Blog Archives

Surviving Family Gatherings

All families have a range of abilities; but when that range includes wide differences, it can make for stressful interactions. Family members may lack social skills necessary to interact with others or large groups. Generational attitudes toward precocious toddlers or a quirky elderly relative will often come into conflict without sufficient time to resolve or explain differences. Holidays tend to disrupt routines, create untenable expectations of behavior, increase anxiety concerning the less fortunate, and place oversensitivities in the forefront of extended family interactions.

Gifted children with similar abilities often have an affinity for each other and this can play a role in family gatherings. Adults can make arrangements in advance to facilitate social interactions. Parents should realize that children may react differently to stress. Plans can be put into place to provide time and place for kids to de-escalate if they get overwhelmed. It’s important to understand that a child’s reactions to frustrating situations should not be minimized simply because a child is labeled gifted. Behaviors can escalate quickly if not dealt with promptly.

Gifted adults do not always remember or even realize that they serve as role models for younger family members. Parents should be prepared to remind family members of this reality. Adults who have been regarded gifted their entire lives may harbor extreme attitudes regarding self-importance or the opposite view – succumbing to impostor syndrome. This may require a significant amount of diplomacy to counteract.

How can parents manage others’ expectations about their children before family gatherings? Parents generally have two options – deal with expectations in the moment or ignore them and deal with it at a later time. Often the severity of the situation will determine a course of action. It’s important to consider the child’s feelings and the appropriateness of how to react. Parents usually have the benefit of previous experience with other family members and should be able to anticipate expectations.

Any social gathering can become a teachable moment. This can be a good time to learn social skills involving those a child doesn’t know well. It’s important to remember that children take social cues exhibited by their parents. Building memories can be a powerful experience for children. Creating an opportunity for children to learn about family history can make a lasting impression on them.

Although many families separate children from adults during family meals, this may not be necessary for children who exhibit an affinity for adult conversation and concerns. These kids may revel in these experiences. Creating family traditions for young children to participate in can also provide a lifelong positive experience associated with family gatherings. 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:

The Family Gathering: A Survival Guide

Enjoy the Holidays More With Mindfulness

Holiday Survival Tactics for the Gifted Family

What to Do When Friends & Family Don’t Get Gifted

Holiday Stress and Gifted Families

Dear Parents: Here’s How to Survive & Thrive at the Holidays

Holiday Stress: What Parents of Gifted Children Need to Know

Top 10 Holiday Tips for Parents of Gifted Kids

Holiday Survival Guide for Parents of Gifted Children

How to Enjoy Christmas with a Twice-Exceptional Child

Holidays with the Quirky

Surviving the Holidays with a House Full of Gifted!

Sprite’s Site: Surviving the Holidays

Enriching Holiday Gatherings with Intergenerational Interviews

Surviving the Holidays with a House Full of Gifted Folks

Cybraryman’s Growth Mindset Page

Science of Gratitude: Time to Give Thanks

4 Ideas to Engage Your Child During Holidays

Photo courtesy of Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

What to Do When Friends & Family Don’t Get Gifted

gtchat 12072017 Friends

Any parent of a gifted child will tell you friends and family can unfortunately make a difficult situation worse with insensitive comments. There are strategies available to mitigate negative comments and actions.

Varying abilities can play a role in family dynamics. When talking about abilities, all family members should be considered; parents as well as siblings. It’s fairly common to have a range of abilities within the same family. Issues may arise between gifted and highly gifted or twice-exceptional siblings. If parents present as 2E or highly gifted, it can also make a difference.

There are times when a child’s giftedness will become more of an issue than normal. These can include the first day of school, school transitions, or graduation when a child has been accelerated and age differences are accentuated. Holidays involving extended family also make for tense situations at a time when sensitivities are already on overload.

Insensitive comments can come from both friends and strangers. Hopefully, very young children do not hear them because most often they will understand the intent. It helps to talk about what it means to be gifted with the child; not ‘better than’, but ‘better at.’ (Delisle)

There are strategies parents can use to respond to envious comments from other adults. They can attempt to educate others about what giftedness is and isn’t. There were many resources shared during this chat and included in the links below. In the end, it may be in everyone’s best interest to ignore comments not made in the presence of the child.

