Options and solutions                        GCEuroscLUX

For Parents

If dealing with the giftedness of your child is new for you, the best advice would be for you to get as informed about the topic as possible. A lot of material is available on the internet, an example is the NAGC’s ABCs of Gifted or the blog giftedparentingsupport.blogspot.com

Joining our network could be an option too, either to participate in the more social events or to get to know those two to three families that could make all the difference

Joining an association for gifted children in your home country could could give a lot of knowledge on how to help your child within your own culture

Finally Mensa Luxembourg has a SIG group for children, please see www.mensakids.lu

For Children

Being around other children they can relate directly to is very important for children. It is vital to have at least that one special friend, or a group of friends you are comfortable with

The reasons why supporting gifted children in a social context is so important and thus a major objective of this network, are described in Developmental phases of social development by Linda Silverman.

A very practical list of how parents can help their gifted children organise themselves at school can be found here. Being able to bounce back from adversity, i.e. resiliency, is discussed here: Resiliency - Understanding mastery

Using your talents for activities not related to school, e.g. music, sports, etc. could be important for boosting self confidence and for strengthening that very important automatisation of skills.

Some of the children in our network are participating in small groups of extra-curricular activities provided for two purposes: Both in order to challenge the children intellectually and also for them to enjoy sharing their ideas freely in the group

For Teachers

How to include gifted children in the classroom differers from school to school, country to country. Each teacher have their own style of teaching, and each class functions in different ways. Nowadays our knowledge on gifted children is extensive and a wide range of possibilities have been identified for the teacher to use. In the link below you can find a long overview of provisions in the UK with examples of different types of gifted children plus teaching approaches and furthermore also advice for parents on how to cope with gifted children within the family

Four phases of parenting gifted children

The former chairman of the Danish Association for Gifted Children, Heidi Stolberg - mother of two gifted children - has described their parenting experiences like this (shortened version:-)

In Phase 1 we were inconsciously incompetent. We didn’t know what we were dealing with, didn’t know that the ‘disaster-world‘ our son was living in was caused by his intelligence. When something happened we reacted as if it was separate events - we didn’t see the context. We didn’t know we lacked information in order to understand our child.

In the Second Phase we were consciously incompetent. We did now understand the context, and we were looking all over for knowledge on gifted children. In the search for information we found the network for gifted children.

In the Third Phase we were consciously competent. All the new knowledge collected from the network, internet, literature, being with other gifted children and their parents gave us an understanding of our child and the context ‘being gifted’. All of this consumed a large part of our daily lives. We argued, discussed and defended...

Slowly we have ended in the Fourth Phase, now inconsciously competent. Today parenting a gifted child is a natural part of our daily lives. We are parents like all other parents but with the ‘twist’ that our family is not entirely like most families. But we do not anymore have to explain, justify, investigate, understand, etc. Our children are different, and we accept that with our hearts and minds. We know the reason. Sometimes it is still difficult, but we know what we are dealing with - thats why we use less resources on this than earlier.