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Raising A Gifted Child: Getting The Balance Right

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One of the challenges for parents with a gifted child is to encourage them to develop a range of interest outside the academic sphere that not only rounds them out but stops them from being isolated from their peers.                    Gifted children are a diverse group of kids who are talented in specific areas such as mathematics, language, sport or music. Some gifted kids are multi-talented excelling in a variety of areas.

http://www.lovingyourchild.com/2010/08/raising-gifted-child-balance/

Gifted children tend to be passionate and single-minded about their interests focusing their energy on the topics that absorb them, often to the exclusion of other activities.                                                                                      Just as all children need to have a balanced diet to remain in good health they need a balance between work and play to make sure they develop good social networks and maintain emotional health. That means that parents need to guide these children towards leisure-time options that they wouldn’t normally consider.

Work From Strengths

One way to encourage a gifted child to be more well-rounded is to get them to lead with their strengths. In other words, it maybe that a computer whiz meets up with other like-minded souls but extend the meetings to activities away from the computer. Or an artistic child can be encouraged to develop her literacy skills by adding simple stories to their illustrations.

The Courage To Be Imperfect

Gifted children are often low risk-takers in areas or endeavors that are not their passions or strengths. Used to automatically excelling they fear doing things poorly, so exceptionally capable children can be reluctant to attempt unknown or different tasks.

Parents Can Push Too Hard

Some gifted young children slow down their learning when they start school as they focus their time and energy on making friends. In terms of fitting in to social settings this is essential however parents who are proud of their child’s achievements can become quite anxious at this apparent shift in interest away from learning.

Making Friends

One of the most difficult tasks for a parent is to engineer circumstances so that children can make friends. Some children make friends naturally while others can be slow to warm up around their peers.

Being Part Of The Family

Family life can be a great leveler for gifted children. A sibling can bring a talented child back to earth, letting them know that they may be a star at school or in sport but their talent pulls no rank at home. Jobs need to be done, games can played and big heads can be easily deflated.

A Well-Rounded Young Person

Talented kids can become self-absorbed in their interests and passions to the detriment of developing broader interests and in some cases social interactions. With a little coaching and prompting parents can help children achieve balance in their lives so that they don’t become isolated and rely on a narrow set of interests for their identity and self esteem.

posted May 19, 2017 by Krinz Kiran

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+2 votes

Reema is one of the many mothers who is facing trouble in making her son sit down and engaging him in one activity or study. He just keeps hopping on from one thing to another and as a result, his room is a box of unfinished activities, games, books, drawings etc. Reema often wonders what it would take to make her son complete at least one task. This is not just Reema’s story. Many parents like her often struggle to build on their child’s attention span to finish a task, read a short story from beginning to end or even focus on an activity at school.

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/614700/parents-enablers-child-focus.html

Children get used to a routine if set from the beginning. Routines result in habit formation, which ultimately makes the task less daunting. It also removes the fear of the unknown, enabling a child to feel a sense of security. For example, if a child knows that s/he has to study from 6 to 7 pm everyday, s/he will be mentally prepared for it. In addition to this, a developmentally appropriate time period must be allotted for the task so that the child gets used to being able to complete this work within the stipulated time. This will also help in streamlining his or her thought process and staying focussed.

Build reading habits

However busy you may be, take time out to narrate age-appropriate stories to your child. Establish a reading routine, a specified reading time. It may be just before sleeping or after returning from school, as per the parent’s and child’s convenience. Read aloud regularly, even to older kids. Reading exposes the child to good literature, improves their vocabulary and understanding of structuring sentences.

Stay on a task

Children need to be kept motivated and the way to do this is to encourage, gently coax and urge them to complete the task in hand. If one technique isn’t working, help them with new techniques of doing the assigned task. Cheer them to take pride in their work and help them fortify their strengths and work on their weaknesses. Sometimes the reward system works to motivate children to concentrate and finish the entrusted task.

Delayed gratification

It is good to build skills of delayed gratification among children at an early age. It allows them to understand that sometimes wait is good and it is okay to go through a little difficulty or restraint in order to feel really happy or get a sense of accomplishment later or perhaps for longer.

The power of yet

Parents should help their children believe in the power of ‘yet,’ i.e. the never-ending belief in the fact that things will work out, and that giving up is not an option as a brighter future is yet to come. Often, this seems difficult to explain to children as they are restless and not determined enough.

Make learning fun

It is important to make reading and learning time fun for the child, and not just the mundane task of the teacher. So, if you are trying to teach your little one to identify numbers, then, instead of just restricting it to the textbooks, you can try reciting rhymes and songs about numbers. Floor games like hopscotch can be a fun and effective way too. While at the grocery store, you can ask your child to read out prices and quantities to you. This way while the learning outcomes are achieved, the fun factor is also maintained.

