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Because of their heightened perceptions and sensitivities, many Gifted children and teens need an environment that is secure emotionally and stimulating intellectually to allow their abilities to flourish.  Some adults overlook their needs, however, assuming that these children already have advantages others lack.  Consequently, much is left to parents to provide for the Gifted.  Hey are some key tips toward developing a favorable attitude toward Gifted abilities:


· Encourage children and teens to play an active, real role in family decisions.  Listen to their suggestions, applying them where appropriate.


· Try to encourage integration of ideas by drawing relationships among ideas and events.  Discuss possible consequences of actions, both personal and societal, building upon daily activities and current events.


· Encourage storytelling and use of the imagination.  Allow flights of fancy, even projecting ideas to the absurd.  Explore and laugh with your child, developing a sense of humor as well as an interest in the fanciful.


· Encourage experimentation, even when possibilities of success are slim.  Treat lack of success as part of the learning process, examining some of the possible causes for failure and other roads that may have been more successful.


· Provide opportunities for a variety of methods of expression, including photography, art, drama, and other activities.


· Provide a variety of books, magazines, puzzles, and games that promote use of the imagination, logical thinking, drawing inferences, and making predictions.


· Help Gifted and talented individuals become critical viewers and readers by discussing influences the mass media such as television and literature may have on personal and social values.


· Establish open communication with teachers and administrators about educating the Gifted and talented.  Some parents assume that schools will automatically take care of Gifted students, which is not always the case.


· When discussing a Gifted child with teachers, provide anecdotes illustrating the child’s exceptional abilities and interests outside school.  Teachers may not always recognize such abilities because the child may not demonstrate them in the classroom.


· Seek out other parents of Gifted children and share concerns and ideas.  Such communication may not only help each parent feel less alone but may also provide resources for the children, including contact with other Gifted children of similar interests, trips, or even programs for the Gifted.  As a group, parents of Gifted and talented children may be able to promote program development in schools for their children.


· Explore what is being done elsewhere for the Gifted and talented through readings, visits, writing school districts with programs for the Gifted, and searching the web.




Gifted:

Positive Attitude

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