Category Archives: parenting

Managing Behavioral Issues in Gifted Youth

How society views the nonconforming behavior of many gifted children has often been detrimental to the well-being and self-perception as a gifted child. It perpetuates the myth that these children are misfits and need to be fixed or reigned in somehow. It can’t be underscored enough that responsible adults in a GT child’s sphere of influence must advocate on their behalf. Societal pressures can have long-lasting, negative effects on their behavior. By failing to understand the underpinnings of a gifted child’s behavior, society places undue expectations and negative consequences for those deemed too different, too sensitive, too perfectionistic.

A misdiagnosis of a gifted child can lead to profoundly inappropriate responses to behaviors they are displaying. Although there are children who are twice-exceptional, many gifted behaviors may be misdiagnosed as a comorbid disorder; but aren’t. Misdiagnosis can lead to inappropriate educational placements, unnecessary medical interventions, and reactionary parenting due to misunderstood behaviors. It is extremely important that parents and educators rely on the services of professionals experienced in dealing with gifted individuals when seeking help in diagnosing behaviors of gifted children.

Asynchronous development is manifested in gifted children by high intellectual ability, but maturity levels closer to age-peers. Adults who don’t understand the distinction often misread behaviors and respond with punitive consequences. It can be an overlooked indication of giftedness. An angry or defiant child may just be feeling misunderstood. A bored child may be seen as not paying attention. A bossy child may be trying to express advanced knowledge. It’s important for parents to constantly remind themselves that gifted kids are still kids who need guidance and nurturing. When confronted with real-life fears and trauma, they need emotional support just like any other kid.

What unique behavioral challenges do twice-exceptional children face? Our twice-exceptional population is one of the least recognized in education today. Little attention is paid to this group of students in teacher prep programs or professional development. This can lead to inappropriate placement as well as interventions. Twice-exceptional students – #2ekids – are far too often recommended for special education services when gifted classes would benefit them so much more. Their behaviors can be exacerbated by failing to recognize their intellectual abilities. They do exhibit challenging behaviors, but it’s the responsibility of adults to find appropriate ways to manage these behaviors. Accommodating their strengths before remediating weaknesses is an important first step.

What strategies can be used in the classroom to promote positive behaviors in GT students? The late Barbara Clark (Growing Up Gifted) suggested GT kids be placed with intellectual peers and teachers who enjoyed teaching them; be exposed to a challenging, deep and complex curriculum; and given guidance to understand the nature of giftedness. Managing classroom behaviors of gifted students begins with acknowledging they will become bored and need differentiated and challenging curricular activities. If they challenge your authority, don’t take it personally; be understanding. Providing ample opportunities for student choice and voice in the classroom can reduce misbehavior and increase engagement.

What preventative strategies can parents use to reduce negative behaviors at home? Building a relationship based on honesty, respect for their opinions, and spending quality time together is way to reduce negative behaviors at home. Offer choices, rather than demands. Provide intellectually stimulating activities. Parents should teach their gifted child strategies for controlling their emotions, such as, mindfulness. It’s also important to teach respect for others’ perspectives which will benefit them throughout their lives.

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 Noon NZST/10AM AEST/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 authorLisa 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@gtchatmod

Resources:

How to Discipline your Gifted Child | Dr. Gail Post

Tips for Parents: Managing Frustration and Difficult Feelings in Gifted Children | Davidson Gifted

Classroom Management for Gifted and Twice-Exceptional Students Using Functional Behavior Assessment: A Step-by-Step Professional Learning Program for Teachers (book)

Behaviour, Emotions, Social Development: Gifted and Talented Children

Emotional and Behavioral Characteristics of Gifted Children and Their Families

Psychological Misdiagnosis of Gifted and Talented Children

Implementing Successful Behavioral Interventions with Gifted Students

Giftedness & ADHD: A Strengths-Based Perspective and Approach https://bit.ly/3ExhyMi

Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnosis of Gifted Children (Webb) | SENG

Gifted Children and Behavioral Problems

Gifted Students Need a Personalized Approach to Education

7 Ways to Help Your Strong-Willed Gifted Child Thrive

Unlocking the Potential of Gifted Kids with ADHD | ADDitude Magazine

How to Recognize a Gifted Child’s Behavior Problems

Four Ways To Reduce Behavior Problems | Byrdseed

Giftedness in Young Children: What Do Parents and Teachers Know? (pdf)

Lessons From Psychotherapy That Inform Counseling Gifted Students: What We Know and Future Opportunities (pdf) | Florida State University

