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Q:

How can I help my gifted child maintain a healthy self-esteem and sense of identity?

Hi everyone,

I have a gifted child who is extremely intelligent and excels in various areas such as academics, sports, music and arts. While I am proud of my child's accomplishments, I am also concerned about how to help my child maintain a healthy self-esteem and sense of identity.

I worry that my child might feel pressure to constantly succeed and perform at a high level, which could lead to burnout and feelings of inadequacy. Additionally, I want to ensure that my child does not define their worth solely based on their achievements, but rather on their unique qualities and characteristics.

Any advice on how I can nurture my child's self-esteem and sense of identity while still encouraging them to reach their full potential would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

All Replies

wintheiser.patience

Hello,

I can understand your concerns regarding maintaining a healthy self-esteem and sense of identity in a gifted child. I also had similar concerns with my child, who was academically brilliant and had various talents including art and music.

As a parent, I found that it was important to limit comparisons to others and instead celebrate my child's unique strengths and talents. We encouraged our child to pursue their interests and provided them with opportunities to explore various fields. This helped them to develop a sense of identity based on what they enjoyed rather than what they were good at.

In addition, we also communicated the importance of working hard and setting attainable goals. By emphasizing the effort involved in achieving success, we helped our child to understand that they were in control of their own achievements.

Another strategy that worked well for us was encouraging our child to develop relationships with individuals who shared similar interests. This helped them to connect with others who could understand and appreciate their unique abilities.

Overall, nurturing a healthy self-esteem and sense of identity in a gifted child is an ongoing process. However, by providing a supportive and encouraging environment, focusing on strengths and interests instead of solely on achievements, and fostering a growth mindset, I believe that it can be accomplished.

uritchie

Hi there,

I can totally relate to your concerns about supporting a gifted child's self-esteem and identity. My child was also academically gifted, and while I was proud of their accomplishments, I often worried about the pressure they were putting on themselves to constantly perform at a high level.

One thing that helped my child was encouraging them to pursue their passions and interests outside of academics. This allowed them to develop a well-rounded sense of identity and feel fulfilled in various areas of their life, rather than solely defining themselves by their academic achievements.

Additionally, I made sure to praise my child's effort and hard work, rather than just their natural ability. This helped them understand that success comes from dedication and perseverance, rather than just innate talent.

Lastly, I tried to foster a growth mindset in my child by emphasizing that mistakes and failures are opportunities for learning and growth. By embracing failure as a necessary part of the learning process, my child was able to develop a more resilient and confident attitude towards challenges.

I hope these tips can be helpful for you as well. Good luck on supporting your gifted child's self-esteem and sense of identity!

lmann

Hello there,

As a parent of a gifted child, it can be challenging to strike a balance between encouraging their abilities while also maintaining a healthy sense of self-esteem and identity. One thing that worked for my family was to create a supportive and nurturing environment at home.

I found it important to have honest and open communication with my child to ensure that they felt heard and supported. Doing so allowed me to understand the pressures and feelings that they were experiencing, and that in turn allowed me to better support them emotionally and mentally.

Additionally, I made sure to provide my child with a variety of experiences and opportunities to explore their interests. This not only helped to foster a love for learning but also helped to develop a well-rounded sense of identity that was not solely focused on their academic abilities.

Furthermore, I tried to emphasize that everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and that comparing oneself to others is not helpful, nor healthy. Instead, we focused on celebrating growth and progress, no matter how small, while emphasizing that it is okay to make mistakes.

Lastly, we made sure to encourage our gifted child to engage in activities that allowed them to connect with peers who shared similar interests. This helped them to feel less isolated and more understood, while also developing a support system of like-minded peers.

In summary, creating a supportive and nurturing environment, encouraging exploration of interests, emphasizing growth over comparisons, and fostering connections with peers were essential in maintaining a healthy sense of self-esteem and identity for our gifted child.

cartwright.frederic

Hello all,

As a parent of a gifted child, maintaining a healthy self-esteem and sense of identity has been a priority for me. I have found that focusing on developing a passion for learning has been effective in this regard.

Simply emphasizing grades or performance can lead to negative self-talk in the child's mind. Instead, we cultivated a love for learning by providing opportunities for my child to explore different areas of interest. I also encouraged them to experiment in various subjects and activities, which enabled them to find their passion.

Furthermore, I found it important to emphasize the value and importance of effort and perseverance over natural talent alone. Praising my child for the hard work put into their achievements was essential for them to understand that no one is perfect, and learning takes time and effort.

In addition, I tried to provide my child with opportunities that would enable them to interact with like-minded peers who shared similar interests. This helped my child to develop strong relationships with individuals who helped enhance their self-esteem and sense of identity.

Finally, we recognized that self-care was important in maintaining a healthy self-esteem and sense of self. Encouraging my child to pursue non-academic interests such as exercise, sports, or artistic endeavors provided them with an outlet for their emotional and mental health.

Overall, focusing on a love for learning, emphasizing the importance of effort, and promoting self-care have been essential strategies to encourage healthy self-esteem and sense of identity for my gifted child.

qerdman

Hello everyone,

As a parent to a gifted child, I can relate to the concerns that often accompany the task of fostering a healthy self-esteem and sense of identity.

One thing that I found helpful was to encourage my child to pursue challenges in areas of interest. This helped to keep them engaged and motivated, while also providing opportunities to discover their true passions and abilities.

I also placed an emphasis on developing a strong sense of community, both within the family and beyond. This helped my child to understand that they were not alone in their unique abilities and struggles, and that they had a support system to rely on.

In addition, I also made sure to provide a balance between constructive, positive feedback and constructive criticism. This helped my child to understand that mistakes were a natural part of the learning process and as such they were not to be discouraged.

Overall, I found that focusing on the task at hand rather than results helped to create an environment where learning and exploration were the primary objectives. With time, it allowed my child the opportunity to develop a healthy sense of self-esteem and identity that was not solely tied to their abilities but rather their character and unique individual qualities.

nola07

Hello everyone,

As a parent of a gifted child, I have faced similar concerns regarding my child's self-esteem and identity. One approach that has helped my child develop a healthy sense of identity is by allowing them to take ownership of their accomplishments and interests.

Instead of pushing them towards a specific set of achievements, I provided them with the opportunity to explore and develop their own interests. This allowed them to develop a sense of identity that was based on their own unique qualities, rather than society's expectations of what their abilities should be.

At the same time, I also made a conscious effort to focus on character and positive attributes rather than just achievements. By doing so, I helped my child to understand that their personal qualities such as kindness, empathy, and perseverance were just as important (if not more so) than their academic or intellectual abilities.

Lastly, I found that connecting with other parents of gifted children was also very helpful. It gave me the opportunity to share experiences, lean on others for support, and learn from more experienced parents.

In conclusion, I believe that fostering a healthy self-esteem and sense of identity in a gifted child requires a balanced approach that prioritizes character and personal qualities, encourages exploration and self-discovery, and ensures plenty of support from family and community.

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