“My child is gifted” is a statement we hear occasionally in the admissions process with prospective families. Who among us doesn’t believe our kids are gifted? After all, God has bestowed upon each of us a set of gifts and talents to be used for His glory. Every one of our kids has a “particular set of skills.” Granted, in some cases, it seems the most apparent talents are things like balancing a textbook on a head or reciting the alphabet backwards. Still, we can find encouragement and purpose in 1 Peter 4:10-11:
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Still, in the realm of academia, what criteria are used to determine giftedness? I remember, as a boy, being placed in the “gifted and talented” group and feeling pretty good about myself. I have no idea what qualified me for such a designation. Perhaps it was grades; perhaps it was test scores. Neither of these, in isolation, are indicators of academic giftedness. I didn’t feel very gifted when I dropped calculus in college.
Often, parents diagnose their own kids as gifted due to strong grades, organization, and promptness. While these are three tremendous qualities, they do not, by themselves, meet the criteria for giftedness. As I hope you will read in the linked articles, a clear distinction exists between gifted children and bright children. Many are blind to these distinctions, and this can create misunderstanding and great frustration for parents, students, and staff. Often, those you may least suspect are actually the gifted ones! Please read the linked articles to gain an understanding of the distinctions that may provide helpful guidance as you parent for your children’s remaining school years and beyond.