Raising a gifted child isn’t all rainbows and first place ribbons. Especially in the early years, the intensity, drive and complexity that gifted children bring to the table can come out looking like bossiness, perfectionism and extreme sensitivity How To Spot A Gifted Child In Your Preschool Class (Or Your Living Room!). Many books try to explain why gifted individuals are challenging, but this book is unique. It is offering parents clear strategies to help their child thrive and help them navigate school and social activities with confidence.
A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children is written by four leaders in gifted education and research. James Webb, PhD, was a strong supported of the gifted community and gifted children in particular. The other authors; Janet Gore M.Ed., Edward Amend Psy.D and Arlene DeVries M.S.E., are all specialists in this area. They offer useful information about both the benefits of giftedness and the challenges in every chapter.
This book is unique in many ways. It offers solid parenting advice, not theories and research studies. Gifted children are still children who require support, limits, education and love. The authors are eager to give parents tools to make life at home and school easier. Gifted kids can be misunderstood, teased or excluded. Dealing with this is not easy for any parent. They even acknowledge that parents themselves may be criticized or mocked for advocating for their child’s needs. The chapter on what to do if your child is twice-exceptional (for example, having a learning disability in addition to giftedness) address getting help for both skills and areas of challenge. It also helps parents consider whether their child’s diagnosis is accurate. Many characteristics of giftedness can be seen incorrectly as ADHD, bipolar illness or ASD. Getting the right diagnosis is essential to maximizing your child’s abilities and happiness.
One aspect of giftedness that is rarely addressed in this much detail but is solidly reviewed here is the emotional sensitivity often seen at an early age. This book spends considerable space on helping parents teach their gifted children how to handle frustration, perfectionism, and even existential depression. What is that? A child that can comprehend the level of danger and inequality in the world at a young age may not have the emotional ability to come to terms with this knowledge. The authors do a terrific job of explaining the sources of a gifted child’s pain and offer concrete advice to parents.
There is so much to say about the joys and the pitfalls of parenting gifted children of any age. This book does an excellent job of helping families (and educators) see the road ahead and handle it well.