8 signs your kid is highly gifted, according to psychology

Does your kid seem a little bit too mature for their age? Do they find school boring? Do they ask you questions you have no answers to?

Well, the good news is that your kid may be highly gifted.

However, this also means that they may have very different needs from other kids their age.

Before you start learning the ins and outs of how to raise a gifted child, it’s vital that you’re familiar with all the signs that point toward giftedness so that you’re absolutely sure what you’re dealing with here.

Let’s jump right in!

1) Your kid asks deep questions from a very early age

It’s normal for children to ask questions about the world around them.

“Why is the sky blue?” and “Why do birds fly?” are amongst the hundreds of questions you might get from a typical four-year-old.

But gifted children go deeper than that. They don’t just quiz you about the physical conditions of our world; they may surprise you with quite deep and introspective philosophical questions you have no answers to.

“Why am I me? Would I still be me if I was born in a different body?”

This line of questioning reflects a gifted kid’s innate curiosity and desire to learn.

If you’re unsure of how to respond to your child’s questions, author on parenting, Barbara Klein Ph.D., Ed.D. offers a piece of advice: “Don’t tell a child they are too young to ask such questions, because they are not too young! Ask yourself, ‘Do I know the answer?’ It is OK not to know something.”

2) Your kid is unmotivated at school

You might think that gifted children naturally excel at school, but sometimes, the opposite is the case – many gifted kids find that there is a lack of challenge in schooling establishments, which leads them to give up on schoolwork out of boredom.

Your kid may often complain that they don’t see the point of specific assignments, struggle to complete their homework, or have a general distaste for school because they aren’t evolving at the pace suitable to them.

However, keep in mind that boredom isn’t the only reason some gifted children lack motivation.

Christopher Taibbi M.A.T., a gifted education specialist, says that parents sometimes confuse boredom with another underlying issue, such as perfectionism (your child wants to write a perfect essay because they hold themselves to a high standard, which makes it difficult for them to begin the task).

3) Your kid is a very quick learner

Of course, the reason many gifted kids get bored at school is that they possess what researchers refer to as a superior intelligence level.

Their high cognitive abilities allow them to pick up new skills quickly, integrate new information at a very efficient speed, and look for their own unique solutions to complex problems.

This also means that gifted kids usually need to be continuously challenged in order to thrive.

When they stagnate, they get bored, and when they get bored… bingo. They struggle with schoolwork, and their personal well-being may worsen as a result.

To challenge your child at home, try:

  • Paying attention to what interests them and providing options to dig deeper into the topic
  • Bonding with them over your own interests and work (this allows them to understand you better and enjoy some quality time with you)
  • Presenting them with new challenges and skills they haven’t yet mastered

4) Your kid can self-teach

The advantage of having a bright kid is that you’re not the only one who presents them with challenges – they can also comfortably do it on their own.

In other words, gifted children can self-teach, which means they explore their interests in their free time and pick up new skills with ease. 

Who needs an adult when you’ve got a manual, right?

I’ve even met a gifted kid who built her own curriculum outside of school so that she could pursue her intellectual passions at her own pace.

Endless curiosity paired up with high intellect can do wonders for one’s learning journey.

5) Your kid has an advanced vocabulary

A great way to tell whether you have a gifted kid is to pay extra attention to how they formulate their words.

Based on research, most gifted children “start speaking earlier than others and tend to have a more advanced vocabulary than their peers.” Even if they begin to speak later, they still possess a broad and expansive vocabulary that might shock even some adults.

Of course, this goes hand in hand with their desire to read as much material as possible.

Since they can comprehend abstract concepts and the subtleties and nuances of wordplay, gifted kids make for ferocious readers, be it fiction or nonfiction.

So, if you do have a gifted kid at home… you know what to do. Take them to the library.

6) Your kid has a vivid imagination

Gifted students have been shown to have a more active imagination, which is yet another reason why taking your kid to the library or a bookshop is an excellent idea.

This isn’t all that surprising when we consider that intelligence and creativity are interlinked. Thanks to higher cognitive abilities, we are better able to look for unique solutions and perspectives, which opens up our imagination and ability to express our inner worlds through art.

No matter what type of art your kid chooses – if any (imagination can be expressed through other means as well, such as logical problem-solving) – it’s great to encourage them in it because they’ll welcome the opportunity for authentic self-expression.

7) Your kid is highly emotional

When intellect soars high early on in someone’s development, emotional maturity follows.

As Barbara Klein Ph.D., Ed.D. says, “Gifted children are as sensitive as they are smart. Their feelings are intense.”

Therefore, it probably comes as no surprise that bright kids are at a greater risk of experiencing mental health issues. Not only do they experience the world more intensely but they may also find it difficult to socialize with their peers and feel a sense of belonging, which only isolates them further.

It’s very important that gifted children feel they belong somewhere and that they interact with people who entertain and challenge them on an intellectual, as well as an emotional, level.

This is also why giving your child free rein of their creativity may be very helpful – it can be through art that they express their rich emotional world.

8) Your kid has a good sense of humor

Not every funny kid has to be exceptionally bright and not every bright kid is inherently funny.

However, a good sense of humor can be a good indicator of giftedness if paired up with the other signs on this list.

According to studies, very intelligent children seem to like humor, cope by using humor, and understand humor mThis makes sense when you think about how witty and quick one has to be in order to get both linguistic and situational jokes.

So, if your kid makes you laugh all the time… it’s one of the eight signs that they are highly gifted.

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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