Discover your child's gifts

How to nurture your child to excellence

There’s nothing more obvious to a parent than the news that their child is a gift. But the news that their child is “gifted” elicits a range of emotions in parents – from the obvious delight and pride to fear and confusion. 


So what is a gifted child? The boy who can recite his alphabet as early as 13 months? The girl who memorizes Shakespeare’s soliloquies at 5? Yes and yes, but today’s educators are looking beyond the Doogie Howser-esque idea most Americans have of gifted children.

Does your child love art?


The Gifted and Talented Students Act passed by Congress in 2007 notes, “Gifted and talented students give evidence of high performance capability in specific academic fields, or in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity, and require services or activities not ordinarily provided by a school in order to fully develop such capabilities. Gifted and talented students are from all cultural, racial, and ethnic backgrounds, and socioeconomic groups. Some such students have disabilities and for some, English is not their first language. Many students from such diverse backgrounds have been historically underrepresented in gifted education programs.”


In other words – gifted kids come in a myriad of packages.


“We have adopted a theory of multiple intelligences,” explains Amy Dworetsky, psychologist at Liberty Middle School. Essentially educators shy away from classifying children with the highest grades as “gifted,” instead focusing specifically on the areas where each student excels. Some kids are way ahead of the pack in reading and writing, others are bound to be musical or dabble in the arts.

How can my teen get involved in the arts?


With talents linked directly to intelligence, Dworetsky says she urges parents to recognize their children’s strengths and hone in on them.


“We look at any individual and what they can contribute to make the world a better place,” she explains. “You nurture each of their multiple gifts.”



Jeanne Sager is a mom to Jillian and writer and photographer from Callicoon Center.

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