Parents' Guide to Raising a Gifted Child

by James Alvino

Parents' Guide to Raising a Gifted Child Essay - Critical Essays

Parents’ Guide to Raising a Gifted Child

This book is a compilation of articles, parenting advice, and activities gleaned from the pages of the GIFTED CHILDREN NEWSLETTER (now called GIFTED CHILDREN MONTHLY). James Alvino, publisher and editor-in-chief of this highly acclaimed monthly magazine, provides parents with a basis for evaluating their children for giftedness. He presents a list of characteristics to look for in the areas of general intellectual ability, leadership, and creativity. He further examines giftedness in special populations, such as handicapped and minority children--an often neglected segment of the school-age population in terms of evaluation for giftedness.

Once identification has been made, providing the proper educational and enriching experiences becomes important. Parents must play a positive and active role in determining whether the school system, public or private, is providing adequate learning experiences for their children. Recommendations of what to look for in the classroom experience are provided. In addition, Alvino suggests many at-home activities to develop critical thinking skills, encourage creative writing, and challenge mathematical ability. These activities provide a channel for encouraging communication between parent and child as well as imparting important skills in an entertaining and unstructured manner.

Alvino devotes two chapters to counseling and trouble-shooting. These sections will be particularly helpful to parents, especially the discussion on depression and suicide. Gifted children are usually more sensitive to personal and societal problems and can perceive life as a series of disappointments and insoluble situations. These feelings of fruitlessness, coupled with the usual trials of adolescent development, can lead a young person to suicide.

Finally, there is a very good section on resources for parents and children. This section presents recommendations on educational games (including computer software), reading lists broken down by age, and a selected bibliography for parents for further reading in areas of interest.