Is Your Child Gifted or Just Bright?

December 11, 2015 0 Comments

Is your child gifted or just bright?

Every parent is tempted to look for signs of giftedness in a child. There may be instances when you think that your child has extraordinary abilities in a particular field. Maybe he or she is able to memorize musical compositions quickly or show numerical ability which is beyond his or her age. Granted that we are biased towards the abilities of our children, but what if they really are gifted? If they are not identified at a young age, aren't you depriving them of the intellectual support system they require?

Gifted vs. Bright 

Intelligence is a generalized term which is used to describe mental ability. The popular adage “everybody is special” also applies to how people identify, approach and solve their problems. Therefore, it is absolutely normal for a child to be gifted in one area, but show diminished ability in other activities. Now, there are examinations which measure intellectual ability. Tests like the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI) and the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) are commonly used to test giftedness amongst children. These tests look at each area of mental ability of a child to find out if they require special training to develop their individual abilities.

The Distinctions Between a Bright Child and a Gifted One

One of the greatest arguments in child psychology is how much of a child is affected by their genetic makeup (or nature) and how much is affected by the environment and experiences (or nurture). Most people however, agree that people are affected by both, their natural predisposition

and the support system they have available. Identifying giftedness, therefore, requires careful consideration of both aspects.

Popularly, bright children are identified as those who rank at the top of their class at all times. However, some gifted children may not succeed in the classroom because they may have a different learning style or need to learn at a more rapid or slower pace. But if your child shows any of the following abilities, you should consider testing him or her for giftedness:

  • High level of curiosity: Gifted children may be more curious about everything they see and hear. To seek out information, they ask more questions and look for thorough, knowledgeable answers, or they search for answers by themselves. Some may be very experimental and observant, engaging in solitary activities like reading as compared to social activities like playing with children of their age.
  • Highly developed vocabulary: Children who are gifted in vocabulary use complex sentences while being grammatically correct. Some may even talk quickly and get frustrated when others are not able to keep up.
  • Focused areas of attention: Certain children feel drawn towards certain fields or topics and actively seek out knowledge about it on their own. They can be interested in anything from space to dinosaurs, and you might notice times when they show a much deeper understanding of the world than what you expect.

    Is your child gifted?

In the end, there is no way to say for sure without taking a test. If your child is gifted, you will need to be counseled on the ways you can help foster your child's intellectual ability. And if he or she is not gifted, it's absolutely fine!Bright children are absolutely wonderful and are just as capable of handling their problems as any gifted child!