The added challenges for gifted children

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    • #9349

      Hopefully some of you have had a chance to watch the replay of the recent Zoom video on Strong Willed Children. There’s a huge connection of course between “gifted” children and being strong willed in that most children who have an exceptionally high cognitive or emotional functioning tend to be very strong willed children.

      When I was a child I could never really figure out if I was super smart or dumb because both were reflected to me. I’m both dyslexic and when I had an IQ test done in my last year of school, I was told that I was in the top .25%. I’m sharing this because despite all the turmoil my differences caused me during (and since!) childhood, it’s been so helpful to be able to draw on some of my own personal journey in relating to many of the children and their parents who I’ve helped over the years. And of course, it probably won’t surprise you and may even be your experience that strong willed outside the box thinkers with certain cognitive abiities that are very different from the majority are often raising one or more children who have similar differences. And hence challenges!! In fact just today both my children have talked to me at different times about their challenges and insights around having a much higher emotional intelligence to just about anybody else they know. My understanding and support is a huge sanity saver for them, and I have to admit it goes both ways at times.

      I’m sharing this post by Joanne Foster, a fellow parent educator. Joanne has also just published a book on the subject, I haven’t yet read it, but I’ve always really highly respected Joanne’s work.

      Here’s a snippet;

      “Many emotionally gifted individuals have a profound commitment to make the world better which, may exacerbate their emotions and intensity. Social justice is a core value that weighs on an emotionally gifted individual and when the balances are uneven this may be very challenging for the individual as well as for others since the perceived evaluation is imbedded in their anatomy and drive. For example, a gifted child on the playground that experiences a classmate cheating in a game of dodge ball, may cause a rage of furry if the cheater is not disciplined. The injustice on the playground may carry with them throughout the day and may have difficulty letting go, since the gifted individual is prone to worry and rumination.
      An increase in anxiety and depression was self-reported by gifted individuals compared to the national average. It is hypothesized that their increased emotional ability may be a precursor for increased accounts of anxiety and depression. Gifted expansive empathy is seeing, feeling, and embodying things more deeply and is at the center of the gifted experience. In a recent study individuals that experienced social exclusion activated anterior cingulate cortex and anterior insula, indicating that physical and emotional pain illicit similar neural networks. Is too much empathy a bad thing? In a recent study, researchers found that too much empathy can actually be disadvantageous since, it can hinder processing other information and be linked to negative emotions.”

    • #9351

      And this is the home page of Jo Foster’s Gifted Unlimited website;

    • #9414

      So true! The strong sense of justice can create many challenges!

      • #9417

        Natalie, you can obviously really relate? Does this come up a lot with one or both of your kids?

        If you relate, you’ll likely also relate to some of the concepts talked about in a recent Zoom video on strong willed kids. It should still be showing as a recent post in the right hand sidebard. If not then under videos in your Resource Library.

    • #9997

      OH, thanks. Yes, both my kids are strong willed, very intelligent and so emotionally intense. At a recent playdate my nearly 8yo was fixated on finding a small part of a doll that was missing and her friend was like ‘why does she care so much it’s not even important?’ but for my daughter those details are so important!

      Parenting in this style is the only thing that works with tour two because they see through everything else 🙂

    • #9998

      Thanks for the website 🙂

    • #10742
      Charlotte Bolwell

      I was listening to your recent Zoom call on replay and didn’t realise you had so much related to strong-willed children and gifted children. I didn’t think to mention it in my other posts but My 4yo (almost 5) that I had been posting about is highly empathetic and has been since a very young age, feels emotions very deeply and strongly and we suspect to be gifted in some respects – he has exceptional memory and likes puzzles, has well developed language etc.
      The post in one of the forum threads about their son bringing emotions home from school just rang so true for me. I am glad this came up in your Zoom call and I will work through some of your other resources in this area.

    • #10744

      Yes, totally relate Charlotte. I let my daughter (who has been accelerated / skipped one grade ahead at school) ‘drain off’ every day after school… she tells me everything that frustrated her or that she noticed about other kids feeling hurt etc and I just listen and empathise until she’s exhausted herself! And work through anything that we may need to work through later, after she’s more regulated.

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