Fostering adult giftedness: Acknowledging and addressing affective needs of gifted adults Fostering Adult Giftedness: Acknowledging and Addressing Affective Needs of Gifted Adults Recently I had the pleasure of participating in an Internet conference with parents in Australia about the social and emotional needs of gifted children. During the two weeks of dialogue one parent, Michelle, said: My own experience (and I suspect that of many other parents of gifted children) is that my awareness of giftedness came about after becoming a parent. She went on to say: It’s something I’ve noticed in my discussions with other parents — while many of them accept their child’s giftedness and associated traits, they seem to be in “denial” about their own giftedness, or at varying stages of dealing with it. Michelle’s comments are not unusual. Giftedness in adults can be viewed through a number of lenses. Acknowledge Your Own Gifts The first step towards building a strong social and emotion base is to recognize and acknowledge one’s own strengths or gifts.
How to Charm Gifted Adults into Admitting Giftedness: Their Own and Somebody Else’s The Loneliness of Being Misinformed about Giftedness In my current experience and view, the biggest “social issue of the gifted” is the painful misfit between implicit beliefs about giftedness by the non-gifted and the gifted alike and the actual or perceived reality of very many gifted adults. That misfit leads to utter loneliness: It impedes the sharing of one’s deep feelings and experiences related to giftedness with others because of the belief that these have nothing to do with being gifted. It also leads to avoiding calling oneself gifted – even if the direct question is asked – because of strong inner convictions about not qualifying for that seemingly outstanding state of being. I feel this is strongly connected to the dominant belief that for adults their giftedness is defined by actual eminent achievement, with the tacit assumption that only something like a Nobel Prize will be sufficient proof of eminence. In the summary of his article Mahoney states: Xi and Giftedness Compared
Creativity across the life-span: A systems view Csikszentmihalyi, M. Talent Development III, pp. 9-18 Gifted Psychology Press 1995 This article by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi looks at three major issues related to creativity over a lifespan. They are: what can be learned about creativity; a model of optimal aging; and how to work with creative children. The author based this work on six years of interviews with scores of older adults who are still actively creative. I am going to talk about a set of studies on creativity which focuses on adults and which will result in a book scheduled to appear next year (Csikszentmihalyi, 1996). Most of you are interested in creativity in children, and of course that makes sense, because that's where the long process of creative development begins. In this paper, I want to bring up three major issues, which are among the topics of our study. The third issue is to use what we have learned about creativity in later life as a model for how to deal with creative children.
Emotion Coaching: One of the Most Important Parenting Practices in the History of the Universe According to John Gottman, one of my all-time favorite researchers, emotion-coaching is the key to raising happy, resilient, and well-adjusted kids. His research—30 years of it—shows that it is not enough to be a warm, engaged, and loving parent. We also need to emotion coach our kids. Emotion-coached kids tend to experience fewer negative feelings and more positive feelings. The three steps below are adapted from Gottman's book Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child, which I can't recommend highly enough. This first step to coping with negative emotions (in yourself, your children, or in your mother-in-law) is to figure out what they are feeling and to accept those feelings. Step One: Label and Validate the Feelings-at-Hand Before we can accurately label and then validate our children's feelings, we need to empathize with them—first to understand what it is they are feeling, and then to communicate what we understand to them. That's all there is to it! © 2009 Christine Carter, Ph.D.
The Self-Education of Gifted Adults The Self-Education of Gifted Adults Author: Lisa Rivero Citation: First published in the SENGVine, Gifted Adult edition, January 2012 “Somewhere along the line of development we discover what we really are and then make our real decision for which we are responsible. What are you, really? In short, do you know if you are living up to your potential? Does the very question provoke a rush of anxiety? Now that our son is in college, I watch my friends, like my husband and myself, work to figure out who they are apart from being parents, at least apart from being parents who parent on a daily basis. Grown-up Potential: Beyond Overexcitabilities One of the reasons we are so fascinated by biographies of people like Steve Jobs is that we are searching for clues to potential. We often talk about children’s potential, especially that of particularly bright, talented, or gifted children, as if such potential is either fulfilled or wasted by the time we grow up. Intellectual OE. Growing Pains Books
Gender and Genius Kerr, B. Center for Gifted Education The College of William & Mary This article by Barbara Kerr discusses what has shaped modern gender identity in the Western world. She also examines its implication on gifted young people. Our ideas about what is gifted behavior for a boy or for a girl are imbued with society's notions of appropriate gender identity. Sigmund Freud's (1933) theory of gender identity development is still one of the most influential theories, despite its lack of empirical support. Freud also gave us the idea that girls and women are incomplete men. Despite the hostility with which the psychoanalytic establishment greeted disagreement, Karen Horney (1939) disputed this model of gender identity development. I would not go into such detail here about a theory which has received little support and which has been thoroughly disproven if it had not had such profound influence on the ways in which we teach and guide gifted boys and girls. For girls, the pattern is different.
