Surviving Family Gatherings

All families have a range of abilities; but when that range includes wide differences, it can make for stressful interactions. Family members may lack social skills necessary to interact with others or large groups. Generational attitudes toward precocious toddlers or a quirky elderly relative will often come into conflict without sufficient time to resolve or explain differences. Holidays tend to disrupt routines, create untenable expectations of behavior, increase anxiety concerning the less fortunate, and place oversensitivities in the forefront of extended family interactions.

Gifted children with similar abilities often have an affinity for each other and this can play a role in family gatherings. Adults can make arrangements in advance to facilitate social interactions. Parents should realize that children may react differently to stress. Plans can be put into place to provide time and place for kids to de-escalate if they get overwhelmed. It’s important to understand that a child’s reactions to frustrating situations should not be minimized simply because a child is labeled gifted. Behaviors can escalate quickly if not dealt with promptly.

Gifted adults do not always remember or even realize that they serve as role models for younger family members. Parents should be prepared to remind family members of this reality. Adults who have been regarded gifted their entire lives may harbor extreme attitudes regarding self-importance or the opposite view – succumbing to impostor syndrome. This may require a significant amount of diplomacy to counteract.

How can parents manage others’ expectations about their children before family gatherings? Parents generally have two options – deal with expectations in the moment or ignore them and deal with it at a later time. Often the severity of the situation will determine a course of action. It’s important to consider the child’s feelings and the appropriateness of how to react. Parents usually have the benefit of previous experience with other family members and should be able to anticipate expectations.

Any social gathering can become a teachable moment. This can be a good time to learn social skills involving those a child doesn’t know well. It’s important to remember that children take social cues exhibited by their parents. Building memories can be a powerful experience for children. Creating an opportunity for children to learn about family history can make a lasting impression on them.

Although many families separate children from adults during family meals, this may not be necessary for children who exhibit an affinity for adult conversation and concerns. These kids may revel in these experiences. Creating family traditions for young children to participate in can also provide a lifelong positive experience associated with family gatherings. A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 2PM NZDT/Noon AEDT/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Resources:

The Family Gathering: A Survival Guide

Enjoy the Holidays More With Mindfulness

Holiday Survival Tactics for the Gifted Family

What to Do When Friends & Family Don’t Get Gifted

Holiday Stress and Gifted Families

Dear Parents: Here’s How to Survive & Thrive at the Holidays

Holiday Stress: What Parents of Gifted Children Need to Know

Top 10 Holiday Tips for Parents of Gifted Kids

Holiday Survival Guide for Parents of Gifted Children

How to Enjoy Christmas with a Twice-Exceptional Child

Holidays with the Quirky

Surviving the Holidays with a House Full of Gifted!

Sprite’s Site: Surviving the Holidays

Enriching Holiday Gatherings with Intergenerational Interviews

Surviving the Holidays with a House Full of Gifted Folks

Cybraryman’s Growth Mindset Page

Science of Gratitude: Time to Give Thanks

4 Ideas to Engage Your Child During Holidays

Photo courtesy of Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Traveling with GT Kids

Travel can provide one of the most beneficial ways to respond to ‘intellectual curiosity’ about a multitude of topics and concerns of interest to gifted children. It can lead to exploration of the unexpected. While traveling, gifted children have the opportunity to be exposed to new and thought provoking experiences which may lead to important self-discovery or developing new interests. Traveling with family can provide gifted children with important experience in dealing with interpersonal relationships in varied settings; providing life skills not gained elsewhere.

How do you prepare a child for a long car trip? Any travel will greatly benefit from pre-planning; anticipation of special needs; and seeking input from everyone who will be traveling. Travel by car can mean long hours on the road in close quarters. It is important to build in breaks; snack time; time to ‘savor the moment’ when appropriate; and knowing about accommodations on the route and at the destination. Also, parents should have ‘boredom busters’ ready including games, books, tablets, videos, and movies.

How do we turn travel time into experiential time for our 2E kids? Always keep in mind that whether a child is labeled as gifted or 2E, they are still just kids who can learn a great deal from traveling; both as experiencing the actual travel and as visitors to faraway places. Experiential travel begins with consideration of where best a child can learn and where they want to go. It’s best to match travel plans with a child’s interests. This can reduce unnecessary backlash and behavioral issues.

