Our advice for accompanying an gifted child

Welcome to Suivez le Zèbre, the first blog dedicated to neurodiversityin France. Here you will find information about Giftedness (High Learning Potential), hypersensitivity, autism spectrum disorders (including Asperger’s syndrome), DYS disorders and ADHD.

When you’re an gifted parent of precocious children, it can seem difficult, even insurmountable. Gifted children experience everything very intensely. They capture everything about the other person: their joy, their anger, their sadness. But it can also be a lot of fun in everyday life. Despite everything, this unique way of functioning is a real asset, and your relationship with your child can become exceptional.

My child is gifted. What should I do?

Sandrine learned about her children’s High Potential from the speech therapist. For her, it’s important to remember that “the information is there. What do we do with it now? What’s the best thing about it?“These many capabilities also bring very beautiful things, we must see the positive in this news.

On the psychologist‘s advice, she decided to take the test too. “When I got the result, it was as if an anvil had fallen on my head. I had my doubts and started researching, reading everything I could get my hands on..” After all her research, Sandrine decided to produce an illustrated summary to explain High Potential to her children.

Marion, from Les dessins de Marion, thinks it’s not necessarily vital to know officially whether a child is gifted. For her “The most important thing is to know the subject and be able to identify certain things, which can really help if you have any doubts. Don’t rush into things.”

Every parent has his or her own reaction to the news that their child is gifted. The important thing is to not panic. You shouldn’t tell yourself that your child is different and will necessarily be unhappy; that’s not true! Detecting giftedness early on can be an advantage, as the child will learn to build on all this and develop correctly with his or her skills.

Our advice

If you learn that your child is gifted, don’t panic! Everything will go smoothly, and your child will be able to learn to build himself properly and develop his skills to the full.

Parents of gifted children and society

Society’s gaze weighs heavily on all parents, no matter who they are. So sometimes, being a parent of an precocious child can seem difficult when you don’t have a solution. Indeed,“when society tells us you’re the one with the problem (mom or dad), it makes us feel guilty because our children aren’t perfect.” But on the other hand, what is perfection? For the well-being of both parents and children, we need to get rid of the social pressure to be a good mother or not.

This is one of the reasons why Catherine decided to open her school, to be able to offer solutions to parents who can sometimes feel helpless. “I’m doing this to show that there’s no problem and that there are solutions available to parents.

Everything’s fine, it’s not serious, and it’s not inevitable to have a gifted child at home.

Catherine Viès Duffau

Our tips ro take care of your little gifted children

It may seem difficult to give our precocious children what they need. But here’s a list of tips you can apply at home and maybe see a difference. Gifted children have a real need for meaning in everything they do.

At home :

  • Pay attention to the status given to precocious children. Don’t label them (genius…)
  • Giving meaning to what they do, and adding depth.
  • Don’t see Giftedness as a problem.
  • Value the fact that he’s gifted, his brain works very well and that’s a blessing.
  • Stimulate gifted children through games, exercises and even stories.
  • Support him emotionally.
  • Learn more about the subject(books, videos, podcasts, blogs…) to understand what High Potential is and be able to talk about it with them.
  • Respect their privacy, and their desire to say or not to say.
  • Leave them their autonomy.
  • Learn to celebrate small successes!

Indeed, Catherine thinks “that they shouldn’t be given the status “my child is gifted“, I find that very dangerous. This means that I have rights that are different from others, and it also means that I’m different from others.“It doesn’t allow the child to build and develop properly. These zebra children need to be made to understand that they function differently from the majority of children, but that this does not mean they are superior or inferior to others.

It’s essential to avoid categorizing these precocious children, to talk to them and explain to them that their brains work differently from others. At Suivez le Zèbre, we think it’s best not to talk to them about intelligence, to prevent them from thinking they’re better than other children.

On the contrary, it’s a blessing in disguise, because today we know how High Potentials function, we know that the brain works very, very well, it’s difficult to grasp, but everything’s going to be fine. You have to make him understand that he’s part of a group, that he’s not excluded and that he’ll manage to adapt. But above all, to explain to him that he is neither superior, nor inferior, nor different.“We mustn’t forget that he is and remains a child.

We need to encourage their curiosity and give them opportunities to explore new and stimulating experiences, in order to enhance their creativity.

At school :

  • Forget the cliché “my gifted child needs to work harder”.
  • Precocious children often need to work differently and in depth.
  • Discuss the child’s needs with teachers.
  • Deepen the knowledge.
  • Give meaning to learning.
  • Help them take a step back from things.

Catherine, director of the Arborescence 31 a specialized school for over 7 years, believes that “at school level, gifted children don’t need to work harder, they need to work differently and in depth. You have to give them something meaningful to do, so that they understand why they’re working and then follow through with the project and the support. If, for example, they have a fixation with planets, you don’t just give them the name of each one, but explain to them why they’re called that, what’s going on with the sun, what there is in the universe etc… You have to go far, very far. Notions must be really deep and meaningful.” We really need to work on these points to meet their needs and their thirst for knowledge.

In conclusion

It’s up to you, as a parent, to decide whether it’s really necessary to have your child tested. Does thispotential giftedness need to be detected? It’s up to you to put your child and his or her needs at the center, even if it means asking for help if you discover additional pathologies such as anxiety disorders or oppositional defiant disorder.

Some gifted children are just as annoying that they are terribly endearing, a duality not uncommon in these singular profiles: emotion thin-skinned and a gymnastic mind that never takes a day off! In any case, if there is any doubt, the best way to be sure is to be accompanied by a specialized psychologist in order to carry out an assessment.

Thanks for reading, Mel

Do you find yourself in the characteristics of gifted adults? Why not try a first approach together?

You can also find more information, resources and tools on High Potential in Mel POINASbook . With a lot of humor, Mel tells the story of the discovery of her High Potential and the routines she put in place to finally find her place!

Le livre

Écrit par une HPI !
Un témoignage et des solutions concrètes pour découvrir, comprendre et apprendre à vivre en étant HPI.

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