Category Archives: Teens

Helping Gifted Teens Cope with Anti-Intellectualism

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The teen years are hard … for everyone. It’s difficult to be a teen, but it’s also hard to parent and teach teens. When we consider bright, articulate, smart teens who have a passion for learning, we up the ante significantly. Having to deal with the effects of anti-intellectualism in of all places -school – can be devastating for many. It begins with name-calling and exclusion from social groups, but can escalate to more troubling actions.

What exactly is anti-intellectualism? Simply put, anti-intellectualism is hostility towards and mistrust of intellect, intellectuals and intellectual pursuits. (Wikipedia) It is the derision of education, philosophy, literature, art and science as impractical and contemptible.

Teens are particularly susceptible to the effects of anti-intellectualism. Peer groups are extremely important during these years and teens don’t want to be seen as geeks and nerds. Gifted teens don’t want to be stereotyped as intellectual and feel they’ll be unpopular and bullied. Many of them see athletes, artists, musicians favored by society and want to ‘fit in’.

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Image courtesy of Ashwani Garg, MD via Twitter

 Anti-intellectualism can manifest in schools in many different ways such as placing sports above academics. It can lead to ridicule and bullying of gifted students and especially twice exceptional kids. The rise of high school dropout rates is one indicator of the increase in anti-intellectualism.

There are some coping strategies which gifted teens can use to combat anti-intellectualism. Gifted teens need to develop self-awareness about the nature of their own intellect; choose a personal path forward. Confronting anti-intellectualism can only succeed when done in a positive manner. At some point, teens need to understand the roots of anti-intellectualism; why others feel this way.

How can parents and teachers help gifted teens deal with anti-intellectualism? They need to mentor GT teens by providing them information on the causes of anti-intellectualism. Also, they can serve as role-models for gifted teens; responding to anti-intellectualism appropriately as well as inform GT students about ways to self-advocate in the face of anti-intellectualism.

The consequences of anti-intellectualism for the future of our society may be severe. Anti-intellectualism at its very root rejects critical thinking and is against anything considered elite. The very ideas that move a society forward are now suspect; we come to hate the things that could save us. Anti-intellectualism brings with it higher crime rates and incarcerations; lower literacy rates; less social mobility.

It’s important not to trivialize the signs of anti-intellectualism if we are to continue moving forward as a civilization. As parents and teachers, we must understand the effects it has on our brightest students and work to support them in their endeavors. The transcript of this chat may be found at our Storify page.

 

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 13.00 NZST/11.00 AEST/Midnight 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:

Making It Safe to Be Smart

Anti-Intellectualism and the “Dumbing Down” of America

Anti-Intellectualism in American Life (1966) (Amazon)

The Age of American Unreason (Amazon)

Anti-intellectualism Is Killing America

The Cult of Ignorance in the US: Anti-Intellectualism & the Dumbing Down of America 

American Idyll: Academic Antielitism as Cultural Critique (Amazon)

Why Do US High Schools Typically have an Anti-Intellectual Atmosphere?

Education’s Anti-Intellectual Problem (pdf)

Anti-intellectualism in Schooling

Review of: Anti-Intellectualism in American Life

Dumbing Down America: The War on Our Nation’s Brightest Young Minds (Amazon)

Is the US Education Bar Set Too Low For All Kids?

Lisa (Simpson) and American Anti-intellectualism (pdf)

Christchurch has Ingrained Anti-Intellectualism & Fear of Innovation & the Unknown

Discrimination against Excellence

Anti-Intellectualism in Education (1955 Preview Only)

Sprite’s Site: Dystopia

Photo courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

 

Meeting the Needs of the Gifted Family

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Meeting the needs of the gifted family is much more difficult than most people realize. This week at #gtchat, we discussed the many issues faced by the gifted family and strategies for meeting their needs.

Our first question drew immediate responses from participants: What do you wish people outside your family understood about life inside a gifted family?

