Category Archives: anxiety
This week, Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT welcomed Jen Merrill and Kate Arms to discuss the need to remember the importance of self-care during the current coronavirus Pandemic. It was a much need topic for all those who participated.
Our first question dealt with how we can handle isolation well. First and foremost, we need to remember that we are all in this together; albeit, not necessarily in the same boat, but in the same ocean. Even the introverts among us have rarely experienced this level of isolation. Isolating oneself in an attempt to be alone is quite different from self-preservation and survival. In the past, isolation was an individual coping mechanism. Today, its significance is much more communal. It is important to remember that our current situation is indeed temporary and necessary. We must depend on others’ behavior and good judgement. In lieu of that, we must take our isolation seriously.
What should you say to kids about #COVID19/pandemics/social isolation? Parents and teachers of gifted children should be cognizant of a few things that may not apply to all children. As in any situation, each child may display a ‘unique’ response to our new reality. Special consideration should be given to asynchronous development. Chronological age may or may not be a factor in understanding daily events. Do not suppose that intellectual maturity is in sync with their emotional state. Adults should temper their language when discussing #COVID19 with children, but not condescend to them. These kids may well know more than you about the virus, but still need your emotional support.
First step in teaching the importance of self-care to children is to model the behavior you wish to see in your children. Look forward, not backward; you can’t change the past. Self-care is a journey. Take time to learn about self-care and understand what it means for your child’s future. When you realize its importance, it can become a part of your life-style and children become the beneficiaries. As parents and teachers, we know that you must first ‘learn the lesson’ before you can teach it. Be diligent in the learning process.
What can parents/teachers do to begin self-care? Reach for the proverbial ‘oxygen mask’ first before attending to those around you. You are the starting point. You will inevitably be called to be a care-giver at some point. Self-care begins with self-assessment. What do you already do to take care of yourself, what needs to change, and how do you get to the point where you need to be? Honesty and objectivity are key.
We are living in unprecedented times. Few of us ever conceived of needing to plan our lives to respond to a pandemic of this magnitude. In designing a plan to balance work, home and school, we’ll need to be creative. Life plans do not need to be perfect all at once. It is a balancing act. Effective plans evolve over time. Be kind to yourself. The old adage, ‘if at first you don’t succeed’ comes to mind.
Are there special considerations for GT/2E kids that parents should know? Parents can realize the need to be especially attentive to their child’s emotional state at any given time and consider how to respond to their needs in advance. Kindness, compassion, empathy, self-control … are all important. We are living in a new reality. Physical distancing doesn’t need to be social distancing. Be prepared for the ‘highs and lows’ of emotions. And as Jen Merrill often reminds us, ‘Don’t forget to laugh’! It may be difficult at times, but we are all in this together. Stay safe, stay home, and stay healthy.
A transcript of this chat can 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/11AM AEDT/1AM 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.
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: email@example.com
Breathe for Change: Resources (free – sign up required)
Cultivez Votre Bouffe (Farm Your Food)
Kate’s Nuggets: Self-Care: It’s Not What You Think it Is (Audio 18:00)
Photos courtesy of Jen Merrill and Kate Arms.
Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.
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.
Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.