When I was getting my teaching certificate in college, my very first classroom observation was in a middle school TAG (Talented and Gifted) classroom. It was the first time I had heard of this label. In the Texas school, these students had been tested and were found to be gifted. Because of this, they were put in a few special classes throughout their public education.
The next year, when I did my student teaching, I had the same group of students again. They were freshmen in high school, and I was in charge of their TAG English class.
All day long, I taught regular and advanced English classes. The last class of the day was this TAG class, and it was a unique group that stood out greatly from the others.
The TAG students were loud. That’s what I remember the most.
Learn to Appreciate and Encourage Gifted Students
I could hear them coming, en masse, down the hallway to class. Usually, they were singing boisterously –always laughing. The class took more energy to lead, because they were witty and highly interactive. They lived outside of the box.
That’s when I learned to appreciate and to encourage the gifted students, and that’s why the rowdy, laughing, singing, teasing classrooms are valuable to me.
Sometimes, however, the very qualities that make a person gifted are also the qualities that drive a mom crazy. If you have a talented and gifted child, maybe recognizing his or her unique qualities will help you appreciate and embrace him or her in a new way.
Six Qualities of a Gifted Child And How to Parent Him
- Gifted people are often disorganized. Their imaginations work overtime, and it is drudgery for them to care for the mundane. Help your child see that imagination is wonderful and a gift of God, but even creative people have to manage their lives responsibly in the “real” world.
- Gifted people often sing their way through the day. When my daughter was little, she got in trouble at a friend’s dinner table for singing. “Do you sing at the table at your house?” the adult asked. “Yes,” she said. Maybe my husband and I are the worst parents ever, but we always encouraged that silly, creative expression, maybe even more so at dinnertime. One night my husband made a rule that you could only talk at the table in song titles.
- Gifted people will die within constrictive parameters. Their brains go out, out, outside the box. When you task your child with something, whenever possible, let him complete the task in his own way, to the beat of his own very unique drum.
- Gifted people often wear wild clothes. They are expressive and have an innate desire to be different than everyone else. Within the confines of modesty and appropriateness, let your gifted child choose his own colorful and bizarre wardrobe.
- Gifted people are often flighty. Their imaginations are hyperactive and often take them away from the task or topic at hand. I knew a student once who told me he had been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, but he reminded me exactly of my TAG students back in Texas. My personal opinion was that he was simply a gifted person whose imagination hijacked his attention on a regular basis. I secretly diagnosed him as being extraordinarily creative. I encourage you to have a sense of humor about this and gently bring your child back to earth over and over and over and over and over again.
- Gifted people are quirky. Your gifted child needs you to love him for this, not to be annoyed or turned off by it. Embrace the quirks.
Your gifted child is God’s gift to you. Enjoy the adventure!
With love from Montana,