“Life is complicated inside a gifted family. Gifted kids often have intense reactions to events that upset the family equilibrium; divorce, death, loss of pet.” Lisa Conrad, Moderator

“We don’t sit around solving Fermat’s Last Theorem at dinner (most nights).” Lisa Van Gemert, #gtchat Advisory Board

“A G2e (gifted with twice-exceptional) family isn’t what the media shows; far more nuanced than that. It ain’t all sunshine and roses, and it is HARD with all the intensities/sensitivities bouncing off each other.” Jen Merrill of Laughing at Chaos

“Life in a gifted family is challenging, complex, exhilarating and indescribable. Seamless serenity when in flow. Chaos when not.” Marianne Kuzujanakis, SENG PAC, Pediatrician, Homeschooler

There was also a sense of perspective in many of the comments. Darian of GiftedandTalented.com reminded us that, “A bright 8 year-old is still an 8 year-old …”. Carol Bainbridge, Gifted Kids Guide at About.com, added, “When you’ve met one gifted child, you’ve met one gifted child.” Leslie Graves, president of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children, told us, “I’m one of 6 gifted and talented children, a number of 2E issues in the mix too; each was uniquely different from the next..my brave Mom!”

Next we considered how families can cope when multiple members display over-excitabilities. Parents need to recognize overexcitabilities in themselves first and then understand them in their children; and be aware that gifted children experience different intensities than age-peers and often earlier than expected. High intelligence creates asynchrony of unusually mature understanding coupled with limited experience. (Robinson) It’s important to talk to young children about their fears and anxieties; treat them with respect and acknowledge their concerns.

How do you respond to sibling rivalry among gifted kids? Parents can draw from experiences of dealing with their own siblings, co-workers, or teammates to deal with sibling rivalry in their children. They can use life experiences to navigate the sometimes bumpy road of “differently gifted” family members. (Isaacs-McLeod)

The discussion turned to discipline and whether it’s any different in a gifted family. Traditional discipline, popular discipline, innovative discipline; all usually fail. It is better to understand the behavior. Depth of knowledge, insightfulness, and the ability to express divergent views on an adult level can make discipline difficult. You should consider the underlying reasons for behaviors rather than the specific behaviors when contemplating discipline. (Caplan)

Where can families turn for enrichment if schools fail to provide appropriate gifted education? Gifted education comes in many forms; online instruction is a good fit for many gifted kids who thrive on stetting own pace. Enrichment can mean providing opportunities for new experiences outside the classroom – nature, museums, makerspaces. Check out the resources in the links below! A transcript of this chat  can be found on Storify.

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Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented and sponsored by GiftedandTalented.com is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7E/6C/5M/4P in the U.S., Midnight in the UK and Saturdays 11 AM NZST/9 AM AEST 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:

Developing Your Child’s Habits of Success in School, Life & Work (pdf) Costa

Siblings, Giftedness, & Disparities – Oh My!

When Your Child Goes Overboard: Fears & Compassionate Concerns

Keeping the Family Balance

Your Learning Path: A Framework for Creating & Considering Learning Environments

With Thing One & Thing Two, Thing Three Must Make Do!

How to Identify & Cope w/OEs, Part 1/5: Emotional Overexcitability

Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students: Helping Kids Cope w/Explosive Feelings (Amazon)

Dabrowski’s Overexcitabilities or Supersensitivities in Gifted Children

Social and Emotional Problems Affecting Gifted Children

Intensities in the Classroom

Getting Over Overexcitabilities: Effectively Managing Family Interactions when Family Members Have Different Overexcitabilities

Sprite’s Site: Beginning the Journey: Gifted 101

Calvin: The Unexpected Gifted Kid

Living and Learning with Dabrowski’s Overexcitabilities OR “I Can’t Help It – I’m Overexcitable!” (pdf)