Where can parents find support in resolving issues with friends and family? Initially, parents should look for support locally; either in the form of existing groups of gifted parents or by forming such a group. Most kids know who is in the gifted program at their school. Also, state and national gifted organizations have parent divisions. Well known groups supporting parents include SENG and Gifted Homeschoolers Forum. A transcript of this chat 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 Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 2 PM NZST/Noon AEST/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 Storify. 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.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  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

Links:

My Child is Gifted and I Can’t Talk about Him

The Truth about ‘Gifted’ Versus High-Achieving Students

Why You Still Don’t Believe That You’re Gifted

What Does Gifted Look Like? Clearing Up Your Confusion

Family Life with Gifted Children

Tips for Parents: How Gifted Children Impact the Family

Life in the Asynchronous Family

Off the Charts: Asynchrony and the Gifted Child (Amazon)

What I Want You to Know about my Gifted Son

10 Facts You May Not Know About Gifted Children But Should

What to Say (and What Not to Say) When You Meet the Parents of a Gifted Child

I’m Not Bragging When I Say My Child is Gifted

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

Envy and Your Gifted Child

Envy and Giftedness: Are We Underestimating the Effects of Envy?

My Child is Gifted: Do You Think I’m Bragging Now?

GHF Brochures

Sprite’s Site: Surviving the Holidays

Sprite’s Site: Surviving the Christmas Season

Sprite’s Site: I Love Christmas But …

Living with Gifted Children

Sprite’s Site: When Extended Family Don’t Get Giftedness

Are All Children Gifted?

Photo courtesy of Pixabay and Pixabay  CC0 Creative Commons

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Holiday Survival Tactics for the Gifted Family

gtchat 12182015 Holiday Survival Tactics

 

The holidays are stressful for many people, but they can be especially difficult for the gifted family. It was explained in simplest terms during this week’s chat by Tracy Fisher, school board member and new grandmother,  “Everyone is INTENSE!”

As we were reminded by Jerry Blumengarten, aka Cybraryman, it is a season celebrated by many cultures.

Cybraryman Holiday 2015

The disruption in their daily routine and the high expectations of others can wreak havoc in gifted families. Marianne Kuzujanakis, pediatrician and homeschooler, also pointed out, “Stress points for GT families: Routines lost. OE’s. Anxiety. 2E issues. Developmental asynchrony. Introversion. Food allergies!!” Empathy for the less fortunate and concerns for world peace often contribute to anxiety in the way gifted children feel. Corin Barsily Goodwin, Executive Director of Gifted Homeschoolers Forum, added, “I’d also note that this time of year can be incredibly stressful for gt folks who *don’t* celebrate Xmas.”

There are ways to reduce the stress that have proved successful. Pre-plan activities and remember to include ‘down time’ to reduce potentially stressful situations from occurring. Do not overextend yourself. It’s better to say “no” than to disappoint others. Schedules should be kept as normal as possible.

Dealing with relatives who don’t ‘get’ gifted can be an everyday struggle that becomes worse during the holidays. If possible, ignore behavior in the moment; but resolve the issue later in a more relaxed setting. Explanations, however, may need to be made if comments are made directly to your child.

How do differing abilities shape family dynamics; PG/2e/gifted? Parents need to understand that all gifted children do not react to stress in the same way. Many gifted kids had an affinity for one another at family gatherings; however, differences can influence behavior. Age plays a role, too; dynamics change as kids got older.

When unforeseen situations arise, a plan needs to be in place. Gifted children need to be given ‘space’ and ‘time’ to de-escalate when overwhelmed. Try to remove your child from frustrating situations if possible; understand that overexcitabilities are real. As hosts, we should also provide these ‘safe’ havens for our guests as well.

Finally, we asked the question, “How can we help our children thrive during the holidays?” Creating new family traditions can help. Answer any questions that arise openly and honestly. Share your beliefs, but value your children’s opinion as well. Exposure to holiday traditions of different cultures can help children to appreciate the season. A transcript of this week’s 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:

Parenting Gifted Children through the Holidays

Have a Happy [not exasperating] Holiday

Activities for Gifted Children during the Holidays

Holiday stress: What Parents of Gifted Children Need to Know

Holiday Stress & Gifted Families with Jade Rivera

Surviving the Holidays with a House Full of Gifted Folks

Hoagies’ Blog Hop: Surviving the Holidays

How to Strip Your Holidays Naked

Surviving the Holidays

4 Ideas to Engage Your Child during Holidays

GHF Blog Hop: Surviving & Thriving at the Holidays with a Gifted/2E Kid

Dear Parents: Here’s How to Survive & Thrive at the Holidays via @redwhiteandgrew 

Sprite’s Site: Sprite’s 2010 Christmas List

Sprite’s Site: When Extended Family Don’t Get Giftedness

Sprite’s Site: I love Christmas BUT…

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

 

High Costs of Raising Gifted Children

gtchat 11202015 High Cost Gifted Children

Raising children today is an expensive proposition for any parent; but, perhaps even more so for parents of children identified as gifted. At this week’s chat, we discussed primarily economic factors; but many people expressed concerns related to social and emotional costs. It was noted that this as well as several other related topics will have to be considered in upcoming chats.

One of the first expenses encountered by parents can be that of out-of-school testing; either to dispute in-school testing or to provide testing that the school is unwilling to do for a wide variety of reasons. Testing may include both intelligence testing, mental health testing; etc. Also, it often needs to be repeated if initially done early, when the child enters the teen years. Financially, testing can cost thousands of dollars and involve travel expenses to distant testing facilities. These costs can be out of reach for many families.

When advocacy fails resulting in a gifted child not receiving an appropriate education, many parents turn to homeschooling, charter schools, private schools or residential schools. There are some schools for the profoundly gifted in the U.S. which are free or low-cost, but available seats are few and far between. Again, these options are not feasible for all parents.

Homeschoolers often must provide their own curriculum and with gifted children this can mean buying multiple years’ worth of materials every year. Add to this loss of income for a parent provider, extracurricular activities, online classes; and you can see how quickly expenses can add up. Private and charter schools can mean added transportation costs.

Parents of gifted children are always looking for ways to enrich and supplement their child’s education regardless of where they attend school. These costs can include summer camps, online coursework, tutoring, additional reading materials, and educational games/toys.

The chat then turned to the question of costs associated with Early College. A form of acceleration, there are costs of which many people were not aware. Besides the fact that college expenses can come years earlier than anticipated; there are issues pertaining to differences in the awarding of scholarships (merit scholarships are rarely offered to a transfer student), qualifying for financial aid, and loss of child support in the case of divorce. Age-related costs include transportation costs (student not old enough to drive), participation in field trips and college abroad programs (parents generally need to accompany student), work-study (student not old enough to work), and even using campus health centers.

The costs of providing for the many needs of a gifted child do come with a price tag, and  it often can be very high. Although gifted children may be more expensive to raise than their age peers, #gtchat has provided links below to articles with practical advice on how to mitigate those expenses and find the best solutions to finding appropriate educational and enrichment opportunities for your child. A transcript of this chat 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 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:

The Hidden Costs of Having a Gifted Child

How Do You Raise a Prodigy?

Additional Child Support for Extraordinary Expenses in New Jersey

An Accelerated Journey

How Much Does It Cost to Raise a Child Prodigy?

The Cost of Raising a Gifted Child (Video 21:41)

It Pays to Have a Smart Child, but It Can Cost, Too

Olympians’ Parents Pay the Cost of Achieving Gold

Gifted Children: Myths & Realities (Amazon)

17 Wishes for Making Parenting Gifted Easier

How Much Does It Cost to Raise a Child Star?

What Can Child Support Be Used For?

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

%d bloggers like this: