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Parenting Asynchronous Gifted Children

The original application of the term ‘asynchronous’ to gifted children was by the Columbus Group – Stephanie Tolan, Dr. Christine Neville, Martha Morelock, Dr. Linda Silverman, Kathi Kearney – in 1991. The Columbus Group focused its definition around highly and profoundly gifted children. Our chat today regards gifted children in general who experience life out-of-sync from their age peers. Thus, asynchronous development of gifted children refers to those whose life experiences are qualitatively different from the norm requiring modification in parenting, teaching, and counseling (Tolan, 2013 in Off the Charts).

Asynchronous development can manifest in many different ways for gifted kids. Differences occur when there is a disconnect between cognitive abilities and social-emotional development (Johnson, Mun in PHP, March 2021). A recent study found gifted children had statistically meaningful social skill differences with non-gifted peers, but not significant problem behaviors (Citil, Ozkubat 2020). Examples of asynchronous behavior may include advanced art or music interests, but lack of motor coordination; deep understanding of social justice, but lack of life experience to handle the concept (Guilbault, Kane NAGC TIP Sheet, 2016).

Parenting an asynchronous gifted child can be a lonely and often confusing time for parents. First time parents may not be aware of how different their child’s development is from age-peers and for parents of #2ekids, the differences may be even greater. Parents of gifted children must deal with the seemingly never-ending intensities, excessive need for attention, and emotional overreactions leading them to question their parenting abilities. Parenting asynchronous gifted children can result in constant worry about their child’s ability to find friends, school performance, and how teachers perceive their child. They may feel misunderstood and alone (Guthrie, 2019).

There are strategies available for parents of asynchronous gifted children including taking time to get to know your child emotionally and psychologically to better understand their social-emotional needs (Li, 2022). Parents should focus on their child’s strengths; set realistic expectations; teach coping strategies such as mindfulness, self-care, and how to self-advocate; help find age-peers and mental-age peers. (Guilbault, Kane NAGC TIP Sheet, 2016). They need to be willing to reach out for support from other parents, professionals experienced in gifted issues, and gifted organizations. They should strive to remain positive and patient (Johnson, Mun in PHP, March 2021).

Academically, GT students need to be provided opportunities and resources to explore and experience interests and passions from the earliest ages. This may be as simple as frequent trips to the library or nearby museums. When financially feasible, some parents have found success in homeschooling when local schools are unable or unwilling to provide appropriate educational resources. This may be the best option for twice-exceptional students. Parents may also look for mentors for their asynchronous gifted child to help guide their academic aspirations. They may find support from organizations such as Davidson Young Scholars Program.

Both state and national gifted organizations provide extensive online resources for parents of asynchronous gifted children. SENG and GHF Learners have social-emotional resources for parents. An important resource can be local parent support and advocacy groups. State organizations usually link to such groups. If one doesn’t exist, consideration should be given to starting one.

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/1AM 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 Meta Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community.

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:

TIP Sheet: Asynchronous Development (pdf) | NAGC

Life in the Asynchronous Family (Kearney)

The Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Children What Do We Know? 2nd Edition (book)

The Social and Emotional Needs of Gifted Children: What do we know? (pdf Neihart) | NAGC

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

Parenting Gifted Children 101 An Introduction to Gifted Kids and Their Needs (book) |

Handbook for Counselors Serving Students With Gifts and Talents: Development, Relationships, School Issues, and Counseling Needs/Interventions (book)

Highly Capable Program Handbook (pdf) | Robinson Center for Young Scholars

The Comparison of the Social Skills, Problem Behaviours and Academic Competence of Gifted Students and Their Non-gifted Peers (download) | International Journal of Process Education (2020)

Identifying Stressors and Reactions to Stressors in Gifted and Non-gifted Students (pdf) | International Education Journal

The Relationship between Placement and Social Skills in Gifted Students (download) | Arizona State University

Socioemotional Competencies, Cognitive Ability, and Achievement in Gifted Students (pdf) | Arizona State University

Effects of Social Support on the Social Self Concepts of Gifted Adolescents (pdf) | Western Kentucky University

“Nothing is ever easy”: Parent Perceptions of Intensity in Their Gifted Adolescent Children (pdf) | The Qualitative Report       

Living With Intensity: Understanding the Sensitivity, Excitability, and the Emotional Development of Gifted Children, Adolescents, and Adults (book)

The Construct of Asynchronous Development (pdf Silverman, 1997) | Peabody Journal of Education