Tall Tales: When your Gifted Child Lies to You | Dr. Gail Post

Disciplining Smart Kids

How to Not Argue With Your Gifted Child

Mislabeled Behavior and Giftedness

Life with a Challenging Child: What to do When your Gifted but Difficult Child is Driving you Crazy | SENG

Today’s Disruptors can be Tomorrow’s Innovators | thinkLawUS

Disciplining Gifted Children

Discipline and the Gifted Child

Image courtesy of Pixabay   Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Perspectives on Giftedness

For decades, educators, academics, professionals in the field, parents and even those identified as gifted have tried to define the term ‘gifted’ with few reaching consensus. Today’s chat will explore different perspectives about giftedness. The terms educationally and psychologically gifted are terms used by some to distinguish between individuals with different needs in school. Other terms frequently used include high achievers or profoundly gifted. 2Es or twice exceptional students are labeled ‘gifted’, but also experience learning challenges. It’s important to consider a student’s strengths and address those before deficits.

What does it mean to be ‘more’ regarding gifted children and why does it matter? When the idea of ‘more’ is introduced in discussing gifted children, concerns about behavior are generally the issue. The source or reason for intense behaviors is debatable in academic circles, but rarely for parents. It is important to recognize and address out of the ordinary behaviors of a child who is identified as gifted to ensure their well-being as well as their ability to achieve academically and gain important social skills to be successful in life. In recent years, the importance of SEL or social-emotional learning has gained recognition among educators and parents. For GT kids, the assumption was that they would be fine on their own. This is no longer the case.

What challenges do twice-exceptional students face at school and in life? Initially, recognition of the existence of twice-exceptional students is paramount to providing appropriate educational opportunities. Failure to do so can result in students receiving only remedial services. Twice-exceptional students are often misunderstood both in school and by society at large. Challenging behaviors or academic deficits can result in students being misplaced in special education rather than placement in gifted programs. Inappropriate placement in school can lead to life-long consequences for twice-exceptional students whose most urgent needs are never met. It can have disastrous effects on life and career outcomes.

Pathologizing a gifted child’s behavior – labeling normal behavior as abnormal – is like trying to fix a problem which does not exist. Interventions, inappropriate treatments and even drug therapy can do more harm than good. For parents, in particular, it is extremely important to engage with professionals who have qualified experience working with gifted children. Pathologizing gifted behaviors may result in misdiagnosis which can lead to unmet needs or even more serious problems for their child.

Parents may wonder if they should tell their child they have been identified as gifted. However, its important to explain giftedness before they learn about it from unqualified sources or form their own opinions based on misinformation. Gifted children need to understand that they are more than a label assigned to them in order to receive services at school. That understanding involves realizing they are not better than, but rather better at. Understanding the nature of giftedness will help a gifted child to realize it’s okay to make mistakes or even fail at times; it’s not an excuse for poor behavior; and they may view the world around them differently than their age peers.

What does giftedness look like in adulthood? Gifted adults may or may not recognize their own giftedness based on their individual life experiences. Unfortunately, there is a tendency to only view eminent or high achieving adults as ever being gifted. Psychologists’ offices are filled with gifted adults experiencing anxiety, intense emotions, perfectionism, an acute sense of loneliness due to an inability to connect with others, existential depression, and so much ‘more’.

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 Noon NZST/10AM AEST/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 authorLisa 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

Resources:

The Columbus Group Conference | Gifted Parenting Support

Gifted Myths: An Easy-to-Read Guide to Myths on the Gifted and Twice-Exceptional (book)

Educating Your Gifted Child: How One Public School Teacher Embraced Homeschooling

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

Your Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Adults and Youth

Behavioral Profiles of Clinically Referred Children with Intellectual Giftedness | BioMed Research International

Homeschooling Gifted Students: Considerations for Research and Practice (pdf) | IGI Global

Dwelling on the Right Side of the Curve: An Exploration of the Psychological Wellbeing of Parents of Gifted Children (pdf)

New Brain Mapping Technique Highlights Relationship Between Connectivity and IQ | Neuroscience News

“Choosing our Histories” by Kevin Gover, Baccalaureate Address 2016 | Brown University

The Boy Who Played with Fusion: Extreme Science, Extreme Parenting, and How to Make a Star (book)

Bright Adults: Uniqueness and Belonging across the Lifespan (book)

Comparison of Cognitive, Psychosocial, and Adaptive Behavior Profiles among Gifted Children with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder

Gifted … You Know What That Means, Right?

