Helping solve parenting issues with gifted children

At the 2015 Opportunities for the Future Conference for Gifted Children and their Families


Session 2

Northwestern University Tech Center

June 27, 2015

3:00 to 4:45



Parenting Gifted Children

Francis Xavier Warde School

751 N State
Room 103
Chicago, Il

Saturday, April 12, 2014

9:30 to 11:00 AM


Social Emotional issues and other factors when considering Grade Advancement and other means of providing appropriate Challenges for Gifted Learners

Northwestern University-Tech Center

Center for Talent Development

Nov. 11, 2012

9:30 and 12:30

Call 847-491-3782


Parenting Anxious and Perfectionist Children

Northwestern University-Tech Center

Center for Talent Development

Nov. 6, 2010

9:30 and 12:30

Call 847-491-3782


The Need For Struggle

The saying, “What doesn’t kill us will make us stronger.” is particularly important for those we consider gifted. Parents and teachers must be vigilant in providing challenge for their cognitively advanced youngsters. While many very gifted children grow up to be productive members of society, others do not. Some will struggle as adults because they never learned to struggle as children. Others with less intellectual skills will succeed at very high levels. What contributes to these differences? Which characteristics are necessary to help children grow, and how can these traits be encouraged? What are those factors, which impede growth, and how can they be avoided? This article will identify several of these ingredients and offer way’s for parents and educators to help gifted children reach their adult potential.



Children of Divorced and/or Separated Parents

  1. Reassure your child, frequently if necessary, that they were in no way responsible for the separation or divorce and that both parents love them and that they will always be provided for.
  2. Spend extra time with them and ask what they need from each of you (you may not be able to give them everything they want but allow them to express their feelings).
  3. Children should not be over exposed to the details of why the marriage has or had specific problems.
  4. If an announcement has to be made regarding marital status, living arrangement etc. it is better if it comes from both parents simultaneously acting as one unit.
  5. Children should not be exposed to negative comments concerning the other parent (remember they were created from both parents and if one spouse is damaged then that reflects on who they are).
  6. Children should not be used as messengers between parents (ie. tell your____that he can only see you on ____ ).
  7. Children should be sheltered from as much as the anxiety and depression etc. that each parent may be feeling (children often take on the stress of those they care about).
  8. Children should not be quizzed as to what occurred at the other parents house or when they are with the other parent or when on the phone with the other parent (they need to feel good about being with both parents and need an independent relationship with both parents).
  9. Children should never be put on the spot and forced to choose between parents!
  10. Avoid sharing secrets with the child as that only increases the burden on them.
  11. Parents need to demonstrate that while they couldn’t or can’t live together that they still are capable of providing for their children on both an emotional and physical level. They must be able to put aside their feelings for each other for the benefit of their children! While these guidelines can be applied to almost any population it is especially important with gifted children as they are generally more sensitive and reactive to these situations.

School Adjustment of Gifted Children

Recently a “Family Ties” television special depicted a situation which seemed to epitomize what giftedness is about for the gifted child in a regular classroom. The classroom teacher, obviously frustrated with the class’s inability to correctly answer her questions, knowingly turns to Michael J. Fox, playing his character Alex as a child, for the correct answer. The young Alex anxiously responds correctly but secretly dreads being called upon because of the embarrassment it has caused him at being yet again singled out and made to feel different. This situation is repeated time and again for most gifted youngsters and may be one of several possible reasons for under- achievement in this population. The purpose of this article will be to examine this and other reasons gifted children experience school adjustment difficulties.



Evaluating Intellectual Potential

“My child is only five years old, and he reads at a fourth grade level. but he’s doing cutting and pasting in his kindergarten class and complains of being bored. He doesn’t want to return to school. When I told his teacher this and suggested that his school work was much too easy for him, she just patronized me and hinted that if I pressure him he may become frustrated and stressed out. She just didn’t understand and believed I was a pushy mother. Can you help?”



Gifted Children and Under-Achievement at School

Dr. Jerry Schecter is a educational psychologist, whose talk concentrated on identifying the factors within the child, the family, and the school that contribute to underachievement. For Schecter, giftedness is an asynchronous development in which advanced cognitive abilities and heightened intensity combine to create inner experiences and awareness that are qualitatively different from the norm. A gifted seven year old may be able to function cognitively like a much older child, but may act socially and emotionally like a typical second grader. This asynchrony increases with higher intellectual capacity. Asynchrony within the gifted renders them particularly vulnerable to achievement problems, and requires modifications in parenting, teaching, and counseling in order for them to develop optimally.



Helping Your Child Develop Grit and Overcome Perfectionism

Helping Your Child Develop Grit and Overcome Perfectionism
November 7th, 2009 at 9:30 and 12:30

The Center for Talent Development
Northwestern University, Evanston Campus

*Call 847-491-3782 for more information.

Supporting the Needs of the Gifted (SENG)
parent support and education group forming

*Call 847-679-5243 for more information.

Get on board with learning about giftedness, family issues, educational options, and more!