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How to Discipline a Gifted 5 Year Old

by Pamela Harvey Bates, studioD

Being the parent of a gifted 5 year old is no easy task, but with the right techniques and some patience, your ability to discipline him will improve. An enhanced intellectual ability can often frustrate a gifted child whose emotional maturity is not at the same level. This conflict often manifests itself in temper tantrums and inappropriate behaviors that must be addressed in a way that is designed especially for a young gifted child.

Be Consistent

Maintain a consistency with your discipline that is unfaltering when dealing with your gifted 5 year old.

Follow through with any threat of punishment that you set. Finding a suitable punishment for each behavior will be the most difficult part of your plan, but just make sure that your enforcement is appropriate and immediate. For example, if your child refuses to eat his meal, take away his dessert for that night, but don't threaten to take away desserts for a month.

Be firm. A gifted child will exploit any weakness he finds in your management of his discipline and will use that to manipulate his way out of future punishments.

Be Connected

Keep close contact with your child's teacher and form a constant means of communication.

Work with your child's teacher to develop a clear and easy-to-follow behavior plan that can be implemented both at school and home. This will add to the consistency of your discipline with your child and he will not feel confused because the rules at school are so drastically different than the rules at home.

Set boundaries that are easy to understand as well as age appropriate. Gifted children are too often mistaken for being older than they really are and, therefore, the expectations that are set upon them are unreasonable. Set your standards high, but don't make them unattainable for your little one.

Be Creative

Focus on your gifted child's style of thinking and develop a behavior plan that is tailor-made for him.

Create visual behavior charts that show when he meets your behavior expectations. Use brightly colored stickers or tally marks to recognize that your child is displaying the appropriate behavior.

Develop a rewards system that works for you and your child. For example, every time your child gets 10 stickers or tally marks on his behavior chart, you reward him with some special activity. It can be as simple as a trip to the park or his favorite museum. Promote your child's positive behavior with praise and appropriate rewards. Gifted children often feel different from their peers, and they may exhibit behaviors that need to be addressed in a way that is designed just for them.

Items you will need
  •  Chart paper
  •  Stickers
  •  Markers

About the Author

Pamela Harvey Bates is a teacher and a freelance writer with a Bachelor of Science in interdisciplinary studies from Angelo State University. As an educator, Bates enjoys sharing her passion for writing with her students. She has been writing for more than 10 years.

Photo Credits

  • Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images