Magazine article Parenting for High Potential

Php's Parenting Forum

Magazine article Parenting for High Potential

Php's Parenting Forum

Article excerpt

NAGC provides a Parent Resource Specialist service, whose role involves supporting parents and others who advocate for appropriate and challenging educational opportunities for high-potential children and youth. Our Parent Resource Specialist, Dr. Robin Schader, has agreed to expand her services to include a regular "question-and-answer" column for Parenting for High Potential.

Important Notice. Dr. Schader's services as NAGC's Parent Resource Specialist are designed to help readers find and understand general information on parenting high-ability children. The responses in this column (or on NAGCs website) contain advice and comments from individuak with training and experience in gifted education. Responses from the Parent Specialist, or other participating experts, are not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. By submitting your question for a response, you understand and agree that y our question, and the Parent Specialist's answer, may be used by NAGC in print or on the NAGC website, although names and other obvious identifiers will be removed. Often the best way to resolve issues for your child is to talk with your child's teacher, school principal, pediatrician, or doctor. If you haven't already done so, we encourage you to investigate the resources available through your state or local gifted education organization. Contact information for NAGC state affiliates can be found on the NAGC website at: http://www. nagc. orgl or by calling NAGC at (202) 785-4268. Submit your questions in an email, or as document attachment to an email, to: parentspecialist@nagc.org

While the immediate concerns in these five excerpts appear to be quite different, each situation can benefit from meaningful conversation. The road to a workable solution often begins with the asking of good questions. What is really going on? If you can get beyond the surface of an issue, many creative ideas begin to appear. You'll also find that some of the best ideas for turning a situation around will come through teamwork with your child. Here are some ways to include him or her in the problem-solving process by asking and discussing questions that go beyond "How was school today?"

As a parent, you know you're walking a fine line when you want to know more than a child easily divulges. Just asking one question ("Was school fun?" or "Why didn't you turn in your homework?") generally won't result in a useful answer. On the other hand, a series of questions can make a child feel as though he/she is being interrogated. To avoid this predicament, let your child know why you're asking, and how the answer can help both of you discover more.

Include Your Child

Remember, children are an integral part of their own learning process. Yet, without open discussion, how can you invite and encourage your child's participation?

Don't wait for difficult times to sit down for a talk. Thoughtful conversation is a powerful way to consistently show you care. One middle-school child recently said to his counselor, "I don't want to be micro-managed by nosey parents who pressure me about what's happening at school, but if nobody asks, I feel overlooked and neglected. Everyone wants somebody to ask about them and really care."

Sparking a good conversation is not always easy. Have you ever watched a talented interviewer develop rapport with the person they're interviewing? They don't ask questions that can be answered with a simple "yes" or "no." It simply doesn't invite continued, mindful discussion. In general, it's a good idea to stay away from questions that can have a single word response unless that's all the conversation you want. As a contrast, try some open-ended questions that start with the words, "Tell me about..." You'll not only learn more, but you'll also be encouraging your child to carefully consider his or her thoughts and feelings. …

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