Happy National Gifted Parenting Week


Several years ago, one of my favorite organizations, SENG, started National Gifted Parenting Week as a way to support parents of high potential children. THIS WEEK is the celebration for 2014. With that in mind, I decided to give you a list of some of the articles I’ve written about giftedness and parenting gifted children over the years.

My work with gifted children is THE reason I started writing nonfiction in the first place. And although my work extends beyond the needs of gifted children, this population is still very near and dear to my heart. Their needs continue to go unmet and I a working on new seminars, workshops, keynotes and books to help support the diverse needs of gifted children and their parents.

And with that, here is a list of my past articles you may be interested in. I also included a few of my articles related to introverts as many gifted children are also introverted. Once my new website, An Intense Life, gets up and running, I will have a permanent listing of these for all of you:

You can also find links on my new author website, Christine Fonseca, under the media room tab.

 Have a great day!

I’m Getting Closer


I’ve actually made a bit of progress on Project ReBrand. Yep, even though it may appear as though I’ve completely abandoned my blogs, website, etc, I have actually made a fair amount of progress. Next up – getting things cleaned up over the next two weeks. I will be relaunching it all for the summer, along with some exciting new offerings, etc.

I hope you stick around for the lunch, as well as the exciting DISCOUNTS I’ll have on books, services and more. Can’t wait to see you all then…

 

Finally! Focus!


I am so excited for the future of the blog. After stewing on it for months, I have finally decided what I want to do. So, in May I will be relaunching the blog and bringing NEW content, and more. I will do as I mentioned previous, and repost some of my favorite posts. And the relaunch won’t be 100% ready in may, but it’ll be enough to start.

Basically, I want to bring consistent and regular content to you, my readers, that covers the things I care so much about:

  • Giftedness – in children and adults
  • Parent coaching
  • Living authentically
  • Living healthy
  • Inspiration
  • Awesome books
  • and more…

So, as I strive get this going be prepared for a little oddness, and yea…a MESS.

 

Thanks for sticking with me and see you in the near future!

Replay: Stress and the gifted adult by Jen Merrill


Hi all – As you’ve no-doubt noticed, my unplugged week was extended. My reasons are simple: A complete directional change for the blog. I “think” I’ve finally figured out exactly what I want to write about, etc. So, it’ll take me a while to get the blog redesigned, repurposed etc. I am hoping to roll-out the new whatevers within the next couple of months. I’m excited for everything, but it IS going to take a little while to get it all together. More on that in the upcoming weeks.

In the meantime, as things are getting worked out etc, I am reposting some of the all-time BEST posts this little blog has had over its four year lifetime. Starting with today and a post by one of my favorite authors: Jen Merrill

STRESS AND THE GIFTED ADULTS - originally posted on 4/13/2012

I did an entirely unscientific survey the other day on my Facebook page, asking my friends to describe me in one word. In minutes, I got back: intense, exhausting, hilarious, passionate, determined, embracer, funny (3), intelligent, beautiful (kinda shocked by that one), inspirational, witty, human, gifted, busy, quirky, ardent, helpful, struggling, self-deprecating, frazzled, overwhelmed, high-strung, and sexy (thank you, dear husband!).

Huh. That’s funny. The first word I think of to describe myself is stressed.

Gifted adults and stress::peanut butter and jelly::peas and carrots::me and Jen-nay (name that movie). For as long as I can remember, I have been one huge mind-knot. It’s like mental Chinese handcuffs; you know, those woven things you stick your fingers into, and the harder you try to escape, the tighter they get. I once had a flute teacher recommend that I get hammered and then hit the practice room, the thought being that maybe being a little looser I’d be able to play better. She may have been on to something there, but I didn’t drink back then and rarely play my flute now. The world will never know…

But I know I’m not alone in this. I know there are other gifted adults who get into mind knots, who have an extremely difficult time controlling their stress, who have been teased about being addicted to stomach acid. It’s a horrible feeling. For someone who is just a tiny bit of a control freak, being controlled by stress is dreadful. Having that scream lodged in the back of the throat, crouched and ready to pounce without warning…sigh… I’ve tried yoga, acupuncture, therapy, lifted weights, dabbled in meditation, had “me” time, journaled, and generally expressed my feelings. The more I worked to manage my stress, the worse it got.

So I’ve made an executive decision. This is my wiring. This is the result of my biggest overexcitabilities, emotional and imaginational, hooking up; they popped out a little bundle of stress. It’s not good, it’s not bad, it just is. Then it hit me…if I worked with this wiring instead of against it, maybe the mind knot would loosen. Like homeschooling my 2e son; working with his intensities rather than against them gets us a lot further a lot faster. All those books I own on intensities and overexcitabilities and the like will now be read with me in mind as well. If I can harness these intensities for good rather than evil, I suspect I’ll feel a lot better. At the very least I’d like that scream to vamoose.