Learning beyond home

Don’t let learning be restricted to the study room in your house. Let it be a continuous process for the child, extending beyond just school and home. So, the next time you are in the park with your child, challenge him or her to identify all red-coloured objects or all objects which begin with the letter ‘O’ in a stipulated time frame. This way, while the concepts of letter and colour recognition become clearer to the child, education is also made much more fun and practical.

Therefore, it is crucial to be positive role models for children. They should take an active interest in understanding their strengths and challenges. This way, they can empower their children with the required knowledge, strategies, and skills to take charge of their own educational journey.
 

(The author is content expert, Sesame Workshop India)

+1 vote

      

Photo Source: creativechild.com

As a mom of kids ranging from 2 to 12, I realize how quickly time flies. I love watching them grow, try new things, and discover their passions. As a parent, it can be hard to let them struggle through, or even fail at, experiences outside their comfort zone. However, those experiences develop confidence and independence which is valuable in raising children. I want to raise self-sufficient adults and that means I need to start training them now. Here are some ideas to help kids naturally develop the independence needed to be confident and responsible adults.

by Sarah Lyons 

https://www.creativechild.com/articles/view/training-my-child-to-be-independent

The Preschool Years (ages 2-5)

Create a helper

Toddlers and preschoolers love to follow their parents around the house; so why not have them help with the chores? They can help put clothes in the dryer, match socks, sweep the floor, or assist in any other task. They may not be able to do chores independently or have household responsibilities yet, but taking the extra time now lays the groundwork for the future.

Give opportunities

During the preschool years, kids typically show an interest in trying self-care tasks themselves. It may be easier (and faster) to tie your child’s shoes, zip up their coat, make their lunch, and buckle their seatbelt but allowing your child to try these things on their own helps them become more independent. Consider starting the preparation for your day 15 minutes earlier to allow time for your child to try some things on their own. If frustration arises, remain calm and ask if they would like help. Instead of just completing the task for them, take time to teach them how to do it so they can try again tomorrow.

Problem solve

Problem solving skills begin to develop at a young age. Toddlers and preschoolers will often get frustrated when things don’t go their way and it may result in a temper tantrum. While this is age appropriate, parents can begin to help their children develop problem solving skills by calmly suggesting solutions to what is upsetting them. Have your child come up with ideas to solve the problem and when possible help them work through it on their own.

Bonus tip for preschoolers

Give your child choices whenever possible to help them develop independence and to give them a sense of control.

The elementary school years (ages 6-11)

Create a helper

For elementary age kids, you can advance what was done in the preschool years. I will assign my child a chore like washing windows, vacuuming, or putting away dishes and since they have helped me with these tasks for years they no longer need my assistance. If they are reluctant to do chores, I make a list of things that need to be done and have them choose a few things they would like to do. When they are done they will have free time for electronics, outside play, or something they have been looking forward to. Chores teach kids to be independent and responsible.

Give opportunities

Give your child more opportunities to be independent as they mature. This may look different depending on your child’s age and maturity but some ideas may be ordering and paying for their food at a restaraunt, riding their bike home from school, packing their own lunch, or trying a new extracurricular activity. Each opportunity, even a challenging one, helps your child become self-sufficient and develop more independence.

Problem solve

Elementary school kids will begin to face bigger problems that may include challenging friendships, struggles with schoolwork, or even bullying. Foster good communication with your child and help them come up with solutions they are comfortable with. Cheer them on when they are able to work through obstacles.

Bonus tip for the elementary school years

Do your best not to criticize your child’s efforts but instead praise them for doing their best.

The teen years (ages 12-18)

Create a helper

Tweens and teens should be given even more household responsibilities as they are nearing adulthood. Take note of what skills it takes to run a household and begin to teach them these tasks. Cooking, yard work, babysitting, laundry, car care, and even a part time job fall into this category. The more responsibilities your child is comfortable while in your home will make the transition to living on their own smoother.

Give opportunities

There is a fine line between giving your child independence and keeping them safe in the teen years. As kids start to drive, spend more time with friends, and work outside the home parents have less control over their choices. Continue working on open communication and trust with your teen so that as they venture into the world, you both feel comfortable with the change.

Problem solve

One of the hardest things kids have to experience is the consequences for a poor choice. A parent’s first reaction may be to step in and “save” their child but, in the long run, this does not teach them anything. For example, if you child left their homework at home they will not receive credit for the work. The easy thing to do would be to run the assignment to the school, but chances are your child will forget again and most likely, on a larger assignment. As adults we have to manage our responsibilities and teens must also learn these lessons. If forgotten homework is repeatedly an issue, suggest packing up the night before. Sit down with your child and help them come up with solutions to problems and encourage them to do this without you and present their solution to you.

Bonus tip for the teen years

Set specific household rules so that your child has the opportunity to be independent but not out of your comfort zone as a parent.

