Recognizing Gifted Children

General Signs of Gifted Children

We all go through many stages of development in different areas. Generally, development is not uniform in each area. Some children will walk without crawling.  Others will talk in full sentences, completely skipping the two-word stage. Because of this unequal development, your child may appear gifted in one area and not in others. Most gifted children exhibit advancement in only one area. In order to differentiate between the normal and advanced development of your child, look for your child to do the following things:

  • Express a lot of creativity.
  • Move toward people and have a positive attitude about others.
  • Invent novel forms of play.
  • Remain calm unless agitated.
  • Appear bossy and controlling of others when things aren’t how they should be.
  • Possess a pleasant personality.
  • Persist in completing something they started.
  • Demonstrate selective attention.
  • View mistakes as part of the learning experience.
  • Show an early appearance of a form of intelligence.
  • Become somewhat perfectionistic.
  • Work through problems. Obstacles are seen as challenges, not insurmountable problems.
  • Maintain a high concentration level.


Having a gifted child can be exciting but comes with disadvantages. A common problem with gifted children is that they become perfectionistic. According to Megan Legas, Assistant Director of Knowledge Gain, an accelerated learning center in Orem, Utah, children may quit trying because they fear not being able to achieve perfection which is what they consider acceptable. Mixed in with that fear is the fear that others accept them due to their performance level only, and not on who they are inside. If their performance level drops, so will their friends. By encouraging your child’s efforts, rather than praising his accomplishments, he will learn to look for self-gratification instead of approval from others.

Your child may also become a social misfit if too much emphasis is placed on her achievements. These accomplishments become more important than relationships with others. Because so much time is spent developing the gifted area, social skills are often overlooked.  As a parent, it is vital to provide your child with opportunities for social exposure and to teach your child appropriate behaviors for social situations.

Let your child progress comfortably at a rate that he initiates. Pushing your child to advance too quickly may actually cause damage to your child. Your child’s self-concept may become distorted, and the development in the gifted area may slow down when forced. By expressing love to your child and showing confidence in him, you will raise a smart and happy child.