parents Push or Back Off?

@emisle (3823)
Ireland
February 8, 2007 4:03pm CST
I'm just watching a programme on gifted children and have just seen parents who push their kids to their full potential (they're all highly intelligent and they have a celebration whenever their child achieves something. Than there were other parents who won't put pressure on their child. He has many talents and will do things himself, but his mother decided not to put him into a class that would teach him advanced literature so that he could stay with children his own age. She herself thinks that it will be bad for him in the long run. (He has already published a book!) What would you do if you had a gifted child?
5 people like this
8 responses
• United States
9 Feb 07
The more highly intelligent the child is, the less important it is for him to be with kids of his own age, because they will have very little in common. Balance is necessary because some children need encouragement to meet their potential, but depriving a child of a class that might benefit him is criminal. If the school is okay with it, and the child wants it, why should he be limited by his parent's lack of understanding?
@emisle (3823)
• Ireland
9 Feb 07
His mother is a professor at Oxford and she says that she has met people that have been put into advanced classes etc but they have suffered in their personal lives because of it. The child didn't seem bothered by the fact, and he has all the books he could possibly want at home so it's not all bad.
2 people like this
• United States
9 Feb 07
His mother has a pretty skewed view. Most gifted children do very well in advanced classes. It depends on whether they're being pushed by their parents or whether it's something that they chose for themselves. It's also becoming more common for the gifted to mix regular classes with advanced classes, so that they have a a chance to develop their weak areas as well as their strong ones.
@emisle (3823)
• Ireland
9 Feb 07
I think it's a fine balance as to what is right for the child. If I were the parent I'd ask my child if they wanted to skip ahead or wait. As long as my child was happy that would be the main thing..:)
1 person likes this
@gabs8513 (48712)
• United Kingdom
13 Feb 07
I would leave the Child and appreciate the Gift my Child has got. I would never push my Kids, and I never did. Both Children are doing well now, I have and always will support them and help when they ask, but I would never push them.
2 people like this
@emisle (3823)
• Ireland
13 Feb 07
I agree, i'd hate to make my child feel like they weren't good enough as they were.
1 person likes this
@polachicago (19073)
• United States
9 Feb 07
Gifted children can find own way to do what they want to do. Parents should be very carefull. Gifted children often end up with depression.
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@emisle (3823)
• Ireland
9 Feb 07
I think that a lot of them find it hard to be understood by others..:(
1 person likes this
@brokentia (10396)
• United States
9 Feb 07
That is a tough call. Of course, as parents, we want the best for our children while also being all they can be to their full potential. I think it all depends on the child. A parent should know how to handle it with the child and know the child's limits. If the child is pushed too hard, what is the benefit in the long run? Anger of lost childhood? But if the parent does not push at all...what is the result? Not caring to live to their potential and taught that it doesn't matter? Or the parent that lets the child stay behind to be with peers...is the parent truly helping or holding back because she does not want to loose her baby? Wow! I don't know what I would do if one of my children were that intelligent. I guess I would have to talk it over with the child. If my child was that intelligent, then I could think that child would have good reasoning skills.
2 people like this
@emisle (3823)
• Ireland
9 Feb 07
It seems to be very tough on the kids. Some of the parents have moved multiple times to try and find a school that can cater for their kids intellectual needs. Some of the kids feel like they don't fit in with those around them...it's not easy. And there was a family of intelligent children that felt like they had been cut off from their community.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Feb 07
If he was that gifted then he must be pretty intelligent if so I would ask what direction HE wanted to go not what the parents wanted. Once it was settled what he wanted to do or what career he was thinking about then I would support him all the way but not push him.
2 people like this
@emisle (3823)
• Ireland
9 Feb 07
Not only is he writing novels, but he can also play the harp and is a great cook...he's almost too talented!
1 person likes this
@sedel1027 (17852)
• United States
8 Feb 07
If my child were gifted, I wouldn't push him per sae but I would make sure he had every opportunity that was availble to him. I would make sure he had the best of everything to help expand his mind and focus on his gifts. My husband is very intelligent and so is cousin (they both belongto Mensa). His cousin was given very opportunity to flourish, but my husband was not. I have seen both sides of it and to tell you the truth, his cousin is much better off because of what his parents did.
2 people like this
@emisle (3823)
• Ireland
9 Feb 07
I saw on the programme that there was a boy who brill at maths and his parents focused on that aspect of his education and because of that the mensa examiner said that they needed to be careful as he was behind in other areas. It's all about balance.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
15 Apr 07
for me..i'll support my child to where he wanted to be...that's the best thing for me to do...and guide him/her in any means...
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@kasia99 (104)
• United States
9 Feb 07
Just back off. Let your kids to be kids. I would make sure they have time to play.
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