What accommodations are available for children who are anxious or have special challenges? It’s a good idea to check with airlines and destinations to see what is available for children who are anxious about flying, waiting in line, crowds, or preferential seating at restaurants. Some airlines offer cockpit tours and meeting the pilot/attendants or special waiting areas in airports. Major attractions catering to children often provide a way to skip long lines or provide private seating at their restaurants.

Most parents consider travel a time to build memories. But, it’s a good idea to preserve those memories afterwards with a time of reflection. Keeping a journal and taking pictures are good ways of recording family travel so that everyone can reflect on the trip once they are home.

In the end, prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Good planning and anticipating possible scenarios can go a long way in preventing a ruined trip. Remember to consider basic needs – food, rest, and entertainment. It’s helpful to go over the itinerary with your child before leaving so that they know what to expect and what may be expected of them. The fewer the surprises, the smoother things tend to go. A transcript of this chat is available at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 2PM NZDT/Noon AEDT/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Resources:

Tips for Traveling With Challenging Children

The Family Gathering: A Survival Guide

Traveling the World with Intense Children – Just Make It Happen

Helpful Tips for Successful Trips with Your Gifted Child

Road Trip!

Traveling with the Quirky

How to Have Your Best Family Vacation Ever

Traveling with Intense Children – It Can Be Done!

The Coming of Age of an Overexcitable Globetrotter

Traveling for Gifted Students

Educational Travel Programs

Homeschooling and Traveling with Gifted and Talented Students

WKU- The Center for Gifted Studies: Travel Abroad: Explore the World with The Center’s Travel/Study Tours

Cybraryman’s Field Trips Page

Sprite’s Site: Travelling with the Dabrowski Dogs

Photo courtesy of Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Benefits of Bibliotherapy for GT Kids

Bibliotherapy has been around since the early 1800’s and refers to using storytelling to help children cope with challenges they may face. It may either involve reading aloud to children or children reading stories on their own.

Gifted children encounter social as well as emotional challenges which are often ameliorated by reading books – where they can relate to characters like themselves and learn life lessons. Bibliotherapy can be used to address perfectionism, motivation, anxiety; and, in older students, impostor syndrome. It can guide gifted children by helping them navigate difficult life decisions, become more self-aware, develop empathy for others, and learn about moral values.

Bibliotherapy can easily be incorporated in the classroom through ‘story time’ or time designated for individual reading. It should be facilitated and guided by the teacher. Students should feel comfortable enough to share within a welcoming classroom environment. Students learn how to see books as therapeutic. Bibliotherapy at school should incorporate the original basis for this therapy – identify, catharsis, and insight (Shrodes).

What are some benefits of bibliotherapy for GT children of color & low-SES? Multicultural literature engages students who see themselves as characters in the books they read who are facing similar challenges to their own. They see perceived like-interests as a positive. “Mirror books promote … racial pride, self-efficacy, motivation, & coping strategies when faced w/challenges, including negative peer pressures & isolation in predominantly White gifted classes.” (D. ford)

What are some questions parents and teachers can pose after bibliotherapy? First and foremost, parents and teachers can explore with the child who they identified with in the story or book they read. Encourage them to explain why they feel this way about the characters. Questions used in bibliotherapy for gifted children can ask about how the story relates to gifted children and the idea of being ‘gifted’. What text evidence can they find to support its impact on the story? Gifted children should be asked to delineate the book’s message/plot; how characters met and overcame challenges; and do they agree with the author’s conclusions.

Parents can provide their children with a wide variety of books that center on their child’s interests and potential challenges they may face. Frequent trips to the library are a great way to spend quality time with their child. One of the best ways to use bibliotherapy at home is with bedtime stories … a quiet and comforting time between parent and child.

A Transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 2PM NZDT/Noon AEDT/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Resources:

Turning Theory into Practice #5 – What can bibliotherapy look like with gifted children?

