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  • It's Not a Walk in the Park: One Mom Shares the Joys and Challenges of Raising a Gifted Child

    “A gifted child has to face responsibilities beyond her years,” this mom says.
It's Not a Walk in the Park: One Mom Shares the Joys and Challenges of Raising a Gifted Child
  • Parenting comes with almost as many challenges as the joys it brings. Even parents of gifted kids—those who exhibit extraordinary talents and skills at a young age—have their own hurdles to overcome. Making sure your child is healthy and happy is as important as nurturing her gift.

    Argie de Guzman, 59, is the mother of two talented individuals, a son, who’s now 33, and a daughter, 20. Both of her kids are gifted in their own right, but her daughter, Hanna, even as a young girl, was a musical prodigy in the making.

    Photo Courtesy of Argie de Guzman.
    Hanna, 20, with mom Argie.

    “Hanna was a funny, mischievous, happy, and curious child,” shares Argie. At 2, Hanna could distinguish all of the letters in the alphabet. At 3, she could read three-letter words and have learned the concepts of simple addition and multiplication.

    “But what truly amazed me was her talent in singing,” Argie says. Hanna could sing popular songs in perfect tune before she turned 3.

    When she started school, Hanna’s uniqueness became even more apparent. She was consistently on the top of her batch in grade school, even graduating valedictorian. She was brilliant in math and science and joined national competitions.

    It was music, however, that Hanna enjoyed the most.

    At 6, Hanna was granted a classical voice and piano scholarship by the Alfonso Yuchengco Foundation under Philippine Opera Company. Trained as a classical singer, she sang in cultural shows, corporate events, and weddings. She also performed in school programs and in Masses. As the soloist of her school’s choral group, Hanna won championships in singing for both national and international competitions.

    All of these fantastic experiences might make Hanna’s childhood seem idyllic. Yet, mom Argie reveals that it wasn’t like that at all. The life of a gifted child—and the experience of raising one—has its own challenges.

    1. You have to help your child learn how to prioritize.

    Photo Courtesy of Argie de Guzman.
    Hanna, seen here with conductor and musical arranger Gerard Salonga, would often head to rehearsals after school.

    Argie says the most challenging part of raising Hanna was helping her juggle her responsibilities in her studies and singing—while excelling in both. “Hanna is a very conscientious student, she values her academic performance as much as she values her singing,” Argie explains.

    “There was one instance when she had to back out from a big play because it coincided with her exams,” she reveals.

    2. Your gifted child will need your support when she makes some tough decisions.

    Photo Courtesy of Argie de Guzman.
    Argie and Hanna before a performance

    Being gifted can mean sacrificing a part of one's childhood. “She may be gifted, but she's still a child,” Argie says. “And a child can only understand so much.”

    Because she already had specific commitments and responsibilities at a young age, Hanna’s childhood was very different from most kids her age. “It was challenging having to make her understand why she had to do advanced studies in anticipation for shows and rehearsals that would get in the way of school,” Argie says.

    “It was doubly hard on exam days; it was so disheartening to see her sad face because she had to miss birthday parties and playtime,” she recalls sadly.

    3. You have to focus and be sensitive to your child's basic yet essential needs.

    “A gifted child is very special,” Argie points out. With that gift is the “responsibility as a parent to discover, nurture, and share it with gratitude.”

    For Argie, this meant making sure Hanna didn't forget to eat, for example, regardless of her busy schedule. “Even if she is running late for school, that is no excuse to skip breakfast. Sometimes, she even eats breakfast in the car,” this mom recalls. “I would also ask her about what she ate for lunch and as snacks in school. I would even lecture her about the importance of nutrition.”

    Parents can support their child's nutritional needs with the help of the new PROMIL® Four, a powdered growing-up milk drink with Nutrissentials® and fortified with Oligofructose, a type of fiber that acts as a prebiotic. Oligofructose aids in digestion and helps keep the gut healthy with good bacteria. It also helps improve the body's ability to absorb minerals.

    A healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet, complemented with PROMIL® Four with Nutrissentials® now fortified with Oligofructose, help support the proper growth and mental development of kids above 3 years old as well as nurture their gifts.

    Raising kids may not be a walk in the park, as most parents like Argie know, but at the end of the day, seeing your children grow up happy, healthy, and fulfilled is a rewarding experience moms wouldn't exchange for the world.

    PROMIL® Four is a powdered milk drink for kids above 3 years old. It is not meant to be a breastmilk substitute. For more information about PROMIL® Four, visit its official website and follow the brand on Facebook.


This article was created by Summit Storylabs in partnership with WYETH PHILIPPINES INC..