Supporting your child at home
Parents may feel a range of emotions when they learn about their child's high ability. Feelings may range from excitement and elation to anxiety or fear. Understanding the unique learning characteristics of your child can be daunting. Associations such as Gifted NSW and educational bodies such as universities offer parent courses or presentations to assist parents to nurture their child's potential.
Support your child according to their age, and the availability of resources. Some ideas include:
- provide explorative activities in your child’s areas of interest
- engage in discussions and conversations about the world around them
- encourage questioning, exploration and curiosity
- place value on learning
- monitor play activities to ensure a healthy balance, particularly when younger
- discuss how learning is about making mistakes, struggling at times, and not always about being the best at everything all the time. Try using role model examples in their area of interest, so they understand that life doesn’t always give them what they expect
- praise and celebrate effort – working together to understand that effort and achieving one’s personal best are important in maintaining a healthy perspective. Try discussing characters from the books they are reading to highlight the types of behaviours that return positive outcomes
- champion your child’s successes and coach them through their setbacks – point out that mistakes are evidence of learning and experiencing struggle often encourages resilience, persistence and eventual success. Try discussing the great inventions we experience in life today, which are thanks to those who paved the way in making mistakes and yet persisting despite initial failures
- work on areas of strength without ignoring those areas which also need support
- access extra-curricular opportunities (the Active Kids and Creative Kids vouchers are available to help fund some activities)
- advocate for your child’s unique needs and seek support where you can
- if you suspect disability contact organisations such as Gifted Learners with Disability Australia.