Gifted Child Characteristics

  • Cognitve
  • Creative
  • Affective
  • Behavioral
  • Hidden Gifts

Every parent thinks their child is special, and they are. But there are children who are exceptionally special. How do you know if your child is gifted? What sets them apart from other children? Below we will discuss 5 characteristics of a gifted child in 5 different areas in depth, helping you to understand if your child is a little different than others so that you may foster that child's strengths and help them become the best they can be.

1. Cognitive

Even at the youngest of ages, gifted children tend to have an interest in problem-solving and a keen power of abstraction. Gifted children typically start reading at an early age and also have a larger-than-normal vocabulary for their age. They tend to be intellectually curious, persistent, and capable of critical thinking. They may be "natural-born"; skeptics and don't take much at face-value; they will always want to know more. Gifted kids work well independently and may seem to be able to find solutions to problems quicker and easier than other children.

2. Creative

According to the National Association for Gifted Children, creative characteristics of a gifted child could include (but are not limited to) inventiveness, creativeness, a strong ability to fantasize or imagine, intuitiveness, and having a keen sense of humor. They may be independent when it comes to their attitude about social behaviors, not caring what the "social norm" is. They tend to not have a desire to "follow the crowd." These kinds of children tend to have a strong moral commitment to things they care about most.

3. Affective

Typically, gifted kids are emotionally more mature than others their age. They have an unusually intense emotional depth and have an extreme sense of empathy and sensitivity towards others and their feelings. These kinds of children can easily become frustrated because they have high moral expectations of themselves and others. Gifted children may be more easily wounded than others and need more emotional support. They also typically have a strong sense of justice and are idealists.

4. Behavioral

Gifted children are usually very enthusiastic about things, especially topics that they are particularly interested in. They may want to learn everything about that topic and are more excited about it than what is considered "normal." They tend to need less sleep or down time than other children, but may also be easily frustrated and have a volatile temper. They may have multiple interests and have strong determinations in areas which they deem important.

5. Hidden Gifts

Not every gifted child has every single one of the traits listed above. Sometimes gifted children may lack in certain areas, but are exceptional in others. Maybe a young child does not start reading early or does have a large vocabulary for example, but may be emotionally and behaviorally more mature for their age. Gifted children who are natural perfectionists may seem slower than other kids, but only because they are working more carefully and methodically than others. It's important to look at each individual trait versus looking at them as a whole.

The characteristics of a gifted child can vary greatly, but usually appear as you notice your child may be "different" than other children. If you suspect your child may be even in the least bit gifted, it's important to speak with your doctor or other profession; especially since some of these signs can appear as early as infancy. This informative list of characteristics will help guide you on deciding whether you believe your child is gifted or not.

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