- Many gifted children learn to read early, with better comprehension of the nuances of language. As much as half the gifted and talented population has learned to read before entering school.
- Gifted children commonly learn basic skills better, more quickly, and with less practice.
- They are better able to construct and handle abstractions.
- They often pick up and interpret nonverbal cues and can draw inferences that their children need to have spelled out for them.
- They take less for granted, seeking the “how’s” and “whys.”
- They can work independently at an earlier age and can concentrate for longer periods.
- Their interests are both wildly eclectic and intensely focused.
- They like to learn new things, are willing to examine the unusual, and are highly inquisitive.
- They tackle tasks and problems in a well-organized, goal-directed, and efficient manner.
- They exhibit an intrinsic motivation to learn, find out, or explore and are often very persistent. “I’d rather do it myself” is a common saying.
It is important that each member of the family feel that they are loved, that they belong and that they matter. Being a cohesive family could mean that you spend every spare minute together doing family activities but keep in mind that everyone is different. Creating a strong family unit is great but each person should be allowed the space and freedom to explore the activities they think they may enjoy. People are more courageous and more willing to take chances if they know they have a safe place to come back to when things don’t quite work out. Coming together for special occasions and holidays and just spending time together as a family is what helps build that sense of belonging.
The more flexibility you have in decision making, for example, the happier your family will be for it. Imagine one member of the family always thinking they are right and enforcing their way of doing things. This certainly wouldn’t lead to much happiness within the family unit.
This is a bit more difficult for a family, to respect each other is to take feelings, thoughts, needs, and preferences in to account. It also means acknowledging and valuing everyone’s thoughts, feelings and contributions to the family as a whole.
Respect is indeed earned and there is a very fine line between it and fear. The only way to earn and keep someone’s respect is to first show them to respect yourself. Respect is an important family value which will extend out of the home and into school, work or other social settings.
This is the foundation of any relationship that is meant to last. Without honesty a deeper connection will not form and certainly won’t last. Encourage honesty by practicing understanding and respect when someone tells you of their wrong doings. If we lose it and get angry when we’re told what has happened the other person will be more likely to hide it from you next time simply to avoid the disrespect.
Forgiving people who have wronged you is an important choice to make. Keep in mind that everyone makes mistakes, we all occasionally say things we wish we hadn’t and non of us are perfect. Refer to value 3 communication. Get issues out in the open, gain some understanding and move on. Life is too short.
Giving without thinking is an important value for anyone wanting to be a responsible, contributing member to society. Through generosity we build empathy since we tend to think more about what people want or need. Being generous doesn’t mean simply handing over money to someone in need. It can also include giving your time, love, attention or even some of your possessions.
Children have a natural curiosity. If you’ve ever watched a toddler even for a couple of minutes you’d see that quality shine through. For some that curiosity wanes. I think it’s important to encourage and push our kids and even ourselves to be curious about things. Rarely should we ever just take someone’s word for it. How do we spark our curiosity? Ask questions. Lots of them. Read about a topic you know very little about and don’t be afraid to say you don’t know. Critical thinking is an important skill that can be learned and developed through exploring your own curiosity.
Communication is as much an art as it is a science. A failure to communicate will likely lead to unhappiness and misunderstandings. Small issues grow into larger ones and when they eventually boil to the surface it’s unlikely they will be resolved calmly. Communication is a lot more than simply speaking your mind. In addition to spoken words, communication also extends to tone, volume, expression, eye contact, body language and effective listening.
Responsibility is something that is learned. As a child you may have been shown how to put your toys away after playing, how to tidy your room or how and when to feed the dog. This sense of responsibility extends well into adulthood. An adult who has an intrinsic sense of responsibility doesn’t require a lot of prodding to show up to work on time, return phone calls or meet deadlines. Setting out individual responsibilities for family members works to instil this quality in everyone.
Traditions are what make a family unique, they draw people together and create a sense of belonging for everyone. Traditions don’t need to be expensive, elaborate or a lot of work. It can be something as simple as a lazy Saturday sipping coffee.
- Refrain from doing for a child what he can do for himself.
- Organise your child’s things in appropriate containers and on low shelves.
- Whatever your child is doing, encourage him to work with one thing at a time.
- Help him become aware of sounds. Eg what begins with ‘a’ (say phonetic sound eg a for apple, c for cat, e for egg) this will also assist him at school with the I spy game and sandpaper letters.
- Aid your child in absorbing a sense of beauty: take a walk in your garden. Expose him to flowers, trees etc. Give your child the precise names. Eg ‘look at the colour o f the Hibiscus’
- Talk about the colours, textures, and shapes you see around you. Eg
- Provide paint, paper, playdough, pens, crayons, pastels for your child. Let your explore with the different mediums.
- Laugh a lot. Play with words.
- Always tell the truth.
- Apologise to your child when you have made a mistake.
- Understand what Montessori meant by sensitive periods. Know when your child is in one and utilise it.
- Tell your child what you value in them.
- Watch a sunrise. Watch a sunset.
- Share interesting news from the newspaper. Eg a baby elephant born in the Zoo etc . Alert your child to upcoming events. Eg in ten minutes, it will be time for bed.
- Help your child to maintain a calendar, or counting down to special events.
- Share your profession or occupation with your child. Have him visit our place of work.
- Teach your child the language of courtesy. Don’t let him interrupt. Teach your child how to wait after saying ‘ excuse me, please’
- Spend quality time with people of different ages.
- Give your child the responsibility of picking up after himself eg return toys.
- Hug regularly but don’t impose affection.
- When talking to your child, physically get on his level. Make eye contact.
- Talk to your child clearly without talking down. Communicate with respect and give your child the gift of language, new words and expressions.
- Sing with your child. Build a repertoire of your child’s favourites.
- Teach your child safety precautions. Eg plugs, how to dial 10111 etc
- Teach your child his address, phone number and your names.
- Count! Utilise natural opportunities that arise.
- Tell and retell family based stories eg ‘ On the day you were born……..etc’
- Look at family pictures together. Help your child be aware of his extended family, names and relationships.
- Construct your child’s biography, the story of his life.
- Assist your child to be aware of his emotions and feelings, to have vocabulary for emotions and be able to express them.
- Play games together. Through much repetition children learn to take turns, to win and lose.
- Together do things to help others. For example: Take blankets to the homeless, give toys to underprivileged.
- Speak the language of virtues. Talk about helpfulness, kindness and point out those virtues when you see them demonstrated.
- Refrain from giving your child too much ‘stuff’.
- Talk about right, left, turn, straight, north, west, south etc. so your child develops a sense of direction and the means to talk about it.
- Put up a bird feeder. Let your child have the responsibility of filling it. Together learn to be good watchers and learn about the birds you see,
- Express appreciation to your child and others and help our child to do the same. Send thank your notes for gifts. Young children can draw pictures.
- Help your child learn to eat healthy foods. Involve your child in food preparation.
- When food shopping, talk to your child about what you see – Talk about where food items come from.
- Provide your child with appropriate sized furniture: his own table and chair.
- While driving, point thing out and discuss – construction, bridges, trees ect
- Borrow books to read from our school library-
- Get your child pet and guide your child to take responsibility for its care.
- Whenever you go somewhere with your child, prepare him for what is going to happen and what is expected of him at the doctors, restaurant, friends houses etc
- Eliminate or strictly limit TV watching and replace with activity orientated things.
- Refrain from offering material rewards or excessive praise. Let the experience of accomplishment be its own reward.
ENJOY LIFE TOGETHER!