GREAT EXPECTATIONS: St Mary’s teacher Sue Stevens.
GREAT EXPECTATIONS: St Mary’s teacher Sue Stevens. David Nielsen

It's not so easy with gifted kids

MOST people would assume having an intellectually gifted child would make life easier.

However according to mother of three, Sue Stevens, life with gifted children can be a struggle for any parent.

"Parents of any child who experiences an exception from the norm face additional difficulties, even if the exceptionality the child exhibits is advanced development," Mrs Stevens said.

"I didn't know my kids were gifted, when my first son was reading at two I didn't think anything of it.

"Parenting books, magazines and courses generally prepare parents for a child who reaches milestones at the expected times, but a child who is developmentally advanced poses significant challenges for parents."

Mrs Stevens said the Queensland Association for Gifted and Talented Children (QAGTC) helped her and husband Tony to understand how to cope with their children.

The maths and science teacher will be hosting the first of three QAGTC parent information sessions called Introduction to Gifted on August 11 to help other parents going through the same challenges she did.

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"The information sessions are for parents to come and talk about their kids because it's almost shameful in society to have a gifted child," she said.

"It will be a place you can relax and no one is going to say anything negative."

The Stevens family said they were unsure how to keep their children engaged throughout their schooling years.

"I was overwhelmed by my first child and felt grossly inadequate as a mother until I found out that my struggles were more to do with my child being gifted than my shortcomings in parenting skills," Mrs Stevens said.

"It sounds like a great advantage having a gifted child but it's actually quite hard.

"We had to constantly challenge our kids intellectually, as soon as they got home from school they would be asking for more questions.

"The loneliness was also an issue - gifted children often find it hard to relate to other children in their grade and there were no other parents to talk to about it either."

The information session will be at 7.30pm at Ipswich Grammar School in the Earle Williams Literacy Centre.

For more, phone 3343 2388 or see qagtc.org.au



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