FAQ for Parents of Gifted Children

Remarks: Due to the complexity of various psychological, environmental, familial, emotional, or personality factors underlying the scenario in each question below, we could only answer generally and briefly in each question in this section. Assessment and analysis need to be conducted for different students even though the explicit behaviours seem to be similar for different students. If you have any enquiry, please contact our Consultation and Assessment Centre (CAC) to arrange a consultation session and seek help from our experienced psychologist.

Academic performance relates to many factors, for instance, motivation, engagement, self-regulation, determination, academic self-concept, study skills, examination skills, relationship with peers or teachers, or intelligence, etc. All these factors may combine to affect positively or negatively a student’s academic performance. Therefore, whether your child is gifted or not is not the most important thing you need to find out. On the other hand, you need a qualified psychologist with good experience in the gifted population to assess and analyze your child for the factors stated (or not stated) above, so that we can let you and your child understand why his giftedness (if any) could not reflect on his academic performance and the psychologist could guide you and your child to resolve any factors that hinder his study or his intention to put the effort in his study and hence make him unable to get adequate academic performance.

Most students, even psychologically healthy students, do have different (or even sometimes opposite) behaviours at home and at school. Having said that, we do need to understand the reason(s) behind such differences in your child. Sometimes, the differences may be only a kind of adaptation process that difference may be diminished after your child has successfully adapted to a new environment. Even if your child has already adapted to a new environment and still behaves differently at home and at school, that kind of different behaviour may sometimes be necessary to maintain a desirable balance between the school and the home. For example, the school requires very strict or proper behaviour for students, your child may be just trying to maintain those proper behaviour required by the school and only shows his own personality at home. However, if your child’s different behaviours are due to other factors that need to be attended to by parents or teachers (e.g. being bullied by people at school), you may need to seek help from a qualified mental health professional then.

Every aspect of a student is important, either his academic performance or his affective needs (e.g. interpersonal relationship, emotional well-being, behavioural adequacy, etc.), and the needs of each student may vary, which will require a professional psychologist to learn and analyze further. Before approaching a psychologist for consultation, you may need to explain to your child that you are not blaming your child for his difficulties in interpersonal relationships. On the other hand, you need to show your child that you will support your child no matter what reasons have caused the situation (i.e. unsatisfactory interpersonal relationship), you will face the situation with your child and you will seek help with your child from an experienced mental health professional so that your child can overcome any obstacles (which to be identified) and can improve his interpersonal relationship in a favourable direction.

Yes, this must be frustrating, we understand! First of all, we do not assume that the behaviour of your child is a form of manipulation unless we eliminate all other possible factors behind his behaviour. In fact, there are many other possible reasons that your child would behave the way you mentioned, for example, your child had already stressed out after school every day, so his frustration tolerance becomes less functioning at home, and a trivial thing at home may trigger his emotion. If this is a reason, you surely need to give your child a comforting hug with a gentle voice to calm him down other than trying to suppress his emotion as if that was a manipulation of you initiated by your child. Other than this possible reason, there are still a lot of other possible reasons for his emotional explosion at home. But in short, we encourage you to contact an experienced psychologist for his emotion management difficulty.

You are a responsible and caring parent as you want to know more about your child’s school life and his friends at school. We understand how frustrating that your child does not prefer to talk about those topics or to let you know those aspects of his life. Of course, there are many different reasons that a child is not easy or unwilling to tell a parent about those topics. In order not to confuse you by giving you different examples of reasons that a child would refrain himself from telling you about those things which may even put you into great worry about those possible reasons, you are advised to contact and seek help from a professional mental health expert, so that the professional could have some idea about what reason(s) may make your child not willing to talk with you about those things, helping to resolve the factors that hinder your child’s willingness to talk with you about those topics.

We understand how helpless you are when your child’s responsibility for his study is transferred onto your shoulders when his teachers keep telling you to pay more attention to his study but in fact, your child does not allow you to take this responsibility as he just does not give you a role in his study even as a reminder. From a psychological point of view, you should only focus on your role as a caring parent despite the role of reminder that your child’s teachers want you to take. Only when your child feels that you care about his well-being as a parent, then your child may be able to tell you more about the real reasons for his disliking school or study, or your child may be willing to come with you to meet a psychologist who would be able to help your child in facing or resolving the reasons that made your child disliking school or study. Of course, you also need to let your child’s teachers know that only when you focus on the role I have just mentioned and let your child trust you and tell you the reasons that hinder his effort in the study, then you can bring your child to seek help for improving his attitudes and eventually improving his behaviour in school or on his study.

