Characteristics of Gifted and Talented Individuals
Many highly intelligent/talented people have intense feelings and passions that may leave them feeling unfulfilled, restless, out of place and out of synch in a world that values conformity. They may have been told that they think, feel, move, dream, and demand “too much”. These “intensities” are often the very things that make them feel alive and authentic. Understanding your giftedness, and the unique challenges and opportunities it brings, leads to increased potential for satisfaction and achieving personal and professional goals.
People with high intelligence are often very demanding of themselves and others. Not being able to live up to the high expectations they have of themselves can bring about anxiety, procrastination, depression, troubles with food, alcohol and drugs and or relationship issues (including not having relationships). By addressing depression, anxiety and other issues with an integrated understanding of how giftedness affects these issues, true healing and growth can occur. If giftedness is minimized or not understood, there is likelihood natural elements of giftedness will be pathologized rather than embraced and redirected.
Parenting a Gifted Child
Parenting a gifted child can present unique challenges in every area of parenting. Understanding how your child’s special enhancements work, and how to help him/her channel those energies into satisfying, productive paths will reduce family stress, and create a healthier atmosphere where all family members are respected, nurtured and feel loved.
Many parents of highly gifted, profoundly gifted or twice exceptional children (children who have both extraordinary gifts and learning disabilities) struggle with strategies to deal with home, school and work demands to keep their children safe, intellectually engaged and emotionally balanced. By understanding “over-excitabilities” and learning how to effectively manage them, parents can find more accurate tools to achieve those goals.
Parenting the gifted and the twice exceptional child can be a very lonely experience. It is often difficult to find parent “peers” who can relate to the experiences, struggles and joys you may be having with your child. When your child can’t sleep because they can’t turn off their brain, you don’t need to hear how your child is “different” or that you are not setting up a regular routine. You need help understanding what is happening in your child’s brain and how you might be able to redirect thems toward a relaxed state. If you are struggling to find appropriate reading material for your precocious reader, you are not bragging, you are frustrated and at a loss.
The issue of asynchronous development in gifted children brings unique parenting challenges and few parents have resources to help them with the challenges. Schools and other parents are often perplexed as to why a child who is so bright in several areas can be so average or immature in other areas. Developing an accurate understanding of the child’s asynchronicities, allows parents to implement more effective parenting, educational, social and physical strategies to help their child reach their potential and improve their self-esteem.
I offer tools and information for helping you parent your gifted child and enriching your family. Together we can create an emotionally rich, connected family atmosphere where every member of the family feels loved and supported in pursuing their dreams and reach the full potential in all facets of life.
- Hoagies Gifted Page
- Duke University Talent Identification Program
- Exceeds Expectations Learning
- Davidson Institute for Talent Development
- Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth
- Daimon Institute
- Summit Center Recommended Books & Articles
- SENG – Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted