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Holiday Stress and Gifted Families with guest Jade Rivera

Jade Rivera

Jade Rivera

Holiday stress is an issue that affects many families with gifted members. This week, Jade Rivera joined us to search for ways to alleviate this stress and enjoy the holiday season. Jade is an educator and consultant who specializes in gifted education for highly sensitive, asynchronous learners. She is hosting a Community Call on November 10th “Holiday Stress & The Gifted Family” for Gifted Homeschoolers Forum.

GHF Holiday Call

Many factors come into play when talking about why gifted children find the holidays difficult to enjoy. The disruption in their daily routine, high expectations of others, perfectionism, empathy for the less fortunate all contribute in some way to the anxiety they feel.

It is possible to prevent many of the negative reactions experienced during the holidays with planning in advance by talking to children and family members about expectations and what to do when it just gets to be ‘too much’. Developing a plan beforehand is key to experiencing a happy holiday season with your family. A full transcript of the chat may be found here.

 

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 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 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:

This Halloween, Banish The Boo & Conquer The (Worry) Monster! by Dr. Dan Peters

A Recipe for a Peaceful Holiday Season from SENG Gifted

Holiday Survival Guide for Parents of Gifted Children

Cycling Through the Holiday: The IPSE Four-Stip Process for Managing Hard Stuff

Dear Parents: Here’s How to Survive & Thrive at the Holidays from Pamela Price at Red, White and Grew

Happy Crappy Holidays! by Celi Trepanier of Crushing Tall Poppies

oliday Tips & Tricks for High Maintenance Introverts   by Amy Harrington

Holidays, 2e, and the Man in the Red Suit

Keeping my Sanity Through the Holidays with a 2E Child by Care Martin

Naked Holidays: Stripping for Low Stress by Wenda Sheard

Pinterest and the Myth of Holiday Perfection by Jen Merrill at Laughing at Chaos

Surviving the Christmas Season by Jo Freitag at Sprite’s Site

Handling the Holidays with Your Gifted Child: Excitement, Anxiety and Acting-Out Behavior

Managing Your Gifted Kid’s Intensity During the Holidays

Holidays & Your Gifted Child

Reducing Holiday Stress

Parenting Gifted Children through the Holidays

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: gtchatmod@gmail.com

 

Links:

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

 

De Bono’s Action Plans with Special Guest Jo Frietag

Jo Freitag

This week’s special guest was Mrs. Jo Freitag of Gifted Resources in Australia and author of Sprite’s Site (blog). We discussed the use of De Bono’s Six Action Shoes Program as applied to gifted programs and in particular to Twice-Exceptional children. A full transcript of the chat may be found here.

Sprite2eQuest

Links:

Gifted Programs Planned Using De Bono’s 6 Action Shoes as a Planning Tool

Sprite’s Blue Formal Shoes

Sprite’s Grey Sneakers 

Sprite’s Brown Brogues 

Sprite’s Orange Gumboots 

Sprite’s Pink Slippers 

Sprite’s Purple Riding Boots 

Building Gifts into Talents: Overview of the DMGT (pdf) 

Sprite’s More Shoes

Sprite’s Plaster Cast

Sprite’s One Size Shoe Cover System

Gifted Resources Blog

Gifted & Creative Services Australia

Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page

Feetspeak: 2E Shoes Project 

The Psych-Owl-Ogist

Nest Ed

Dabrowski Dogs

Black Dogs

Memory Elephant

Columbus Cheetah Myth Buster

columbuscheetah

De Bono Six Action Shoes

Cybraryman’s Socratic Seminar Page

Special Guest: Stacy Hughes Visual Spatial Learners

Stacy Hughes

#gtchat was joined by Texas teacher, Stacy Hughes, to chat about Visual Spatial Learners. Stacy began her teaching career at the middle school level for gifted in Florida in 1990.  She taught for 10 yrs before teaching overseas. In 2009, she began teaching grades 3-5 GT in Texas.

Stacy shared that VSL learners are characterized by mainly thinking in pictures. They must visualize to learn. Some think in snapshots, some in movies. They learn in spurts, and can intuitively take learning a few steps farther. They see patterns and relationships in things. Many chat participants shared their experiences as VSL learners. A full transcript may be found here.

Links:

Gifted Development Center: Visual Spatial Learners

Visual Spatial Learners from @HoagieGifted

Eye to Eye: Connecting with Gifted Visual-Spatial Learners (Teaching Strategies) (pdf)

Upside-Down Brilliance: The Visual-Spatial Learner (book) from Linda Silverman

Upside Down Brilliance

Upside-Down Brilliance (presentation handout) Silverman

Visual-Spatial Learners (book) by Alexandra Golon from Prufrock Press 

Print

How Homeschooling Saved a Visual Spatial Learner 

Are You a Visual-Spatial Learner? From Deborah Mersino 

CruSHing TaLL PoPPies: Visual-Spatial Learners: Tapping into Their Creativity and Potential

Serving Visual-Spatial Learners (book) by Steve Coxon from Prufrock Press

Serving Visual Spatial Learners Prufrock

Parenting a Visual Spatial Child 

Eclectic Homeschooling: A Visual-Spatial Learner at Work

Visual-Spatial Learners Page from @cybraryman1 

Sensory Awareness Page from @cybraryman1 

Visual Literacy Page from @cybraryman1

Is Your Child a Visual-Spatial Learner? From Prufrock Press Blog

“I Think in Pictures, You Teach in Words: The Gifted Visual Spatial Learner” by Leslie Sword

Raising Topsy-Turvy Kids: Successfully Parenting Your Visual-Spatial Child (book) Golon/Silverman

Helping Your Children Build on Their Visual-Spatial Strength in a World of Words” (pdf) from NAGC Parenting for High Potential September 2006 

 “If You Could See the Way I Think A Handbook for Visual-Spatial Kids” 

Posts about VSL on Sprite’s Site

Twice Exceptional: Is It a Gift?

Reading Up on VSL on Sprite’s Site

Visual-Spatial Thinking

Is there a Dimmer Switch for the Memory Elephant? On Sprite’s Site

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