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I’m passionate about gifted children. They are special, challenging, unique, and have special needs. I’m equally passionate about parents of gifted children. They are special, challenged, unique, and live with intense special needs. It’s a tough job…and thankfully there are some great resources available to help.
At least two of my kids are gifted, and I suspect the third might blow them out of the water, so I am constantly reading books, articles, and websites about parenting gifted kids. I may have a master’s degree in gifted education, taught gifted kids, and offered presentations and workshops on teaching them, but parenting gifted kids 24/7 is a totally different ballgame. I need all the help I can get.
Here are some wonderful books I’ve found helpful:
In Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students, Christine Fonesca writes an amazing, conversational guide for parents raising gifted kids with emotional intensities. Intensity is a characteristic that is common among gifted kids, but SO frustratingly difficult to discipline, mentor, and parent effectively. Christine offers practical advice and support for any parent of gifted kids.
James T. Webb provides a wonderful overview of twice-exceptionalities in gifted kids in Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnosis of Gifted Children and Adults. Often kids are misdiagnosed because they have another, more visible, issue like ADHD, SPD, anxiety, etc. This doesn’t make them less gifted, it makes them twice-exceptional. There are two special needs that must be addressed – the giftedness and the exceptionality.
I’m a little biased about Jim Delisle’s work because he was my advisor at Kent State University. I really like him and what he has to say about gifted kids – he gets them and he cares about them. This is one of my favorite parenting books by Jim. Parenting Gifted Kids: Tips for Raising Happy and Successful Children is as wonderful as it sounds.
Honestly, I haven’t read Bright Not Broken by Diane M. Kennedy yet, but it’s been on my wish-list for awhile. I have twice-exceptional kids, and while I know that they are very bright and have special needs, I still have trouble not believing something’s wrong with them or with my parenting. This book sounds like it’d be a great resource for parents like me – who doubt it’ll all turn out for the good.
Smart but Scattered is another book that’s been on my wish-list. Difficulties with executive functioning skills – you know, those things that help you get from point A to point B seamlessly – are very common among gifted kids…and very frustrating to deal with. While it seems silly to have a pictorial checklist for a ten-year-old with an above-average IQ to remind him to get dressed, put his PJs in the laundry, brush his teeth, and go into the kitchen for breakfast each day, kids with executive functioning skills issues need this level of specificity.
Carol Fertig, author of Raising a Gifted Child, has blogged successfully for years about parenting and teaching gifted children. Her book is a wonderful resource for parents looking for ways to maximize their kids’ potential.
In Raisin’ Brains: Surviving My Smart Family, Karen L.J. Isaacson gives readers a lighthearted glimpse into her super-creative, bright family. It’s funny, but reassuring as some of the scenarios just might be similar to those you find yourself in as a parent of a gifted kid.
Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka is a great book to read if you struggle with an emotionally intense child. It provides tools to help you understand your child’s temperament and your own, and to see how the two work together or fight against each other.
Perfectionism and other paralyzing challenges can keep even our brightest children from reaching their potential. Smart Parenting for Smart Kids helps parents recognize, anticipate, and overcome common pitfalls to parenting gifted kids. It truly can help you help your child succeed.
While not technically books about parenting gifted children, I think it’s important to mention two of my favorite books – The Out of Sync Child and The Out of Sync Child Has Fun because so many gifted kids suffer from sensory issues that increase their struggles and these books can help you help them focus. Both share practical tools and resources for diagnosing and determining what your child needs in terms of sensory input, and The Out of Sync Child Has Fun gives parents hundreds of activities, games, and challenges that will help meet your child’s unique sensory requirements – whatever they are.
Did I miss any? What are YOUR favorite books about gifted kids?
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