Friday, March 26, 2010

Gifted Children and Leadership

Another way a gifted child can express their talents is through leadership. This isn’t just their ability to earn the respect or devotion of their peers (that may be part of it), but more like an inherent capability to assume responsibility long before other children of their own age are exhibiting the same capability.

We think a gifted child’s talent in leadership most likely comes from their own high expectations for themselves. Gifted children usually know that they are exceptional compared to other children and can automatically assume a leadership role in a situation, sometimes inappropriately (like assuming that they should be the team captain, or taking over a group situation even without designation).

Children gifted in the area of leadership will be confident in their abilities of expression, and sometimes supremely frustrated if others don’t “get them”. Despite the physical lack of maturity of their brains (see our previous post) they will tend to make good decisions and can foresee the consequences of their own actions and those around them, perhaps even better than some adults. They are self-confident and organized.

If you child expresses characteristics of leadership giftedness, provide them the structure and organization they crave. Encourage them in activities where they can express their leadership capabilities, but coach and communicate with them if others (coaches, teachers, band directors, other children) don’t see eye-to-eye with them. Keep an open dialog going with the other adult leaders in their lives, and never stop helping them identify ways of expressing themselves.

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