In the meantime, I really need to investigate some of those descriptive words. I don’t see myself in most of those words; only two. Wanna guess which ones? And if you were to ask your friends this question, what words would you see?
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You can find Jen at Laughing at Chaos and on her Facebook page by the same name.

Throw Back Tuesday: Passion – The Core of the Gifted


Hi everyone! I am just getting back from a long weekend and well, I am behind. No big shock though, right?!? To deal with blogging I decided to do a throw-back-Tuesday post from last year. The topic – PASSION and Intensities. I hope you enjoy it:

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You’ve heard me say before that gifted individuals are, at their core, intense. This intensity extends into every aspect of their being – the way their brain functions, the way their sensory system interacts with the world, and the way they feel about the world. It is, in my opinion, a core aspect of the gifted individual.

The world often looks at the cognitive aspects of their intensity favorably, complimenting them on their academic prowess, or giving accolades for the unique problem-solving skills or creative approaches gifted individuals often demonstrate.

This is not typically true with the emotional aspects of being. These are looked at with a less favorable eye. When they are young, gifted individuals are often thought to be overly dramatic, engaging in tantrumming behavior over seemingly little events.

As they age, a gifted person may find it hard to find relationships because of their intensities – they give so much to every friendship, every love interest, that  it often scares the other individual.

As a gifted adult, I can tell you that learning to deal with the intense aspects of giftedness has been a unique challenge. I feel things at such a deep level, am easily wounded, and can often appear somewhat unbalanced because of my intensities.

Nothing is farther from the truth, however.

My intensities make me strong.

Let me say that again – my intensities, or my passion, for whatever it is I am doing makes me strong. It gives me the focus I need to push past the things that are difficult in order to reach my goals. And it enables me to connect to others in a way that has helped my art, my job….everything.

I say this to encourage you to view the intense aspects of your giftedness, or the giftedness within your children for what it truly is – PASSION.

It is passion that enables humans to create and invent. Passion that raises art to the sublime. Passion that gives us a reason to continue.

Passion.

Supporting Your Child’s Passions


parent and child talking

How many of you take the time to nurture your passions? Do you spend time on them? Use your passions to help direct your life goals? Anything?

How about the passions your children have? Do you help them nurture their passions? Do you actively encourage your children to explore the things they are most passionate about?

If you are like most people, you are inconsistent about both your passions and those of your children. In fact, you may not even be sure of what these “passions” are. Am I right?

Here’s a little way you can get on track with supporting your children’s passions, as well as your own.

First, help your children identify the things they most care about. Have them make lists, idea posters, digital scrapbooks – anything that will help them clarify the things they care most about. And if you haven’t done that for yourself, I would advise making this a fun project you both can do.

Once there is once clarity about the things you care most about, encourage your children to find one thing they can do weekly (or monthly) to embrace that passion. If they are into fashion, talk about making fashion boards or a starting up a fashion blog. If cooking is their thing, give them some freedoms in the kitchen to cook (safely) and explore. 

I think we often downplay our children’s passions as fleeting hobbies. While this will be true at times, it won’t always be true. The more we can nurture and support the interests our children have, the more we give them permission to be whomever they authentically are. 

Our children are the future – let’s help them embrace it with passion and creativity, shall we?!?

More Than Shy: A Request for Help


parent and child talking

As many of you know, I announced the sale of my next nonfiction book, MORE THAN SHY: A Parent’s Guide to Social Anxiety, to Prufrock Press. The book will be released in early 2015, which of course means that I am knee-deep in the research phase now. This book covers social anxiety from the perspective of the biological aspects of social anxiety, the behavioral and environmental factors of anxiety, and specific strategies for parents and educators on the topic of social anxiety. I have some personal stories and Frequently Asked Questions I plan on adding – but I need more.

And that is where all of you come in.  As I’ve done with the majority of my books, I will be holding online focus groups and surveying parents, educators, and even children about this topic and I would LOVE to involve all of you! So, please take a moment and complete this form and let me know if you’d like to help in some way. I will be in touch by the end of the month with more information.

