Blog Archives

Too Much Worry – How do we help our gifted kids?

 

How do you distinguish anxiety from everyday worry? It’s extremely important to understand the difference between everyday worry and anxiety because this knowledge affects how we react to each one. Everyday worry is more generalized and prompts a problem-solving reaction. It is how we think about something rather than how we react to it. General worries, once solved, tend to go away. It doesn’t interfere with daily functioning. Anxiety equals an irrational fear. It provides a physical response that may last for long periods of time. It can affect school, work, and personal lives. Anxiety may require a diagnosis and psychological treatment.

Anxiety in gifted children may inhibit them from pursuing dreams or developing talents because it can drain their energy, cause them to be insecure, and to be absorbed by doubt and self-criticism. (Peters) When dealing with anxiety, gifted children may be faced with unreasonable high expectations from adults, bullying and social rejection due to the gifted label, and the tendency to focus on deficits. (Mendaglio) Research suggests that gifted individuals may possess traits such as coping strategies and high self-efficacy to reduce anxiety and this can help gifted children if they learn to effectively use these abilities. (Amend)

Gifted children are still children. Anxiety may manifest as ongoing worry, irritability, sleep issues, avoidance, or seemingly inexplicable changes in behavior. They may experience anxiety in the face of parental/teacher criticism or react inappropriately to being misunderstood by age-peers.

What unique sources of anxiety may be seen in gifted children? Gifted children may experience anxiety when moving from an inclusive classroom to a self-contained gifted classroom of intellectual peers. After many years of unchallenging classwork, gifted children often experience anxiety when they suddenly face challenge at the secondary level without necessary study skills. Gifted students often face criticism when they question adults, challenge authority, or display resistance to conformity; and the consequences can lead to anxiety.

Teachers can help GT students deal with anxiety at school. Helping any student at school is best done when built on a positive teacher-student relationship. Students are more receptive to teachers they trust and believe have their best interests in mind. Difficult conversations concerning the reasons for anxiety can often be made easier with bibliotherapy. Feelings may be addressed indirectly by using literature to explore the student’s needs.

How can parents help their gifted child cope with anxiety and worry? Parents should always be alert to the signs of anxiety in their children and know the difference between anxiety and worry. Introspection is a quality parents should cultivate in themselves. Overreacting to childhood behaviors, expecting too much, or failing to mind their own behavior may be the cause of anxiety in their 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:

How to Help Children Who are Highly Susceptible to Stress

Living With and Managing Intensity

Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students with Guest, Christine Fonseca

Anxiety-Free Kids: An Interactive Guide for Parents and Children (2nd ed.) (book)

Letting Go: A Girl’s Guide to Breaking Free of Stress and Anxiety (book)

Stressed Out!: Solutions to Help Your Child Manage and Overcome Stress (book)

Make Your Worrier a Warrior: A Guide to Conquering Your Child’s Fears (book)

The Warrior Workbook: A Guide for Conquering Your Worry Monster (book)

Make Your Worrier a Warrior (pdf)

The Gifted Kids Workbook: Mindfulness Skills to Help Children Reduce Stress, Balance Emotions, and Build Confidence (book)

4 Ways to Support Gifted Children with Anxiety

Management of Anxiety Begins at Home

Tips for Parents: Anxiety, Sensitivities and Social Struggles among Profoundly Gifted Kids

Why Gifted Children are Anxious, Plus 4 Ways to Help Them Cope

Anxiety in Gifted Children: 3 Simple Steps Parents and Educators Can Take

Monitoring Anxiety in Your Gifted Child

Understanding the Link between Empathy and Anxiety in Gifted Children

Managing Anxiety in Gifted Children

Do Gifted Children Struggle with Anxiety?

Taming The Worry Monster – Anxiety In Gifted Children (YouTube 1:32)

How to Help Your Gifted Child Cope With Anxiety

Tips for Parents: Worry and the Gifted: How Much is Too Much?

Hoagies’ Blog Hop: Perfectionism, Anxiety, and OCD

Why Smart Kids Worry: And What Parents Can Do to Help (book)

Worry Says What? (book)

Gratitude: The Short Film by Louie Schwartzberg (Vimeo 6:20)

Anxiety at School

Cybraryman’s Anxiety Page

Cybraryman’s Coping Strategies Page

Cybraryman’s Counseling Page

Cybraryman’s Yoga and Meditation Page

Cybraryman’s SEL Page

Generation Anxious

Depression, Anxiety, and the Mismanagement of Aliveness

Sprite’s Site: Dystopia

Disclaimer: Resources from Prufrock Press include affiliate links.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Setting Boundaries for Gifted Siblings

gtchat 11062015 Gifted Siblings

 

Setting boundaries for gifted children proved to be almost as difficult to chat about as it is for parents to do. Admittedly, raising gifted siblings brings unique challenges for parents, the children themselves and for the entire family. Many abilities, unequal abilities and asynchronous development within the same family can be overwhelming.

Parenting become a balancing act in an attempt to ensure fairness in how they respond to the needs of each family member. All children need to feel valued regardless of ability. Gifted rivalry is not accidental; realizing intentions and counseling siblings is an important parental responsibility. It can extend to the selection of colleges, participation in academic competitions and affect acceleration decisions.

