It was great presenting on parenting the profoundly gifted at the Frisco Gifted Association GT Symposium. I met so many amazing parents who like myself are on this journey to better understand the needs of gifted children. If you want to connect, email me, or follow me @beckimjohnson. Here are the highlights from my presentation.
Common traits of gifted adults – excitability, sensitivity, childlike emotions, feeling fundamentally different than others, feelings of being overwhelmed by their own creativity, perfectionism, feelings of being misunderstood, difficulty with authority figures and strong moral convictions. Rinn & Bishop, 2015, p. 222
Common traits of profoundly gifted children – need for constant mental stimulation, insatiable curiosity, asynchronous development, often demonstrate 3 years above their schematic age in abilities. Davidson Institute
Asynchronous Development – gifted children often have significant variations within themselves and develop unevenly across skill levels. – NAGC
Orientation/Disorientation – it’s normal when parenting a gifted child to move in and out of orientation and disorientation. One minute you feel oriented, settled, like you have a sense of direction. The next minute, you feel disoriented, like you made a wrong turn.
One Size Does not Fit All – heard a gifted high school student say, “Nothing kills dreams faster than schools.” A one size fits all approach does not work for gifted learners.
Don’t Exchange Once Box for Another Box – don’t exchange one box for another. One of our kids tested college-ready at age 11. She was offered merit scholarships to early-college programs. I found that many of these programs were just different boxes than the one we were in.
Community – when parenting the profoundly gifted you need a community like @SENG_Gifted or @DavidsonGifted or @FriscoGifted to connect with others and to have a Safe Place to Normalize your experiences.
Who is Leading? Most of the time your gifted child is PULLING you, but it’s OK to know when to PUSH them. If the answer to the question “Why do I want this for her?” is “She really wants it for herself,” then it’s OK to push a little.
Ask your gifted child HEART questions, not just HEAD questions. Gifted children often critique adults and express how they would do something different. Don’t mistake their mental critique as an expression of their feelings towards that person. They may name a hundred ways a teacher should do something different, but they still really like that teacher.