Blog Archives

Relationships in a Gifted Family

All families have different abilities among parents, siblings, and extended family. Parents need to understand (and most do) that each child is unique and not compare their children to one another. They should learn to choose their words wisely and recognize social situations requiring them to react thoughtfully in order to avoid negative interactions with friends and families.

How should a parent deal with extended family member who balk at the term ‘gifted’? Parents may want to avoid confrontation and reserve comments for more private encounters. When insensitive comments are made in the presence of the child, it may be necessary to address them in the moment; but not with the child present.

When gifted children start school, it may be the first time they face not being as intellectually challenged as they were in their early years at home. Parents should be prepared for the consequences of asynchronous development which may not be as prevalent until a child enters school. It may be necessary to inform teachers and staff.

Gifted and talented children can consume much of their parents’ time leaving other family members or each other feeling neglected. When parents agree on the nature of being highly-abled or talented, things go much more smoothly. Providing enrichment and opportunities for their child can often place a significant financial burden on parents.

What unique challenges do families with gifted children face during the holiday season? The holidays can be unsettling for gifted families when daily routines are disrupted. Parents of gifted children must cope with the high expectations of others at family gatherings. Some gifted children express empathetic feelings for others during the holidays at younger ages than expected – worries about world peace or concern for those less fortunate.

Fortunately, there are organizations, websites, books, and professional who work with gifted children to turn to today. Some of these include the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented, SENG, the National Association for Gifted Children, Potential Plus UK, and the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children. 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 1PM NZDT/11 AM 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.


Subjective Emotional Well-Being, Emotional Intelligence, and Mood of Gifted vs. Unidentified Students: A Relationship Model

Nurturing Gifted Children’s Family Relationships

Sibling Relationships in Families with Gifted Children (pdf)

Exploring the Experiences of New Zealand Mothers Raising Intellectually Gifted (pdf)

Family Environment and Social Development in Gifted Students (pdf)

A Study of Parent Perceptions of Advanced Academic Potential in the Early Grades (pdf)

Health, Care and Family Problems in Gifted Children: A Literature Review (pdf)

Parenting Gifted Children to Support Optimal Development (pdf)

Family Dynamics

Giftedness and Family Relationships

Gifted and Nongifted Siblings

Life in the Asynchronous Family

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

Holiday Stress: What Parents of Gifted Children Need to Know

The Young Gifted Child: a Guide for Families (pdf)

Multigenerational Giftedness: Perceptions of Giftedness Across Three Generations (pdf)

The Other Side of Being “Gifted”

Set Effective Boundaries with Your Gifted Child or Teen

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

Sprite’s Site: On a Shoestring

Sprite’s Site: The Doll House

Cybraryman’s Gifted Parenting Page

Sprite’s Site: Gifted Giving without the Buy, Buy, Buy

Sprite’s Site: I Love Christmas, BUT …

Photo courtesy of Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Meeting the Needs of the Gifted Family

gtchat 08282015 Gifted Family

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 reminded us that, “A bright 8 year-old is still an 8 year-old …”. Carol Bainbridge, Gifted Kids Guide at, 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 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.



Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented and sponsored by 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:


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.

The Gifted Family – Transforming Chaos into Calm

When I asked Jen Merrill, author of If This is a Gift, Can I Send it Back? and the popular Jen Merrill Head Shotblog Laughing at Chaos, to co-moderate this chat; she seemed to think that we might be attempting to discuss the impossible. Her exact words were “And then we’ll be discussing the Loch Ness Monster and Sasquatch!”


If you’ve raised gifted kids, family life can often seem chaotic and not just because of the kids! The parents’ intensity plays a greater role than many of us like to admit. The term ‘multiple personalities’ takes on a whole new meaning when applied to the members of a gifted family. Attempting to bring calm to a world of chaos when you aren’t sure who is in charge can prove difficult.

Undaunted … we went ahead with the chat and were pleasantly surprised not only to see many new faces, but several folks we had not seen in years. It seems that chaos rules in many households where ‘apples haven’t fallen far from the tree’ and now reside under one roof! And participants had a lot to say … nearly 600 tweets in one hour … about a tweet every 6 seconds! A list of the questions posed at this week’s chat may be found here. A full transcript is at Storify.

Our first question addressed the issue of how asynchrony, when developmental levels of gifted children collide, affects family life in terms of sibling relationships and extended family. One of the first responses, “How does it NOT affect all of life?” from Mona Chicks, set the tone for most of the chat.

