Importance of Learning to Cope with Hardships and Failure for Gifted Children

If they are encouraged and permitted to explore experiment, test ideas, initiate projects on their own, and assume responsibility, they will encounter enough hardships and failures in the natural course of events. This is especially true if freedom to try out ideas without penalty is permitted against a background of high standards.

The importance of skills in coping with hardships is reflected in Anne Roe’s (1952) finding concerning the disproportionate number of her eminent subjects whose fathers had died during the subject’s childhood.

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It is also reflected in one of Peter Freuchen’s (1954) stories of his first year with the Thule, Greenland, and Eskimos.

On one occasion Freuchen was deploring the plight of certain orphan children in the tribe who had to fight for survival. The chiefs of the tribe scolded Freuchen, telling him not to feel sorry for these orphan children because they would be the future leaders of the tribe.

They pointed out to him that each of the present leaders had been an orphan. They also explained that they realised that they should permit their own children to experience more difficulties and hardships but that they had grown soft and would not permit their children to expose themselves to cold, danger, or similar hardships.

In most societies it takes some kind of accident or adverse circumstance to force adults to permit their children to attempt to master the skills of coping with difficulties.

The Need for Identification of Creative Talent:

The concept of guiding creative talent deserves an independent book but as per need of this book on career guidance. We are discussing this aspect very briefly:

Progress and development of the nation depends upon national talent. It is said that democracies collapse only when they fail to use intelligent imaginative methods for solving their problems and thus it is rightly believed that Greece failed to heed such a warning by Socrates and gradually collapsed.

Here it can be said that the nation which has more creative talent makes maximum progress in minimum time and with minimum resources, hence, we are including the concept of guiding creative talent in this book for effective career guidance.

Legitimate concerns of educators:

Why should counsellors, teachers, and administrators be concerned with the problems of creative individuals? What business is it of theirs whether or not one is highly creative?

Doesn’t everybody know that the highly creative person is ‘a little crazy” and that you can’t help him anyway? If he’s really creative, why does he need guidance anyway? He should be able to solve his own problems. He’s creative, isn’t he?

Unfortunately, these are attitudes which have long been held by some of our most eminent scholars and which still prevail rather widely.

Most of the educators perk up when they discover a child with a high Intelligence Quotient or a high score on some other traditional measure of intellectual talent. They are impressed! Most of them are rather impressed if they discover in a child some outstanding talent.

There are very legitimate reasons why educators should be concerned about assessing and guiding the growth of the creative thinking abilities.

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