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07 November 2012. The ethical response to a child outlier: Children born with exceptional abilities of any kind often grow up to become outliers or socially detached in some way. In order to save such amazingly bright prodigies from bearing any serious trauma due to their immense talent, multiple ethical responses have been proposed over time which parents can adopt for the good sake of their children…
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Download file to see previous pages They think creatively and can perform activities which other children of their age cannot and this factor creates problems in social and emotional adjustment of such children. Parents of such children who are gifted in any sense should acknowledge and understand the emotional needs of their child. Going for extremes is a very wrong strategy often implemented by parents. It is because controlling a child severely and hiring foreign coaches for training purpose can have negative effects. The tutors or coaches hired by the parents can use aggressive methods for training such talented children stubbornly overlooking their individual preferences and such a pattern of coaching can inculcate overwhelmingly strong feelings of rejection and anxiety in the child. Instead of grooming of the talent, complete severe controlling in terms of hiring tutors who may rely on aggressive techniques or subjecting the child to make use of options he/she may not want to use, can potentially ruin any exceptional skills or talent such a child may have been born with. As in case of the movie (Searching for Bobby Fischer) when Joshua Waitzkin is discovered with a rare chess talent, his parents hire a strict coach Bruce Pandolfini for him who tries to control him by trying to transform him into someone else. In contrast, doing nothing at all to influence a child’s interests in fear of ruining the talent and pushing the limits is another extreme and should be considered a flawed parenting strategy by all. This is because not playing any role to make sure the talent is groomed and developed with time could also lead a child to slack off and not make full use of his/her skills. This is also because childhood is an age when children have raw minds and are not in the position to make mature decisions about themselves. Such incapability to decide for themselves coupled with total absence of any kind of parental supervision can execute harmful influence on a child’s raw talent. On grounds of obnoxious influences produced by extreme parental strategies I feel compelled to stress on using mid way approaches when intending to groom a gifted child’s talent. It is implied by a Polish child psychologist and psychiatrist Dabrowski (cited in Silverman 113) that creatively gifted children are emotionally more complex than others and exhibit more pronounced and well developed responses to various types of external stimuli. Examining the moral sensitivity in highly intelligent, sensitive, and creative children, it is identified that external stimuli in the form of anger, frustration, pressure, and disappointment can all have disastrous effects on the gifted children and as they are claimed to be more emotionally groomed, they can show more sensitive responses to any such stimuli. Now children learn mostly from their parents and raising and nurturing a gifted child can prove to be very challenging for the parents. Responsive parenting could be one effective approach in this regard. Spending enough time with the talented children is one way by which parents can effectively relate to them and tune in to their exceptional interests. Many times parents ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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