Parenting a gifted child is a rewarding,yet challenging task. Research shows that families play an important role in helping gifted students reach their potential (Neihart, Reis, Robinson, & Moon, 2002). Families of the most successful gifted children foster creativity and encourage their children to take intellectual risks (Neihart et al., 2002). Families and teachers must work together to meet the needs of these gifted children. I have pulled together resources to help you meet the needs of your gifted child. These resources include: games/family activities, parent organizations, summer camps, websites, community resources, tips for parents, and articles concerning the social and emotional needs of gifted children. I have selected activities appropriate for 5thgrade AIG students, but many activities may also be appropriate for other age groups.
It is important to spend quality family time with all children. However, there are some fun activities geared towards gifted children that are especially appropriate. I have chosen board games and activities that encourage higher-level thinking or nurture the gifted student’s creativity. These games and activities are geared towards 5th grade gifted students, but can be adapted for younger or older children. The games and activities can also be adapted for different numbers of participants. I encourage you to make Family Fun Night a regular part of your week!
There are many organizations available that provide resources to the parents of gifted children. The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) offers website support, a resource directory, and seminars. They publish Gifted Child Quarterly which includes current research regarding gifted children. They also publish Parenting for High Potential which prints excellent articles about gifted parenting. Many of the resources are free, but a parent membership is inexpensive and includes a subscription to Parenting for High Potential. Another great parent group is Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG). This organization offers free resources that are designed to help parents have a positive impact on the development of their child’s giftedness. They offer an online resource library and a free monthly newsletter
It is often difficult to decide which summer camp is appropriate for a gifted child. I have pulled some information together that will help make your selection easier. Most of the camps I have selected are local. NAGC also offers online guidelines to help you make an appropriate camp selection. These guidelines are available at www.nagc.org. An appropriate summer camp for the gifted should aim to develop higher level thinking skills, further develop a talent,focus on an area of interest to the gifted child, or all of the above! These camps are phenomenal! They include: Mad Science Summer Camp, Duke University Youth Summer Programs, Green River Preserve Camp (my favorite), Camp Invention, John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth Summer Programs, and NASA Space Camp. Brochures are included for some of these camps.
There are so many resources available via the Internet that searching for helpful information can be confusing. I have developed a list of websites that offer some really great information for parents of gifted students. They range from offering parent resources and updates on research to what kind of gifts are appropriate for the gifted child.
There are many resources available to you right here in our own school and community. You may already be familiar with many of them. We have a wonderful guidance counselor onsite that has special training in meeting the social and emotional needs of gifted students. Don’t hesitate to contact her if you have questions or concerns. The public library can also be very helpful in meeting the reading needs of the gifted. There are also many wonderful museums and youth programs in our county. Check out the list I have prepared for you.Finally, I have included a Tips for Parents sheet and articles concerning some of the more common social and emotional issues affecting gifted children. These articles address issues such as ADHD, perfectionism, underachievement, motivation, and stress. I look forward to working with you this year to meet the academic, social, and emotional needs of your gifted student. Together we can help your child fully develop his or her gifts.