Tips for Parents: How Gifted Children Impact the Family

Sprite’s Site: Survivor – Gifted Island

Cybraryman’s Summer Page

On Giftedness and 2E or being ‘Twice Exceptional’

What To Do When Your Kid Is Smarter Than You (Amazon)

How (Not) to Argue with Gifted Children

 

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Guest: Dr. Lynne Kenney, Author of BLOOM

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Our guest this week was Dr. Lynne Kenney, a nationally recognized pediatric psychologist and author of BLOOM: 50 Things to Say Think and Do with Anxious Angry and Over-the-Top Kids. You can learn more about Dr. Kenney’s work at her website and Author’s Page at Amazon.

The basic Bloom Parenting Method is about building cognitive, social and behavioral skill sets instead of using consequences and punishment to manage behavior. A key feature of the Bloom Parenting Method is getting out ahead of a persistent challenge by empathizing with your child’s feelings and experience before the escalation evolves into an eruption. The success of your child’s ability to self-regulate later in life is related to their experience of clear, consistent and responsive mutual regulation in the early years. It’s an amazing, delicate dance that parents and children engage in. (BLOOM)

Mornings can be one of the most hectic and stressful times of the day for both our children and ourselves. As Dr. Kenney reminded us, “It’s easy to feel rushed, and twice-exceptional and over-excitable kids pick up on that. Involving the kids in planning the routines, exercise in the morning, and using mantras [found in BLOOM] to help us think more mindfully can all help.”

BLOOM Match feeling with behavior

Helping children deal with aggressive feelings and actions is important for the well-being of the child and the entire family. Lynne suggested, “Tying the feeling to their actions helps, “You were mad, so you hit.” Humor and silliness help with some kids. When my kids are angry and I don’t take it personally, things go better.” We cannot punish children out of undesirable behavior. We must teach them into more pro-social behavior. (BLOOM)

What are some ways to help a little ‘mover’ slow down, calm down and be more successful at home and school? A healthy diet and exercise is the first step. According to Dr. Kenney, “Sometimes, we have to be thinking one step ahead, “What is my child needing next?” It is interesting that sometimes we want kids to join our pace, but we are best joining theirs; then re-pacing.” Children learn how to solve problems through play. Ten to fifteen minutes of floorplay each day can make a world of difference. (BLOOM)

Neurotransmitters are largely responsible for behavior, attitude and energy. What factors influence neurotransmitter function in the brain and why is this important? When we are slow to get going, distracted or resistant; it’s often NOT simply a behavioral choice, it’s biochemical. (BLOOM) Leticia of Academia Oportunidad explained, “Neurotransmitter function is influenced by food (sodium, calcium, potassium, etc.), exercise, mood and environmental conditions.” Lynne pointed out, “Before we medicate kids, we need to feed them whole food without pesticides; that matters a lot.”

We then turned our attention to why kids don’t just behave at school and what can be done to intervene in such behaviors. “In BLOOM, we have about 200 reasons why kids misbehave,” Lynne told us. Many reasons were given by chat participants such as boredom, lack of challenge, pressure to conform to rigid classroom standards, or a poor fit between the child and teacher. Classroom tips from the book can be seen below.

Bloom Tips #1-#3-01

Bloom Tips #1-#3-02

Bloom Tips #1-#3-03

Finally we looked at how trauma affects a child’s brain and how can adults ease the effects of trauma. Dr. Kenney said, “Trauma comes is so many forms now [that] we have a chapter on it in Bloom. Dr. Gail Post of Gifted Challenges added, “Sadly, trauma is often overlooked, minimized by adults who feel too overwhelmed, guilty, etc. to address the child’s needs.” A transcript of this chat can be found at Storify.

Congratulations to our winners of an electronic version of BLOOM (compliments of Dr. Kenney): Care M. @NaturallyCare, Yomaida England @Englandk_1, and Leticia @Academia Oportunidad.

