3rd answer to questions in Session 3: I realize parents need just as much training, in most cases, as the gifted child, in order to support him or her. A parent will need extra assurance that going to a special school, or having adult friends as peers, is perfectly fine for children with gifted intelligence. A parent needs ways to connect to a loner gifted child, especially if the parent does not have the same intellect or introversion.
The role of the parents who are raising a gifted child is extremely important and implies an extra challenge compared to parenting a “regular” child. Parents of gifted children encounter social isolation when looking for answers about their child’s development or behavior (Helping Parents Cope with Peer Pressure, page 193). They also play an important role in helping the child to understand his/her feelings, to accept him/herself, and to canalize his/her intensity by teaching them how to react to given situations and cope with difficulty (Preventing Depression, page 157), by providing them with strategies that help them alleviate depression and move them to a positive action (Depression and anger, Page 163) and by guiding them through the difficulties of peer pressure (Peer Pressures in Adolescences, Page 183 and Peer Pressure and Underachievement, Page 185). Parent of the gifted also need to guide their children’s social-emotional development by understanding, and helping their child to understand her/his own feelings of isolation, perfectionism, idealism, and existential aloneness (Other Sources of Depression, Page 158).Parents must provide guidance and opportunities for their gifted child to develop different types and depths of friendships among peers of different ages, abilities and interests (Who is a True Peer for a Gifted Child?, Page 172 and Friendship Strategies, page 182) as well as help their child to determine an appropriate alone time (Alone Time, page 179) without interfering too much on his/her own decisions.Finally, Parents of “Gifted” have also to manage the gifted child’s relationships with both, adults and siblings within the family. Parents need to understand and appreciate the role and characteristics of each member of the family and be a good role model to their children in order to foster acceptance and cooperation instead of competition or rivalry (Unequal Abilities among Siblings, Page 202; Sibling competition and cooperation, Page 196; Role Models, page 204)
Response to Melanie: I agree with you that the parents need to be informed in order to support both, their child and themselves during the raising of a gifted child. Parents need reassurance and understanding, specially if they have not gone to the process of being "gifted" themselves.
PArents need information to learn to care for themselves as well as their child. pg. 171 talks about how peer relationships are issues for almost every gifted child and if a child does nto have support from home they can have even more difficulties with intrapersonal realitonships than laready expected. Because peer pressure is so intense, I enjoyed the part on pg. 183 regarding per pressure in adolescence. The scenario was highly effective as a tool for understanding, in my opinion. Friendship strategies pg. 182 also showed ways that the gifted child could attempt to master a relationship through the help of his or her parents. Great ideas!
In response to Alvaredo, I totally agree with him in that parents need to provide opportunities for their gifted child in order for the gifted to understand his talents. To encourage all types of relationships is important as well.
Response to Barbie: I agree with you that parents of gifted children need lots of guidance and awareness. That’s why I also find really useful the” Friendship strategies” on page 182. It is a powerful tool for parents and teachers to guide a gifted child through social interaction and peer pressure
response to AlvaradoO: I loved this...Parents need to understand and appreciate the role and characteristics of each member of the family and be a good role model to their children in order to foster acceptance and cooperation instead of competition or rivalry...During conferences I had a parent give a sibling a bogus errand to run. The parent then requested that I not say anything sensational about the gifted child's academics to the sibling, who was having a hard time in an upper grade. I thought that was kind of the parent, but I was glad the sibling was gone for a while so I could share the accomplishments honestly.I know in my own family, my parents would reveal that my oldest sister showed the greater intellectual capacity. That left the understanding that the other two of us would either be beauty or brawn. Yuck!
response to AlvaradoO: your insight about parenting a gifted child is great! Parenting gifted children is very difficult and we as teachers need to give that awareness to our gifted kid's parents. They need to know that their kids are different and that there are tools they can find to help them.
Many parents need to learn that being fair does not mean being equal (page 211-212). If the students learned at home that not everything is going to be exactly equal or exactly the way they think it should be, then they will have an easier time dealing with the messy, frequently unequal classroom environment. There are some good strategies for parents to use here.
@Melanie I agree that parents need to know that their kid may not want to be friends with peers, but would rather be friends with adults. If the parent recognized this then they could help the child by finding suitable role models for the child to bond with.
On these chapters parents can get a very clear outline of what kind of things to expect from a gifted child. It also offers great practical tips on how to guide them through their different phases. I found all the information really helpful also as a teacher, as I know now how to offer guidance to parents who ask how to deal with what they see at home.I specially liked the suggestions for Being a Successful Parent on pg. 237 as it offers basic understanding of what teachers and or parents should offer to kids as part of their moral education.
I like the list on pg. 237 about the six important tasks or goals for parents. Parents and teachers must find a way to help a gifted student to achieve. If a mistake is made then try a different approach and even with a different approach it may change as he/she gets older. Also on Pg. 246“You are your children’s strongest role model.” Kids watch or hear everything we do. Modeling could be positive or negative in households.
Post 1: I agree with both Adriana and Daryl that the list on 237 is a fantastic list of goals for parents and teachers to have for their gifted children. "-Accept and appreciate the child's uniqueness.-Help the child like herself and relate well to others.-Help the child develop a relationship and sense of belonging within the family.-Nurture the development of values.-Teach the child self-motivation, self-management, and self-discipline.-Help the child discover his passions and commit to letting him explore."I think my favorite is the one about being self motivators, self managers and self discipliners. This is such an important life skill for children to have and they cannot gain this skill unless we stop managing, and motivating them and let them solve their own problems.
The responsibility of identification ultimately lies with the parent, I feel. Parents know their children best and they have had opportunities to observe their child in many different situations that far outreach any the teacher might see. I feel it is the duty of the parent to educate themself to the needs of a gifted child and find the best fit for educational opportunities. The list on 237 gives great goals for the parents and educators to use. "Help the child like herself and relate well to others," is important to help that self esteem issue which is so important to develop in a gifted child.
@ AdrainaN I also like tips on how to guide through kids difficult phases.
PV: Parening is a challenging task, much more so for parents of gifted children. The section on Parents must Care for Themselves, Too on p. 238 served as a good reminder. "As you reflect on your own needs, also think about what you are modeling for your children. Children need to see how adults achieve a balanced life, and home is the best place for them to learn.