How does one build positive and cooperative relationships in a family? Parents can value their child’s point of view as a way to encourage cooperation. Jo Freitag of Gifted Resources told us, “[It’s] necessary to balance opportunities offered and time spent with each and encourage them to value each other – not always easy.”

Parents need to value the strengths and weaknesses of each child while acknowledging differences. They must have a clear vision of the goals they wish to set for their children and then allow the child to set ‘some’ of their own boundaries. Acting as a role model for setting personal limits is a way to gain the respect of a gifted child. Involve children in family decisions and learn to be flexible over time. A transcript of the chat can 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 13.00 NZDT/11.00 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.

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:

One of Us has to be Smart Enough to Apologize

Perhaps the Issue can be Resolved with Defining Boundaries

A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children (Amazon)

Who’s in Charge Here, Anyway? Delicate Balance of Boundaries with the Gifted

Siblings, Giftedness & Disparities – Oh My!

Like Minds: Similarities and Differences in Intellectual Ability in Gifted Siblings (pdf)

Congrats, Your Kid is Gifted…But What About Her Sibling?

Siblings – Gifted or Not?

A Gifted Child Increases Sibling Rivalry, Study Finds

Gifted Siblings

Gifted & Non-gifted Siblings: How Conventional Wisdom is Wrong

When One Sibling is More “Gifted” Than the Other

12 Anxiety Issues Parents of Gifted Children Face

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Guest: Dr. Lynne Kenney, Author of BLOOM

gtchat 08072015 BLOOM

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.

gtchat-logo-with-sponsor

 

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: Christine Fonseca, Author of ‘Raising the Shy Child’

gtchat Fonseca Shy Child

This week, #gtchat welcomed back our friend, Christine Fonseca, Prufrock Press Author, to discuss her latest book Raising the Shy Child: A Parent’s Guide to Social Anxiety. You can check out her website and blog, follow her on Twitter, like her on Facebook, and visit her on Goodreads. You can also preview her book at Google Books.

According to Christine, Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) can be recognized by physical, cognitive, and behavioral symptoms. Physical symptoms may include headaches, nausea, palpitations, or choking. Paralyzing fear of humiliation, embarrassment by peers, excessive worry, negation, and avoidance are possible cognitive symptoms. Behavioral symptoms of SAD can include avoiding eye contact, avoiding being in the spotlight, avoiding social events, or school phobia.

Social Anxiety Disorder is more than being anxious for a moment. It can be a lifelong struggle if not dealt with early on. Kids who use excuses – constantly going to the nurse’s office, for example – to avoid certain tasks may be experiencing SAD. Because it may mimic other conditions, adults need to be responsible when dealing with a child’s anxiety!

Not all children with underdeveloped social skills will develop social anxiety. However, lacking social skills can set the stage for social anxiety. Christine told us, “SAD happens when a combination of things occur. This combo is different for everyone. Behavior inhibition, parenting style, and a traumatic event can all contribute to the development of SAD, as well as poor social skills.”

Practicing particular social skills can help any child. It sometimes helps lessen some anxiety. Acting out behaviors seem to follow anxiety. Parents and teachers need to stop and think before reprimanding a child. Kids who may be afraid of an activity may exhibit a behavior they believe will help them avoid the situation altogether. However, Christine reminded as that it is important to support giftedness before assuming SAD.

The conversation then turned to the role of perfectionism, sometimes associated with giftedness, in potential Social Anxiety Disorder. Christine believes that “perfectionism has a bad reputation.” [She] sees this as “task commitment – something that is ultimately good and necessary, but when perfectionism turns to paralysis and avoidance; THEN it is a problem. And yes, this can lead to SAD in some cases. With a mild case, you can teach social skills, work with the school to provide in class strategies, and employ CBT approaches.”

“For students experiencing SAD, support can include increased sensitivity [to the] anxiety, teaching calming techniques (deep breathing, etc) and developing safe zones at school,” Christine explained. “It’s Very important to NOT allow child to develop a habit of skipping or avoiding school or social events. This doesn’t help. [For] severe cases, use a counselor or therapist to assist. CBT and exposure methods are highly effective.”

Some behaviors come out of no where. Learning calming strategies beforehand; even practicing can be valuable. earning the triggers to anxiety can prove invaluable in the classroom as well as at home. For a more extensive review of the chat, a transcript may be found at Storify.

Raising the Shy Child Cover

Congratulations to Mr. Gelston, educator in his Virtual One Room Schoolhouse in Lexington, MA, who was the winner of a copy of Raising the Shy Child courtesy of the author!

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S., midnight in the UK and Saturdays 1 PM NZDT/11 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 new Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14About 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:

How to Raise Shy Kids with Confidence

Publisher’s Weekly Select 2015 Parenting Titles

Shy Kids: Do We Really Need to Change Them?

Social Phobia at Medscape

Infant-Parent Attachment: Definition, Types, Antecedents, Measurement & Outcome 

Social Anxiety Disorder Fact Sheet DSM-V (pdf)

Social Anxiety in Children: Social Skills Deficit, or Cognitive Distortion? (pdf)

Use of Differential Reinforcement & Fading with Separation Anxiety Disorder

Promoting Adolescents’ Prosocial Behavior (pdf)

When Your Child’s Exceptionality is Emotional: Looking Beyond Psychiatric Diagnosis via SENG

What is Social Anxiety?

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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