Intellectual Giftedness Intellectual giftedness, often referred to as high IQ, is usually given short shrift when it comes to considerations of the special needs of exceptional people. Because giftedness appears on the surface to be nothing but an advantage, the challenges it presents are often ignored and unknown. Giftedness is not about being better, it's about being *different*. I'm of the opinion that, despite our desire for simple quantification of intelligence, noting characteristics of giftedness is perhaps a more useful, or at least complementary, method of detecting the intelligent. Energy Curiousity Speed Concentration Sensitivity, empathy, insight and intuition Sophistication of thinking, highly developed moral sense Nonconformist/Independent Persistence Humour Uses up jobs Almost all those characteristics, while pretty general, are present in every really smart person I know.
Paternal Influence on Gifted Males Hammond, D.R., Hébert, T.P., & Pagnani, A.R. Journal for the Education of the Gifted Prufrock Press Vol. 33, No. 2, pp. 241–274 2009 This study examines the father-son relationships of 10 prominent gifted men of achievement to identify factors influencing talent development. Through biographical analysis, 6 significant themes were identified: unconditional belief in son, strong work ethic, encouragement and guidance, maintaining high expectations and fostering determination, pride in son’s accomplishments, and mutual admiration and respect. “My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived and let me watch him do it.” It is a challenging time to be a boy in this country. While concerns about boys are becoming part of the national conversation, a parallel phenomenon is evolving. Although the dialogue regarding the problems facing boys and the role their fathers should play in their lives continues, little attention is being drawn to issues specifically facing gifted young men. Findings
Defusing Power Struggles: It's Not About Getting the Last Word Mrs. Nelson is teaching a lesson when she notices Mason's head on his desk with distracting noises coming from him. She cruises his way while still teaching, leans in as she nears him and quietly reminds him to sit up and stop making noises. As she walks away and resumes teaching, Mason mumbles an inappropriate epithet that contains denial of the deed and offensive language. Other students sitting nearby turn their attention away from the lesson, collectively showing a look along with a few "oohs" that unmistakably challenges their teacher with the question, "What are you going to do about it?" Mrs. Many power struggles start over issues of consequences, fairness, embarrassment and being told what to do. The Most Effective Word When my daughter was a teenager, her last word during a disagreement was often a snooty "whatever." The wisdom is for educators to be satisfied with "the most effective word," and this almost always comes next-to-last. Great Expectations
Understanding Giftedness Who are the Gifted? You may be wondering whether or not your child is gifted, or whether you yourself are gifted. It is especially confusing since there are many definitions of giftedness, and many characteristics associated with giftedness. Categories of definitions generally include IQ definitions (usually 125 or 130 cutoff), percentage of population definitions (ranging from the top 1% to the top 15%), talent definitions (music, science, leadership, etc and creativity definitions (based on creative products or creativity tests). Here's one simple way to think about the definition: "If a child is gifted, one or more of the following phrases will most likely describe their gifts and talents: the gifts and talents are comparatively rare, appear considerably earlier, and/or are significantly more advanced." The following description of giftedness speaks of asynchronous development: The good news about the passage of this law is that Vermont officially recognizes that gifted children exist.
Unlocking the Mysteries of The Artistic Mind Consider the flightless fluffs of brown otherwise known as herring gull chicks. Since they're entirely dependent on their mothers for food, they're born with a powerful instinct. Whenever they see a bird beak, they frantically peck at it, begging for their favorite food: a regurgitated meal. But this reflex can be manipulated. Expose the chicks to a fake beak—say, a wooden stick with a red dot that looks like the one on the end of an adult herring gull's beak—and they peck vigorously at that, too. The Truth in the Lie In 1906, Pablo Picasso was determined to reinvent the portrait and push the boundaries of realism, and one of his early subjects was Gertrude Stein. What Picasso saw there that affected him so deeply has been debated—the ancient Iberian art, the weathered faces of Spanish peasants—but his style changed forever. Despite the artistic license, the painting is still recognizable as Stein. Reverse-Engineering the Mind
The intellectual and psychosocial nature of extreme giftedness Powell, P. & Haden, T. Roeper Review Volume 6, No. 3, pp. 131--133 February 1984 This article by Philip Powell and Tony Haden compares the differences of average, moderately and extremely gifted individuals. The authors explore the psychological difficulties of the highly gifted, especially in terms of self-esteem and self-conception. The article discusses the difficulties the extremely gifted have in obtaining consistent, accurate and valid feedback in regard to their self-concept. The information provided has implications for educators, parents, and psychologists. The highly gifted create structure, generate ideas, and efficiently process information in ways that are qualitatively superior to moderately gifted and average ability individuals. The highly gifted are rare in the population. General intelligence Desire to know Originality Common sense Torrance (1965) has argued that the gifted are independent thinkers. Another important difference is in the desire to know complex ideas.
The Profoundly Gifted Adult By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D Q: Years after raising three gifted children, I am still puzzling over our middle kid, who is distinct from his sibs and many of his peers. He has been diagnosed at different times with OCD and anxiety disorder, and others have raised the question as to whether or note he has Asperger's syndrome. I do not believe that the latter is the case and that his characteristics are the result of his rather unique mind. He was tested at age 5 only because he was quite different. His IQ test at age five resulted in an IQ of 150. That said, he cannot lead a conventional life and still pursues his interests irregardless of their practicality. My other children have professions and we all just let "Eric be Eric," but he is barely getting by financially at age 38. He's a lovely person, but he needs some informed guidance to be able to convert his talents into what I call "professionalizing" himself. Any thoughts or recommendations?