Supporting your more able child
Parents have a lasting impact on their children’s lives. They can have the greatest influence on their achievement and success through providing early experiences which encourage children to enjoy and develop their learning. By exposing their children to new experiences, by engaging with them through talk and discussion, by giving them encouragement and support, parents enhance their children’s ability to think creatively and critically, and stimulate their curiosity about the world. Parental support is one of the most important factors in a child’s success in school. Children whose parents are interested and involved in their education – for example, by supporting their learning at home and working with the school – do better academically and socially. This is true for all children, but parents sometimes find it difficult to know how to best support a child who has a special need or high ability. What they can do, however, makes a big difference, and this NACE Essential Guide will help them provide that support. Being the parent or carer of a more able or exceptionally able child can be both a delight and a challenge. In some cases that challenge can last well into adolescence, when peer pressure, personal identity crises and an exceptional intellect or precocious talent can lead to tensions and conflict. Living with an able child can raise many questions for parents and the rest of the family. A parent’s responses to a child’s exceptional needs will, to a large extent, depend on the parent’s values, their own experiences of education, and what they believe about their own abilities. But it is important that parents and carers think through their response, in order to support their child to develop and express their ability, to find balance, emotional harmony and personal fulfillment – and to live as a child.