By Melissa Ford
Ever wonder why your child often seems to make parenting harder for you than it is for other parents? Many parents feel this way -- frustrated and at wits end as they bounce from one parenting approach to another with limited results. Even so, they recognize that nurturing their child's unique strengths, and understanding how their child sees and interacts differently in his or her world is key. But certain children see the world in ways that parents wouldn't necessarily think about on their own. And negative behaviors make it all the harder to focus on the child's unique perspective. Maybe you can relate.
For instance, is your son or daughter . . .
Quick to react to the slightest trigger, exploding with great intensity in a millisecond?
Strong willed, questioning or defying every procedure or idea, and accepting nothing at face value?
Deeply sensitive, feeling the emotions of others and/or over worrying about humanitarian concerns?
Impatient with the slowness of others - and of themselves in areas in which success does not come instantaneously, so unwilling to try new challenges?
Extreme in their interests, delving deeper and/or broader than other children, and yet, for some, resisting mastering foundational skills?
As it turns out, "gifted" children, while extremely diverse, often have some combination of these issues. Once parents recognize and understand the underlying traits associated with their child's gifts, parents can begin to help their children channel the traits into productive life-enhancing skills. How do you do that?
For starters, you can come to a local event, "Unexpected Characteristics of Gifted" on Wednesday, Aug. 7 from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. at the Oak Park Library, Main Branch, 834 Lake St. (2nd floor small meeting room). This event is open to the public, and due to limited seating, please reserve a seat by RSVP at email@example.com
Selections from Dr. James Webb's and Dr. Dan Peters' DVDs on characteristics of gifted will be shown. Discussion will be led by Sheryl Stoller, Certified SENG parent facilitator (Supporting the Emotional Needs of Gifted) and PCI Parent Coach. She will help you explore if your child's behaviors are typical of gifted and provide you with additional insights and resources to support you. According to Stoller, who raised three children she would now identify as gifted, "Not knowing about the unique challenges associated with giftedness makes life much more difficult than it needs to be. My husband and I were not aware of the adjustments required to effectively address our children's unique set of needs. If we had known what we know today, we would have saved ourselves and our children a huge amount of heartache, distress and emotional turmoil."
Stoller encourages any parent who feels their child might in some way be "gifted" to attend this public event. "What you will learn at this event could change everything for the better. It is likely to lead you to changes that will enhance your child's growth, mastery of life-skills, and relationship with you, making your life easier and more peaceful, while helping your child realize his or her potential." For more information and for more details on an upcoming workshop series - A Parents' Guide to Gifted Children, contact Sheryl at her Beyond Expectations email, firstname.lastname@example.org, and visit her website, www.stollerparentcoaching.com 708-358-8289