The Raising Children Network website, visited by 30 000 Australians a day, has drawn on existing research and expert knowledge to provide the million plus parents of gifted and talented children with the most comprehensive online resource available in Australia.
The Raising Children Network website contains over 2200 resources on parenting from pregnancy to teens. The new much-needed resources fill a gap to support parents of the 10% of children in the community identified as gifted and talented.
The suite includes eight scientifically-based articles and four videos to support parents navigating raising a gifted or talented child.
Gifted children have advanced natural abilities that are well above the average, compared with children the same age. If a child is talented, they achieve at a very high level in one or more of the following areas – academic learning, leadership, technology, arts, games, sport and athletics. A child achieves at this level because they use their natural gifts to learn, train and practice.
According to experts within the gifted and talented community it is widely assumed that one in ten Australian children are identified as gifted or talented. Identification can be through a formal IQ test or informally, such as observations from teachers or the parents, for those children with a non-academic gift or talent.
The new resources on the Raising Children Network website are a collaboration with the Victorian Department of Education and Training. Victorian Minister for Education James Merlino congratulated the Raising Children Network for improving the support for gifted children at home.
‘Parents and teachers work together to give children a great education – and it’s good to see parents having access to the support they need to bring out the best in their kids.’
Victorian Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos said early years learning was an essential part of a child’s development.
‘Understanding children’s learning needs early, including gifted children, helps to engage and challenge them as they develop throughout their early years education.’
Dr Julie Green, Executive Director, Raising Children Network says the new videos and articles on gifted and talented children add to the growing content provided on the Raising Children Network site providing 24/7 support to parents.
‘Being gifted and talented comes with joys and challenges – for the parent and child. While most of us might relate to the clear positives of being gifted or talented it can also help to understand the needs around children’s level of activity and curiosity that goes with advanced development,’ she says.
‘Contrary to popular perceptions, gifted and talented does not make parenting easier, in fact the opposite can often be the case. Parents discuss that along with positives such as advanced intellectual ability, it can also affect their child’s behaviour and social and emotional development. A child who thinks quickly might get frustrated with other children and instead of excelling at school, they may stop trying as they are bored.
‘It can also be challenging for parents raising a sibling alongside a gifted or talented child as parents’ time and attention may be drawn into supporting the gifted child’s learning needs or helping them develop their talents.
‘The four videos on the Raising Children Network provide footage of real parents of gifted and talented children frankly discussing their experiences. This allows other parents to relate to parents in a similar position and learn from other parents’ experiences,’ says Dr Green.
Carmel Meehan, President of the Victorian Association for Gifted and Talented Children, has praised the content available for the parents of gifted and talented children on the Raising Children Network website.
‘In the past, parents have had limited access to clear guidelines around how to ensure that their gifted and talented children are catered for, understood, and their gifts and talents are celebrated. The Raising Children Network resource provides information for parents to assist them in navigating their journey in raising these wonderful children,’ says Ms Meehan.
The videos and articles on the Raising Children Network website include reflections from parents of gifted and talented children alongside expert comment covering a range of topics from the identification of gifted children to family life, behaviour and social development to special programs and practical ideas for families.