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Bring Out the Best in Your Gifted Child

National Parenting Gifted Children Week falls annually in the third week of July. Sponsored by the organization, Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG), National Parenting Gifted Children Week celebrates both the joys and the difficulties of raising and supporting bright young minds.

Among their many positive traits, gifted children tend to be abstract thinkers, according to the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC). However, abstract thinkers can easily become disorganized and distracted, and for this reason, Family Education (R) recommends the use of written charts, as opposed to online or mobile tracking methods, to help gifted children track their homework assignments and stay organized. 

In addition to homework, charts can be used to track duties such as household chores. Because their long attention spans may cause gifted children to lose track of time during certain activities, daily checklists are a great way to help them with planning and prioritization.

Experts also recommend the following strategies for parenting gifted children:

1. Challenge them. Without an extra nudge, gifted children can quickly learn that they don't have to do their best in order to meet expectations in the school setting. Don't allow them to underachieve just because they can. Work with your child's teacher or school to ensure their work is challenging or even give them "extra credit" at home.

2. Don't overschedule. Gifted children need down time too. Don't involve them in so many activities that they have no time left to be a kid.

3. Teach them to prioritize. A tendency towards perfection can cause children to spend too long on certain projects, or procrastinate them all together. For older children, help them to organize school projects by reviewing expectations before they begin, creating an outline, and determining how long they should spend on a project altogether.

In other words, know when to motivate your child, and when to let them decide for themselves how much effort to put in. Strike the healthy balance between pushing too hard and not pushing hard enough, then watch your gifted child thrive!

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