Hot answers tagged

64

Sounds like a common problem for gifted children: they finally reach a level where sitting back and coasting isn't enough, and having to actually put in some effort comes as a serious shock. Often the more gifted the child the worse this is, because greater talents merely put off the evil day and the resulting flameout is all the worse. At least this is ...


41

I would like to supplement Paul's answer a little by abstracting a little bit. The reason gifted children may have this behavior is because the adults near them praise them for how smart they are, not for tackling a difficult task they have trouble doing--even if they failed. Mainly because most of the time in early life they do not fail :) At the moment, I ...


25

First off, in terms of helping the child learn: Many/most schools have computer clubs. Encourage the child to inquire from other students, or ask the school professionals yourself. This will place the child with his peers developmentally, which is the biggest encouragement you can give. Talk to a computer teacher in the school if one exists. They may agree ...


23

(I'm going to focus on how to help her, rather than determining if she's gifted according to an external set of criteria.) Whether your daughter is considered "gifted" according to the person/methodology used to test this, go ahead & TREAT her as if she's gifted. In other words, do what you're doing now: spend time with her, help her find things she ...


23

Gifted kids have problems with approaching work in a disciplined manner because they don't experience a benefit in doing so. If you give a "normal" kid a "normal" math test, their level of preparation largely determines the outcome. This is a lesson they learn over and over in school. If you give a "gifted" kid a "normal" math test (and most gifted ones, ...


21

I meet people at local meetups. Where I live there are about three Python meetups a month. My experiences have been great: excellent programmers who just like to talk shop. While you will likely meet others at your skill level, you won't meet people at your age level. It will mostly be older people (e.g. college age or higher), but if the goal is to talk ...


15

I'm 15, and I had this same problem about a year ago. There's an awesome community called HS Hackers on Facebook. To call it lifechanging would be a gross understatement. Hackathons are the best way to meet other talented (and often young) programmers. Hackathons are basically coding marathons. The best event to go to would be a CodeDay. It's a 24 hour ...


14

It's most likely too early to tell. If you could tell, it would depend greatly on how she is learning the things she knows. Children's brains at that age have an extraordinary capacity for repeating things they observe, but mere remembering and repetition doesn't mean true understanding is happening. For example, if she is learning to read new words from ...


14

I'm a parent governor in a UK primary school, with a daughter just started reception and another daughter higher up the school, who was reading before she started reception (so I've been in a similar situation). I've been a school governor for about 4 years so I have a pretty good idea how British primary schools work. We're in England; from your profile ...


13

I'm not sure the difference between gifted or not is important to your actual question, which seems to be how to keep your girl learning and wanting to learn. Your primary concern, that she will be bored of school and hate going, happens even with non-gifted students. Right now, everything she learns is fun - like a game. Learning is "playing", and she ...


12

A couple of things to add to user3143's excellent answer: Tools. Tools are not a substitute for experience or knowledge, but every craftsman/woman appreciates good tools, and they are something that you as a non-programming parent can help with. Some of the best are free, but if the kid wants an IDE, library, program, etc that costs any reasonable amount of ...


10

Even good gifted programs (which are relatively rare in the US) still typically put kids in desks and expect them to sit and work in a fairly traditional way (except that they are allowed discussion with their peers a little more). This style of learning may not be a match for your child. A certain part of the population needs movement to process ...


10

I was "gifted." By the second grade, I was so bored with school that my teacher thought I was learning disabled! Fortunately, my school principal was wise. She tested me, then immediately skipped me to the next grade, then a few months later transferred me to the hardest teacher (the "mean" teacher, LOL). That helped a lot (for a few years, anyway -- ...


10

A lot of recent studies have linked procrastination with a poor ability to deal with "negative" emotions and impulsiveness. It's not poor planning or bad time-management; it's avoidance; it's an emotional defense mechanism. The fact that this teen is gifted probably has nothing to do with it, except that he'll probably be able to "get away with it" and ...