Thanks and here’s the link to the form just in case the form doesn’t come up on your computer or mobile device. – https://docs.google.com/forms/d/169hA6TeEn8QGmAnGdZ-i7zbOtTvPvk51vveJuv5zr9c/viewform

Finding My Way…


Well, it looks as though I’ve neglected this blog again. I fear that this is something that is going to happen more often than not, and I am not sure what I feel about that. Sure, I could just abandon the blog all together – but I don’t want to do that. In truth, I enjoy sharing certain things – different things – on this blog then I do with my other site.

But, if I am being 100% honest, I just don’t feel like I have found the personality of this site yet.

Oh sure, I know what I want this blog to really be about – but I haven’t seemed to find a way to zero in on that just yet. At least, not like I want to. So, for now, I think I will continue to blog, all be it sparingly, about things related to living authentically, giftedness and other life issues that are interesting to me. At least until I figure out what I REALLY want to do…

What do you guys think? What do you want to see more of?

 

Speaking of Being Authentic…


It happens to anyone searching authenticity, those moments when you are stuck, wondering how to respond to a situation. My most recent moment came unexpectedly. A former close friend was in a quandary about some things. We wound up talking about it, sharing our opinions as we once did. And then it happened – we had a different view on a series of events. The quandary was presented: do I tell her the truth from my perspective, knowing she may not want to hear my opinion (even though it was a “kind” truth, not a harsh one) or, given the current status of our relationship, do I decide to say nothing. Allow the conversation to end as it was, and stay in the role of professional friend.

Certainly staying silent, saying nothing, would have been the easier route. Maybe even the more appreciated route.

But it isn’t “me” at all.

Staying silent would me not offering an alternative POV, not allowing the kind words that needed to be said, be said.

So, as I typically do when faced with a quandary, I asked myself why it was important to speak up at all. What was I hoping to accomplish. In truth, I am not certain the answer to that still. I do know it wasn’t about needing to hear myself speak, it wasn’t about being right, and it really wasn’t about me. It was about sharing a point of view that was being ignored, it was about highlighting positive things forgotten. And, for me, it was necessary.

So, in sticking with my commitment to myself to be authentic in all situations, right or wrong, I decided to say something.

The wisdom of that decision is unknown. But, I said what I would say to anyone if in this position. The only reason I second guessed myself was due to friendship troubles we’ve had in the past – not a good enough reason, in my opinion, to forgo being authentic.

See, from my point of view, being authentic means being yourself in all situations and letting that be enough. If I am misunderstood as a result, so be it. I need to be true to me.

This is not to say that I don’t learn and adjust as I float through this thing called life, I do. And yes, I know that my intensities often present themselves in confusing ways to the world around me. But being authentic, being me, is the only thing I really know how to do. So, I am sticking with it – even during the hard times.

What about you? How do you deal with authenticity?

The Elusive Search for Balance


One of the biggest hazards of my “intense” life is taking on too many things and getting myself all out of balance. See, I can handle a lot of things on my plate at once – in my day job, in my creative life, online, and in my personal relationships. But, like many other intense people, I often “think” I can take on more than I actually can. And this results in burn-out…

One of my dearest friends asked to see me next week, when I am out on break. Man, I wanted to say “yes, let’s connect.” But the truth is, I am not certain I can…or rather, that I want to. NOT because of my friend, but because I need to hide and regroup. Spend time in meditation, find my balance.

I’ve been thinking about this balance thing a lot lately. I mean, I just took off some blogging time, cut myself some slack on my writing projects, took time to breathe. And still, I can feel how out of balance I am. It is frustrating, really. More than frustrating.

In my search for balance and what that needs to mean for me long-term, I have discovered a few important things:

  1. I need to meditate daily. No really….DAILY. Even if it is a quick 15 min Chopra thing, I need it. Kind of like how I need air.
  2. I NEED to write everyday. Journal pages, fiction, something… Note: Psych reports, behavior progress notes and blog posts DON’T count!
  3. I need to spend time with my children every day. Quality time laughing, hearing about their day, talking about their plans
  4. I NEED time with my husband every day – decompressing and just connecting
  5. I need time for art that is NOT writing weekly. This feeds my soul in a way that is different from writing. With my other art – cross stitching, gardening, cooking, digital art – it isn’t about making something others can see, read, participate in. It’s a more selfish endeavor, just for me. Because I want to.
  6. I need a clean house. I just need it.
  7. I need time to read.
  8. I need time to connect online with my online friends.
  9. I need weekly coffee with BFF.

These are needs. Not wants, not “it would be nice if they happened.” But needs. Like air. Like food. Like sleep.

Needs. (And yes, exercise is not on there. When I feel in balance, I crave the exercise – the rest of the time, I just want these things…)

What are your needs? Have you every thought about it? Does getting what you need help you stay in balance? It does for me.