Blog Archives

Parenting GT Kids in Extraordinary Times

Parents of GT children know it’s important to be honest and this is true when discussing COVID19. However, using age-appropriate language is still important. Many, not all, experience strong emotional reactions due to their depth of knowledge. The old KWL approach is a good starting point – “what do you know?”; “what do you want to know?”; and “what have you learned?”. Don’t fudge the facts. If you don’t know the answer, take time to see out trusted sources of information. Encourage older children to seek information and then discuss it with them. Help them distinguish fact from fiction.

How do parents maintain stability in our own lives in such unpredictable times? As adults, there’s a good chance we have already had uncertain/unpredictable circumstances in life. You can draw on personal experience with some modifications. Strive to stay positive, monitor your own anxiety, and practice self-compassion. One should maintain structure in your daily life, but be flexible when needed. Be thoughtful when talking to children. Look for opportunities to laugh and engage in fun activities.

There are strategies parents of GT kids can use to cope with life during a pandemic. Practically every expert recommends maintaining routines; getting up in the morning, preparing for the day ahead, regular meal times, exercise and play, completing school assignments, keeping in touch with friends and family. Be positive and reassure your kids that this will not last forever. Monitor your child’s mental health and seek help if necessary. Take time to educate your child on the importance of physical distancing, hand-washing, and being mindful of their physical health.

For many families, tackling education at home is a new experience. A good first strategy is to assess where your child is at educationally; their strengths and weaknesses. This may be an opportunity to accelerate their learning. So often parents of GT children seek individualized educational opportunities. Now can be the time to put ideas into action. Develop an education plan ‘with’ your child. Seek expert advice and see teachers as partners in the process.

How can parents rethink the pandemic as an unexpected opportunity? It’s easy to be stressed and overwhelmed by expectations of being the perfect parent – breadwinner, teacher, activities director. It’s also possible to see this as a time to be present in our children’s lives. In ordinary times, we all have time constraints that leave less time for kids. Spend time with them; no excuses. Make time to make good memories. Model the importance of giving back and paying it forward. Parents can teach their children mindfulness meditation, the power of taking deep breaths, and the importance of responding rather than reacting to situations. (Mahoney; 2020)

What can parents do to prepare their children for a Brave New World? Creating an atmosphere of love by connecting with family and friends can protect children from PTSD that will inevitably follow. Engage in frank discussions about how our world has changed & how to be problem solvers. Parents should use this time to prepare their children for life after an extended isolation period. Adopt new parenting strategies – teach kids the importance of working through uncomfortable feelings; cultivating compassion and connections; managing thoughts. (Mahoney; 2020)

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 Noon NZST/10 AM 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 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.

Lisa Conrad 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:

Suddenly Homeschooling: Resources for Parents of Gifted Children

Parenting in a Pandemic: Duke Experts on Helping Your Kids – And Yourselves

NAGC: Supporting Your Gifted Child during COVID-19 (pdf)

Parenting in a Pandemic

‘We’re all stressed out’: Parenting in a Pandemic Puts Additional Stress on Families, Children

Parenting Pandemic Style

Resources for Families during the Coronavirus Pandemic

How Parenting in a Pandemic is an Unexpected Opportunity

Cut Yourself Some Slack, Parenting in a Pandemic is a Rough Gig

How to Answer 7 Big Questions Kids have about the Coronavirus Pandemic

Modifications of Parenting Time during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Stuck at Home: Parent Hacks for Homeschooling, Social Connection and More

Parenting Children during the Coronavirus Pandemic: Tips for Parents

Parenting in a Pandemic: 4 Tips for Survival

Parenting Right Now Is Really Hard

Give Yourself ‘Grace’ — and 7 Other Tips from Teachers to Homeschooling Families

Parental Bandwidth in the Time of Coronavirus (How to cope when your emotional resources are in short supply)

More Reading, More Cuddles, And Less Stress

Discipline Looks Different in a Pandemic

Cybraryman’s Parents and Teachers Page

Mind Matters Podcast Episode 56: Surviving and Thriving in Quarantine

Mind Matters Podcast Episode 57: The Stresses of Sheltering in Place

Mind Matters Podcast Episode 58: Preparing for Post-Pandemic Recovery

Mind Matters Podcast Episode 33: Note to Self – Be Nice to Me

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

How Schools Can Support GT Parents

The best ways to communicate with parents are those that are regular in nature ~ text/email updates, newsletters, or personal invitations to school activities or events. Sometimes, spending a little extra time at regularly scheduled school meetings (parent-teacher conferences, welcome back to school night, etc.) may be all that is needed.

What information do parents of GT students need most from schools? Parents of GT students should be made aware of all the options available for their child; the entire range of academic programs K-12. Options including social-emotional interventions, enrichment opportunities through the school and out of school, and possible accommodations for twice-exceptional students. Parents should be given an opportunity to review all assessments/test scores relating to their child and be able to participate in planning sessions for IEPs or ALPs (when available). They should be given information on ways they can support their child at home.

Schools can engage and involve parents in their gifted learner’s education by inviting them to volunteer to organize or chaperone field trips, become a coach for academic competitions, or participate in classroom activities. They can provide information sessions for parents about gifted issues, gifted education, and resources available to them from state and national organizations. They can also list information on their websites for parents about online resources, local support or advocacy groups, and upcoming conferences.

Teachers can assist parents of newly identified GT students by sharing information on the criteria used to identify their child as gifted. They may periodically ask parents if they believe their child’s needs are being met and what more they’d like to see as part of their child’s education plan. Also, teachers can encourage parents to form or participate in a parent advocacy group. Oftentimes, parents can advocate for gifted programs in ways school personnel cannot.

