Children are not equal in terms of opportunities. Especially for their parents. Many families want their children to excel, but they may neglect or misunderstand their share.
Some children may have a natural tendency to be successful and some even to show superior abilities. There are several individuals who have achieved unparalleled success in their respective fields. They are exceptional people. In other words, they are % 1 of % 1 of the world's most successful people. Examples of these people are innovators like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, athletes like Michael Jordan and Serena Williams, and musicians like Mozart and Beethoven. Or people who do scientific work and receive Nobel Prizes, whose names we don't hear much about.
Kumar Mehta, a psychologist, has been researching how to raise gifted children for more than five years. The results are quite the opposite of what you think. He first discovers that these children, almost all gifted children, develop specific skills at a young age to maximize the physical, mental and social potential available to them. And their parents are incredible at creating an environment that allows them to thrive. He says it has a huge impact. It is not possible for me to be a controller and my child is the best.
Here are 7 attitudes parents of gifted children care about in their child's development, based on Mehta's Research:
1- They encourage their children to develop their strengths
Norwegian chess prodigy Magnus Carlsen was patiently completing puzzles and more advanced Lego structures than his age at a very, very young age. Carlsen's father thought that Carlsen's skills could lead to success in chess, and as a result introduced him to the game.
They clearly noticed the intense interest and talent in their son early in his chess training and later encouraged him to progress and started taking him to tournaments.
Every child is born with more advanced skills in some areas than others. Your child may have the ability to think abstractly and multidimensionally, or the ability to focus on parts and shapes. Some children are skilled at math and can analyze problems logically or investigate problems scientifically.
Always pay attention to your child's natural talent and help him develop his innate talents.
2- They set an example for their children with their hard work.
Parents of gifted children are modeling it not by instructing their children to work, but by dedicating years to getting better at their craft, and making their children realize this.
In an interview about his father's work ethic in 2020, Microsoft founder Bill Gates said: “He was one of Seattle's most hardworking and respected lawyers, as well as a loved one in the area. He was curious about learning and was constantly learning new things. ”
Gates' father taught his children to work to earn respect.
So show your kids that hard work pays off, that nothing is simply “given” and that shortcuts will not help them achieve their goals, by first applying them in your own life.
3- They create a culture of effort and excellence
In 2017, a team of British researchers studied the differences between "special" and "ultra-special" athletes. (Of course, all NBA players are elite – but there's also Michael Jordan or LeBron James, or Kobe Bryant, who could outdo them all.)
The researchers found that most ultra-private athletes come from environments that advocate a culture of effort. These are people who grew up in homes where the pursuit of perfection and pushing the limits are always expected. They grew up because no pain no gain or effort, no bread.
Venus and Serena Williams' unique achievements on the tennis court begin with their father, Richard. She wrote a detailed 78-page plan for her daughters that will not look like an excel file, and it seems that she played an important role in her rise to the top of the tennis world. Fathers who set their expectations early; The Venus brothers weren't even five years old when he wrote this plan. In the end, they became the two highest-paid champions in tennis history.
4. They support their self-confidence development
Helping your child build self-confidence makes a big difference in their life. Encouraging him to dream big prevents him from wanting to give up when things go wrong.
Even as children, today's gifted adults have always believed that extraordinary achievements are within their grasp, and that this is not a privilege only to those they see on television or read about in the news.
When parents support their children's self-confidence, that is, when they do not criticize their children and do not humiliate them when they fail; their children are more likely to perform at the highest level and adopt a belief that they will eventually rise to the top.
This kind of self-confidence – or the unwavering belief that you can be the best – is the key to success.
5. They are patient when their children ask questions
Parents of high achievers always make it a priority for their children to learn new things. And because they support their children's inquisitiveness, what they take most seriously is patiently answering their children's questions.
In nearly all interviews with Nobel Prize-winning scientists, they say they are trying to answer questions their parents have always patiently asked, even much later in life.
At the same time, what these parents have in common is that they teach their children how to find answers and often search together.
In other words, it does not give comfort, he constantly asks questions, his questions never end, and I want my child to be successful, he can't be together, dear parents.
6. They encourage the child to specialize in a field
Parents refer them to many different fields to help them become well-rounded (e.g. swimming, piano, math club, chess). Parents of gifted children often choose the expert approach, where their children thrive/achieve in a single area.
Adopting an "expert" approach in line with the child's ability and encouraging their children to specialize in an activity in which they show high potential also increase the child's chances of success.
Specializing in one area doesn't mean giving up on doing other things. Maybe he can have other branches in his life for fun or even to develop additional skills. The expert approach means that the child chooses the activity in which he is determined to put in the necessary effort to be as good as possible and develops himself in that area.
According to parents of gifted children, the sooner they encourage their children to learn the basics of a field, the sooner the more advanced skills in that field will develop. And the sooner they develop these advanced skills, the sooner they become the best in that field. The sooner their children achieved this, they thought, the more likely they were to reach a rare and special level of proficiency.
7. They encourage competition and development
Many of the high achievers studied and interviewed in this study grew up in a constantly competitive environment. From an early age, their parents gamified the competition in simple games in small activities. Competing for even the fastest way to get their room seems to subject them to the stress and pressure they need to win and succeed later on.
But the same parents say they teach their children that they shouldn't just value competition and results, that being special is more than points earned and achievements.
If you focus only on your child's results and do not support their self-confidence, the child's probability of success will decrease.
As it can be understood from these, it is not enough for the child to be gifted, as in all cases, the attitudes of the parents are also important. I hope you will benefit from this information in supporting and developing your child's abilities.