Some Challenges of Being Gifted and a Parent

If you search the web for “gifted parent,” you will find many resources aimed at parents of gifted children. It is much harder to find resources to address parenting as a gifted adult.

Parenting as a gifted adult can have challenges that relate specifically to the giftedness of the parents.

For example, observe how the 5 categories of intensity known as Dabrowski’s Overexcitabilities might make parenting more challenging.

  • Psychomotor: Children crave the physical and mental presence of their parents. As a parent with psychomotor overexcitabilites, slowing down enough to really notice what is going on with your children may be challenging. Or maybe it is hard to slow down enough for kids to follow what you are saying. Maybe you have have trouble speaking in the short, direct sentences that are easy for developing minds to process. Maybe it is hard to stop talking and let the kids have a chance to speak.
  • Intellectual: Parents with intellectual overexcitabilities run the risk of analyzing everything their children do, never being able to simply enjoy a moment. Reading all the parenting books and the scientific research on education and parenting may be interesting, but if it detracts from paying attention to the child in front of you, is it helpful? Or imagine the parent who when asked a question says, “Let’s look that up” and reads the relevant Wikipedia page and all of it’s hyperlinks even though the child’s question was answered in the first sentence. What about the need to feed an exhausted adult brain with something intellectually challenging?
  • Emotional: General parenting advice often starts with advice to maintain your calm presence at all times in order to provide a stable ground for your child. Emotional overexcitabilities make that exceedingly hard advice to follow.
  • Sensual: Hypersensitivity to sounds can make challenging young people a challenge. Children make noise, their toys often make noise. Children are messy; parents with heightened aesthetic responses or sensitivity to textures or smells can find that mess stressful. Finding art and music that appeals to children and parents may be tough.
  • Imaginational: A parent who can always imagine the worst-case scenario may become over-protective out of fear.

Overexcitabilities are not the only characteristics of gifted parents that can prove challenging. This is only the beginning. There are few enough resources to help struggling gifted adults out there at all. Finding parenting specific resources is almost impossible.

I am curious to know what wisdom you either have or would like to get about the impact of parental giftedness on parenting. Maybe we can become a resource for those who need advice or companionship. Please share in the comments.

57 thoughts on “Some Challenges of Being Gifted and a Parent

  1. Christine Fonseca

    I think both of my books are helpful in this regard – and yes, I will admit that I reread 101 Success Secrets for MYSELF as much as for the kids I work with. I am intense. Very intense. And my intensities and the intensities of my husband and both kids can be difficult to absorb, manage, and redirect at times.

    1. Kate Arms-Roberts

      I agree that your books are great resources, and I am sure that you and I are not the only parents to read them for ourselves.

      Here’s a link to information about Christine Fonseca’s books, 101 SUCCESS SECRETS FOR GIFTED KIDS:
      The Ultimate Handbook and EMOTIONAL INTENSITY IN GIFTED STUDENTS: Helping Kids Cope with Explosive Outbursts

      1. Robin

        When was emotional intensity first realized to be a characteristic of the gifted? I wished that someone had told me. All those years when I thought “If only I were less emotionally sensitive, I could have gone so far with my intellect.” And then to discover, as I searched for answers to my daughters’ development, that the emotional intensity was part and parcel of the intellectual.
        Well, at least I know now. So glad I had a daughter to help me help myself.

      2. Kate Arms-Roberts

        That is a really good question about when emotionally intensity and giftedness werer first understood to be connected. I keep meaning to do some research to look into it. I certainly had no idea until less than 2 years ago, when I was learning about my son.
        Kate

      3. Christine Fonseca

        sadly, although Dabrowski and others have identified this for decades, MOST mental health professionals still do NOT understand that emotional aspects of giftedness – something I work hard to change.