As our children grow, so must their responsibilities. As always, you will be there to guide and train them but giving your child tools throughout their childhood will help them grow into a confident and independent adult.

 

+3 votes

Prime Ministor Narendra Modi said that National Girl Child Day is a day to celebrate the exceptional achievements of the girl child, whose "excellence in many fields makes us proud". He also wants to ensure eual opportunities for the girl child and reject gender discrimination.

''Let us reaffirm our commitment to challenging stereotypes based on gender & promote gender sensitisation as well as gender equality'', Modi tweeted.

+1 vote

                                          

Photo Source: parents.com

While these gestures may seem trivial to adults, they go a long way with your little ones. Here are a few easy tricks to make your child smile. 

By Margery D. Rosen

http://www.parents.com/parenting/better-parenting/positive/30-little-things-that-mean-a-lot-to-kids/

  1. Wear that macaroni necklace to work. Well, at least until you're safely out the door.
  2. Tape a family mantra or slogan (Unstoppable! We can, we will! We've got this!) to your refrigerator door and invoke it whenever your child feels discouraged.
  3. Go for a walk with just one child.
  4. Slip a note (and an occasional piece of chocolate) into her lunch box.
  5. Build your own Minecraft world alongside his.
  6. Say "yes" to something usually off-limits, like sitting on the counter. 
  7. Show as much enthusiasm on amusement-park rides as they do. 
  8. If you quarrel in front of your child, make sure that he also sees you make up.
  9. When her room looks like a tsunami swept through it, close the door and get on with your day.
  10. Skype or do FaceTime with Grandma every now and then. 
  11. If your child has given it a good try, but he's still miserable and anxious and really, truly wants to quit the team, give him your blessing.
  12. Go ahead: Let your 4-year-old stomp in every puddle along the way. Even without rain boots.
  13. Get out the glitter glue and make a birthday card for your child.
  14. Take in a pet that needs a home—and a child's love.
  15. Give your toddler a chance to fight his own battles in the sandbox or on the playground before you intervene.
  16. Hold off with the barrage of how-was-your-day questions if your child comes home from school grumpy and tired. You can always get the rundown at the dinner table.
  17. Cultivate your own rituals and traditions: Taco Tuesdays, Sunday-afternoon bike ride, apple picking every fall.
  18. Ask your kid to teach you how to do something for a change. And once you get the hang of it, be sure to tell him what a good teacher he is.
  19. Let your child wear her dress-up clothes to the supermarket. All month if she wants to.
  20. Let your child overhear you saying something wonderful about her. 
  21. Stay up late to see the full moon. There's one on October 27.
  22. Print their childhood photos so they have something physical to look at one day.
  23. Don't be in a hurry to tell your kid to let it go. He needs to vent too.
  24. Cook heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast.
  25. Crank up the music in the middle of homework and have a dance party.
  26. Make a secret family handshake.
  27. Hang a whiteboard in her room to leave messages for each other.
  28. Start a pillow fight.
  29. Share your old diaries, photos, and letters from when you were her age.
  30. Thank your child when he does a chore on his own—even if it's just hanging up a wet towel without prompting or refilling the empty water pitcher.
+2 votes

 

 

The Right to Education Act, which Karnataka started implementing from 2012, completed five years on Friday. But experts and RTE activists believe the system has become a profitable venture instead of championing equal eduhttp://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/rte-has-become-a-profitable-venture-say-experts/articleshow/58740881.cmscation.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/rte-has-become-a-profitable-venture-say-experts/articleshow/58740881.cms

 

BENGALURU: The Right to Education Act, which Karnataka started implementing from 2012, completed five years on Friday. But experts and RTE activists believe the system has become a profitable venture instead of championing equal education.

At a public consultation organized at Mahaveer Jain College here, activists and educationists reviewed RTE implementation and challenges in the state. The implementation seems to be focussed on Section 19, which mandates free and fair education up to class 8, and ignores other important sections dealing with provisions that schools need to have.

According to a report by Nagasimha G Rao, state convenor, RTE Task Force: "Parents are unaware of not only the provisions but the act itself. They are promised quality education and basic facilities, which aren't available in government schools, but once they join private institutions, they are still made to pay excessively for activities that aren't even conducted."


  • Reports presented by BOSCO, an organization that has been empowering street children since 37 years, highlights the multiple reasons which deter children from joining government schools. Some of them are: Lack of toilets, poor faculty and infrastructure and negative opinion of parents about government schools.

    Y Mariswamy, spokesperson of the Karnataka State Child Rights Organization, said: "In the five years of RTE in Karnataka, 3 lakh children have depended on the act to gain admission to government schools. While the education department prides itself on this number, it shows the inefficiency of government schools, which has resulted in parents depending on admission to private schools."

    "Public awareness is important because if parents and NGOs raise their voice against the system, only then action will be taken," Rao felt.

     
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