23 Lines a Gifted Child LOVES to Hear

Over the years, I’ve heard these lines often, but only now do I understand what they really mean. Only now do I understand why they lift up someone so much. They were glimpses of understanding for me growing up as an undiagnosed gifted child or they were great lines I picked up (or invented) along the way to lift up my own students (and my own children). Which have you used? Which others are uplifting? Isn’t it time we lifted each other?
Have you had similar joys?



“I love your questions!”

“Would you like to try?”
“That’s an interesting question.”

and my personal all-time very favorite-

 “You’re a great thinker!”



These lines always implied to me that someone understood. Isn’t that really all we want?



Lines I liked to use in my classroom and use at home with homeschooling:


  • “The WHY is important.”
  • “Use your best approach!”
  • “What do you notice?”
  • “Keep dreaming.”
  • “Use whatever colors you like.”
  • “Be as creative as you like.”



Time flexibility always seemed to bring out the best.


  • “Who’s got some great questions?”
  • “Would you like more time to work on that?.” (One of the best reasons to homeschool a gifted child.)
  • “Why don’t you get out your……and work on it?”



Who doesn’t wish to explain the reasoning behind a choice when others see it as incorrect?


  • “Would you like to explain?”
  • “You’ve really been thinking!”
  • “Your explanation is really insightful!”
  • “Have you considered this?”



When different means right!


  • “Yours should not look like mine.”
  • “How many different ways can you do it?”
  • “There’s more than one right answer.”  (But of course!)



Then there were the “real” compliments.


  • “You’re always thinking.”
  • “You read so much.”
  • “This is really inventive!”

So, while it doesn’t look like we’ll be changing the world any time soon, at least maybe you can share these lines with your favorite gifted kid and tell them that there are some people out there who really do understand.


What are some of the BEST lines you’ve heard? 



6 thoughts on “23 Lines a Gifted Child LOVES to Hear

  1. Thanks Lisa. In truth, going deeper now, it did take me several weeks, months even, to understand what was going on… and longer to appreciate it fully. She knew the whole time. She knew what she was there for and this is why she could be so consistent and calm while her students each caught up in our own time – or left if it wasn’t their thing. I began like most with ideas about competition in my head. I started because open plan offices stress me out, I committed because I had ambitions about ‘flexibility & strength’ and I loved it and still talk about it now because it was much more than that. All because of her patience and trust in her students and her freedom (perhaps because she was outside of any central accountability system which would have looked for visible progress early) to create space she knew was needed for the kinds of people she cares about. I’m beginning to think that one of the most dangerous things we can do is to treat education like an emergency.


      1. Oh yes, Lisa, totally agree… mostly we students hear the opposite of these in school. But, wouldn’t it be great if? Not sure if I’ll turn this into an article some day, but I remember a yoga class I used to take (t’was a genius way to re-set after open plan office time! blaah) and the instructor would say “Everything that I say is only a suggestion. Because only you know how this feels. So only you can decide how to move, and when to move deeper, and when to pull back” …her trust in our own ability to self regulate was, for me, like I’d been given permission to breath again after so long gasping to someone elses drum. People say that yoga increases self-confidence and, based on this class, I understand why: yoga build self-confidence by simply doing the opposite of what our schooling systems to do destroy it. She’d always say; “Only you can know yourself” and her class, disguised as yoga, was simply a space where we learnt about ourselves. What a clever lady!


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