  2. Celisa Manly

    I am hypersensitive to sounds, as you’ve described above. I methodically removed the batteries from the infant and toddler sounds that grated on my nerves. We got rid of cable TV — the soundtracks to cartoons are really over the top — and instead invested in documentaries on DVD. Great musical scores, steady adult narration, narrators with resonant voices, and of course dinosaurs. My children were rapt, and I could still function while in their presence. It’s less of an issue now, with my daughter 15 and my son 9, but we still discourage rowdy play inside and ask them to use their good voices.

    1. Kate Arms-Roberts

      Thanks for sharing that, Celisa.
      I am also sensitive to sounds. I am quick to tell the kids that they can play their computer games with the volume off. So many of the games have irritating and repetitive music. And, I find that when I am not in the same room as the kids, I function better with classical music playing near me. It covers the sounds of the kids’ play, but no so much that I can’t hear fights and cries when they come up.

  3. Thanks Kate; When my kids were young I felt SO guilty about my parenting, but you’ve shed a bit of light on how I was feeling at the time. I had always enjoyed babies and toddlers but had only experienced them for brief periods of time. When I had my own kids, without another adult, all day while my husband was at work it was another story. I was SO bored without the intellectual and social stimulation I was used to. I could play with my kid for maybe 1/2 an hour, but then I wanted someone to shoot me. I also am still guilty of the wanting to pour more information on the intellectual fires of my child than he at 13 has the time or patience for.

    And I had never seen my “emotional overexcitability” as wrapped up in giftedness, but it certainly has made parenting very challenging. I’ve always felt guilty about being so emotional with my kids. And because I read all those parenting books I know there’s a better way, but getting there seems impossible sometimes. More guilt.

    My years of parenting a child are coming to a close (youngest will be in high school soon!). Thankfully they seem to have survived, but I hope you can find ways to support each other and create resources for future moms!

    1. Kate Arms-Roberts

      Allysson,
      I am glad that I have helped your understanding, but I sure wish you could have known this when you were living through the most of it.
      I know that my parents knew I was extremely bright but were overwhelmed with my emotional intensity. I wish Christine Fonseca’s books had been available for them.
      Parenting is still hard and made harder by both my intensities and my kids, but having a theoretical framework to understand it and some tools to try takes some of the guilt away.

  4. Mona

    People laugh at me when I tell them I’m “not a kid-person” (“but you’re a parent!!”) – the sensory-overload that is parenting is just too much for me! There’s a reason we have only one child – I really don’t think I could manage with more. Add emotional intensity to the sensory barrage, and you end up with some highly volatile times. I have worked so hard over my lifetime to manage my emotional intensity – on days when I’m not already feeling overwrought by noise and clutter I’m quite good at keeping an even-keel emotionally, but I wasn’t prepared for the constant wearing-down of my sensory defenses that comes with parenting.

    As far as imaginational intensity, I think I’ve done a pretty decent job of keeping all of those horror stories in my head. I rationalize with myself when the kidlet wants to do something that evokes nightmarish thoughts, and let him do it (unless it’s something that is obviously dangerous, like playing in the middle of a busy street) while I convince myself that it’s okay. By the time I’m ready to say it’s okay to try, he’s been at it for a while and I can see how unlikely it is that all those horrible things I imagined are going to happen. I still have a few things that send me into panic mode (losing sight of him in a crowd being one, and sending him into a restroom alone – although he’s now old enough – 12 – I have to allow it, but it freaks me out every time).

    I hadn’t considered the effects of my own psychomotor and intellectual intensities on my child – thank you for pointing that out. When I was a child, people used to call me “hyperactive.” I even shattered a bone in my heel because I bounced everywhere I went (even when I was standing “still,” I bounced). Now, the only time I sit is when I am doing something for my intellectual intensity – reading, writing. Doesn’t give me a whole lot of engagement time with my child. I will have to be more intentional about that.

    Thanks for this post! It has given me lots to think about.

    1. Kate Arms-Roberts

      Mona,
      Thanks for sharing your experiences.

