While gifted children have impressive smarts, that doesn't mean their drive to do schoolwork matches their intellectual abilities. People expect a lot from these kids, and often hold them to a higher standard than their average peers. This can make motivation an interesting paradigm. To help your gifted child self-motivate and reach for the best potential, try these tips:
Children are like sponges: They absorb everything around them and internalize the information as a set of values. The way parents behave and what they say can have a huge impact on a student's actions. You can help your child self-motivate by showing commitment. This means following through with planned actions. If you said you would take your children to the museum on Saturday, do so. For those enforcing new rules, make sure you provide punishment and rewards as promised. Your gifted child will learn the importance of saying what you mean and being committed, which will help when it comes to doing schoolwork.
Ask about school
Most parents ask their children, "How was school today?" This simple question isn't enough, as many kids reply with a one-word answer. Instead, dig deeper into your gifted child's daily educational life. Discuss what subjects are difficult for your child or which ones are fun and memorable. When a student has someone checking in at home, it's more likely the child will be proactive in class and put in more effort because of self-motivation.
Make learning interesting
As children age, their teachers often use real-life examples of news stories to show topics students learn about in class. For example, high schoolers may study immigration and scour CNN and other publications for news on the subject or stories that show foreign policy on traveling between countries. This helps bring on-paper, in-class learning into a real-life scenario that may be easier to understand.
Gifted students in particular are driven by interest, so see what your child is personally engrossed in and relate that topic to current events. Maybe your gifted student loves the weather. Take time each day to look at data like the temperature, dew point and Doppler radar for the following week. See if your gifted kid can use this information to predict what weather patterns will emerge. Your child may wake up every day excited to partake in this educational ritual and be self-motivated to learn more about meteorology.