The Unopened Gifted (slideshow)

Some of My Best Friends Are Books: Guiding Gifted Readers (3rd Edition) (book)

I Want to Read About Me: Engaging and Empowering Gifted Black Girls Using Multicultural Literature and Bibliotherapy

Bibliotherapy A Resource to Facilitate Emotional Healing and Growth

A Bibliotherapy Evaluation Tool: Grounding Counselors in the Therapeutic use of Literature (pdf)

Bibliotherapy: Overview and Implications for Counselors (pdf)

Psychological Well-being, Improved Self-confidence, and Social Capacity: Bibliotherapy from a User Perspective

Bibliotherapy: Helping Children Cope with Life’s Challenges

Book Lists for Gifted Learners

Literature and the Gifted in TEMPO (1991)

Top 10 Books for Gifted Children

Comparing the Use of Cinematherapy and Bibliotherapy to Teach Character Education: A Quasi-Experimental Study (pdf 2019)

Incorporating Bibliotherapy Into the Classroom: a Handbook for Educators (pdf)

Bibliotherapy Goldmine: Books on a Variety of Topics

Books for Beginning Bibliotherapy

Kids’ Books – Bibliotherapy (Pinterest)

Bibliotherapy Intervention Exposure and Level of Emotional Awareness among Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders (pdf)

The Effectiveness of Creative Bibliotherapy for Internalizing, Externalizing, and Prosocial Behaviors in Children: A Systematic Review

Rick Riordan Presents https://bit.ly/33rr5Sj

NAGC: Bibliotherapy by the Campfire: Meeting the Social and Emotional Needs of Students through Picture Books (Parenting for High Potential June 2019 [membership required])

Photo courtesy of Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

 

 

Relationships in a Gifted Family

All families have different abilities among parents, siblings, and extended family. Parents need to understand (and most do) that each child is unique and not compare their children to one another. They should learn to choose their words wisely and recognize social situations requiring them to react thoughtfully in order to avoid negative interactions with friends and families.

How should a parent deal with extended family member who balk at the term ‘gifted’? Parents may want to avoid confrontation and reserve comments for more private encounters. When insensitive comments are made in the presence of the child, it may be necessary to address them in the moment; but not with the child present.

When gifted children start school, it may be the first time they face not being as intellectually challenged as they were in their early years at home. Parents should be prepared for the consequences of asynchronous development which may not be as prevalent until a child enters school. It may be necessary to inform teachers and staff.

Gifted and talented children can consume much of their parents’ time leaving other family members or each other feeling neglected. When parents agree on the nature of being highly-abled or talented, things go much more smoothly. Providing enrichment and opportunities for their child can often place a significant financial burden on parents.

What unique challenges do families with gifted children face during the holiday season? The holidays can be unsettling for gifted families when daily routines are disrupted. Parents of gifted children must cope with the high expectations of others at family gatherings. Some gifted children express empathetic feelings for others during the holidays at younger ages than expected – worries about world peace or concern for those less fortunate.

Fortunately, there are organizations, websites, books, and professional who work with gifted children to turn to today. Some of these include the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented, SENG, the National Association for Gifted Children, Potential Plus UK, and the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children. A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 1PM NZDT/11 AM AEDT/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Resources:

Subjective Emotional Well-Being, Emotional Intelligence, and Mood of Gifted vs. Unidentified Students: A Relationship Model

Nurturing Gifted Children’s Family Relationships

Sibling Relationships in Families with Gifted Children (pdf)

Exploring the Experiences of New Zealand Mothers Raising Intellectually Gifted (pdf)

Family Environment and Social Development in Gifted Students (pdf)

A Study of Parent Perceptions of Advanced Academic Potential in the Early Grades (pdf)

Health, Care and Family Problems in Gifted Children: A Literature Review (pdf)

Parenting Gifted Children to Support Optimal Development (pdf)

Family Dynamics

Giftedness and Family Relationships

Gifted and Nongifted Siblings

Life in the Asynchronous Family

If This is a Gift, Can I Send it Back?: Surviving in the Land of the Gifted and Twice Exceptional

Holiday Stress: What Parents of Gifted Children Need to Know

The Young Gifted Child: a Guide for Families (pdf)

Multigenerational Giftedness: Perceptions of Giftedness Across Three Generations (pdf)

The Other Side of Being “Gifted”

Set Effective Boundaries with Your Gifted Child or Teen

Sprite’s Site: When Extended Family Don’t Get Giftedness

Sprite’s Site: On a Shoestring

Sprite’s Site: The Doll House

Cybraryman’s Gifted Parenting Page

Sprite’s Site: Gifted Giving without the Buy, Buy, Buy

Sprite’s Site: I Love Christmas, BUT …

Photo courtesy of Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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