on May 8, 2007
I've said good things about books in the past, and I stand by all my reviews. But if I could rate one book with 6 stars (out of 5) this would be the one. A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children is THE book that all parents of gifted children should read first. And I mean ALL parents, from parents of moderately gifted kids, to parents of exceptionally / profoundly gifted kids, and twice exceptional gifted kids, too.
A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children begins with the basics: terms and definitions, and characteristics of giftedness, from those typical characteristics we all know, to the gifted child's unique Overexcitabilities and potential strengths disguised as weaknesses. Next, Webb and friends discuss communication, an important factor both in parenting and educating the gifted child. Their great ideas are good not only for parents communicating with gifted kids, but also for parents communicating with educators, and parents teaching their gifted kids how to communicate effectively. Even gifted kids need to learn the strength of communication!
Motivation and underachievement are complex with gifted children. Webb et. Al. offer valuable insights into the causes and differences between the two. They move next to establishing discipline and teaching self-management - these are two things we often assume our gifted children can do for themselves, but like any other child, they need our guidance and support. As parents, we need to remember that no matter how smart they our, our gifted children are still children, and we are the adults, with adult experience and wisdom. And Webb and friends give us respectful ways to accomplish this.
Continuing with chapters on intensity and perfectionism, idealism and depression, and acquaintances, friends and peers, A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children moves into a challenging subject: twice exceptional children. If after reading this chapter, you need more information on these amazing and frustrating gifted kids, read an entire book on the subject: Misdiagnosis And Dual Diagnoses Of Gifted Children And Adults: ADHD, Bipolar, OCD, Asperger's, Depression, And Other Disorders.
A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children concludes with valuable information on the gifted child in school, including gifted identification and educational 'fit' for the gifted child. This educational 'fit' is what parents of the gifted child are searching for, and Webb offers great ideas on how to find it. And if you need help, A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children offers suggestions for seeking good professional help - not all professionals are created equal.
All in all, A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children is the single book you need to get started as the parent of a gifted child. Every parent should read this book!
on March 13, 2007
This book is worth owning--it is a valuable and comprehensive parenting resource that you will refer back to again and again. I especially liked the practical advice and usable suggestions offered in this book, as well as the references to other useful books, websites, and organizations. My favorite feature is the emphasis throughout on managing social/emotional issues that arise in parenting gifted children. The authors suggest effective phrases to use in speaking with your children about challenging situations, and they also suggest phrases to avoid (and why!). Very helpful! There is no other book that I know of that addresses these important issues (including motivation, discipline, perfectionism, and how to find the right educational fit) with so much clear-cut, common-sense, practical advice and information. I am a parent of gifted children, a board member of my state's gifted association, and founder and president of a local gifted parent support group. I talk with many parents and I have suggested this book to numerous people, all of whom have been grateful and have found the answers they were looking for.
This is by far the most comprehensive book about gifted children that I have seen. It covers a broad range of topics, yet still manages to be quite detailed and "meaty". An entire 19 page chapter is devoted to the characteristics of gifted children. In addition to the usual checklist, the chapter also looks at Dabrowski's overexcitabilities, the gifted child's sense of humor, imagination, etc. The authors embrace an open and flexible definition of giftedness, and offer alternatives to the "one test" model of selection.
A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children is a guidebook brimming full of practical suggestions on how to raise a gifted child. If you buy just one book on gifted children, this should be it. I recommend it to both veteran "gifted parents" and those with young children who are just starting to explore the world of giftedness. Whether your child is moderately, highly, or profoundly gifted, this book will have meaningful information and helpful suggestions for you.
Chapter five deals with establishing discipline and teaching self management, while chapter eight is all about acquaintances, friends, and peers. Chapter 11, complexities of successful parenting, features a list of six responsibilities for parents:
1.accept and appreciate the child's uniqueness
2.help the child like herself and relate well to others
3.help the child develop a relationship and sense of belonging within the family
4.nurture the development of values
5.teach the child self-motivation, self-management, and self discipline
6.help the child discover his passions, and commit to letting him explore
This chapter also contains sensible advice on how to avoid parental pitfalls such as enmeshment, adultizing the gifted child, or over empowering the gifted child. Parents are encouraged to care for themselves and be sure that they are modeling healthy attitudes and behaviors.
