We’ve all heard of children who were reading at age three and discussing university studies at age five. You might even be the parent of an advanced child like this. What most parents wonder, however, is why one child seems to be so intelligent and others don’t. What makes the difference?
Why does someone else’s child seem smarter and more advanced than yours? If every child is gifted, why are some more gifted than others?
These are very valid questions. Everyone is unique, you already know this, but it applies to talents and gifts, as well as looks and interests. Your child is a special human being, uniquely himself. No one else will ever be exactly like him. So, it’s unreasonable to expect your child to be exactly like another in terms of gifts and intelligence.
Different Types of Gifts
The first thing to realize is there’s no one size fits all description of a gifted child. Yes, traits of gifted children tend to be similar, but that doesn’t mean your child has the same gift as another.
What do you think of when you think of giftedness? Probably music, art, sport, or math, as these are the more commonly reported on gifts. However, there are plenty of others that may not be nearly as obvious.
Perhaps your child has the gift of compassion. This can actually look like a lack of talent, simply because the child strives to help others and encourage them to succeed while appearing to do little or nothing himself. This is a very powerful gift, however. Mother Teresa had the gift of compassion.
Or, maybe your child has the gift of persuasion. A preschooler who can turn your words around and make them work for himself is usually considered sassy or naughty . . . but this is actually a gift that can be very useful later in life. Children with this gift may become lawyers, writer, or public speakers when they are older.
Another gift that is rarely noticed is the gift of teaching. A child who can explain or show someone how to do something in a way that makes sense to that person has a tremendous gift. Again, you may not even realize that your little one is gifted until years later, when you’ve already lost the chance to nurture this gift.
Pay attention to your little one and you might be surprised at the gifts that show up. While every child is gifted, it may just be that their gift is something you never noticed because it’s so subtle.
Different Levels of Brilliance
Not every child is the next Michelangelo or Beethoven. While gifts exist in each child, they need to be nourished and cared for in order to work. Some children have to work harder than others in order to reach the same level . . . and that’s okay.
What might come very easily to one person can be difficult, yet achievable for another. If your child has to work just a little harder in order to reach those same heights that someone else reaches easily, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. These children will learn to focus on what they want and work toward it and will help them to develop their hidden talent later in life.
Some children may appear brighter simply because their gifts are more obvious. That doesn’t mean you should give up on your own child, though! It just might take a little more digging than anticipated.