“Developing Capabilities”. Inclusive Extracurricular Enrichment Programs to Improve the Well-Being of Gifted Adolescents | Frontiers in Psychology

Asynchronous Development Of A Gifted Child And Their Unique Needs | Parenting for Brain

A Parent’s Perspective: Asynchronous Parenting | Davidson Gifted

Mrs. Riley’s Class

When Your Child Learns Differently: A Family Approach for Navigating Special Education Services With Love and High Expectations (book)

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

The Role of Environment in Parenting Gifted Kids

The Role of Environment in Parenting Gifted Kids

There are many aspects of an environment created within the family which can affect a gifted child’s development beginning with the emotional bond between parent and child. This family environment encompasses parental and sibling relationships as well as a family’s finances. Important factors also include the family’s living space and the learning environment within the family.

Family dynamics involve a wide-range range issues such as the presence of parents or even multiple generations, divorce or loss of a parent, and financial considerations. A child’s development can be affected by a parent’s employment status which may involve relocation or available time spent with children, and accessibility to academic resources. Family dynamics are highly influenced by the parents’ mental health and educational attainment, Also, the family’s cultural background and belief system may strongly influence a child development.

Gifted children, like all children, need a nurturing and supportive home environment to support their mental health. An environment conducive to good mental health requires parents to be present in their child’s life, aware of issues which may affect their child’s mental health, and an understanding of healthy child development in general. How families respond to stress and trauma, encourage independence in their children, or balance family tensions can all affect a gifted child’s mental health.

Families with multiple gifted members may encompass a wide range of characteristics  including those who are extremely inquisitive, highly sensitive or possibly out-of-sync with peers. Although genetics has proven to have a strong influence on intellectual potential, the gifted child development if highly influenced by family values, goals and lifestyle. Parenting styles should encourage independence by finding a  balance between permissiveness and authority, providing unstructured time, utilizing positive discipline, and access to enrichment opportunities.

Parents can strive to provide a supportive environment at home only to find that their child’s school environment may override their best intentions. Parents need to be aware of a school’s climate, take time to get involved in child’s school through volunteering and advocacy, and develop positive relationships with teachers and school personnel. They can encourage their child to participate in opportunities available at school, help their child find peer networks, and when necessary consider alternatives to traditional education strategies (i.e., homeschooling, Microschools).

Home-school relationships are an intricate part of encouraging student well-being and academic excellence. Strategies need to address SEL learning, cognitive development, and positive peer relationships at school. GT kids need opportunities beyond those normally experienced in the regular classroom. Teachers can collaborate with and look to expertise from parents to help in providing these educational opportunities.

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/10AM AEST/1AM 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.

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:

Biological and Environmental Influences on Intelligence (YouTube 3:40) | UT Austin

Environmental Influences on Intelligence

A Neurocomputational Model of Developmental Trajectories of Gifted Children under a Polygenic Model: When are Gifted Children held Back by Poor Environments? | National Institutes of Health

Family Environment and Social Development in Gifted Students (Abstract Only) | Gifted Child Quarterly

Considerations and Strategies for Parenting the Gifted Child | The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented

Parenting the Gifted and Talented Child: A Qualitative Inquiry of the Perceptions of Mothers Regarding their Unique Experiences in Raising Gifted and Talented Children (pdf Doctoral Dissertation LSU)

Bright but Bored: Optimising the Environment for Gifted Children (pdf) | Australian Journal of Early Childhood

Creating the Ideal Learning Environment for Gifted and Talented Students

The Joy and the Challenge: Parenting Gifted Children Readings and Resources (pdf)

Ten Suggestions for Parents of Gifted Children (pdf Webb)

Creativity, Motivation to Learn, Family Environment, and Giftedness: A Comparative Study

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

The Home Environment of Gifted Puerto Rican Children: Family Factors Which Support High Achievement (pdf)

Stimulating Gifted Toddlers and Preschoolers at Home

Optimal Environment for the Gifted Child

How to Nurture Your Gifted Child

Genetic and Environmental Influences on Intelligence

Childhood Environment affects Brain Growth and Function, a Series of New Studies Finds (2012)

Intelligence and How Environment Affects It

Activities for Gifted Toddlers: Finding Enrichment Opportunities for a Young Gifted Child

Early-Life Environment Influences Brain Growth and Behavior

Effect of Environmental Factors on Intelligence Quotient of Children | Industrial Psychiatry Journal

