Brilliance (to me) is being exceptional at whatever you do. It can pertain to a specific talent or intelligence; highly-abled. It is that ‘spark’ you see in a child when they ‘get it’, but others may not. When we fail to nurture young brilliance, there’s the chance that the spark may dim over time or even fail to ignite at all. Nurturing brilliance can affect the direction a life takes; toward success or mediocrity. It’s important to ignite a child’s passion which is a great motivator. Failing to nurture brilliance unfortunately can lead to problematic behavior which can be a hindrance to success at best or debilitating at worst.
Nurturing brilliance is the essence of good teaching. Students should be encouraged to engage in intellectual risk-taking and to consider learning from mistakes rather than succumbing to failure. It’s important that one never assume a gifted student will ‘make it on their own’. They are in need of as much support and guidance as all students.
Parents and teachers can share strategies through home-school communication which encourage students to try their best and not be deterred by failure. They can identify a student’s strengths and weaknesses and then look for ways to use both to achieve academic goals. Parents and teachers can partner to develop a plan to provide early access to more challenging work and availability of extra support through intellectual peer networks and mentors.
Parents can support their child’s emotional and academic needs while taking into consideration their stress levels by encouraging participation in activities in which they delight; i.e., having fun together! It’s important for parents of gifted children to be reasonable with their expectations of their child’s abilities, not overschedule activities, and not view academic success as a competition with other parents.
Parents can nurture their gifted child at home by building thinking skills through the encouragement of observation, description, sequencing, classification, how things are alike and different, and analogy. Nurturing giftedness at home should encourage metacognition, flexible thinking, persistence, managing impulsivity, and finding ways to spark imagination. Parents should encourage their child to try things at which they aren’t necessarily good, avoid comparing them to siblings and age-peers, and provide the tools needed for success such as mentors and access to academic resources.
A transcript of this chat can be found at Wakelet.
Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.
About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime advocate for gifted children and also blogs at Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.