If the inquisitive reader wants to explore further, the back of the book is filled with an impressive number of endnotes and references to published studies and other works pertaining to child development and giftedness. The authors, Webb, Gore, Amend, and DeVries, are all well respected members of the gifted education community. They have many years of combined experience as teachers, counselors, and parents of gifted children. Their collective wisdom shared here is a real treasure.
on August 6, 2012
Because my PhD is in Gifted Education, I have read dozens of books and hundreds of articles, literally thousands of pages on the topic of gifted kids. I have also taught gifted children for 15 years and have spoken at national conferences. Webb's book is outstanding and thorough. It guides parents through understanding giftedness, including IQ, Dabrowski's overexciteabilities (which is very eye-opening), gifted kids with disabilities, testing, school servicing of the gifted, discipline and home life, and other important topics. For the parent who knows nothing about giftedness and is terrifed, to the parent who is an advocate with their local school district and thinks they know everything about giftedness, this book will open your eyes to new knowledge about your child. This book is also very appropriate for teachers of the gifted and those doing research in gifted education.
on July 5, 2011
I bought a bunch of gifted kids books at one time. Just like when you buy a bunch of baby books when your kids are born, you find that they're all interesting, but slowly you gravitate toward the one that speaks to your own ideas and also is comprehensive and answers your questions time and time again. So far, this book has been that for me. Many of the other books focus a lot on how to advocate for your gifted child, how to recognize your gifted child, how to stimulate them. My child goes to an all-gifted school, so I'm actually really blessed in that area. What I was hungry for was how to handle their emotional health and how to better understand their odd and complicated little behaviors a bit better. Understanding they way they think and feel is different as a result of their intelligence makes it tremendously easier to know how to deal with emotional outbursts, discipline problems, motivational issues. I have two little brainiacs, ages 4 & 5, both of whom think, feel, and react in very very different ways. Reading this book is really helping me be a good parent to them. They are smart in very different ways. I'm not trying to make them smarter, or get them into an Ivy League college. I just want them challenged and happy. This book is a good resource.
on April 24, 2007
A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children is an extraordinary enhancement of the well-known book, Guiding the Gifted Child. By pooling their expertise on gifted children, this powerful group of authors bring back to life this old classic by expounding on the practical suggestions and information many parents, and even educators, have found useful for so many years. Dr. James Webb is a clinical psychologist and co-founder of Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG); Janet Gore, over the past 30 years, has gained experience working with gifted students as a teacher, guidance counselor, school administrator, policy maker, and parent; Dr. Edward Amend is a clinical psychologist who focuses on the social, emotional, educational needs, and twice exceptional issues of gifted children and their families; and Arlene DeVries is an experience counselor with a special interest in the social and emotional needs of gifted students and has facilitated more than 70 SENG Gifted Parent Groups over the past 20 years.
Parenting any child is a challenging profession, much less parenting a child who is gifted. While it can be filled with joy, laughter, and excitement, it can also be frustrating, draining, and filled with uncertainty. To help put parents at ease, the authors of A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children offer insightful ideas and techniques that can be incorporated into the household's day-to-day living. For example, some of the ideas they discuss include catching the child doing something right, focusing on effort versus outcome, reflective listening, special time, assessing emotional temperature, avoiding power struggles, natural consequences, freedom within limits, praising the behavior not the child, the importance of being a good listener for your child, avoiding over scheduling, bibliotherapy, and describing siblings rather than comparing them.
