Lack of proper encouragement may result in
underachievement in gifted children. Read on to know about some of the causes
of underachievement in gifted children.
Teachers and parents of gifted children are often surprised
when they realise that their child is an underachiever in school.
Underachievement in gifted children is something that parents must understand
and try to correct as soon as possible. It is not something that is easy to
reverse. It is particularly hard to reverse if left unattended for too long.
children who are a little older may not be academically brilliant but
easily achieve a lot outside of school. For example, a fourteen year-old gifted
student may be an average performer in school, but may have performed
brilliantly for her school sports team.
Clearly, such children cannot be categorised as gifted underachievers. They do
excel at certain things and are not necessarily studies. They are self
confident and have high self esteem. The crucial decision parents of such
children must take is whether to try and reverse the underachievement in school
or to encourage the child to use the skills she possesses to excel outside of
Reasons for Underachievement
in Gifted Children
What are some of the known reasons for underachievement in
Gifted children are intellectually far superior to their
peers. In case such children are not intellectually challenged, they simply
stop learning or caring about school and academics. These children need to be
educated at an advanced level. However, most schools do not offer specialised
gifted learning curriculum in the primary stage.
It is crucial for gifted children to interact with people
who can match their intellectual ability. Parents must encourage the child and
provide her with a range of experiences on the subject of her interest. This
may include videos, books, games, trips, competitions, subscription to
magazines and visiting museums. Interacting with specialists in the field of
the childâ€™s special interest can also be very useful.
Gifted children often feel left out when in a group. They do
not have much in common with their peers and find it difficult to establish
social relationships with them. Most gifted children prefer to be loners, which
is the prime cause of depression
in such children. Like normal children other factors too can cause depression
in these children like the death of a family member or parents' divorce.
Being alone most of the time such children do not have
anyone to talk to about their innermost fears and concerns. Depression can
interfere with the performance of the child for which medical assistance must
be sought promptly.
Praise and Motivation
One thing which motivates all children is praise.
Praise is the best reward to make children excel in anything be it academics or
sports. In case of super intelligent children in addition to praise, self motivation
is also important. However, if the specially gifted child is not challenged
intellectually the question of self motivation does not arise. Hence, it is
very important to engage the child in something which suits her special
ability. The simplest of things which parents or educators can do in this
regard is to provide advanced study
material of a higher class to the child.
Often underachieving children may not excel in studies but may possess other
special abilities and talents. They may be excellent beauticians, artists or
mechanics. Such children must be encouraged to pursue the field of interest
about which they are passionate. Parents must understand that formal academics
is only one of the fields in which children can excel. They can be super
achievers in a variety of other subjects outside academics also.