Life in a Gifted Family

gtchat 08232016 Gifted Family

In years gone by, dinner table conversation was often considered at the heart of the family. Today, that conversation may not take place at home, but it is still revealing about the nature of family life. When family members are gifted, it can be laced with intensity and  passion about a particular topic; disconcerting; hysterical; riddled with questions; opinionated … you know.

“Personally, I find the asynchronous part the most challenging. Reminding myself “he’s only 5.” ~ Michaela Estes, parent

With so many highly sensitive and highly intelligent people in the same household ~ life can be interesting yet exhausting. Often a gifted child requires an extraordinary amount of the parents’ time leaving other family members feeling neglected. It can have a negative effect on marital relationships when there is disagreement about the nature of giftedness. Financial burdens can be significant for outside enrichment, counseling, early arrival of college, or homeschooling.

Life outside the family can be difficult for young gifted children as they begin school and experience social interaction with those who may not understand them. Their new environment may lack intellectual stimulation at the same level found at home on an ongoing basis and intelligence alone cannot guarantee social-emotional stamina before it’s developed in a young child.

Many parents of gifted children face criticism from society – such as being ‘helicopter parents’, ‘pushing their children’, or charges of elitism. What strategies can parents use to mute criticism of perceived faults? Education, information, documentation. Many people have no idea the extent to which giftedness affects a child. Furthermore, choosing words wisely and reading a social situation carefully can reduce criticism from other parents.

Fortunately, there are places where families can find support for the unique challenges they may face. One of the best-known organizations for supporting parents is SENG started by Dr. James Webb.  Parents should look to state gifted organizations who can provide more localized resources for individuals.On the national level, there is NAGC (US), GHF and  Potential Plus UK (UK); and internationally ECHA (EU) and the WCGTC.

Life in a gifted family may present extraordinary challenges for its members, but it can also serve as a refuge as well. A transcript may be found at Storify.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at Noon (12.00) NZST/10.00 AEST/1.00 UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered        by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Links:

Embracing the Whole Gifted Self (Gatto-Walden)

Embracing the Whole Gifted Self (pdf – 24 page free download sample)

How to Charm Gifted Adults into Admitting Giftedness: Their Own & Somebody Else’s 

Gifted People and their Problems (pdf)

Life in the Asynchronous Family

Managing Life with a Challenging Child: What to Do When Your Gifted but Difficult Child is Driving You Crazy

AUS: Family Life with Gifted & Talented Children

AUS: Gifted and Talented Children: Family Life (Video 5:25) Transcript

AUS: Families with Gifted Children

The Unhappy Intellectually Gifted Child

Infinity and Zebra Stripes: Life with Gifted Children (Amazon)

The Gifted Family – Transforming Chaos into Calm

Coping When Extended Family Doesn’t Get Giftedness

Challenges Faced by “Gifted Learners” in School & Beyond

A Review of Research on Parents & Families of Gifted Children

How Gifted Children Impact the Family

Family Counseling with the Gifted (Silverman) (pdf)

Parenting a Gifted Child: Lessons from the Andrakas (video)

Facing the Challenges of Growing Up Gifted (audio)

Cybraryman’s Parenting Gifted Children Page

 

Photos courtesy of Pixabay here and here.   CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Helping Gifted Middle School Students Thrive

gtchat 08162016 Middle School Gifted

Ah … middle school – the transitional years between elementary school and high school fraught with new challenges to executive functioning, hormones, bullying and personal freedoms. It is stressful for all who pass through its halls. Middle school challenges go well beyond academics and into a vast array of social-emotional issues. For some middle school gifted students, it can mean dealing with heightened sensitivity, introversion and asynchronous development.

“According to Roeper, Middle School is when many GT girls go underground in a search for peer acceptance.” ~ Lisa Van Gemert

Dr. Gail Post also pointed to “existential depression, disappointment with authority,  and loss of interest in school; and identity formation – are they cool or a nerd?” as problematic for gifted students in middle school. Students are introduced to cooperative learning, peer tutoring, and a shift away from ability grouping; potentially detrimental to GT students.

