A gifted ‘spark’ means your child could benefit from the structure of a chore chart.
Society may be obsessed with the idea of child prodigies.
Movies, T.V. shows and pop culture, in general, have made it seem that daily routine is a breeze to a child prodigy! And these moments only reinforce that our favourite television shows are fiction.
In reality, there are many young people who fall into this category, and as parents, it’s exciting to hear that their kids are “bright”, “talented”, or “special”.
Keep in mind that being a “gifted” kid and raising them is not free of challenges.
This idea of being gifted stems from the idea that some children process thought differently than their peers. Or like many adults even, see the world through a different lens, which may need different attention.
In this article, we will discuss how this ‘spark’ we might see in our child can benefit from the structure of a chore chart.
Understanding the Meaning of “Gifted”
First and foremost, we need to clear the air on the term “gifted”. It’s not a bad label in itself, but it’s often used in a very narrow-minded and non-inclusive context.
We typically use “gifted” to describe kids (and adults) who display exceptional academic ability. We see the gifted as “bookworms”, the straight-A students who seem to ace tests without studying.
But heightened intellectual/academic ability is just one form of giftedness. Your child can be:
- Athletically gifted
- Artistically gifted
- Verbally gifted
- Musically gifted
- Mechanically gifted
- Socially gifted
To expand on this variability is the concept of multiple intelligences.
Naturalist intelligence – Outdoorsy, adventurous kids who thrive doing nature-oriented activities.
Musical-rhythmic intelligence – Musical kids who can sing, play instruments and/or rap with ease.
Logical-mathematical intelligence – Kids who are good with numbers and codes, perhaps the aspiring tech wizards.
Interpersonal intelligence – Socially adept kids who can carry conversations and empathize with others at a level beyond their age.
Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence – Athletically-inclined kids who are marvels on the court, field or rink.
Verbal-linguistic intelligence – Children who are great with words and can string together stories, poems or jokes with their eyes closed.
Intrapersonal intelligence- Kids who have an uncanny sense of themselves and the ability to express what they feel.
Visual-spatial intelligence – Those who dazzle their friends and family with their drawing, photography or map-reading skills.
As you can see, “giftedness” can assume various forms.
Keep in mind too, that kids who possess these skills may be gifted in these areas not because of genes or natural ability!
Hard work. It takes 10,000 hours of practice to master something (although some debate this theory), and many kids who are talented got that way because of their effort and grit, along with their natural passion, rather than their natural “giftedness”.
The Challenges of Being Gifted
Some kids who are born with certain aptitudes may have certain temperaments. There are other children who work hard and become talented at things as a result of challenging personalities. Nevertheless, gifted kids, like any other child, may have certain difficulties that need your support.
Challenges that Come With Raising Gifted Kids
- Special needs and inconsistent performance – Gifted children often exhibit what’s known as asynchronous development. In other words, they’re very capable in some areas but lagging behind in other aspects. For example, they might be very good at math and science but struggle with reading or socializing. Or they might be verbally talented but struggle with their motor skills.
- Emotional and behavioural challenges – Kids with unique gifts are often under a lot of pressure to meet certain standards, and this can lead to anxiety, perfectionism and other unhealthy thought patterns. Also, some kids may be overly competitive or impatient with peers who have similar or fewer abilities. It goes without saying that these attitudes can make them prone to unacceptable social behaviour in public, at home or in school.
- Parental exhaustion – Raising a child with exceptional talent is exciting but it can be exhausting. The extra care you might need to give them can be challenging after long days at work. And if such a kid is more argumentative or resistant to habits and routines, it will take extra effort to rear them.
How a Chore Chart Can Facilitate Your Child’s Talent
Fortunately, the challenges of raising talented children can be reduced with daily routines and chore charts to keep them on track. Gifted kids tend to struggle with balancing their interests, responsibilities, chores, and self-care routines. They may need more reminders, prompts and discipline to complete the tasks you assign them. Here’s how establishing daily routines and chore charts can help.
A Chore Chart Can Help Them Fully Express their abilities
Many kids who are gifted have what we call “raw talent” but may seem unfocused.
They may excel at sports, music, academics or other things without strenuous effort. However, this will only take them so far since a harder working child can surpass them.
They need to structure their activities by creating daily routines. A daily routine will allow them to set goals for the skills they need to develop, establish a timeline to do so, and make it easier to track them.
A chore chart serves as a visual prompt/reminder to keep these routines in check.
You can work with your kids to set specific days when they will practice their activity. For example, if your kid is a musician, you can put a “practice instrument” reminder on three days of the week.
This will give them a sense of structure, encouraging them to practice their instrument regularly and keep track of their progress, which is necessary for the mastery of their skill.
Reinforce and practice “lagging” skill sets
Remember, kids who excel in one or many areas are likely to fall behind in others. This could be the result of biological/neurological deficits or simply spending too much developing one skill over another.
You can use a chore chart to establish new routines that will help strengthen their weak points.
For kids who simply need reminders to complete tasks, a chore chart filled with reminder stickers may be all they need to prompt them to do the chores or self-care habits they forget.
Gives you some breathing room as a parent
Half the battle of getting kids to do their chores is to remind them.
Again, this can be quite exhausting. With a chore chart in front of them, your kids will have an interactive and visual prompt as a reminder, making them just as accountable to get their chores done.
You will still have to monitor their progress. But you can step back a bit and allow your child a chance to plan.
No Child is Too Gifted for a Daily Routine or Chores
Regardless of the amazing things your kids can do, they’re not above daily routines and chores. In fact, they might need more structure to help them balance the inclinations they have towards doing what they’re good at versus what they need to learn to become responsible adults. Establishing a daily routine and using a chore chart can take the pressure off of them and yourself so that this balancing act becomes less challenging. In the end, you’ll be the proud parent of not only a talented child but a well-rounded one.