The Problem with Gifted Children

A gifted child bears a burden I would not wish to bear. If someone succeeds at everything from an early age, they will always be expected to succeed; by others and by themselves. Being gifted bears more of a margin for failure. I don’t want to say set your expectations low and then when your child succeeds you will be pleasantly surprised but I would also not advise setting your expectations of a gifted child at such a threshold that is not feasible for continuous achievement and as a result, see “failure.” A gifted child who succeeds at making a perfect score on a test without having to bother to study for it would attribute their success to their “gift.” They may becoming falsely secure in their abilities and gain a sense of invincibility of sorts. When a child experiences levels of success without effort exerted and then suddenly are unable to perform on these levels of expertise, the child can experience a very traumatic side effect from their newly found “failure.” What happens when these children who are considered gifted throughout life from family, friends, teachers and community move further and further up the ladder and come to point where everyone is gifted? They make it all the way up from jumping grades in school, to graduating early, to gaining college credits, to receiving a degree, to another degree, to awards, to recognition, to the Nobel Prize, to… where do they go now? On a level of prestige of this degree you are among others who are gifted. What sets the gifted person apart from others who are gifted? At some point along the way, one must realize that those gifts you were born with can no longer help you succeed in life. You must also work hard to become truly successful. You may make millions off of your talents but the amount of compensation you have received does not in any way reflect the character of the person. If you are not a kind, caring, hard working person who strives for excellence beyond what has been handed to you then you are no one.

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