Gifted Kids' Bill of Rights
NAGC (the National Association for Gifted Children) has compiled a "Bill of Rights" for gifted kids, to help them take pride in their giftedness. For more information, visit the NAGC website.
You have a right...
... to know about your giftedness.
... to learn something new every day.
... to be passionate about your talent area without apologies.
... to have an identity beyond your talent area.
... to feel good about your accomplishments.
... to make mistakes.
... to seek guidance in the development of your talent.
... to have multiple peer groups and a variety of friends.
... to choose which of your talent areas you wish to pursue.
... not to be gifted at everything.
What to do?
If you're worried or scared about trying to make changes for the better, you're not alone. Everyone gets a few butterflies in their stomachs when they think about making changes, or asking people for something different. You have the right to be happey and challenged and to reach for the stars.
But how can you avoid being so nervous that you don't stick up for yourself and your rights? How can you communicate so you get what you need? While you might wish for these rights, if you don't ask for them, it's not likely things are going to magically change. Your parent can help advocate for you, but you'll have the most success when you ask for things to be different, more interesting, better.
When talking with your teaches or parent about things that concern you, keep these Do's and Don'ts in mind:
- Know what you want changed before you meet with your teachers or parent. Try to have as many details to justify your request as possible.
- Try to think about the other person's position—and how he or she feels—so you can anticipate any possible objections.
- Pick a good time and place for your meeting. (Obvioulsy, if there are 15 kid standing in line to talk to your teacher or your parent in the middle of a painting project, it's not the right time. Ask when would be a good time to talk.)
- Start with a small request so you're more likely to succeed. Then work up to bigger requests once you've shown you can handle responsibility.
- Be positive. If you have an attitude that's confident and cheerful, you'll be more likely to get a positive response.
- Wait. You can start learning how to be assertive right now.
- Blame people. It doesn't help. Instead, take responsibilty and start by saying "I feel _____." "I need _____." or "I want _____."
- Refuse to compromise. If you give a little, otherse are more liekly to give, too.
- Stop trying. If at first you don't succeed, try again... or try another way.
- Be rude. Being unfriendly or using disrespectful language is, well, rude. Having good manners impresses people. Simply using the words please and thank you can have a huge impact.