When Gifted Kids Don’t Have All the Answers: How to Meet Their Social and Emotional Needs (book)

Serving Highly & Profoundly Gifted Learners (pdf)

Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth | Vanderbilt University

Behavioral Profiles of Clinically Referred Children with Intellectual Giftedness | Biomed Research International

Images courtesy of GHF Learners, Celi Trepanier, Dr. Gail Post, Stacie Brown McCullough, and Paula Prober.

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Parent Advocacy for GT Kids

How will advocacy look after COVID19; more options, fewer options? Options in gifted education may be different in the short term as opposed to long term depending on a school district’s financial health and whether virtual learning options continue. In schools which embraced virtual learning, many GT kids may opt to continue learning from home because of greater opportunities for enrichment, ability to learn at their own pace, and reduced anxiety from potential bullying. In schools which lack technical infrastructure or student access to the Internet, all students may be required to return to school full time. Further budget restraints could be used as an excuse to eliminate gifted programs.

Many parents recognize the signs for potential giftedness very early in their child’s life. Parents should begin educating themselves as soon as possible; learn about all available opportunities for their child’s education. Many schools begin testing/screening for GT students at about second grade (year two). However, parents may want to seek an independent assessment earlier; especially if their child’s school offers services before that time. It’s important to advocate for educational interventions early as the benefits of an individualized education can have many benefits for a GT kid both intellectually and for their mental health.

What assessments are necessary to be considered for entrance to a school gifted program? Virtually every school’s requirements are different due to a lack of a national policy. Some states mandate gifted education and do have basic guidelines, but this seems to be the exception rather than the rule. Universal testing in many places occurs in 2nd or 3rd grade. With appropriate advocacy, schools may accept outside testing provided by the parent; others will not.  

There are numerous benefits to starting or belonging to a parent support group – strength in numbers, connecting with other parents of gifted kids, a way to provide enrichment opportunities to GT kids beyond the school doors. Parents can learn about local and state gifted education mandates, available gifted programs, and extracurricular academic opportunities within the local school district. Many local gifted parent support groups are part of state-wide groups supported by state gifted organizations. This allows them to bring in speakers, access quality webinars, and receive conference opportunities.

What strategies can parents use to nurture self-advocacy in their GT kids? Self-advocacy begins with self-understanding. Parents are the best resource for GT kids to learn about being gifted … ‘better at, not better than’. Parents are the ultimate role-model for their GT child. By being knowledgeable advocates who can work with all stakeholders in a professional manner goes a long way in nurturing a child’s ability to advocate for themselves. It’s important for parents to model respect for teachers, school administrators, and other educational professionals. This will greatly improve their children’s advocacy skills and chances for success.

How can teachers help parents advocate for their GT child? The best way for teachers to help parents advocate for their GT child is to learn about gifted education through PD opportunities. This helps dispel myths and offer strategies to best advocate for their students. Teachers can also be respectful toward parents; even when situations may be stressful. Emotional intensities may run high even in the best of times. Calm, patient interactions can benefit all stakeholders.

A transcript of this chat can be found on our Wakelet Page.

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 Noon NZST/10AM AEST/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 authorLisa 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

Resources:

Stop The Shaming: Why We Must Advocate For Gifted Children Now (Medium) | Dr. Gail Post

Fearless Advocacy: A day in the Life of a Gifted Child’s Parent | Dr. Gail Post

Gifted Education IS Special Education (Medium)

Gifted Advocacy is an Education | Dr. Gail Post

Your Child is Gifted! Now What? | Dr. Gail Post

CAN: Advocacy Work Why Advocacy

How to Get Your Child Tested for Giftedness | Davidson Gifted

Tips for Parents: Individual Assessment of Gifted Children | Davidson Gifted

Advocating for your Gifted Child: Advice from NAGC President Jonathan Plucker | CTY Johns Hopkins

Advocating for Your Gifted Child | IEA Gifted

Let’s Talk Advocacy

The Power of Self-Advocacy for Gifted Learners

Advocating for Exceptionally Gifted Young People A Guidebook (pdf – updated 2018)

PA: Gifted Education (Document Template)

Individual Instruction Plan Menu for the Gifted Child (pdf) | Center for Gifted Education at the College of William and Mary

Advocate for Your Child | NAGC

State of the States in Gifted Education (2020) | NAGC

A Parent’s Path to Recognizing Giftedness in their Child

Student Advocating Tools | Elevated Giftedness

Social-emotional Needs of Gifted, Why their Needs are Different | Elevated Giftedness

Why We Advocate for the Profoundly Gifted Child

TIP Sheet: Advocating for Gifted Services (pdf) | NAGC

Advocacy Resources | TAGT

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Personality Difference in Gifted Children

Research suggests that personality traits are complex and shaped both by inheritance and environmental factors. One model regarding personality lists 5 traits (each representing a continuum): Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Neuroticism, and Openness. Another view of personality lists self-perception, self-regulation, motivation, attribution, and intrapersonal intelligence.

