Working Parents Raising Gifted Children: Unique Methods for Enriching Their Lives
October 16, 2019
Use your career to enrich your gifted child's life...
The first emotion that often comes to mind as a working parent with a gifted child is guilt. You might be thinking: "My child must be upset when I'm not there to get her off the bus." "I wish I could be there when he's doing his homework." "I wonder if she understands our family values when I am always at work." That usually isn't the case, though. In fact, as a working parent, you can use your chosen profession to enrich your child's life—and learning.
Gifted children (those with an IQ of 130 and higher) are probably not thinking what you're thinking. Why? Because they are like "old souls" or adults in children's bodies. They know things they were never taught, have an innate ability to remember everything, and have a constant "yearning to be learning"...24/7. When they get off the bus, they might run into the house and finish reading their book about underwater volcanoes. Forget about being there when they do their homework...unless you can get a seat next to them on the bus.
So, what are they thinking?
- "What is dirt made of?"
- "Maybe I can get a pet axolotl this weekend."
- "I think I'll build a LEGO Dactyl elevator when I get home."
- "I love watching Shark Tank."
- "Why did I have to wait so long for my classmates to finish the test?"
- "Can't I play with my friend's older brother instead?"
- "Hey...that person crossing the street was my babysitter, Jennifer Allen…for one day, when I was two years old."
- "Why can't I do multiplication in first grade? I already taught myself how to add and subtraction when I was three!"
The good news is, every day—before you go to work, after you come home, and throughout the weekend—your child will remind you, in so many ways, that they need more academic and intellectual stimulation. And, if you can't provide it fast enough, don't worry. They will resume their continuous quest (with or without your guidance) for knowledge that excites them and immerse themselves in it 100 percent.
sn't that what drives many working parents to pursue a career about which they are so passionate? Isn't that an important value parents demonstrate every day? For young gifted minds, it is an opportunity to learn about something new and contribute to adult conversations (because their same-age peers are probably disinterested in the job responsibilities of civil engineers).
Often as young as age 3, many new students enter the doors of Village East Gifted confidently announcing their plans to attend MIT or Harvard. Or their desires to be orthopedic surgeons, lawyers, firefighters, teachers, engineers, video game designers, inventors, nurses, entrepreneurs, CEOs or CFOs (they know the difference)…"just like my mom (or dad)".
Start using your intelligence and professional expertise to help enrich your gifted child's life:
- If you can, start early (age 2-3) and find a gifted program that offers continuous, advanced studies to strengthen skills in all academic areas (not just the ones in which they excel).
- Teach your child everything about your work and discuss your day-to-day experiences on the job.
Start a club of working families with gifted children and plan field trips to intellectually and academically stimulating destinations.
- Select, simplify, and introduce the basics of your profession using trade magazines, articles, websites, or field-related literature.
- Show your child how to collect facts about a new topic and use PowerPoint (second grade and older) to creatively and sequentially present them.
- Schedule community service activities to demonstrate the importance of working while also "giving back" to those in need.
Lastly, play long board games that involve life skills, decision-making, and strategy while savoring some fireside s'mores with your little person of "big dreams"…because they will come true sooner than you think.
Source: NY METRO PARENTS