      I know that my intellectual overexcitabilities distract me from focusing on my children – and I know they did the same for my mother. Having recognized that, now my challenge is to notice when I am distracted and make an active choice instead of just following the question of the moment.

      I hate the way that I feel touched out after a day with four young kids. I know that each one of them needs and deserves more physical touch from me thatn I can provide if I intereact with them individually, so I need to arrange mass pile-ups, group hugs, etc. to help them get their needs met without over-taxing me.

      Kate

      1. Yes, that over-touching business can be a problem. I never realized I had this particular overexcitability (or even that it existed) until I had kids. At the end of a day with the kids hanging off me, I would absolutely bristle when my husband came home and tried to lovingly caress me. It’s like I was all touched-out for the day. Poor guy!

  5. Erica

    Perfectionism is my greatest problem – procrastination, inability to take the slightest criticism, etc… And then there’s my poor husband – a housefull of gifted girls. He may well be gifted himself (possibly 2E), but was spared the sensitivities that I have brought to our family.

    1. Kate Arms-Roberts

      I hear you. Perfectionism is a huge issue for mothers in general. How much worse it is for those of us who tend to be perfectionists in all areas of our lives.

      Kate

    2. Don’t take on too much responsibility yourself. You know it’s very likely your husband is as gifted as you (even couples often show that +/- 10 points IQ scale difference commonly found in gifted family groups. We are drawn to each other like moths to flame, I always say!)

  6. Robin

    Loving theories means always considering new ways to parent better and endlessly reconsidering strategies. (consistency is the hobgoblin…) Perfectionism means expecting too much of ourselves.

    1. Kate Arms-Roberts

      Oh boy do I hear you on the constant consideration of new/better approaches to parenting. I second guess myself every time I see the results of some new study.

      Kate

  7. Kate Arms-Roberts

    Thank you every body for sharing your experiences.
    Sharing knowledge about these issues helps others feel less overwhelmed and alone when they find our stories.

    Cheers,

    Kate

  8. I immersed myself in raising my sons. However, I also worked full time. I knew they needed supervision even with me working from home. I totally focus on the element of the moment – work or my sons. Yes, I multi-task, but relative to a more singular focus – home or work. I thoroughly enjoyed having the excuse of the boys to continue with play, curiosity and discovery. And yes my intellectual intensity could easily get carried away beyond the boys focus, attention or desire of the moment. We had fun times – and a common joke is I start a conversation even now with — I am being Mom now– which defuses the intensity with some humor.

    I loved each age with my boys. However, like with many things I do, — I have done it. Now on with the next adventure of life. I now have a granddaughter – it is fun to revisit and have new exciting times. I am not in a place to be a primary caregiver of children at this time.

    Another thing I read recently is I need my alone time to regroup, rejuvenate. I am intensely with my clients, my family when I am with them and it is exhausting.

    Thank you Kate for bringing this POV to front and center. I enjoy expanding my understanding with each tickling different ray of light.

    1. Kate Arms-Roberts

      You are welcome.

      Thank you for sharing your experience. I am struggling with the work from home and parent balance. It is nice to know that others have walked this path.

      Kate

    1. Kate Arms-Roberts

      Oh, yes. The interplay between parental OEs and children’s OEs leads to lots of ‘fun’ at our house, too.

  9. Becki

    I am a twice exceptional adult with an auditory processing deficit, and I came from a dysfunctional family. A wonderful support system and teachers have set me on a great path. I actually studied to become an ESE teacher and have a Masters in Gifted Education. It’s really grounded me. I don’t have sensory issues, but I can definitely get over-intellectual and over-emotional. I have key phrases that I’ve taught my children that help snap me back into the moment. I also go out of my way to put away my “adult” and “gifted” labels and just sit on the floor and enjoy them, in the moment. My Favorite by-play we have is a game I play with them where I kneel and tell them to give me a running hug, and we laugh that they “knock me down with their love.” When I’m really frustrated with one, I’ll say, “What am I going to do with you?!?” And they reply, “Love me!!!” To name a few.