How Parents Can Support Gifted Children (Silverman) | Child Development Institute

Beyond Bloom: Revisiting Environmental Factors That Enhance or Impede Talent Development (pdf) | American Psychological Association

Synaptic Pruning Mechanisms in Learning (pdf)

Cybraryman’s Child Development Page

Cybraryman’s Early Literacy Page

Word Gap | Wikipedia

Lead Crime Hypothesis | Wikipedia

Photo courtesy of Pixabay    Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Supporting Exhausted Parents during the Pandemic

We’ve covered similar topics over the past 10 months, but the seemingly unending crisis of #COVID19 has taken a toll on parents. Parents are struggling with isolation, uncertainty, and sadness on a daily basis. Exhaustion is a constant reminder that things have only gotten worse and any ‘end in sight’ scenario is an elusive goal. They are constantly confronting child care and school closures, juggling work schedules, coping with  family illness.

Parents of GT children face the same societal issues they’ve always faced: that raising a gifted and/or talented child is a breeze. They’ll do fine on their own. They’re smart; they’ll figure things out. The problem with that when in the midst of a global pandemic is that indeed they do figure things out; they know the stakes are high even at a very young age. With understanding can come a rash of mental health issues – anxiety, depression, increased contemplation of suicide, drug use.

What unique issues result from exhaustion for parents of twice-exceptional kids? Even in the best of times, parents of these kids are keenly aware of a need for adequate sleep to have extended patience and understanding with their child. Some parents have reported their child’s opposition of inability to comply with mask mandates and social distancing requests. Sensitivity issues are high on the list of  needs that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

How can schools help exhausted parents? Outreach to parents is essential. Informing parents well in advance to changes in school closures is particularly helpful. Extending mental health professional information and counseling via school counselors and support staff when necessary can be welcome relief for many parents. Parents should have a seat at the table when discussing safety concerns and mitigation efforts during in-school learning.

There is an endless supply of online advice for exhausted  parents … some of it excellent and some of it simply insulting. Traditional self-care actions may not be practical for many parents. This pandemic has called into question many traditional parenting strategies, but parents are learning to expect imperfection, expect to be interrupted, and don’t worry about complaining (you have a right to do so). Parenting in a pandemic has taught parents to appreciate their children, realize that schedules are not the end-all, and that spending time together can be a godsend. Building relationships has never been more important.

What positive aspects to parenting in a pandemic have you experienced that might inspire others? Many, many parents of gifted children have reported that their kids are thriving both academically and personally without worries about bullying and boredom in school. Families are seeing positive changes in children who are learning important life skills while at home, enjoying family time, and learning lessons taught by parents they wouldn’t have learned at school.

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/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 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.

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:

The Parental Burnout Crisis has Reached a Tipping Point

The Burnout is Real: Coping with Pandemic Parenting and Redefining Self-care

5 Bright Spots from Our Crappy Year of Pandemic Parenting

Your Year in Pandemic Parenting (Audio 52:00) | KQED

Some Autistic People can’t Tolerate Face Masks Here’s How We’re Managing with our Son (may require subscription) | Washington Post

How to Reclaim a Positive Mental Attitude while Parenting in a Pandemic

Support for Kids with ADHD during the Pandemic  

Pandemic Parenting

Parenting in a Pandemic

The Brave New World of Parenting in the Pandemic | Psychology Today

Parenting in a time of #COVID-19 | The Lancet

Parenting During the Pandemic

Parenting During a Pandemic: How Parents Can Cope With Added Strains Due to the Covid Crisis (Audio 49:51)

Certain Parenting Behaviors Associated with Positive Changes in Well-being during COVID-19 Pandemic

Marina Gomberg says Parenting Fatigue is Real, so much so that She can’t even Finish this Headl …

7 Beliefs about Parenting That No Longer Serve Parents after the Pandemic

TX: New Parenting Website Aimed at Helping during Pandemic and Beyond

A Guide to Riding out the Rest of the Pandemic: Parenting in a Pinch

Study Examines Day-to-day Parenting Behavior during COVID-19 Restrictions

Parenting in a Pandemic takes Patience, Creativity

Helping Parents and Caregivers Cope with the Mental Health Challenges of Parenting during a Pandemic

Stress and Parenting during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Psychosocial Impact on Children | NIH

A Trauma Psychologist on the Stress of ‘Relentless Parenting’ During COVID-19 (Video 8:09)

The Psychological Impact of Quarantine and How to Reduce it: Rapid Review of the Evidence

Overwhelmed? You Are Not Alone | Psychology Today

Cybraryman’s Parents and Teachers Page

Photo courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

The Gifted Introvert

It’s no surprise that we would chat about introverts at #gtchat! Some characteristics of introverts include preferring to work on their own rather than in large groups; may have limited, but deep interests; and need time alone to recharge. Introverts may exhibit deep concentration and appear absorbed in their thoughts; are reserved, deliberate and prefer one-on-one communication; and can become irritated when they don’t have enough ‘alone time’. Introverts form strong (but few) relationships, are generally self-sufficient, self-actualizing, and high achievers.

