Parenting the High Achiever

Maximizing the Full Potential of a Gifted Child

Raising a child is the greatest lifetime achievement adults can accomplish. Rearing a child with high intelligence is challenging but very rewarding.

Every parent makes some mistakes, but if one pays attention to some fundamental principles, nurturing a child to achieve his maximum capabilities is a logical process. Balancing mind, body, and spirit is an overriding principle that should rule all modern lives, particularly young, developing children.

Talent Takes Many Forms

Parents need to be fair at all times and not favor one child over the other. Every child has his own unique talents and abilities and these need to be identified early in life. Encouraging him to develop his strong points is key to achieving his potential.

Find the Hidden Talents

Giving a child music lessons, dance or gymnastics at an early age can help identify strengths and gifts. The sooner a child is identified as gifted in a given area, the better for developing those centers in the brain that need early stimulation.

Playing music for babies and toddlers is a key stimulant and helps identify those with natural rhythm and potential musical talent. Left-handed children very often have a propensity for giftedness in music, the arts and performance arts.

Friendly Competition among Siblings

Avoiding too much competitiveness between siblings is important. A little healthy competition is fine, but a parent should avoid developing strong, lifelong rivalries that interfere with good relationships between children.

Stress Academic Success

Parents need to encourage academic excellence. Every child has a maximum ability level that needs to be discovered. If a child is bored and not being challenged in school, considering private education as a good alternative. The cost of this is very high, but the rewards are priceless.

High Quality Family Interaction

Mom and dad need to spend time with children at dinner and talk about the day and events in their lives. They will appreciate this nightly practice which brings the family together. Or, if that doesn’t work, the parent can try a daily breakfast meeting with as many family members as possible.

Family rituals are part of childhood development and the parent who can keep traditions alive will help the high achiever develop strong social bonds. If this means celebrating Christmas in a particular way or inviting a child’s friends over on weekends, this encourages routines and values past practices. This means so much to the child, particularly when something disrupts these rituals.

Emotional Support is the Foundation of Healthy Personality

A parent should be supportive no matter what happens. Even when the adult is disappointed in the way a child acts at an event, give him love and support. Help him to figure out how to do things differently next time. A good parent never turns away from a child in need.

Let the child know that his parents will be there for him always, through sickness, disease and divorce. Every family goes through a series of challenges and strife over the course of time. Let her know a parent’s love is forever, no matter what else may happen in life.