News Herald – Juliann Talkington
Brilliant, genius, gifted, talented, and connected are terms school administrators and coaches dread.
One would think these words would make life easier for people in leadership positions. Unfortunately, just the opposite is often true. Many kids with superior intelligence, exceptional talent, and economic privilege do not work hard, behave properly, prepare adequately, or make wise decisions.
Parenting a gifted or talented child is challenging. Children in this category acquire academic material and/or art or athletic skills quickly, which means they do not have to work as hard as other children to achieve the same results. Since less effort is required, these children can experience learning delays.
For example, highly intelligent students often have poor study skills, because they do not have to learn how to study. In addition, gifted athletes, artists, singers, students, etc. can develop a poor work ethic, because they do not have to work to achieve results.
In addition, gifted and talented children are often idolized. If they are not taught to be humble and respect others, they will not develop these critical life skills. Not only can they make it difficult for school administrators, teachers, and coaches to control a classroom or team, but they often struggle with humility and respect in the workplace after they graduate.
Parenting a child of privilege can lead to similar issues. Financially successful parents are generally well-connected problem solvers. These parents often continue in work mode when they arrive home. Instead of allowing their children to make mistakes and take responsibility for their blunders, they solve problems for them. Children in this situation often struggle with decision-making and can become lazy.
This means average kids have an advantage. With high expectations at home, it is easy for these children to see the correlation between hard work and success.
Parents with gifted, talented, and privileged children have a more challenging task. Gifted and talented kids need to experience challenging situations. They should be encouraged to take on activities that are challenging for them. This way they can see the benefits of preparation and hard work. Privileged kids need high expectations and to solve their own problems, so they can experience the challenges of the real world and learn how to make wise decisions.
Fortunately, average, gifted, talented, and privileged children can all be successful with the right expectations and direction at home.