There are many misconceptions about those who are introverts; it is a choice, it can be ‘fixed’, it is simply being shy. Introverts may appear bored, but are simply deep in thought. They may seem socially awkward, but are not interested in their surroundings. Others may view introverts as judgmental when they have no opinion about the situation or person.

What is the relationship between giftedness and being introverted? Gifted individuals can be introverts or extroverts. Some research suggests a higher proportion of the gifted population is introverted. (Gallagher, 1990; Hoehn & Birely, 1988)  Being identified as gifted and possibly being introverted is a relationship; the characteristics of thoughtfulness, introspection, deliberateness, reflection, hard work, and confidence compliment gifted individuals. Gifted introverts tend to think before they speak, consider who they are speaking to first, do not crave attention, ‘enjoy’ time alone, prefer quality rather than numerous friendships, and pay attention to others.

Gifted introverts tend to think before they speak, consider who they are speaking to first, do not crave attention, ‘enjoy’ time alone, prefer quality rather than numerous friendships, and pay attention to others. Strategies which support introverted students include allowing thinking time, flexible seating, providing personal space, allow students to work in small groups or pairs, or consider interest-based assignments. Additional strategies can include providing opportunities for self-paced learning, independent study, the option to provide responses in writing, or encourage self-reflection.

What strategies can teachers use for online learning for introverted students? It might seem that online learning would be ideal for introverted students, but this is not always the case. Being on ZOOM or Teams all day long may be just as overwhelming. Zoom fatigue can be a real problem. When introverted students are confronted with technical issues and disruptions in Internet connections can add to their anxiety. Teachers can allow for additional breaks for introverted students, permit students to be on mute during discussions, or allow them to turn off their cameras while online.

Parenting an introvert requires understanding that they aren’t going to change, need their personal space and quiet time (especially after a long day at school), and does not need to have a lot of friends to be happy. An introverted gifted child needs opportunities to extend learning beyond the classroom, work on projects of interest, and to make friends on their own terms.

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/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 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.

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:

Companion Website to Susan Cain’s Book Quiet

The Quiet Personality Test (Sign-up required)

Introvert, Dear (Online Community of Introverts)  

Go Away; I’m Introverting

Introverts, Extroverts, and Social Distancing

The Anxieties of Introversion

Understanding the Gifted Introvert

Introversion: The Often Forgotten Factor Impacting the Gifted (pdf) | Center for Gifted Education – College of William and Mary

High Ability: The Gifted Introvert

Talent Development Resources: Introversion, Sensitivity, Shyness – Are They the Same?

The Happy Introvert: A Wild and Crazy Guide to Celebrating Your True Self (Kindle)

Make Your Class Cozy for Gifted Introverts

Gifted Introverts and Extroverts

Introvert Social Needs and Preferences

The Overlooked Significant Population – Introverts

Which One Is You?: 4 Types of Introverts and Self-Care Tips to Be Your Own Hero

Living a Quiet Life

Extroverts (and Introverts, too) Face Quarantine Challenges

The Introvert Advantage: How Quiet People Can Thrive in an Extrovert World (book)

Building a Strong Relationship With Your Introverted Child

Here’s What You Need to Know If You’re the Parent of an Introvert

Responding to Introverted and Shy Students: Best Practice Guidelines for Educators and Advisors | Open Journal of Nursing

6 Informal Assessments to Engage Introverted Students: Creating Accessible Classrooms for Introverted Students, Online or In Person

5 Ways Virtual Classrooms Help Introverts

Teaching Introverted Students: A Guide for Educators and Parents

How to Understand and Work with Introverted Students

Introverts Aren’t Actually Better at Social Distancing

Chat: The Introvert’s Secret Remote Weapon – Leading by Typing during the Pandemic

Cybraryman’s Introverted Students Page

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

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