    1. Kate Arms-Roberts

      Thanks for sharing those games. I think I’m going to try the “knock me down with your love” and “What am I going to do with you? ” ones with my little ones.

      Kate

      1. Becki

        I’d love to hear how they like them. My children LOVE knocking me down with those games and little catch phrases. : )

  10. Manal Khalife

    It is serendipitous that I read this today! I am struggling SO much right now with my 4 and the combined intensity.

    My main issue is the NOISE level. It is unbelievable. We have no tv, no noisy toys, but the arguing, yelling and incessant talking is too overwhelming! Does anyone have any tips?

    1. Kate Arms-Roberts

      I know that when I was little, my parents used to have me time how long I could be silent and gave me a reward when I reached a time that they knew was a stretch for me.

    2. Becki

      When things get too much for me, I will call out, “Quiet Game Now. Go!” It gets things quiet. We also work with the concept of “inside” and “outside” voices. “small” vs. “big” voices. We act role playing games, to practice. Also, when at dinner or in the car, we’ll pass around a very beat up old stuffy. Only the child holding the stuffy can talk, and they get it in turns. : )

    3. I was quite a chatterbox as a child too. My mother would poor herself a stiff drink as soon as she walked in the door from work, while I would follow her around and talk non-stop about my day. I understand her strategy now!

      Strangely enough, I grew up to be a very quiet adult. My kids (and my husband) are very LOUD people. I think DH is sensory-seeking. He will walk into a room and just loudly clap for some reason. Scares the crap outta me and sends the sensitivity meter off the charts!

      1. Kate Arms-Roberts

        Oh, the chatterbox thing paired with sensory OEs is in full swing here. So far, I have refrained from being the only adult in the house and having a glass of wine before the kids go to bed, but the temptation always hits at about 4:30.

  11. MariaJ

    Your Emotional Intensity in Gifted Children gave me so many “a-ha!” moments about myself. I have an 11 yo daughter who is gifted and we struggle. We had a meltdown tonight because she gets overabsorbed in video/computer games and has extreme difficulty disconnecting. I often feel at a loss as to how to help her self regulate. Your book also made me feel less crazy about my own OEs, especially to noise. I even have to ask my husband to turn down the water from the tap when he washes dishes! I also find it difficult to control my own emotional OE when my oldest is having a major blow up. Thank you for letting me know I am not alone. Any advice on helping to teach self regulation and recognition of impending explosions? I know you gave pointers in your book but she’s not able to get there yet. Sigh.

    1. Kate Arms-Roberts

      Christine’s book really is amazing, isn’t it? I have been working with ideas and tips from it with my kids since ti was released.
      Yesterday, for the first time, my 8-year-old and I were able to discuss the fact that he doesn’t have one trigger, he has lots of things that he is sensitive to and if he three or four of them happen without him taking serious cool-down time, the next thing is likely to send him into meltdown, even if it is minor by itself.
      Because he shows all 5 OEs, he has so many triggers that the process of becoming aware of them makes him anxious and depressed. There is a possible trigger in every moment of his day. I have beern easing him into understanding that in discussions for a year. And, it will probably take much longer for him to be able to take himself to get the quiet time he needs.
      Here is a link to a middle -school teaching unit from Cindy Strickland available through Hoagies Gifted Education Page that I have been thinking of adapting for one-on-one conversations with my kids.
      http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/strickland_dabrowski.pdf

      1. MariaJ

        Thank you so much for the link! We will be homeschooling our daughter next year for 7th & 8th grades so this is a very timely suggestion. It will help my 8-soon-to-be-9 yr old son as well, although his intensities are usually burned off with physical activity.

