Their Wellbeing - No Limits! 

 

Dr Viviene V DeOkoro

GIfted Education Specialist, Educational Diagnostician, Consultant-Researcher
Jamaica

 

 

 

 

 

“Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.” … Albert Einstein


In discovering my God-given potential, this quote has been a spur enabling me to break all ceilings and repeatedly exceed expectations! Whilst this was natural for me - the curiosity that propelled me to do, give and achieve my ultimate - others labeled it ‘giftedness.’

 

Like so many gifted children today, I had boundless questions that needed answers. Some were answered by influential people in my world; but most were through reading, and listening to the radio. I had no access to learning from computer/electronic media, educated parents, world travel (literal or virtual), museums and all the modern amenities! Oh, if only the significant adults in my life understood me, my needs beyond adequate food, clothing, shelter, schooling and religion (imposed ceilings), then would I finally be comfortable and content, living in my state of wellbeing.

 

Wellbeing is a broad spectrum of experiences encompassing five major areas: physical, emotional, social, occupational, and societal. It is generally agreed that, in addition to Maslow’s basic hierarchy of needs, wellbeing includes satisfaction with the important aspects of one’s life: positive emotions, a sense of belonging, sound relationships with those who matter, physical and mental health, discovery and fulfillment of purpose, safe environment, attaining positive growth and development as one builds self-esteem and achieves self-actualization.

 

Are our gifted children today, who are facing the same and even more complex challenges, experiencing total wellbeing? The adults in their world seem to think so, hence I asked the gifted children themselves: “What, to you, is wellbeing? Are you living a life of wellbeing?” The answers I received were as varied as the definitions of ‘giftedness’ according to age, environmental, social, cultural and financial factors, family
dynamics, religiosity, outlook and perspective, even personality. Overall, well-being meant quite different things to different children.

 

Based on their particular circumstances, the answers from the cohort surveyed were reflective of this trend. Like the ‘Baby Boomers,’ today’s gifted children will from henceforth be labeled the ‘COVID-19 Generation’/’Generation C.’ They are the children whose inherent brains function beyond expectation in the executive, social, and cognitive domains. These are the learners who challenge authority, and are the
exceptions to most theories and rules considered normal for most children. Their performance and cognitive capabilities defy their tender ages. These are our leaders and decision-makers of tomorrow’s humanity, the brightest and most creative, even as their absorbent minds are experiencing sudden shifts in multiple paradigms: educational
delivery, safety concerns, adult uncertainty, chaos and mayhem, global fear of a deadly pandemic, human-induced destruction of nature and environment, global frustration and outcry against man’s unjust inhumanity to fellowman.

 

What lessons are these vulnerable movers and shapers of tomorrow’s world learning? Through today’s technology they are watching, listening, observing, feeling, and adapting the behaviors and responses being demonstrated around them, in real time. Parents and teachers, as their first responders, let us remember that the gifted, although a relatively small percentage of the population, can have quite a disproportional impact on any society, at all levels – local, national and global.

 

They potentially have the power to build or break - ONE Einstein: ONE Hitler … a paradox of magnitudinous proportions! It is therefore extremely important that we pay attention to their ‘wellbeingness.’

 

Our gifted children tend to be hypersensitive not just physically, but also emotionally, especially now, as they witness their world thrown into chaos in different ways. We need to ensure that all areas of their wellbeing are well supported and functioning.

 

We need to encourage and provide opportunities for our gifted to be heard, while we listen carefully, as what they have to say could hold vital keys to desperately needed solutions. Wellbeing although subjective, is also universally relevant. Let us create and offer our gifted children outlets for positive creative expressions of all kinds. The therapeutic value to them will bring fresh perspective and hope to others.

 

“To ensure and safeguard the total wellbeing of ALL our gifted children … NO limit must be imposed, nor effort spared!” – Viviene DeOkoro (2020)

 

About Dr Viviene V DeOkoro

Dr Viviene V DeOkoro - Gifted Education Specialist, Educational Diagnostician, Consultant-Researcher is currently Jamaica’s sole Delegate at the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children (WCGTC). She is Founder- Visionary CEO of the Deokoro Magnet Schools for Gifted and Talented, and Caribbean Centre for Giftedness and Creativity,

headquartered at 6-8 Parkington Plaza, Kingston 10, Jamaica W.I. Tel. (876) 382 6121; 324 9095

Emails:

videokoro@gmail.com; Caribbeangiftedu@gmail.com;
deokoromagnet@gmail.com
Website: www.world-gifted.org

 

 

 

 

 

Posted as part of the 2020 New Zealand Gifted Awareness Blog Tour, run by the New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education.

The views and opinions expressed in the Gifted Awareness Week Blog Tour are solely those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of NZCGE, their staff, and/or any/all contributors to Gifted Awareness Week.

 

Their Wellbeing - No Limits

 
 
 
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