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Raising Gifted Kids: Everything You Need to Know to Help Your Exceptional Child Thrive Paperback – October 12, 2006
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"""Parenting gifted youngsters is a challenging task, and this book is a wonderful, practical resource for parents seeking knowledge to do this task right. Dr. Klein offers support that will be most welcome to parents.""
-- Judith J. Roseberry, President, California Association for the Gifted
""Raising Gifted Kids provides a wealth of thoughtful, practical and implementable strategies for effective parenting of the gifted. Dr. Klein's insightful counsel and down-to-earth recommendations will be invaluable to parents of gifted youngsters, and much of what she has to say is simply excellent advice for any parent.""
-- Roger H. Weaver, Headmaster, Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences, Santa Monica, CA"
"While it can be rewarding to raise an extremely bright child -- quick, curious, sensitive, and introspective -- it’s also a daunting challenge. Parents need insight into their own motivations (as well as those of their children), and the courage and ability to make tough decisions about their child’s development. Raising Gifted Kids will help parents understand and cope with the obstacles they face in raising a gifted child, and help them make the best choices for their son’s or daughter’s growth and happiness. This upbeat and practical book reveals how parents can:
* help develop their child’s potential and self-esteem without pressuring them
* plan their child’s education
* work optimally with schools and teachers
* recognize and prevent problems
* solve family conflicts over parenting issues
* avoid the dangers of living vicariously through their child’s accomplishments
* and much more
Filled with proven solutions to the unique challenges of raising gifted kids, this book is the powerful yet accessible resource parents have long wished for."
Top Customer Reviews
Klein talks about test scores, describing scores, standard deviations, and descriptions from various tests and test versions, apparently as old as 1970's versions, interchangeably. But they're not interchangeable, and mixing them up this way will confuse parents who don't have another source of testing information, and don't understand the differences between old and modern test versions, and between one modern test and another.
Klein then offers a number of vignettes, which vary from predictable to extreme. These are not supportive because no matter what, the parents are the bad guys. After the introduction talking about all the help and support Raising Gifted Kids will offer us, this chapter tells us how awful we are, and all our good intentions are wrong. Pick a specific gifted school for your child? Wrong. Send your gifted child to public school? Wrong. Live in an isolated rural area and homeschool your gifted child? Very wrong. And lots more. Throughout the vignettes, the psychologist knows the single right answer for each child after only an assessment.
The rest of the book seems more positive, but has it's confusing moments. All gifted kids are not alike educationally or emotionally, and the sweeping generalizations are too grand. More mistaken impressions left behind, especially among parents who are reading for support.
Parents are, for the most part, doing a good job raising their gifted children. Those who aren't, aren't going to read a book about what we need to know - they already know they're doing a perfect job. Good parents need understanding and support.Read more ›
The author makes sweeping generalizations like, "All gifted kids are ____" or "All private schools are _____." I was left with the feeling that she thinks she, personally, is the only person qualified to make decisions about gifted kids. There was just no faith that parents know what is best for their kids or that schools genuinely want to help.
Her chapters on school selection did not reflect my experience at all. (My kids both attend a terrrific public "Gifted Center" school, and we have found the people there responsive, warm, and very very good at what they do.)
Some of the advice is painfully obvious. Don't, for example, say to your child, "Your weird questions are going to send me to an early grave." (I bet you already knew not to do that.) There were also some problems with the writing and some typos or oversights that gave the book an amateurish feel.
Having said all that, I must admit that there were times when a paragraph seemed to be talking about my child or my experience, and a few things were astute enough that I read them aloud to my husband. Thus the second star.
But overall, the author, while clearly very bright, came across as bossy and inflexible with very clear prejudices. Why, for example, did she feel the need to point out what high-powered careers and high-status backgrounds all the parents came from? Does she believe gifted kids are only born into wealthy families? It almost felt like name-dropping.
Bottom line? I'm very glad I didn't have to buy the copy I read. I've definitely read other, better books on this topic.
Pick a different book.
The biggest issue I had with Dr. Klein is her elitist tone. She is an educational consultant who obviously has a well-heeled clientèle. The impression she gives in her book is that all gifted kids come from affluent families, which is not the case. She describes each of the parents profiled in the book as "So-and-so, a successful/prominent/stellar/up-and-coming/etc. investment banker/attorney/surgeon/executive/etc." The parents' occupations are not relevant to the point she's trying to make, so why even mention them? She also has a tendency to mention luxury items in passing as if they're a normal part of everyday life. Perhaps everyone in Dr. Klein's social circle has a housekeeper and a gardener and takes travel "adventures" and enrolls their kids in multiple enrichment classes. But I personally found her elitist tone very off-putting.
This book is filled with anecdotes about gifted children. The stories more or less fall into two patterns. In the "warning" stories the pattern is "Child A was gifted. His parents pushed him too hard. He became a perfectionist, and killed himself as a teenager." Or "Child A was gifted. His parents never challenged him enough. He became frustrated with the difficulties of higher education, so wound up becoming an elementary school teacher (as if that meant his life was a failure)".
The "success" stories are generally along the lines of "Child 'A' was gifted. Her parents hired a psychological advisor, so that they knew the right thing to do. The child became a doctor, and they all lived happily ever after." Since the author is one of these psychologist experts, the general emphasis on finding professional help comes across as very self serving. The author's subtle, though persistent implications that some career paths are not worthy of "gifted" children comes across as elitist and narrow minded.
I have since read a few other gifted children books, and I have learned that there are more or less two camps when it comes to gifted children. There are some who believe that giftedness is an indication that a child has a genetic gift that "should" lead that child to grow into a super-achieving adult. This is the type of gifted child model this book talks about.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book does a good job of explaining the basic challenges that come with raising gifted children and gives a good overview in broad brush strokes of what to expect in various... Read morePublished 3 months ago by npar55
Amazing case study work. Opens up a whole new understanding of how much of a problem this is. It certainly hits the nail on the head about other people's reaction to these kids and... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Sue Barttram
I read this book before buying it and wanted to keep it as a reference. Its a wonderfully informative book for parents of gifted children.Published 23 months ago by Teresa R. Scott
Very helpful opinion in this book. I have found myself in similar situation in this book. Great resource for parenting.Published on November 9, 2012 by Carolyn
I gave this book one star because the author, in the beginning of the book, gives me useful information about the signs of having a gifted child. Read morePublished on April 10, 2012 by Rachel S.
This is an excellent resource for parents of gifted children. Klein provides some great examples of the errors parents too often make when dealing with gifted children such as over... Read morePublished on July 27, 2010 by Texas Rose
I found this book annoying. It probably has some good points, and even some helpful points, but I was annoyed with the tone of voice of the author. Read morePublished on August 20, 2009 by J. Grambo
This book is terrific and hit the nail on the head when it came to my child.Published on November 30, 2008 by krissiebird
It was a decent book, but not a lot of new information for me. For the most part, it simply confirmed some basics I have long believed in - not living out your dreams through your... Read morePublished on June 23, 2008 by Bill Reid