      2. Robin

        Have you all seen this?
        February 2012: Comfort Zone ONLINE
        Dear Highly Sensitive Parents
        (and Grandparents): A Request for Help
        There is no doubt that parenting when you are highly sensitive is different–more attunement, more joys, more worries, more awareness that time is fleeting and they grow up so fast. And of course there is a lot of overstimulation from the child or children as well as from parents and school activities, which are mostly with non-sensitive people. Research shows that sensitive parents can be the best parents when not under too much stress, and not so good at all when under too much stress.
        Hence it is important to help each other with what we have learned while raising children (and grandchildren) to see that we are the most excellent parents we can be. We can learn from each other how to deal with the stresses of parenting and to recognize and celebrate the pleasures.
        The Request
        Many people have asked me for a book about HSPs and parenting. I am finally being nudged in the direction of writing one. Perhaps in the end, the information will appear in a blog or website instead, if that seems like less work. I am not promising to do any of this, as I have many projects, especially research, to which I want to give my attention. I am thinking about this very seriously, however.
        Whatever I do, I will need your help. The book will need a foundation in scientific research, of course, but most important will be your stories and experiences. There are so many issues parents will want discussed. My own thoughts on the subject from having one child and knowing a few HS parents will hardly suffice. Even interviewing 30 to 40 people might not capture all of the crucial possible issues.
        Therefore, I would like those of you who feel moved to do so to write something, 100-500 words, about your experiences in one of the categories I have listed below. This will also give me a sense of which topics are most important to you, so you do not have to write much. You can write on more than one topic, also. Feel very free to make it a story with some drama or to write dialogue, but it’s not necessary.
        You can also treat this more as a survey, by making notes about each of the categories below. It would help just to know how many of you think you or others would benefit from such a book.
        If you write more, generally you should describe a problem you encountered as a parent because of being highly sensitive, and if you found a solution, what that was.
        Please, highly sensitive fathers, write too!
        Put at the top of your contribution what the subject is (from the list below or whatever you decide) and email it to us if possible, preferably as an attachment. PLEASE EMAIL CONTRIBUTIONS TO parents@hsperson.com
        It is important that, at the same time, you print and mail the Contribution Release to:
        Paula Dinnell
        2439 – 28th
        San Francisco, 94116
        or Fax to 866-419-4624
        (Please email your contribution, unless you don’t have email.)
        If you mail your contribution with the release (but I would prefer it by email), be sure to provide an email address if you have one in case we need to contact you about what you have written.
        We will want to mask your identity, but the success of that is not guaranteed, so consider whether you want lots of people, including possibly people you know or your own family or children, someday reading what you write. Some of you will not care, so you can indicate your preference about that on the release. PLEASE MAIL THE RELEASE because it must be signed.
        Here’s the list. Again, please mostly write about one topic at a time, like those within the parentheses, not so much your general experience of pregnancy, infancy, etc. Although that could be okay too. But always, always about how your sensitivity affects that issue or experience, not your child’s sensitivity (another topic).
        Decision to have a child (for example, how your sensitivity affected the process, making this as specific as you can; hesitations about having one or about having additional children, or an especially deep desire to have children that seems related to your sensitivity; any conflict with your partner about it; fertility problems; how you felt if you became pregnant without planning; and even abortions if that applies to you).
        Pregnancy (how you think your sensitivity affected things like fears and expectations; relations with your spouse, including sex; preparations or failing to prepare; and moms: how you think it affected your reaction to morning sickness; good feelings during this time).
        Childbirth (from the perspective of both mother and father; how you think your sensitivity affected the childbirth, in good or not so good ways; it is okay to be explicit about things that came up, such pain, difficulties with medical personnel understanding your sensitivity, and after care). Please discuss any post-partum depression you or your partner had and how you got through it and any especially good experiences.
        Handling Infancy given your sensitivity (including sleep issues, conflict with spouse, nursing or not nursing, special good feelings)
