Sarah was just two years old when her mother discovered she had a knack for playing the violin. By the age of four she was playing like a professional. At age six she started writing her own compositions. Now barely eight years old, she is a sought after violinist, and recently released her first album. Sarah is by no means your average child; rather, she is among the estimated 6% of children in the US who have been identified as being gifted. This is largely defined by their ability to master an adult activity at a very young age.
Gifted children are naturally very curious. In addition, they also very creative, quick learners, voracious readers, intuitive, emotionally sensitive, and have a tendency to be perfectionists.
Below are some tips that can be useful when parenting these children.
Provide support and encouragement. Parents must make every effort to encourage their abilities, and satisfy their quest for knowledge. Some parents opt to home school their gifted kids. This is because they are academically advanced, and the normal school system does not provide the stimulation they need. As a result, they become easily bored. In order to perform at the highest level, they must be challenged. Holding them back can prove very detrimental.
There are cases of persons whose gifts were not unearthed until very late in life, because at an early age, they were not in an environment that provided stimulation.
Ensure that they understand that their gift does not define who they are. Help them to recognize that their gift relates to a talent or ability, it is something they can do, not who they are. While it is a very important part of their persona, there are many other things that they are capable of doing. Therefore, it is a good idea to help them develop other interests, and take part in additional activities.
Do not neglect discipline. There is sometimes the temptation for parents to be so overawed by the gift, that rules of conduct are neglected. There is also the tendency to treat these children as equals, due to their above average intelligence, and ability to comprehend and reason at an adult level. However, the gifted child must be made to understand that despite their amazing abilities, they are still children in need of guidance and direction. Consequently, very clear standards of discipline must be set.
If there are other children in the home, maintain a balance. Never focus all your attention on the gifted child and neglect the others. This is vital, as they can be very demanding, and tend to be more intense, thereby requiring more attention. Ensure that they understand and appreciate the fact that, there are other members of the family, whose needs are equally important.
While parenting your gifted child ensure that you enjoy their gift, communicate openly, and encourage them. Perhaps one of the key things is to help them to focus not only on performing exceptionally, but also, on learning as much as possible. Ensure that they learn to interact with others, and get pleasure from the gift they have been given.
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Role modeling is one of the most important roles you will ever take on in your life. From the day your baby is born, they are watching you for cues. They want to know how to handle different situations in life, when to do what, and what is appropriate. They base their sense of normalcy on what they see and hear you do. It does not matter whether you set a good example or bad, they know no different. They learn through you becomes their sense of normal.
Now, how do early childhood music programs fit into this picture? They fit in perfectly, because they give you the opportunity to role model positive behaviors to your child. Following is a brief explanation of some positive behaviors and thought patterns that you can instill in your child just by taking them to early childhood music programs.
There has been a lot of controversy in recent years over how babies are taught to go to sleep, calm down from a temper tantrum, and handle minor disappointments that are a natural part of life. Some parents believe in the “let them cry” method, where babies simply allowed to cry until they end up going to sleep, calming down, or getting over their disappointment on their own. Other parents believe that letting them cry is a form of abuse, and think that it is the parent’s job to soothe the baby back to sleep, help them calm down, or talk with them through the frustration of disappointment.
There is a third alternative here: teach children how to soothe themselves in an appropriate manner. This requires some hands-on attention from parents, but eventually leads to the child being able to control their sleep patterns and emotions independently. You can start modeling this through early childhood music programs, if you teach your child to use music as a form of soothing.
Learn through the lessons at your music class, and then start soothing your child through music. Hum to them or sing them a very soft lullaby. Rock side to side with them. Sit next to them and pat them, so their body’s bounce to a slow beat. This starts to teach them how to soothe and calm through music. They may later hum or sing to themselves, listen to music, or rock and bounce when they are upset or want to sleep.
Freedom of Movement
So many people feel self-conscious when it comes to dancing and other forms of free movement. We were all given these bodies for the purpose of moving, and that is what they should be doing every single day! If you want to teach your children that it is perfectly fine to be happy, to dance, and to move around freely, then you have to do so yourself. You have to show them through music class that this type of free movement is fun and exciting. This makes it feel normal to them.
There are so many other things that you can model for your child during a music class. From sharing the instruments to soothing another child when they cry, look for the lessons in life and they will present themselves. As you respond to those opportunities, remember who is watching.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Stephanie_Zhang