We trust your child would want to find someone who can help him out of his current situation (i.e., scare of talking in front of others and being teased or laughed at by others). Therefore, you should talk with your child and let him know that you will do whatever you can to find an experienced mental health professional to help him out of this situation. If your child is willing to seek professional help, a psychologist can help your child through consultation or counselling session(s) and promote his self-confidence, assertiveness to express himself, and bravery so that he could have radical changes in his life and then he does not need to keep the situation anymore in the coming days of his school life and also his future.

First of all, we trust your child would want to keep the promise that he made for you and he would hope he had the ability or willpower to actualize his hope of stopping all those behaviour at school. However, we want you to understand that it is not the fault of your child when he does not have the ability or willpower to do so as there are very few people who have that ability or willpower to control their behaviour if they have the natural tendency such as talking, fidgeting, moving, or walking around when they learn, especially for gifted students who have the typical characteristic of overexcitability that they tend to have all those behaviour before they can activate their brain during learning or lessons. In fact, even though they seem to be so busy to have all these behaviour during lessons, they can answer teachers’ questions accurately and they can follow whatever teachers have taught in class. Therefore, you or his teachers need to understand the special kind of learning ‘mode’ of your child or other similar gifted students during the lesson so that teachers and you would not punish your child or give him a warning because of his different learning ‘mode’ when compared with other students. Your child needs to know about this before he can see himself as a normal gifted student rather than a problematic student.

We understand how you feel when your good boy’s emotional reaction scares away everyone around him as his classmates would find it difficult to understand him or even think your son is unpredictably scary to them. In fact, we trust your son may also scare himself as he may also share the same feeling as his classmates that your child also cannot predict his emotion or behaviour which may also scare him as well. Hence, your child needs an experienced mental health professional who knows how to promote his ability in emotion management and how to teach him the proper way to regulate his emotion and hence his behaviour. Therefore, you should tell your child that many people, including gifted students or even adults, do need such a mental health professional to help them in improving their emotion management abilities and skills which would make your child realise his potential needs and feel so normal to seek help from a psychologist.

We understand how much your child dislikes seeing any more mental health professionals if he feels none of these professionals could help his psychological or emotional problems at all. In this situation, you need to frankly tell your child that the psychologists in CAC have a lot of experience in helping people who also did not like to see mental health professionals with the similar reason your child has, and our psychologist did successfully change the feeling of those people after they came to meet our psychologist and they found that mental health professional, in fact, could help them out of their psychological or emotional problems. If your child still has an eagerness to have a better psychological or emotional well-being, contact the CAC and make an appointment to meet with our psychologist.

You can contact us with our hotline number 3940 0101. We will jot down your name and contact number and some brief information about your child’s situation, sex, age, or grade. Then our psychologist will contact you for further understanding of your child’s situation and information.

Psychologists of our Academy are very busy with packed schedules due to various work arrangements, hence they can only contact you whenever they get a chance.

After our psychologists contact you for getting more information about your child, they will arrange an appointment with you on a date and time that suit you and the psychologist.

After an appointment is made between you and our psychologist, our administrative colleague will send you an email about three days before the appointment to state the date and time of your appointment and to let you know our address and how you can settle the payment for the consultation or counselling session before the appointment.

In a consultation or counselling session, if you and your child are willing to talk frankly about both your thinking and feeling, a psychologist can gather the relevant and necessary information to analyse the situation, difficulties, protective factors, predisposing factors, precipitating factors, perpetuating factors, handling skills, handling experiences, and other relevant information of you and your child. Based on all these results, the psychologist not only can give suggestions on ways of facing or handling the current or upcoming difficulties in life or help to resolve any communication or relationship difficulties between you and your child (if any), and also can decide a suitable psychological treatment plan to restore the necessary emotional, psychological, or behavioural functioning, to improve the psychological or emotional well-being in various aspects, or to decrease the obstacles, negative thinking or emotion. After the psychologist provides you and your child with suggestions to face or handle the current or upcoming difficulties, it is expected to follow the suggestion given by the psychologist and implement those suggestions as much as both of you can so that you can expect the implementation of those suggestions could change your current situation gradually towards a positive direction, or could simply lead to a new situation in a positive direction. If the psychologist has proposed a psychological treatment plan for you and your child, and both of you have agreed to participate in the treatment plan, then both of you are expected to comply with the requirements set for the plan to be implemented until the treatment goal(s) is(are) achieved.

Update Date:2023-12-05