Bright vs. Gifted Children

Bright vs. gifted children: There is a difference, but it can take some time to know which category your child falls into. Is your child gifted or simply very intelligent? The answer usually involves finding out if your child has a particular talent.

Learning Characteristics of Gifted Children
Though there are no clear-cut rules that determine which child is gifted and which child is bright, there are certain things that set a gifted child apart from a bright child. A gifted child takes things a bright child does to the next level. A bright child knows the answers and answers the questions, but a gifted child will ask the questions and question the answers. A gifted child is very curious about things, while a bright child may only show some interest in the subject at hand.

Watch how your child pays attention. A bright child pays attention, but a gifted child gets involved in what you are showing her, both mentally and physically. A gifted child may seem inattentive, but will still get good grades and test scores. The bright child learns easily, but a gifted child often knows the answers without having to learn the subject matter. The gifted child is good at guessing the answer if she doesn't know it, while the bright child is good at memorizing.

Social Behavior
Socially, a gifted child prefers to communicate with adults or older children, while a bright child prefers and enjoys peers of the same age. A bright child is also satisfied he gets the right answer, while a gifted child is a perfectionist and is very self-critical. This can lead to behavioral problems in school. Gifted children can be antisocial or even introverted.

Because a gifted child is often extremely self-critical, she may not turn in a homework assignment because she fears the evaluation of the project. Gifted children may underachieve or get poor grades if they refuse to complete assignments because of this fear.

Seeking Evaluation
Determining which child is gifted and which child is bright is difficult, but testing and evaluation of how the child interacts with peers, how he responds to questions and how he reacts to classroom situations are good indicators. If you think your child meets any of these criteria, you should have him tested for placement in a gifted program, not just honors classes at school. Gifted programs teach the children how to deal with the social and self-esteem aspects of being gifted while challenging their minds with advanced schoolwork.

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