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Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented and sponsored by GiftedandTalented.com is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7E/6C/5M/4P in the U.S., Midnight in the UK and Saturdays 11 AM NZST/9 AM AEST 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:

Brain Insights

The Coffee Klatch

Zero to Three

Relax Kids

National Association for the Education of Young Children

Building Moral Intelligence (Amazon)

Cool Down & Work through Anger (Amazon)

Hands Are Not for Hitting (Amazon)

Parenting Made Easy: How to Raise Happy Children

Kidlutions (Intense/Angry Kids)

A Moving Child is A Learning Child (Amazon)

Stress Free Kids (Amazon)

The Center for Trauma and Loss: Parent Resources

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise & the Brain (Amazon)

Smart but Scattered: Revolutionary ‘Executive Skills’ Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their Potential (Amazon)

The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding & Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children (Amazon)

Raising a Sensory Smart Child: Definitive Handbook for Helping Child w/Sensory Processing Issues (Amazon)

The Dyslexic Advantage: Unlocking the Hidden Potential of the Dyslexic Brain (Amazon)

Misdiagnosis & Dual Diagnosis of Gifted Children & Adults

Relaxation: Free MP3 downloads from Dartmouth University

Brave: Be Ready & Victory’s Easy, a Story About Social Anxiety (Amazon)

If I Have to Tell You One More Time: The Revolutionary Program That Gets Your Kids To Listen Without Nagging, Reminding, or Yelling (Amazon)

Lynn’s Blog

Increasing Communication Collaboration and Cooperation (Slideshare) and audio

Are You Unintentionally Bullying Your Child?

Still Quiet Place Recommended Readings and CDs

BLOOM Teacher Tips

3 Easy Steps to Enhance Your Brain on Vacation

Kids Eat Clean Printable

Cybraryman’s Communicating with Children Page

Family Resources

Note to Educators: Hope Required When Growing Roses in Concrete (pdf)

BLOOM videos

Understanding the Effects of Maltreatment on Brain Development (pdf)

 

Guest, Pamela Price, Author of “Gifted, Bullied, Resilient: A Brief Guide for Smart Families “

 

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This week on #gtchat we welcomed Pamela Price, author of Gifted, Bullied, Resilient: A Brief Guide for Smart Families.  This marks the 7th book in the Perspectives in Gifted Homeschooling Series from Gifted Homeschoolers Forum and Pamela’s second book in the series. Her first book was the very popular, How to Work and Homeschool: Practical Advice, Tips and Strategies from Parents. Other titles in the GHF Press series may be found here. Pamela’s blog, “Red, White and Grew with Pamela Price” can be found here.

howtoworkandhomeschool

We first examined ‘why’ gifted kids are bullied. It was a general consensus that gifted kids are seen as ‘different’ and misunderstood. Pamela told us that the “reasons are as varied as individuals, but gifted kids are bullied for “difference” including social and intellectual variance.” Lisa Lauffer of Artisan of Creative Miracles pointed out that “If they’ve skipped a grade, they’re younger and smaller than others, making them easy targets.” Tracy Fisher, TAGT Board Member and Coppell ISD School Board member, added that often “they aren’t as socially savvy” and this, too, leads to bullying. Jo Freitag of Gifted Resources in Australia also mentioned that “gifted kids often have different

Tracy Fisher Coppell School Board

Tracy Fisher, Coppell School Board

interests, mannerisms, vocabulary and sensitivities – prime targets for bullies.” Corin Goodwin, Executive Director of Gifted Homeschoolers Forum, made the astute observation that we must not forget that the bully is often the victim of bullying and needs help as well.

Next, we discussed how adults can help gifted kids rise above bullying to become emotionally stronger and more self-assured. Pamela emphasized that “ALL adult stakeholders (parents, educators) must 1st become more aware of and articulate about social skills. They must think proactively about and teach social skills development. Adults also need to ‘rip off the Bandaid’ and discuss OUR experiences (past and present) with interpersonal aggression.” Mary Lovell said that “educators must differentiate for these kids…help them find their own “social place!” Madeline Goodwin told us that adults need to “give tools [to gifted kids] to handle situations – including an exit strategy for circumstances e.g. class and playgroups.”