It’s important to have a systematic understanding of a gifted student’s personality because a these factors affect their well-being and potential to personally thrive. Understanding a gifted student’s personality can help them to maximize their cognitive potential. Previous studies (Winner, 1996 and Goleman, 1995 as citied in Porair, 2013) suggest that personality and associated motivation may be more important than ability in achieving excellence.

Understanding your own personality allows one to be able to make educated adjustments which can lead to a better chance of happiness. (Mayoriva et al, 2018) Individuals who take the time to consider their own personality have the opportunity to improve relationships, career choices, and life goals; all of which can affect happiness. Employers look for certain personality traits combined with intelligence when considering hiring affecting career success. (Kalashi, 2018)

Personality types – such as introversion, extroversion, feeling, judging, perceiving, etc. – help people understand motivations and needs as compared to others. (Ruf, 2008, 2011, 2020) When potentially gifted children are teacher/parent pleasers, even when it contributes to underachievement, the consideration to screen these kids may be missed because they are doing ‘just fine’ in school. Knowing about a gifted child’s personality can alert adults to consider gifted identification and help the child make changes to enhance ability via effort, experience (enrichment) and current conditions (environment). (Ruf)

The dynamic nature of personality implies that the gifted student’s needs will change over time and require adjustments to their educational plan. It’s important for teachers to get to know their students better and allow this knowledge to guide classroom instruction and potential accommodations for GT students. GT students can thrive in classroom environments which take into consideration personality types rather than stereotypes. Some students may need enrichment while others ‘alone time’ to pursue interests.

A parent’s personality can affect their parenting style which, in turn, affects their child; regardless of the child’s personality. When parent and child are laid back, a child may be less likely to feel like a failure. When a parent is a rule follower, school performance may become a measure of self-worth and negatively affect the child.

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 Noon NZST/10AM AEST/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 authorLisa 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

Resources:

Intellectually Gifted Adolescents hold Higher Standards for Themselves but are not Necessarily “Perfectionists” | Journal of Personality

Are Personality Traits Caused by Genes or Environment?

Subtle Nuances in Personality Differences between Gifted Children as Perceived by Parents and Teachers (Abstract Only) | Gifted Education International

Common Traits and Characteristics of Gifted Children

Differences in Personality Characteristics between Gifted and Normal Children (Abstract Only) | Journal of Gifted/Talented Education

Personality and Interests of Gifted Adolescents: Differences by Gender and Domain (pdf) | Iowa State University

Investigating The Personality Traits of Gifted Adolescents

The Gifted Personality: What Are We Searching For and Why? | Talent Development and Excellence

Personality Characteristics of Gifted Students of Creative Specialty (pdf)

High Giftedness and Personality l

Smart Kids, Personality Types and How They Adapt — or Not — to School (Medium) | Deborah Ruf

The Big-Five-Personality and Academic Self-Concept in Gifted and Non-Gifted Students: A Systematic Review of Literature | International Journal of Research in Education and Science

Personality Predictors of Academic Achievement in Gifted Students: Mediation By Socio-Cognitive and Motivational Variables (pdf) | William and Mary W&M Scholar Works

The Elusive Search for the Personality of the Intellectually Gifted Student: Some Cross-Cultural Findings and Conclusions from the Israeli Educational Context (Abstract Only) | Journal of Talent Development and Excellence

Adding Personality to Gifted Identification: Relationships Among Traditional and Personality-Based Constructs | Journal of Advanced Academics

Ordinary Extraordinary: Elusive Group Differences in Personality and Psychological Difficulties between STEM‐gifted Adolescents and their Peers | British Journal of Educational Psychology

Personality Assessment of Intellectually Gifted adults: A Dimensional Trait Approach

Cognitive Ability, Personality, and Privilege: A Trait-Complex Approach to Talent Development

The Five Factor Model of Personality and Intelligence: A Twin Study on the Relationship between the Two Constructs (pdf) | Personality and Individual Differences

Teachers’ Implicit Personality Theories about the Gifted: An Experimental Approach | School Psychology Quarterly

Personality and Intelligence Interact in the Prediction of Academic Achievement | Journal of Intelligence

Personality and Academic Performance | Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

5 Strategies to Demystify the Learning Process for Struggling Students

Photo courtesy of Pixabay   Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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