How to Motivate a High IQ Child

By Kay Ireland
Ask your child for input on curriculum and education decisions.
Ask your child for input on curriculum and education decisions.

While you might be understandably proud of your high-IQ child, you might be puzzled at his lack of motivation. Unfortunately, gifted or high-IQ kids can sometimes become so bored and unchallenged that their gift can become a disability when it comes to education. By making sure that your high-IQ child is continually stimulated and interested, you can help motivate him to reach his full potential.

Give your child choices when it comes to his education. While some high-IQ kids might thrive in specialty classrooms or require skipping a grade, others might prefer to learn among their peers. Either way, soliciting your child's opinion on education-related decisions can give him a chance to become engaged and involved in his own learning.

Help your child set long- and short-term goals concerning educational and personal achievement, suggests the Neag Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development. Helping your child choose goals and create an action plan can give your high-IQ child something challenging to work toward, helping to motivate his actions, whether in the classroom or on a personal scale.

Measure your child's success in a tangible way and then offer specific praise for his effort, suggests the Duke Digest of Gifted Research. You could track grades, create testing or even videotape your child doing something and then compare it to older material to show him the difference that effort can make. Then, offer praise that focuses on that effort, rather than his natural abilities. Instead of "You're so smart!" try, "I can see that you put a lot of extra effort into that science project. I'm proud of how far you've come."

Talk to your child's teacher about alternative curriculum and learning opportunities. There are often action plans created for children who aren't being challenged by the current curriculum and may include leaving class for extra courses, being moved up a grade or arranging for your child to tutor others, notes the National Association for Gifted Children. By challenging your child, you help him work harder and feel more motivated to succeed.

Provide learning opportunities for your child outside of the classroom. Taking a trip to the local museum, signing up for online courses or even utilizing learning computer software and games can give your high-IQ child something to look forward to and a way to express and explore himself intellectually.

About the Author

Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.