What role do executive functioning (EF) skills play in middle school? It is a time of juggling schedules, meeting deadlines, and multi-tasking; all dependent on EF. Students are expected to exhibit emotional control and interact appropriately with age-peers.

There are advanced learning opportunities which could enhance the middle school experience for gifted students. MS GT students could benefit from cluster grouping, acceleration & STEM programming plus social emotional counseling. Mentoring, competitions, talent searches, field trips could all be considered at the MS level.

What are some practical strategies teachers can use to help gifted middle schoolers thrive socially and emotionally? Counselors and teachers should teach their students interpersonal and organizational skills. Educators need to seek professional development related to the needs of GT students so they can meet unique needs of individual students. Teachers can encourage these students to find their passion and get involved in extracurricular activities of choice. Counselors can help students develop strategies for dealing with stress: finding a confidant, exercise, hobbies.

Parents can also help their children thrive during the middle school years. They can consider available summer and Saturday enrichment opportunities as well as  provide a supportive and safe environment at home where kids feel comfortable confiding in their parents.

Excellent perspectives on middle school and gifted students were shared by both educators and parents. We invite you to take a look at the transcript of this chat which may be found at Storify.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at Noon (12.00) NZST/10.00 AEST/1.00 UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered        by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Links:

Caught in Middle: How to Help Gifted Children Survive Middle School Years

Educational Opportunities for Gifted Middle School Students (pdf) VA Dept of Ed

Status of Middle School Gifted Programs 2013 (pdf)

Transitioning from Elementary to Middle School: Tips for Parents of Gifted Students

The War Against Excellence: The Rising Tide of Mediocrity in America’s Middle Schools (pdf)

The War against Excellence: The Rising Tide of Mediocrity in America’s Middle Schools (Amazon)

Middle School Programs for Gifted Students (pdf)

Ramblings of a Gifted Teacher: Hoodies, Headphones & Axe Spray

Edmonds SD Highly Capable & Gifted Programs: Grade 7-8 Middle School Options

Serving Middle School Gifted Learners

Gifted MS Students Transitioning to HS: How One Teacher Helped His Students Feel Less Anxious (pdf)

Tips for Teaching Gifted Students

5 Gifted & Talented Program Ideas for Middle School

Reversing the Underachievement of Gifted Middle School Students (pdf)

Thriving in Middle School: Strategies for Gifted Students with Executive Function Deficits

Strategies to Address Weak Executive Functioning Skills (pdf)

Tips for Parents: Executive Functioning at Home and School

Preparing for Their Future: Parenting Gifted Teens & Tweens (Blog Hop)

Mo. District Pilots Gifted Education Middle School: Gifted School Takes Root in Ferguson-Florissant

The Effects of an Affective Curriculum on Perfectionism and Coping in Gifted Middle School Students (download)

Cybraryman’s Study Skills and Organization Page

Cybraryman’s Community-Based Service Learning Page

Build on Strengths: Teaching the Twice-Exceptional (2e) Child

Photos courtesy of Pixabay   CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Parents and Teachers: Finding Common Ground

gtchat 08092016 Parent Teacher

 

This week, we were joined at #gtchat by 3 educators of gifted children; Angie French, Heather Cachat, and Jeff Shoemaker. Angie is a GT Specialist for K-4 in Houston, Texas. Heather is a Gifted Intervention Specialist for 5/6 in Ohio and a SENG Model Parent Group Facilitator. Jeff is a Gifted Intervention Specialist for grades 5-8 in Lima, Ohio and OAGC Teacher Division Chair Elect. Heather and Jeff are Co-Moderators of #ohiogtchat on Sundays.

It’s no secret that parent-teacher relationships can often be strained; but even more so with parents of gifted children. As students begin to return to school, we took a look at ways to improve the relationship in a non-confrontational setting exploring ways to help all parties to work together for their children and students.