Life is indeed chaotic in the gifted family and most participants agreed, ‘calm’ is a refuge rarely achieved. As Jen noted, “It’s hard to plan when you don’t know what age/behavior will appear. Extended family may only see one ‘age’ or only see the kid outside his comfort zone. I think asynchrony causes the most pain with extended family that doesn’t ‘get it.’ Sometimes [you get] judgement when you most need acceptance.” Amy Harrington added, “Asynchrony is pervasive with no off switch. It is all consuming and mixed in with Overexcitabilities [OEs] can be entirely overwhelming at times.

We next considered, “What strategies can parents use to calm their own emotional intensities while dealing with their child’s OEs?” Pamela Price of Red, White and Grew, recommended that “Honestly? They need to IDENTIFY their own intensities and seek separate support for them, including their own counselor.” Angie French from TeachaGiftedKid added, “You must take care of yourself so you can be the best caretaker of the ones you love.” Susanne Thomas, new Online Education Director at Gifted Homeschoolers Forum, had some sage advice for the group, “Finding your tribe. Hands down. Anyone that ‘gets’ it even in concept needs to be cultivated and cherished.

Additional questions included dealt with:

  • the added pressures that parents face as mediators for their child when behaviors don’t match cultural norms
  • how discrepancies in a child’d development affect educational options
  • what effect gifted parenting has on marital relationships and increased financial burdens due to such things as homeschooling and/or early college entrance

Our final question of the chat was meant to allow participants to express some of the unexpected joys they had experienced with their gifted child. Jen shared a recent newspaper article, Moving Picture: Libertyville Computer Whiz Has Big Plans, about her son and his intense interest in computers. Comments shared were truly inspiring!

  • It’s that moment when someone who had low expectations figures it out and is in AWE of his ability. Seeing the connections happen in his brain. Amazing!” Mona Chicks
  • I get to school him here, and help him make connections, and watch his face light!!” Care M. 
  • Knowing that if there’s more spirited, divergent and creative thinkers out there like her, humanity might have a hope!” Celeste of Oz
  • Saying ‘my kid can code in 4 languages!'” Susanne Thomas
  • An off the wall sense of humour. Watching them think – the brilliant leaps from go to OMG where did that come from???” Gluten – Free Mum
  • His humor and original jokes! Oh, the jokes he spontaneously makes up!” Celi Trépanier
  • Beyond joy about rediscovering his “old”, happier self. Proud of us for stepping up to plate as parents. Flip side of public judgment–enormous appreciation 4 strangers who genuinely like your kid.” tedra 
  • Constantly impressed with their insight, creativity, kindness, seeing new patterns.” Justin Schwamm 

Have you found your tribe? People who ‘get’ giftedness and how it affects your life? Consider joining us at Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented on Twitter and find your tribe! Each week we discuss timely topics related to gifted children, adults and education. Questions are posted the day before and an edited transcript is posted after each chat.

gtchat thumbnail logoGlobal #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 NZ/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 Pageprovides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community.

Head Shot 2014-07-14About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered byTAGT 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:



Life in the Asynchronous Family” by Kathi Kearney

Off the Charts: Asynchrony and the Gifted Child” Neville, Piechowski & Tolan, eds.

Off-the-charts cover

Educating Exceptional Children Chap. 10 Exceptional Gifts & Talents” (Excerpt – Google Books)

A Review of Research on Parents & Families of Gifted Children” (1983)

How Gifted Children Impact the Family

Parenting Strategies for Parents of Gifted Children

Family Counseling with the Gifted” Linda Silverman” (pdf)

Parenting a Gifted Child: Lessons from the Andrakas” (video)

An Interview with Therapist for the Gifted Family, Mika Gustavson” by Suki Wessling

The Burden of Raising a Gifted Kid

A Year of Small Gratitudes” from Jen Merrill

Serving Highly & Profoundly Gifted Learners”  (pdf) in the Gifted Education Communicator Winter 2009

Growing Up Gifted: Developing the Potential of Children at School and at Home (Amazon 8th Edition) by Barbara Clark

Facing the Challenges of Growing Up Gifted (audio) on NPR

‘Mellow Out’ They Say. If I Only Could Intensities and Sensitivities of the Young & Bright by Michael M. Piechowski, Ph.D. (book)

Mellow Out Book Cover

Coping When Extended Family Doesn’t Get Giftedness by Lisa Conrad

Cybraryman’s Asynchronous Development Page

Sprite’s Site Post for New Zealand Gifted Awareness Week Blog Tour


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