The Gifted Parent Questionnaire

Photography: Loren Stow

In his book, “How to be a Gifted Parent”, Dr David Lewis formulated 40 questions that would measure how gifted a parent is. In light of our last post on the shared qualities of parents who are raising gifted children, we thought this would be interesting.

The Rules

Give yourself one mark for those statements that you would normally make, not ones that you only sometimes believe. If your child is under three, some statements will not apply – but you can add them if you truly intend to have those responses later on. For statements that you often (but not always) make, give yourself half a point.

The Questions

1. I answer all questions from my child as patiently and honestly as possible.

2. I take serious questions or statements from my child seriously.

3. I provide a display board where my child can show off his/her work.

4. I am prepared to tolerate an untidy work area if my child has not yet completed some creative task (i.e. painting, model making etc.).

5. I provide my child with a room, or part of a room, exclusively for his/her own use.

6. I show my child he/she is loved for own sake, not for achievements.

7. I give my child responsibilities suitable to age.

8. I help him/her make own plans and decisions.

9. I take my child on trips to places of interest.

10. I teach my child how to improve on the tasks he/she does.

11. I encourage my child to get along with children from different backgrounds.

12. I set a reasonable standard of behavior and see my child follows it.

13. I never compare my child unfavorably to other children.

14. I never denigrate my child as a form of punishment.

15. I provide hobby materials and books.

16. I encourage the child to think things out for himself/ herself.

17. I read regularly to my child.

18. I teach my child early reading habits.

19. I encourage my child to invent stories and fantasies.

20. I give careful consideration to the individual needs of each child.

21. I provide a time each day when the child can be alone with me.

22. I allow my child to have a say in planning family programmes or trips.

23. I never mock my child for making a mistake.

24. I encourage my child to remember stories, poems and songs.

25. I encourage my child to be sociable with adults of all ages.

26. I devise practical experiments to help my child find out about things.

27. I allow my child to play with all kinds of junk objects.

28. I encourage my child to look for problems and then solve them.

29. I look for specific things to praise in my child’s activities.

30. I avoid general praise which I do not really mean.

31. I am honest about my emotions with my child.

32. I do not have any subjects which I would totally refuse to discuss with my child.

33. I provide opportunities for real decision-making by my child.

34. I encourage my child to be an individual.

35. I help my child find worthwhile programmes on TV.

36. I help my child to think positively about his/her abilities.

37. I never dismiss failures by my child with the comments: ‘I can’t do it either!’

38. I encourage my child to be as independent of adults as possible.

39. I have faith in my child’s good sense and trust him/her.

40. I would sooner my child failed by himself/herself than succeeded because I did most of the work.

What your score reveals

30-40: The parents of gifted children in Dr Lewis’ study ended up with an average of 30 points.

25-30: As a parent, you are carrying out most of responses found in families where children are exceptional in their abilities. You might find it worthwhile to look at any of the statements that you were not able to add and see if any of these could be incorporated in your family.

1-24: If you scored less than 25 points, it may be a great idea to read through the statements again and see if any of them could become useful activities in your home.

This questionnaire, once again, is not designed to make any parents feel guilty or ‘less than’. As we’ve mentioned before – when you know better, you do better – Practically Speaking is about pushing boundaries, learning new things, seeing parenting in a new way, and becoming more and more inspired

Words: Loren Stow
when we know better… we do better

Comments? Please email

*Practica Parents: The Practica Programme lists large number of games in the Parents’ Guide that enable parents to boost and support a child’s development at every age. Naturally, the more you play with your child, the greater the impact will be on his or her developing brain. However, no two parents’ situations are the same, and some parents naturally have more time available than others. At the end of the day, we each have to make the best of our unique situation. So even if you don’t get to do all the activities, if our programme and our efforts help you to be the very best parent that you can be, we are achieving our goal. 

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