How can parents model self-care and resilience; and why is this important? Pamela point out that “we need to stop dismissing our own pain. We need to open up, articulate things, and show the path forward. Parental self-care is essential for family well-being; especially with gifted kids and adults. We must first redefine self-care; not manicures and pedicures, but self-compassion, nurturing intellect, mind-body, etc. Kids and teens look to parents FIRST for social skills models. Self-compassion and care IS part of that. Without true self-compassion, we lack empathy and caring. Risks for negative behaviors then RISE and we lack fuel to manage outcomes. Parents must see themselves as deserving of care and capable of rebound and boundary setting; kids are watching, learning, and absorbing.”

Then, we turned our attention to the role mindfulness plays in supporting a child’s emotional growth. Pamela told us we need to “contrast poised ‘mindful’ with erratic ‘mindless.’ The first is CRITICAL for optimal life experiences. The second will lead to self sabotage. Mindfulness is critical to managing emotions and positive social interaction; especially with overexcitabilities or most social skills deficits. Mindfulness practice nurtures self-acceptance and compassion. It avoids positive/negative hyperbolic self talk.”

At what point is it time to call a therapist? From Pamela:

  • If there are signs of PTSD or other trauma
  • If a child or family needs help nurturing positive social skills, a competent therapist can be a great help
  • Extra consideration for a good therapist should be given if bullying is adult to child. Help build bridge to other adults

Finally, we discussed what steps parents should take in dealing with school bullying and why haven’t zero-tolerance policies worked. “In the school setting, approach is step-wise and up the hierarchy,” said Pamela. She went on to say, “this can work for or against a parent’s confidence. Parental composure is VITAL. No slamming the school or other kids publicly on social media. [If there is] illegal activity, call the police. There is a sample in the book of an email template for dealing with schools. Zero tolerance is a hammer. Real change comes via patience, practice, social change; Learn the difference between “meanness” and “bullying.” A transcript of this week’s chat can be found at Storify.

PLEASE NOTE: Next week’s #gtchat will be at a special day but same time, on Thursday, July 23rd at 7E/6C/5M/4P. We will be LIVE from this year’s Annual SENG Conference in Denver, CO. Our guests will be from the Bright Not Broken Lorna Wing Institute of America and we’ll be chatting about twice-exceptional kids.

 

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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 11 AM NZST/9 AM AEST 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:

Gifted Kids, Cyberbullying & Dig Citizenship: Resources for Parents via @jadeannrivera

Trauma-Proofing Your Kids: Parents’ Guide for Instilling Confidence, Joy & Resilience (Amazon)

The Bully, the Bullied & the Bystander: From Preschool to High School (Amazon)

Bullied: What Every Parent, Teacher & Kid Needs to Know about Ending Cycle of Fear (Amazon)

Social Thinking

Inside the Bullied Brain: The Alarming Neuroscience of Taunting

Mindfulness Can Literally Change Your Brain

Gifted & Homeschool Friendly Professionals

Gifted, Bullied, Resilient: A Brief Guide for Smart Families via @GiftedHF

Gifted, Bullied, Resilient: A Brief Guide for Smart Families (Amazon)

Gifted Bullied Resilient Front Cover

Pamela Price Author’s Page at Amazon

Study: Gifted Children Especially Vulnerable to Effects of Bullying

If This is a Gift, Can I Send it Back? (Amazon) via @laughingatchaos

If This is a Gift

{Book review} Gifted, Bullied, Resilient

Cybraryman’s Bullying Page

Report: Professional Development Related to Anti-Bullying Policies Lacking in American Schools 

Relationships Require Work

Title graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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