        Handling your toddler, one to two years, given your sensitivity (including issues listed above and below)
        Handling two-year-old issues, in light of your sensitivity (including preschool, control issues and “no,” tantrums, toilet training, child learning to speak, childcare issues, and of course anything especially positive)
        Preschool and kindergarten, given your sensitivity (three, four, five; how you dealt with discipline, other parents, child care, etc.)
        School years (again, given your sensitivity, how it helped or hindered your providing discipline, dealing with other parents, plus homework, bullying, “play dates,” and whatever else you can think of that you think was affected by your being an HSP)
        Marital and family issues (for example, how you as an HSP handled sibling rivalry; in-laws and parenting; marital conflicts because you were unable to meet the other parent’s expectations about handling the stress of parenthood)
        Coping with temperament differences (between you and your child; you and your spouse; you and other parents; you and your child’s playmates, but again, this is not about raising a highly sensitive child)
        Tweens (10 to 12)–how did your being highly sensitive affect your parenting at this stage in your child’s development (for example, how did your sensitivity affect how you handled a daughter wanting to dress like an adult; use of social networking; use of computers, internet, and games; choice of friends, etc.)?
        Adolescence–dealing with this stage as a highly sensitive parent (conflict with your teenagers, worry about them, letting them go, choosing and sending them off to college)
        Young adults–dealing with this stage as a highly sensitive parent (communication, when they still live at home, concern about their choice of careers, progress towards earning money, romantic partners, etc.)
        Adult Child and/or Grandparenthood (how your sensitivity affected dealing with your child’s wedding, relationships with son-in-law or daughter-in-law and their parents, energy for grandchildren, special experiences with them because of your sensitivity, etc.)
        Childcare–(For example, how your sensitivity affected how you chose people or places, problems you had and solutions you found, helping your child adapt, yourself adapt, etc.)
        Working while parenting–(For example, stress, multi-tasking, scheduling, mornings, evenings. Was it hard to be separated or actually helpful to have the break? Solutions you found, such as working from home and how that worked out, all in the light of your sensitivity)
        Downtime–we HSPs all need it, how did you get it? How did you learn you had to do it? How were your kids with it?
        Here are some additional topics, organized by “DOES” (my recent idea of breaking down the trait into four aspects):
        How your depth of processing everything due to your sensitivity has affected your parenting (for example, thinking about or learning more about each step of development than other parents seem to, being able to answer difficult questions well, raising especially moral or responsible children, etc.)
        How your tendency to become easily overaroused/overstimulated has affected your parenting and/or how you have dealt with that (for example, the noise of little children, how this affected how many children you had, getting sleep in a noisy house, vacations, etc.)
        How your strong positive and negative emotional reactivity has affected your parenting (for example, special pleasures; trouble with anger, worry, sadness at loss, etc.)
        How your awareness of subtle sensory information has affected your parenting (for example, your ability to be attuned to your infant or toddler, sense of what’s up with an older child, etc.)
        Remember, you can also just comment on the idea of the book. A quick email. If you do more, you do not have to write about everything on the list! Just one or two, more only if you want.
        We may not use all or any of your actual writing itself, just your experiences, so you do not need to make it fancy. Just dash off something if you are busy. It can be about something now or in your past, even long-past experience. These contributions of wisdom may be especially useful.
        Think of your contribution as aimed at other highly sensitive parents, not us. I imagine it will usually be a problem and how you solved it, in light of how your sensitivity caused it, affected it, or helped you find the solution–or all three. Or just write about a joy or experience of parenting as a highly sensitive person.
        I do not have a deadline in mind. Perhaps by the next newsletter, May 15.
        Again, please email your contributions to parents@hsperson.com
        You can also email comments on the value you see in this project (i.e., would you or others probably buy such a book or not).
        IF YOU WRITE A CONTRIBUTION, please print out and fax or send by postal mail–to the fax number or address above–only the fancy release form. Publishers will require this if we use anything you provide us.
        Let’s see where we all go with this.
        Elaine