It was pointed out by the moderator that most teachers do not have a strong knowledge-base on which to draw about needs of gifted children. However, parents often don’t realize the restrictions and responsibilities placed on teachers today by their school administrations. This lack of knowledge can lead to misunderstandings. In addition, Jeff commented about the reluctance of teachers to acknowledge that parents usually know their child best. Friction can also be the result of competing goals and different perspectives of what is best for the child.

There are strategies which teachers can use to increase positive engagement with parents. Teachers need to renew their communication toolboxes each new school year; not rely on antiquated tools. They can seek out professional development regarding gifted education not provided at the undergraduate level. Heather suggested that teachers, “Validate their concerns. Parents need to know that teachers sincerely take them seriously.” Corin Goodwin, Executive Director of Gifted Homeschoolers Forum, said, “Listening. Putting aside assumptions. Not dismissing parents – especially moms – like they’re all crazies or helicopter parents.Work on problem solving *together* as allies instead of antagonists.”

Parents can also work to forge a productive relationship with their child’s teacher. Heather told us, “Acknowledge the work teachers are doing with your child. Don’t talk yourself out of reaching out to your child’s teacher.” Jeremy Bond, a parent in CT, said, “Establish from the outset how you want to communicate and what you hope to learn about their classroom.” It can be beneficial to provide teachers with an information portfolio of the child’s behaviors (academic/social/emotional) outside of school.

The parent-teacher relationship can affect student achievement. Kids, especially gifted kids, are highly cognizant of parent-teacher relationships. Adults need to be aware of emotional repercussions that may result due to their actions and work to prevent any negative reactions. Mutual respect by all parties can enhance and propel student achievement.

Can technology bridge the parent-teacher communication gap? New technologies can only help when everyone understands how to use the tools available. Not every new piece of technology is right in every situation. Be aware of cultural concerns and the availability of whatever tech is chosen. (See ‘suggestions’ in the links below.)

Clearly, good parent-teacher relationships will have a positive effect on a child’s educational experience. All parties must be committed to continually improving this relationship. When a parent or teacher does not believe this is occurring, they should take steps to seek assistance. This may include working with school administrators, counselors, or outside advocates. The most important thing is to keep the best interests of the student in the forefront of all discussions. A transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at Noon (12.00) NZST/10.00 AEST/1.00 UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered        by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Links:

Parent-Teacher Conference Worksheet (download)

What Can Be Done To Improve Parent-Teacher Communication?

New Teachers: Working With Parents

Gifted 101 for Teachers New to Gifted Students

Parent Workshop: Productive Partnerships with your Child’s Teacher (YouTube 31:00)

Parent Workshop: Productive Partnerships with your Child’s Teacher (Handout – pdf)

Why Don’t Teachers and Parents See Eye to Eye about Gifted Children?

5 Strategies for Building Effective Parent-Teacher Partnerships … From a Parent’s Perspective

Six Tips for Communicating with Your Gifted Child’s Teacher

Back to School Blues: Why Gifted Teens Dread Returning to School

How Parents & Teachers Can Work Together For Powerful Learning OutcomesHow Parents & Teachers Can Work Together For Powerful Learning Outcomes

5 Keys to Forging Strong Parent Engagement

Districts Work to Bolster Parent Involvement

Harvard Family Research Proj: Parent–Teacher Conf Tip Sheets for Principals, Teachers & Parents (pdf)

How to Turn Parents into Partners

It’s Time to Revamp Parent-Teacher Conference: Include the Child! (pdf)

Talking Points: Talking with Teachers about Your Gifted Child (pdf)

Choosing a Parent-Teacher Communication App

Gifted Son Being Punished by Teacher

Influence of Student–Teacher and Parent–Teacher Relationships on Lower Achieving Readers’ Engagement and Achievement in the Primary Grades

Periscope: 5 Tips for Working with Parents with Lisa Dabbs

Cybraryman’s Parents and Teachers Page

Making the Choice: When Typical School Doesn’t Fit Your Atypical Child (Perspectives in Gifted Homeschooling) (Amazon)

Overcoming the Barriers to Effective Teacher-Parent Partnership (audio 11:07)

