Parenting and Teaching a Gifted Toddler

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Once a parent realizes that their toddler is gifted, panic often sets in. As the child recites the scientific names for all the plants she sees, or uses foam blocks to create accurate reproductions of castles he has visited in Europe, a parent may wonder, “How am I ever going to keep up?”

GHF Bloggers have shared these moments of amazement, wonder, and stunned silence. And now they share their experiences with you. How did they approach parenting and teaching these unique minds? What preconceived notions of parenting and teaching did they toss aside? What were some of their greatest successes? How can you create a supportive environment for exploration, discovery, and plain ol’ fun?

parenting gifted toddlerThe Good, The Bad, & The Ugly of Gifted Toddlers ~ The Fringy Bit (Heather Boorman)

This gifted stuff doesn’t start at school age. Our intensely curious, intensely witty, intensely emotional and intensely creative kids start these things early. Which, like everything gifted, has its good points and its not-so-good points.



parenting gifted toddlerMama, Step Away from the Flashcards. That Gifted Toddler Just Needs You ~ Not So Formulaic (Ginny Kochis)

Mama, you have a child, not a specimen. There is a reason this child has been given to you. Flashcards, classes, testing, and enrichment experiences don’t matter. What does?

Your love, your presence, and your receptivity.

Your willingness to cherish and follow her lead.

parenting gifted toddlersMy Younger Mama Self ~ My Twice-Baked Potato (Kelly Hirt)

I was older than most when I became a mama. I thought that all those years of watching others and teaching primary students would prepare me. It didn’t.

Instead, I remember the early years as confusing.

I didn’t understand why my son wasn’t progressing the way I had expected. His growing & changing was accelerated compared to my parenting books.


parenting gifted toddlersNurturing Your Gifted Toddler ~ Raising Lifelong Learners (Colleen Kessler)

Parenting young gifted children can so often be fraught with uncertainty. Should I push her? What if I don’t give him what he needs? Do I need to get her tested? How do I know for sure? Here’s the thing: you DO know. You’re an amazing, insightful, and perfect parent for the little guy or gal in front of you. Nurturing a gifted toddler is an adventure… and here’s a roadmap to help you along the way.


parenting gifted toddlerThe One Thing I Wish I Had as a Parent of a Gifted Toddler ~ Free Learning (Julie Uzelac Schneider)

Because parenting only nominally gets easier as your children grow into independence. Your gifted toddler will not out-grow his or her giftedness. He might outgrow his toys. She’ll need new books. But the je ne sais quoi that simultaneously accounts for their brilliance and their challenges will remain. You will have to be well-cared-for so you can care for them day in and day out, year after year. Here are some ideas about how to do that for yourself…


parenting gifted toddlerSurviving the Toddler Days – 2e Style ~ BJ’s Homeschool (Betsy Sproger)

Our 2e daughter came to us not yet walking…..But once in our home and free to explore and test her self, she became VERY active, our little monkey. Jumping all over the couch, doing hand stands and ALWAYS wanting to be upside down. How could we keep our home from becoming up side down, too?




parenting gifted toddlersWhen “Let Them Play” Doesn’t Apply. ~ Homeschooling 2e (Mary Paul)

Chances are you’ve already heard this comment. Toddlers shouldn’t be doing schoolwork, right? Well, it depends on the kid. And the schoolwork. What do you do if your child really wants to do school but they’re still in diapers? Follow their lead, of course!



Resources for Educating Your Gifted Toddler

gifted resources

Giftedness is not just test scores or academic achievement. It’s not all difficulties, either. Jokes about duct tape and soundproof closets aside, it can be helpful to understand what your child is feeling, how they are developing, and what they were thinking when they asked that unusual question or performed that dangerous experiment alone out in the shed (and how do you explain the damage to your neighbors?). After all, not all children are gifted and  all gifted children do not learn alike. These kids are asynchronous, intense, and endlessly fascinating to live with. Sometimes their giftedness may be easy to communicate to others in the community, but sometimes it’s hidden by twice exceptional (2e) issues or by the expanded complexity of race and culture (Gifted Cubed).  Additional resources here give some perspective to those of us raising such children and reassure us that we are not alone.

gifted resources



Don’t miss these topical books from GHF Press:

educating your gifted childEducating Your Gifted Child: How One Public School Teacher Embraced Homeschooling

by Celi Trépanier

What would make a dedicated public school teacher decide to homeschool her own children? In her new book, Educating Your Gifted Child: How One Public School Teacher Embraced Homeschooling, Celi Trépanier (Crushing Tall Poppies) shares her journey from a top teacher in traditional schools to a disillusioned parent struggling to get an appropriate and challenging education for her gifted sons. How is the current educational system failing our gifted and twice-exceptional students? How can parents fight for the education their children need and deserve? What options do parents and their gifted children have? Celi addresses these concerns and more in Educating Your Gifted Child.

work and homeschool

How to Work and Homeschool: Practical Advice, Tips, and Strategies from ParentsIf This is a Gift, Can I Send it Back?: Surviving in the Land of the Gifted and Twice-Exceptional

by Pamela Price

Do you want to homeschool, but you need to keep working? Maybe you’re already homeschooling, but you would like to start a business? Perhaps you’re homeschooling, working, and volunteering, but need to create space for yourself? How can this possibly be done? How do other parents manage?

Enter Pamela Price of Red, White & Grew. After interviewing parents who are dealing with these very issues, Pamela has written How to Work and Homeschool: Practical Advice, Tips, and Strategies from Parents, published by GHF Press. Filled with real world examples and tried-and-tested approaches,How to Work and Homeschool will give you the ideas and confidence to develop a game plan to incorporate work, homeschool, family obligations, and more into your busy life. Pamela busts myths about work and homeschool, shares some truths, and even provides sample schedules to help you get started.


GHF also offers resources for understanding your gifted/2e child’s social needs and finding community for yourself and for your child. Check out our online classes, where kids make friends and gain mentors. Summer classes are filling up quickly and Fall registration is open, too!



FREE Downloadable Brochures:
The Healthcare Providers’ Guide to Gifted Children
The Educators’ Guide to Gifted Children
Twice Exceptional—Smart Kids with Learning Differences
Gifted Cubed — The Expanded Complexity of Race & Culture

What is a Blog Hop?

A Blog Hop is a way to discover and follow blogs, as well as share your own. Every month or two, we pose a topic, our blogging members discuss it, and we link to their posts. GHF blog hops include bloggers from around the world, all of them committed to articulating the unique concerns, needs, and perspectives of gifted/2e families, especially (but not exclusively) those who choose non-traditional education for their kids.

Past Blog Hops

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