In business it is frequently encouraged to “lead by example.” What? Is this a choice? The leader is always taken as an example, whether they are good or bad examples. Abusive leaders usually lead to abusive employees. Team-building leaders often generate habits of team building in their employees.
You see your child as gifted and talented. Others may not agree. What can you do?
How does this relate to you if you're involved in the life of a gifted and talented kid? As you know, any kid is an information sponge, and they learn how to approach life from your example. Your household routines have already become the routines of your gifted kid. Your language is the language of your child. And all through a kid's life, they will follow examples of family members and bosses.
We monitor several online groups and channels that support the gifted and talented experience. A number of them are dominated by entries where parents have trouble with members of their extended family, or difficulties dealing with the local school system. Many of these parents succumb to the temptation to take an adversarial stance toward people they experience as difficult.
Now, gifted kids usually see this, and often view themselves as the cause of family trouble because of it. Some of them also develop the habit of chronically seeing the world through adversarial filters. These are not the effects that loving parents want for their gifted kid. What's a more constructive alternative?
Let's start with the difficult school system. Before “gifted and talented” was a thing, there was just us little geniuses rattling around in school. No special programs of any kind. We didn't need them. We built our own programs. Some of us got private music lessons. Some of us got microscopes and chemistry sets...and we really used them. If there were resources at school we could use, we used them. If there were teachers who would take the time to mentor us, we related to them. If there weren't, no problem. We figured it all out by ourselves.
The data strongly imply that gifted and talented programs are marketing strategies for standardized testing companies. What do those guys know that your gifted kid doesn't? Nuthin'! Instead of buying into the testing company system (and needlessly spending really big bucks), collaborate with your kid to construct your own genius development program. Find a couple informal mentors to help you and your kid. Invest in special lessons or tutoring now and then to break through specific subject matter barriers.
When you avoid adversarial efforts with the school system, you save good energy to collaborate with your child. You side-step demonstrating adversarial habits to your child. It might be a small team, but teaming with your child to create the path to personal power and success will pay off more greatly than fighting with any third party ever will.
Thomas Meylan, Ph.D.
Digital Clones, Inc.
If you wish to respond to this post, please email gntblog at digitalclones dot biz and be sure to include the code G121318 in the subject line. Constructive input will be reposted under this blog post.
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The gifts will mostly take care of themselves.
Build emotional toughness
into the child's inner dialog.
Teach the child to project
the social cues of "The Boss."