Sunday, August 21, 2016

Back to school tips for gifted teens, middle schoolers, and their parents

Got a gifted teen? Need some tips about helping them through middle school or high school? With school starting soon, I thought I would compile some of my posts about gifted adolescents. I hope they help!

Getting through school



Back to school blues: Why gifted teens dread returning to school
Some gifted teens look forward to starting back to school. But many do not. Many are filled with anxiety, foreboding and dread. At best, they may anticipate another year of boredom and disappointment. At worst, they are consumed with fears about academic performance or social isolation. Read more...


Public High School survival guide for gifted students
Most public schools scramble to meet the educational needs of gifted children. What also must be considered is the social milieu and if it will foster confident and well-adjusted students, or suppress and inhibit their drive to learn. Can a public high school offer the enrichment, variety of experiences, and enough like-minded peers to provide a safe haven for gifted adolescents? Read more...


Caught in the middle: How to help gifted children survive the middle school years
Just when life seemed manageable, middle school-aged children face confusion and uncertainty. Social demands, hormonal changes, and a burgeoning sense of independence challenge the self that once was. New worlds unfold, and the old rules from elementary school don't work any more. Neither child nor adult, they must discover who they are and how to define themselves. Read more...


Difficult passage: Gifted girls in middle school
Something happens between elementary and high school that dampens the spirit for far too many gifted girls. Middle school is difficult for most children, and certainly creates challenges for gifted students. But gifted girls face social, academic and developmental hurdles that can reduce their burning drive to smoldering ashes. Read more...


There is life after high school - even for gifted teens
The trajectory from an unremarkable early education to an enriching experience in college is common for many gifted individuals. Discouraged high school students need to remind themselves that opportunities await them after graduation. Read more...


Academic Struggles



What causes gifted underachievement?
Although some gifted children lose interest in academics early on, most underachieving gifted students don't start to disengage from learning until middle school and high school. At that point in their development, there is a perfect storm. Read more...


Ten reasons why your gifted child procrastinates
Before you nag your child one more time, rush out and buy yet another self-help book, or hit your head against the wall, you may first want to sort out the reasons for the procrastination. Usually there are one or more contributing factors, and if you sort these out, you may be better prepared to tackle the problem. Read more...


Strategic practice (it's not how much, but how)
Those who approached learning strategically with an emphasis on ensuring that they would not repeat their mistakes received consistently higher ratings. What seems clear is that how we practice is essential. Read more...


Social and emotional adjustment



Tips for taming test anxiety (because even gifted kids get anxious)
Many gifted children, adolescents and college students suffer from disabling test anxiety that affects performance, achievement and self-esteem. Test anxiety pops up at the most inopportune times, and can be completely unexpected, an occasional nuisance, or a chronic obstacle. Its origins may be simple or complex, and whether you are a sufferer or the parent of one, you can learn how to overcome this burden. Read more...


Different than the rest: Social challenges of gifted adolescents
While some gifted teens appear oblivious to social cues, seemingly immersed in intellectual or artistic pursuits, many more are acutely aware of social interactions. They stand back, observe, and develop elaborate theories about the cliques, peer exchanges and social drama unfolding before them. Those who are bystanders may hesitate before venturing into the fray, or remain tied to small groups of like-minded peers. Even seemingly disengaged gifted teens may be more aware of the social climate than their behavior suggests. Read more...


Is your gifted teen socially isolated?
Gifted teens, in particular, may struggle to fit in and find their niche; they may withdraw after years of feeling different from peers, unable to find friends who truly understand them. It can be heartbreaking to watch your child stay home night after night - even if you don't have to worry about parties and alcohol. Read more...


Tips for helping your socially isolated teen
While spending time alone may not necessarily signal a problem, such as when an introverted child is immersed in a creative project or when there are few like-minded peers available, sometimes withdrawal can be cause for concern. When time alone is excessive, reflects a sudden change in behavior, is a symptom of distress or an emotional/behavioral problem, involves an internet "addiction," or reflects a chronic pattern of social avoidance or interpersonal difficulties, parents may need to get involved. Read more...


Why do smart girls develop eating disorders?
 If there is a genetic/biochemical predisposition to develop an eating disorder, along with life event triggers, these "gifted" traits may get channeled into obsessive thoughts about food and a drive to achieve an unrealistic weight. Read more...


When does therapy benefit gifted adolescents?
Therapists can help teens manage the social and emotional "baggage" often associated with giftedness. Common characteristics such as introversion, oversensitivity, asynchronous development, and attunement to moral injustice can make adolescence even more trying. Other examples include social anxiety, perfectionism, harsh expectations of self and others, underachievement, family demands, sibling conflicts, unresolved distress related to bullying or peer rejection, shame associated with failed accomplishments, and ambivalence about career goals.
Read more...


Planning for college



Ten essential tips to help your gifted teen plan for college
With all of the competition, uncertainty and financial risk involved, gifted children need as much advice and support as any other child. And sometimes the stakes are even higher, given the potential for merit scholarships, and the importance of finding a college community of like-minded peers. But without sound advice, many miss out on opportunities that could give them an advantage. Read more...


Five tips gifted students need to consider when choosing a college
Students and parents know from personal experience that the quality of education in elementary and high school varies. Teachers, peers, educational materials, and expectations can be vastly different from one class to another, and certainly from one school to another. Why would this differ for college? When gifted teens go to mainstream colleges, they may feel adrift, fail to find a niche of like-minded peers, and never receive the education they need. Read more...


Wishing everyone a productive, meaningful, fun, and stress-free school year!