Overcoming the Biggest Barriers to Effective Parent Teacher Relationships

9 Tips for Successful Parent-Teacher Communication in the Digital Age

Communication Apps (availability; not recommendations):

Remind App

ClassDojo

Periscope

Canvas

Bloomz

Class Messenger

Picture courtesy of Pixabay.   CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Emotional Intelligence

gtchat 08022016 Emotional Intelligence

 

Emotional Intelligence can be defined as “the capacity to reason about emotions and emotional information, and of emotions to enhance thought.” (See here.) Emotional Intelligence is understanding emotions … both your own and others; and ultimately how to manipulate emotions. It is not simply being happy, optimistic, agreeable or even motivated … the fodder of self-help gurus. Being able to control emotions can aid in critical thinking and problem-solving under critical circumstances.

 

Linda Lantieri: Excerpt from the 2013 Bridging Hearts & Minds of Youth conference (YouTube 8:37)

Since being introduced in the early 1990s, the idea of teaching emotional intelligence has been debated in much the same way the existence of ‘gifted’ has been questioned. Is it nature or nurtured? Most would agree that it can be taught to some extent and any attempt to do so may produce modest, but appreciable benefits.

“Emotional Intelligence is discerning which emotions and actions are deemed appropriate for any given situation.” ~ Kristine Reese, ELP Coordinator

Emotional Intelligence is good for all students, but how important is it for gifted children? Emotional Intelligence is often equated with success that may elude gifted students without it. Raising emotional intelligence, even slightly, can sometimes counter the effects of being highly sensitive.

What differences can be seen between people with low and high Emotional Intelligence? People with low Emotional Intelligence characteristically are demanding, confrontational, egotistical, and stubborn. It is seen in people who are resistant to change, critical of others, and unreasonable. High Emotional Intelligence appears as someone who is ambitious, persuasive, and consistent. It is characterized as being enthusiastic, decisive and willing to listen to others.

“As teachers, we can help students develop Emotional Intelligence by modeling and giving opportunities to practice.” ~ Terri Eichholz, TX teacher of K-5 gifted students

To develop a basic Emotional Intelligence, a person must be willing to take the time to reflect on their own emotions. Developing Emotional Intelligence involves recognizing periods of extreme emotions and learning how to deal with them.

Finally, is there a downside to encouraging emotional intelligence in adults?  People who have a greater control of their own emotions can disguise their emotions better. Being able to read others’ emotions allows one to also manipulate, even against best interests, other people.

Emotional Intelligence is associated with success and most often, well-being. It is important for children to be able to assess their emotions and understand how to best develop them to meet their own goals. Adults can assist is nurturing it through role-modeling and talking to children honestly about it. A transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.

 

gtchat-logo-new bannner

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at Noon (12.00) NZST/10.00 AEST/1.00 UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered        by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

 

Links:

What is Emotional Intelligence (EQ)?

Emotional Intelligence: New Ability or Eclectic Traits? (pdf 2008)

What Emotional Intelligence Is and Is Not

Tachykinesics—Those Fleeting Behaviors That Say So Much

3 Mistakes That Can Keep You from Living an Authentic Life

3 Ways Emotional Intelligence Can Save Your Relationship

The Socially Savvy: Can the clueless boost their emotional IQ?

How Focus Changed My Thinking about Emotional Intelligence

EQ (Emotional Intelligence)

Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ (Amazon)

10 Qualities of People with High Emotional Intelligence

Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence

Emotions Matter Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence (pdf)

The Dark Side of Emotional Intelligence

Mindful Kids

How to Teach Your Kids about the Brain

Cybraryman’s EQ – Emotional Intelligence Page

Links with historical context:

Perceiving Affective Content in Ambiguous Visual Stimuli: A Component of Emotional Intelligence (pdf 1990)

Emotional Intelligence: Imagination, Cognition & Personality Salovey/Mayer (pdf 1990)

Emotional Intelligence & the Construction and Regulation of Feelings (pdf 1995)

Emotional Intelligence Meets Traditional Standards for an Intelligence (pdf 1999)

 

Photo courtesy of Pixabay   CC0 Public Domain 

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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