Raising gifted kids: helping kids cope with intensity and giftedness

Like many gifted children, my childhood was peppered with incidents of parents and other adults telling me to be calm, or even more devastating, to be ‘normal.’

If adults are uncomfortable with their own emotions they may be especially uncomfortable around the intensities of gifted children. What effect does this have on gifted kids?

Recognizing and valuing these traits in ourselves as gifted adults is also necessary if we are to enjoy, rather than battle against, our natures.

In her book, Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students: Helping Kids Cope With Explosive Feelings, Christine Fonseca shines a light on the importance of recognizing the normality of emotionality and intensity in gifted children.

Gifted children do struggle with their emotional development overall, despite good long-term prognoses.

Problems regarding the stability of mood, existential depression, and performance-based anxiety are typical with this population, but for different reasons than similar traits in other children.

Gifted children behave in this way as a direct outpouring of the intensity that defines this population, as opposed to a dysfunctional aspect of personality that needs to be fixed.

Although the latter responds well to treatment designed to “fix” the problem, the former does not, as it is a normal aspect of many gifted children’s development.

These children require interventions that stem from a thorough understanding of the emotional nature of giftedness and an understanding of the typical intensity inherent in gifted individuals.

Such interventions need to focus on coping strategies as opposed to changing traits that are inherently part of who they are.

Download the first chapter from Christine Fonseca’s blog.


Site: High Ability

Articles: High Ability – gifted/talented


Giftedness characteristics

Self-tests: giftedness / high ability


Mary-Elaine Jacobsen. The Gifted Adult

Marylou Kelly Streznewski. Gifted Grownups: The Mixed Blessings of Extraordinary Potential.

gifted child today, raising gifted kids, intensity and giftedness, gifted book, Christine Fonseca, child anxiety, existential depression

Originally posted 2010-10-08 18:52:22.


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