What should teachers know about gifted education to best support parents? The best way to support parents is to become educated about gifted education and then share that information and resources with parents. Teachers may need to seek out PD at both the local level or online and consider attending gifted conferences to learn about the latest developments/research in gifted education.

How can tensions between parents and school personnel be minimized? Open channels of communication can go a long way in easing tensions between home and school. This can prevent unnecessary surprises for all involved. Teachers can reassure parents that they have their child’s best interest at heart; becoming a trusted ally can promote positive relationships between schools and parents.

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 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 Do You Teach Parents to Advocate for their Child?

10 Steps to a Better Parent-School Partnership: Pre-action, not Re-action

The Teacher-Parent Connection: Tips for Working with the Parents of a Gifted Student

14 Things Gifted Students Want Teachers to Know

The Survival Guide for Teachers of Gifted Kids: How to Plan, Manage, and Evaluate Programs for Gifted Youth K-12 (book preview with Teacher Survey template) (pdf )

The Survival Guide for Teachers of Gifted Kids: How to Plan, Manage, and Evaluate Programs for Gifted Youth K–12 (book)

Teacher’s Survival Guide: Gifted Education (book)

Tips for Teaching Gifted Students

TEMPO Issue 1 2016: Advocating for Gifted Learners (pdf)

15 Ways to Help Gifted Kids Thrive in School (pdf)

The Care and Feeding of Gifted Parent Groups: A Guide for Gifted Coordinators, Teachers, and Parent Advocates (pdf)

Trying to Make School Better for Gifted Kids

Disclaimer: Some resources in our resources have affiliate links.

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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.

Resources:

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.

Living With and Managing Intensity

Intense gifted behaviors are expressed in many ways and often misinterpreted by professionals who lack training in recognizing them as related to giftedness. Intense behaviors for gifted individuals may include emotional outbursts, preferring to be alone, excessive talking, stubbornness, being ‘bossy’, or even appearing conceited.

Why shouldn’t these intense behaviors be pathologized in gifted children? Giftedness is not an illness. It should be understood; not diagnosed. Pathologizing gifted behavior can lead to misdiagnosis and inappropriate responses can harm the child. Pathologizing typical behavior for a gifted child can make the child feel there is something wrong with them; that they are somehow abnormal.

Asynchronous development, many ages at once, can exacerbate feelings associated with the maturing process. It’s essential that adults … parents, teachers, professionals … respect the child’s feelings regardless of chronological age.

Teachers can seek professional development about giftedness and how it relates to academics and SEL independently. They can develop a plan in advance (GIEP/IEP); watch for escalation patterns or signs of impending situation; and be prepared to take action such as removing student to a neutral setting. Teachers can advocate for modifications to the student’s learning experience and respect student voice.

Parents should actively build strong parent-child relationship based on respect, authentic conversation on intense emotions, empathy, and time spent together. They should refrain from threatening language keeping own emotions in check, learn to listen and anticipate intense situations, and practice their responses in advance.

What are some important factors when choosing a mental health professional? When looking for a mental health professional for assessment or counseling, parents should meet alone with them before introducing their child. They need to feel comfortable talking to them. It’s essential that mental health professionals self-identify as having worked with gifted individuals and have specific training in understanding giftedness.

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/10 AM 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 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.

 Lisa Conrad 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:

Where’s the Off Switch?

Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students

The Intensity of Giftedness

Best Tips for Parents of a GT Child

Self-Care for Parents of GT/2E Kids

Why Can’t They Loosen Up? Intensities of Gifted Youth

The Intrinsic Intensity of the Gifted Child

Living with Intensity Understanding the Sensitivity, Excitability, and Emotional Development of Gifted Children, Adolescents, and Adults (GPP)

Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students: Helping Kids Cope with Explosive Feelings (2nd ed.)

Parenting Gifted Kids is an Emotional Rollercoaster Here’s How to Find Great Peace

Befriending Anxiety to Reach Potential: Strategies to Empower Our Gifted Youth

Supporting Students with Gifted-Talented Potential In High Need Schools: A Portraiture Study (pdf)

The Bright Side of Overexcitabilities in Gifted Children

Giftedness and Intensity

Emotional Intensity in Gifted Children (pdf)

Helping Gifted Children Cope with Intense Emotions

Giftedness and Intensity/Complexity

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

Coping with Emotional Intensity (pdf)

The Moral Sensitivity of Gifted Children and the Evolution of Society (Silverman)

Talented and Gifted Presentation by Jim Delisle (pdf)

Sprite’s Site: Stories of the OEs

Sprite’s Site: GT Chat Labels: Good, Bad or Simply Wrong

Sprite’s Site: Doggy Classroom Dynamics

Dabrowski’s Overexcitabilities and Theory of Positive Disintegration

Cybraryman’s Asynchronous Development Page

Hoagies’ Blog Hop: Overexcitabilities (OEs)

The Columbus Group

‘Mellow Out’ They Say. If I Only Could. Intensities and Sensitivities of the Young and Bright (website)

Living & Learning with Dabrowski’s Overexcitabilities

Living With Intensity (Amazon)

Parenting Emotionally Intense Gifted Children

 

Photo #1 courtesy of Unsplash

Photo #2 courtesy of Pixabay  Pixabay License

Photo #3 courtesy of Pixabay  Pixabay License

Photo #4 courtesy of Unsplash

Photo #5 courtesy of Pixabay  Pixabay License

Graphics courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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