Six Generalizations Characterizing Family environments of Highly Gifted Children

Winner, Gifted Children, 182

1. Gifted children occupy “special positions” in the family: they are often either first-born or only children.

2. These children grow up in “enriched” environments.

3.  Their families are child-centered: parents focus almost all their energies on making sure that their children receive early training in the domain in which they have shown a gift.

4.  Their parents are driven: they both model and set very high standards and hold high expectations for achievement.  But when parents are overinvolved, push to excess, and love their children’s achievements more than their children, gifted children are at risk for dropping out.

5. At the same time, their parents grant them considerable independence

6.  Family environments most conducive to the development of talent combine high expectations and stimulation, on the one hand, with nurturance and support, on the other.


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