10

"Shield him from harmful thoughts he may express in prose"? Writing them down is absolutely not the problem here and I'm unsure what the issue is with him keeping his notes private. Most kids have kept journals, written stories etc. And in the main they are not for the consumption of anyone else. If this child is introverted and mathematical, this all seems ...


9

I do not want to say that you are out-of-luck, but you are pretty much out-of-luck. The issue is that most people around your age do not know those languages. In fact, most people around your age likely do not even know what most of them are. If you asked most 14-year olds what Vim or LaTeX is, many of them would have no clue at all. Some might know what ...


9

An aspect no one seems to have covered: Let him fail at something, once. I was in that situation. Coasted easily for a long time, could not deal with real difficult stuff once I got to it. In my case, until I failed seriously, I wouldn't accept that I had to work hard. The more parents would try to help/guide, the least I'd learn the lesson. Marks below ...


8

Well, don't discount the medical option, but it ought to be down the list, after you've investigated other options. In any case, that's a medical diagnosis only a doctor can make. I don't know how your son was labeled "gifted" or what that means in your locale, but it means nothing with respect to maturity, attention span, social skills, or any ADHD ...


8

Go to a hackerspace. They are everywhere in the world, and they are places where 'hackers' meet, in the sense of good-willing computer experts. It's mostly adults, but if you are lucky there are also some teens. There are plenty of projects to work on, such as programming software, 3D printers, soldering, etc. And other people can participate in your ...


8

I would comment but I don't have the rep for it, so this is getting posted as an answer. I just want to back up what Paul Johnson and Jeff Clark have said already. They're exactly right. I'm only 20 so I can probably give you a good perspective on what he's going through. I was "gifted" in school and always coasted along, but then senior year of high ...


7

The widely used WAIS intelligence test has a version for children that can be taken from the age of 2 and a half; any professional psychologist should be able to administer this test. Also, if there are no special schools for gifted children in your area, try to find a school that allows bright children to skip a year. It's a simple but apparently effective ...


6

Contact your local library. It is part of a library's mission to promote education, to facilitate knowledge creation, and to foster a sense of community. They run interest groups of all kinds, and if your local library is large enough, they will likely even have a tech guru of some kind on staff. If you can get a group started in the library, you have the ...


6

As a programmer and to some extent being 'that kid' myself I'd say that things like (cheap) embedded hardware kits such as the Raspberry Pi or Arduino are the way to go. These kits are usually quite cheap (the Pi is around $30 and is powered by a phone charger). Young programmers are not interested in getting a proper grasp of programming concepts like ...


6

Hear it from others Obviously, teenagers are typically deaf to wisdom from their parental figures. I suggest setting up situations for this young man to speak with gifted adults working in challenging fields that may interest him. Invite such individuals to dinner, and/or arrange for him (not you!) to set up an “informational interview” with such persons ...


6

As a former 'gifted teen', I figured I'd weigh in. In my (personal, biased) experience, the procrastination is the real problem here rather than an increase in the difficulty of tasks. So how do you break a procrastinator out of their habits? Encourage him to keep a planner/calendar for his deadlines and consult it daily. Try to get him to estimate the ...


6

Just to add to Timur Shtatlands great advice; Try to get gifted children to explore things which they normally would not try, for example, if the child really likes science, it is beneficial to encourage them to take up something in the arts, or a sport. Be patient, it might take a few tries before you find something they love, but this really helps ...


5

I was in gifted programs all through out school. My principal also had a large book filled up with all of our "meetings". He sent the book and I to the middle school on the last Monday of school, and told the principal I was his problem. The problem was really easy. I was bored. So I found ways of amusing myself. Most of the time this was at the ...


5

I was once in a similar position. I was a pre-teen who was eager to learn about programming and I was exhilarated by watching a computer execute commands as I instructed. I wasn't interested in web development, rather I was initially interested in quite the opposite: hacking/exploiting. Nonetheless, I believe my experience with learning to program will be ...


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