Writing Your Own Script: A Parent’s Role in the Gifted Child’s Development
Posted by gtchatmod
This week, #gtchat welcomed Corin Barsily Goodwin, Executive Director of Gifted Homeschoolers Forum, and Mika Gustavson, MFT; authors of “Writing Your Own Script: A Parent’s Role in the Gifted Child’s Development”, the latest book in the GHF Press Perspectives In Gifted Homeschooling Series. It marks a departure from their previous focus of finding the right academic fit for a child in their first book Making the Choice: When Typical School Doesn’t Fit Your Atypical Child to guiding parents on how to facilitate the development of friendships for gifted and twice-exceptional children.
We began our discussion by considering why gifted and twice-exceptional children struggle to find others with the same interests and how levels of friendship play a role. So often, age-peers do not share interests with these kids due to asynchronous development and the less cited fact that true peers are scarce. Dave Mayer pointed out, “Many seek the same level of intensity regarding a concept or activity, not just mild interest or friendly amiability.” Thus, the gifted child will not relate well to others as well. The authors referenced the work of Miraca Gross in “Play Partner” or “Sure Shelter”: What Gifted Children Look for in Friendship.
There are times when some parents have difficulty separating their own needs from those of their children. They must be honest with themselves; it’s not the child’s role to fulfill the aspirations of their parents. There are also parents who are gifted, but were never identified. Their dissatisfaction with the school system may stem from personal frustration and unmet needs as a child. Sometimes a simple open and honest dialog with your child can solve the problem.
Overexcitabilites and asynchronous development both play roles in the development of friendships. Mika told us, “One child may be on different levels emotionally, behaviorally, intellectually.” Corin added, “Not every child has the capacity to deal with meltdowns, intensities or other behavioral issues. Kids may also have conflicting needs – such as one who thrives on sensory input and another who is sensory sensitive.”
So, what role should parent’s play in their gifted/2E kids’ friendships? Each child is unique with different needs that must be reflected in the parent’s participation in their lives. Many factors must be taken into consideration as Corin stated, “Factors including age, development, tired or not tired, sensory input, one-on-one or groups, hungry, etc. Don’t expect consistency.” Parents may need to act as facilitators by providing opportunities for intellectual peers to meet. Jaime of Online G3 said, “Parents can model healthy relationships, with together time, alone time, and finding ways to connect on various levels.” As a child grows, these needs change and as Jen Merrill told us, “Eventually you have to back off; I’m kinda there now. Set up events and get outta the way.”
“Not every child has the capacity to deal with meltdowns, intensities or other behavioral issues. Kids may also have conflicting needs – such as one who thrives on sensory input and another who is sensory sensitive.” ~ Corin Barsily Goodwin
How can parents be sure they are encouraging independence in their child by the actions they take? It’s important to look for social growth in your child’s behavior. Mika said, “Remember this is about scaffolding – giving your child a hand up and the tools to become independent.” According to Corin, “Scaffolding is an investment in their future independence, really. Some folks believe that kids develop in lockstep, but that’s not true. Some develop evenly; many don’t. And that’s OK.” Care M. summed it up, “I think it’s a lot like being at the playground. Grit teeth, hope for best, be there to pick up the pieces if they fall off.” 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 Fridays at 7E/6C/5M/4P in the U.S., Midnight in the UK and Saturdays Noon NZDT/10 AM AEDT 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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children (Amazon)
Keys to Successfully Parenting the Gifted Child (Talent Igniter)
Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.
Posted on October 14, 2015, in family, Homeschooling, parenting, Parents, Psychology, Social Emotional, Twice-exceptional and tagged gifted, Gifted Homeschoolers Forum, gtchat, homeschooling, overexcitabilities, parenting, TAGT, twice exceptional, Twitter. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.