In fifteen chapters, Webb, Gore, Amend, and DeVries share their knowledge gained from several decades of personal and professional experience working in the gifted field, while also including pertinent research on gifted children and suggestions parents of gifted children have found useful. They thoroughly cover the following topics that any parent would find of interest at some point along the parenting journey:
1. Defining Giftedness
2. Characteristics of Gifted Children
3. Communication: The Key to Relationships
4. Motivation, Enthusiasm, and Underachievement
5. Establishing Discipline and Teaching Self-Management
6. Intensity, Perfectionism, and Stress
7. Idealism, Unhappiness, and Depression
8. Acquaintances, Friends, and Peers
9. Family Relationships: Siblings and Only Children
10. Values, Traditions, and Uniqueness
11. Complexities of Successful Parenting
12. Children Who Are Twice-Exceptional
13. How Schools Identify Gifted Children
14. Finding a Good Educational Fit
15. Finding Professional Help
Three chapters are newly introduced in A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children that were not previously included in Guiding the Gifted Child: Children Who Are Twice Exceptional, Finding a Good Educational Fit, and Finding Professional Help. In raising a gifted child, sometimes parents are faced with tough questions, such as: Does my gifted child have a learning disability? What should we look for in a school? What school options are available for my child? When and how should a professional's help be sought out? When should medication be considered vs. counseling, or both? These additional chapters walk parents through making these decisions and offer the much sought-after opinions of professionals familiar with this population and their needs.
For those wanting to continue their learning, the authors include an extensive list of resources and recommended readings that would add quality to any library.
A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children is an essential resource for all families of gifted children. As stated in the book's Introduction on page xxi, "the emotional health of a child cannot be understood without considering the family. And the family cannot function well without understanding the emotional needs of the gifted child."
on March 13, 2007
A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children delivers exactly what it promises, and more. Many books about giftedness focus almost entirely on academic needs and school accommodations. While important, those concerns cannot be disconnected from and often pale in comparison to the everyday challenge of parenting children who are bright beyond their years, sensitive, and intense. James Webb, Janet Gore, Edward Amend, and Arlene DeVries focus on what parents need most: helping gifted children to understand themselves, to get along with others, to use their gifts in ways that bring them joy, and to face life with confidence and enthusiasm. Isn't that what we all want for their children?
As a parent of "one of these children" and as a teacher, I gained both knowledge and confidence from this book. Even if you aren't sure your child is gifted, or if you know or work with gifted children but don't have any of your own, A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children will help you to understand giftedness, to know how best to interact and guide gifted children, and to be better parents and mentors in this challenging 21st century. Everyone who cares about gifted children should read this book.
on November 24, 2012
Parents often wish their children came with an owner's manual. If there is anything that comes close to being an owner's manual for parents of gifted children, this book is it.
The authors comprise a who's who of experts on gifted children. James T. Webb, the lead author, is perhaps the best-known writer and speaker on gifted issues in the United States. His more recent book, Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults (also written with a team of experts), outlines the specific psychological pitfalls gifted children face. The other three authors, Janet L. Gore, Edward R. Amend, and Arlene R. DeVries, add both depth and breadth to Webb's solid credentials. Together, the authors have worked with gifted children in almost all capacities.
The book serves first as a very good primer for a parent who is facing questions about raising a gifted child. The first two chapters define giftedness and explore common characteristics of gifted children. In doing so, they answer two questions that often accompany a parent's first forays into the gifted literature: First, is my child gifted?, and second, how is my child different from other children?
The book is also great for parents who are facing more difficult decisions regarding their gifted children, such as education, therapy, medical care, and psychiatric care.
I think it's safe to say that without this book, I would not have taken the journey that led me to write my own book, From School to Homeschool: Should You Homeschool Your Gifted Child?, also published by Great Potential Press.
on March 5, 2007
Written by the team of James T. Webb, Ph.D., Janet L. Gore, M.Ed., Edward R. Amend, Psy.D. and Arlene R. DeVries, M.S.E, A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children is a well-rounded resource written especially for parents and lay readers. Chapters cover the characteristics of gifted children, emotional concerns such as unhappiness and depression, guidelines for aiding gifted children in the social development when they often have more in common with a notably older peer group than children their own age, concerns for "twice-exceptional" children who are gifted in one area and disadvantaged in another, and much more. Extensive endnotes, references, and an index round out this sensible, "must-have" for parents of gifted children.
on November 9, 2009
Great book. I appreciate the knowledge behind a gifted child being straight forward -- ie gifted children will not respond to punishment as well as praise or incentive to do the right thing. Also helpful to understand how to reprogram some of my parenting instincts to fit my more sensitive and inquisitive child.