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Q:

My gifted child is struggling with their self-esteem, how can I help them build confidence?

Hi everyone,

I am a parent of a 9-year-old child who has been identified as gifted by their school. They are excelling academically and performing well in extracurricular activities, but I have noticed that their self-esteem seems to be suffering. They are often self-critical and doubt their abilities, which worries me.

I want to support my child in building their confidence and self-esteem, but I am not sure where to start. Are there any resources or strategies that you can suggest for parents of gifted children who are struggling in this area?

Thank you in advance for your help.

All Replies

lea11

Hello,

As a parent of a gifted child, I know that low self-esteem and underachievement is a common adaptation for many gifted students. One effective way we found to help our child build confidence was to teach him time-management and study skills, which led to an increased focus for him, and ultimately resulted in higher grades.

We involved our child in goal-setting and encouraged him to set realistic and achievable goals in relation to his interests and abilities. When he encountered difficulties, we offered guidance rather than criticism or offering unsolicited advice.

We also helped our child develop positive relationships with both his peers and adults. We encouraged his socialization with children with similar interests and offered opportunities for him to interact with people from different backgrounds.

We also identified extracurricular activities that enriched his learning experience, broadened his social horizons, and improved his self-image, like coding clubs, music lessons, and creative writing workshops.

Finally, we made certain to praise the "process" rather than the "outcome." We let him know we placed more importance on dedication, hard work, and perseverance, rather than solely academic performance.

These strategies helped our child gain a healthy sense of self-worth, and helped him develop interpersonal skills that will benefit him throughout his life.

I hope these tips help, and best of luck on your journey.

fritsch.betsy

Hi there,

As a parent of a gifted child, I know what it's like to struggle with low self-esteem. One thing that has worked positively for our child is to expose him to different opportunities and experiences that are outside of his comfort zone. This has helped him gain a sense of accomplishment, independence, and boosted his confidence.

It's vital to research and explore programs and opportunities outside the school system to provide a sense of challenge and achievement. In our case, we have sought collaborations with museums, university programs, and volunteer organizations that offer specialized programs for gifted children.

Practicing self-appreciation techniques like gratitude journals and positive affirmations is another practice that has helped our child. It helps him embrace his strengths and unique talents and helps him understand that everyone has their unique strengths.

We also utilize counseling and therapy services that offer specialized programs for gifted children to support our child in expressing his feelings and thoughts.

Finally, it's essential to keep the pressure off and maintain a healthy balance between school, extracurricular activities, friendships, and downtime. We allow our child time to relax, play, and explore his hobbies to reduce academic pressure and create room for self-exploration.

I hope you find these strategies relevant, and they work for your child too. Good luck on this journey!

yturner

Hey there!

I can understand your concerns as my daughter too exhibited low self-esteem despite being identified as gifted by her school. We too tried focusing on praising her efforts instead of just her abilities but it didn't seem to have lasting effects for her.

So, we started giving her more control and autonomy in her learning. We identified her interests and passions and provided her with opportunities to explore them. For instance, she expressed interest in movie-making and screenwriting. So, we provided her with the resources to make short films using her iPad, enrolled her in classes, and once she developed some proficiency and confidence, she presented one of her short films to her classroom.

Also, we encouraged her to make connections with other kids with similar interests. We found some online forums and meetups for gifted kids in our area, and she found a sense of belonging as she befriended peers who shared her interests.

Moreover, we encouraged her to try new challenging things that fascinated her but were outside her comfort zones, such as joining a debate team, taking ballet classes, and learning a new language. We emphasized the importance of risk-taking in her learning and that her giftedness wasn't handed to her, but rather a result of her hard work and dedication.

I hope this helps in finding ways to boost your child's self-esteem. It may take some time and experimentation to find the strategies that work best for your child, but don't let up. You got this!

wunsch.kacey

Hi everyone,

As a parent of a gifted child, I know firsthand the challenges of trying to boost their self-esteem. One strategy that we found particularly helpful was to educate ourselves about the characteristics of giftedness and how it affects our child's cognitive, emotional and social development.

We found that by gaining a deeper and more accurate understanding of our child's giftedness, we could listen and provide emotional support to our child more effectively, and help him to see himself in more positive ways.

Furthermore, allowing our child to express his emotions, needs and thoughts helped us make him feel safe enough to share his experiences, hopes, and struggles. We offered engaging options for him to explore his intellectual curiosities, allowing him to find joy and fulfillment.

Another helpful practice was to learn how to develop a growth mindset in our child. This has led our child to become more open to feedback, willing to take risks, and motivated to set goals.

Most importantly, we prioritized building a close and healthy relationship with our child. We made sure to listen, encourage, and praise him when necessary, and held him accountable when he made mistakes. When we do these things, we sowed the seeds of trust and respect and nurtured a strong, mutually beneficial relationship with our gifted child.

I hope that these personal experiences and strategies will help you build your child's self-esteem and self-worth. Remember that your child's strengths and weaknesses are part of what made them who they are, so embrace, appreciate and support them at all times.

irwin.feest

Hello,

I'm a parent of a gifted child too who has low self-esteem despite excelling academically. One thing that we tried to boost his confidence was to provide structure and routine in his daily routine, which helped him cope with his anxiety and self-doubt.

We also found that mindfulness practices like deep breathing and guided meditations helped him become more aware of his thoughts and feelings and cope with stress and self-doubt.

In addition, we ensured that our child has healthy relationships with family, peers, and teachers. We talked to his teachers to gain insight into his behavior and academic progress, and we provided feedback at home to ensure that our child has an accurate comprehension of his strengths and weaknesses.

Lastly, we emphasized the importance of using seeing difficult situations as learning opportunities and growth experiences. We structured our feedback in a way that highlights our appreciation of his efforts to learn, take risks, and show resilience even when he struggles.

During difficult times, we remind our child that failure is a stepping stone to success and that we are there to support him whenever he feels low.

These strategies have helped us immensely, and we hope they will be useful to other families too.

Best of luck!

nader.genesis

Hi there,

I can relate to your concern as my son is also identified as gifted but struggles with self-esteem issues. One strategy that has been helpful for us is to focus on praising effort and hard work rather than just innate abilities. We remind him that even if something doesn't come easy, it's important to keep trying and practicing.

Another thing that has helped improve his confidence is finding activities he enjoys outside of academics. For example, he started taking guitar lessons and has found a passion for it. Excelling in something outside of school has helped boost his self-image.

We've also tried to foster a growth mindset in him by encouraging him to view mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow, rather than as failures. This has helped him embrace challenges and not be afraid of trying new things.

Finally, we try to create an environment at home where it's safe to fail and make mistakes. We remind him that nobody is perfect and that we all make mistakes, and it's how we learn from them that matters.

I hope some of these strategies are helpful for you and your child. Good luck on this journey!

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