Let us begin this article by making one important point: Intelligence, true intelligence, is a notoriously difficult thing to measure. During his childhood, Thomas Edison passed on to his mother a note from his teacher, saying that his child was “addled” – an old-time word for “dumb.” Edison was many things, but dumb he was not. In fact, he was a truly gifted child. We need to understand that gifted children are not just “bright” – a highly subjective label. This is certainly the first step in understanding how to give them the help they need to succeed.
They sound like a professor
Gifted children often reach knowledge milestones much faster than average. Language skills, in particular, seem to come more naturally for children with gifts. An extensive vocabulary and speaking in complex sentences are two ways that a child may exhibit these skills.
They identify patterns
Pattern identification (e.g. a jigsaw puzzle or what time of day Mommy comes home) isn’t something too ubiquitous in little ones. Unless that is, your little one possesses a gifted-level intellect.
They love to read
Gifted kids, as mentioned earlier, have an insatiable curiosity. To satisfy this curiosity, they’ll read every book they can get their little mitts on. This sign is especially evident when something piques their interest.
They are talented
Gifted is just another word for “exceptionally talented.” Some kids are naturals at certain things, like sports, science, or the arts. Extreme talent is almost assuredly a sign of gifted intelligence.
They like to hang around older kids or adults
Gifted kids, because of their advanced intelligence, have difficulty relating to their peers. They may be misunderstood – or just plain bored. As such, they may seek out older kids, teachers, and other adults for stimulation.
They have excellent focus
Okay, so there is a caveat to this one. Most gifted kids have an exceptional ability to focus on the things that interest them. A gifted kid stuck in a boring classroom will quickly lose this ability, however.
As such, they might even be considered as having poor focus in a typical classroom setting.
They are mature
A gifted child can also have deep emotional intelligence. If you have a gifted child, they may shake their heads at the antics of their peers. Gifted children won’t pull too many pranks or get into (too much) mischief.
They are original
Being gifted and problem-solving often go together. Not only do these kids approach everyday problems differently, but they may also offer up suggestions on how to improve something.
They are leaders
Because of their maturity and uncanny ability to solve problems and think outside the box, some gifted kids show a remarkable aptitude for leadership. Of course, these skills are more evident when the child is in a desirable setting.
They don’t need directions
While some kids patiently wait for the parent or teacher to say how they want something done, gifted kids jump right into it and ask questions later. Or not ask questions at all, having figured things out on their own.