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Q: People are always telling me that my three-year-old is very intelligent, even gifted. She's already learning to read, just from listening to me read to her. How do I know that she's gifted? Should I encourage her interest in reading at this age?
A: Continue to provide a loving, stimulating, playful home environment for your three-year-old. It's not at all surprising that she may be ready to begin learning to read. Every child is hard-wired differently for major developmental milestones and reading is no exception. Follow your daughter's lead in terms of her learning to read and spell. As long as it's fun for her, respond to her curiosity about anything with appropriate encouragement. familyeducation.com has a wealth of information on giftedness. I encourage you to thoroughly investigate this area and to apply this knowledge and information in parenting your daughter.
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Carleton Kendrick has been in private practice as a family therapist and has worked as a consultant for more than 20 years. He has conducted parenting seminars on topics ranging from how to discipline toddlers to how to stay connected with teenagers. Kendrick has appeared as an expert on national broadcast media such as CBS, Fox Television Network, Cable News Network, CNBC, PBS, and National Public Radio. In addition, he's been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, USA Today, Reader's Digest, BusinessWeek, Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and many other publications.