        February 2012 Articles:

        A Letter from Elaine
        Coping Corner: HSPs and Pain
        HSPs and Parenting: Dear Highly Sensitive Parents (and Grandparents): A Request
        Our Spiritual Life: Martin Buber’s Great Gift to Us

        [Back to main Comfort Zone page]

      3. Christine Fonseca

        I am so glad the book is proving helpful. That is FABULOUS. And yes, it can be challenging when there are multiple intensities at work – but it will come together for the child. Of that, I am certain. Good luck!

    2. Christine Fonseca

      I am thrilled to hear that the book is helpful, Maria. I think being diligent with the techniques, and understanding that this is a S-L-O-W…sometimes painfully slow…process helps. It has taken years for my oldest to self-regulate. But she is getting there. And it is such a help!

  12. Alex

    I have 4 very young children and can really relate, and although I have made huge efforts to overcome these problems and am a much better parent for it, my partner is struggling because he has has spent less time discovering himself and why he is as he is. The key I believe is organising activities for the kids AND you to enjoy🙂 And preempting problems and acting to avoid them before they arise. There are so many things that can be done with kids to interest adults too! For instance, if you buy them a LOT of books you are much less likely to get bored reading with them, you can have family reading time with everyone reading quietly, you can recycle toys and activities so things stay fresh, you can learn a new language together, you can memorise the lyrics to songs together, you can try new recipes together, do new art projects together, write letters to your kids, organise themed birthday parties and prepare things for a couple of months in advance, tackle new academic areas together so you both start on common ground and gain knowledge together. A really good thing as well is adding some creative flair to the ordinary eg have a bath outside, brush your teeth outside and rinse with the garden hose, chop up all your food into shapes before eating, make books about your days, keep diaries talking about the special things of the day. With the sensitivities, I think the best thing is to tell your kids how you feel (especially as they will probably have to deal with the same things in the wider world!). And having an outside play area is perfect for mess, because you can hose away any potential mess and it is not in the house so easier to ignore. This post has inspired me to start a new blog about this. I have 2 blogs now, one is giftedgiftedgifted.blogspot.com and the other is about simple activities for kids alexspalex.blogspot.com. I will definitely start a blog about this topic, thank you so much for the inspiration!!!

  13. Juliet

    “Let’s look that up” and reads the relevant Wikipedia page and all of it’s hyperlinks even though the child’s question was answered in the first sentence.” Hahaha…you have me nailed. Thanks for this article. It makes me feel as though Im not from planet x.

    1. Kate Arms-Roberts

      Nope. Not from Planet X, from Planet Gifted on Earth.

      Your comment about feeling like you are from Planet X reminds me of a story from my childhood. I was an immigrant as a child. The other children used to call me weird and “alien.” When we got the paperwork finalized and became “resident aliens,” it felt oddly satisfying to legally be recognized as an alien.

  14. All these comments about sensory sensitivity – memories of my mother come flooding back. While she was always available for a hug and didn’t seem to mind my laying with my head in her lap, touching her hair or playing with her hands drove her nuts. And noise! Any sound behind her back made her jump out of her skin. She was also a neat freak. So now I’m wondering since she was so sensitive, was she gifted? She probably was, but it was hard for women in her time and place to shine.

  15. Jessica K

    Recently, I was complaining to my mother how hard it is to parent our sensory seeking dd4 who can never seem to get enough stimulation of any sort. My mother replied with, “well, what do you think it was like parenting you?” This was a turning point for me. It made me realize that I am lucky that I understand her. This also helps me understand myself. Do we clash? Of course! I could list several ways we are opposite in our excitabilities. However in manythe ways wewe are justu alike. There is a feeling of acceptance in my own home that I have not always felt in other situations.

  16. My children have taught me so much about myself, it’s unbelievable sometimes. I am so grateful for them for leading the way, making me learn and making me figure things out that help us ALL. I am also grateful for marrying an introvert and producing two introverted children, though the youngest needs to get into the car and “download” each day after school, driving is an activity that lets me absorb that extreme form of sensory input without too much struggle. It’s much harder when she gets hyper-talkative at home, one of her OE’s, definitely. She and I talk sometimes (she’s 8 now) about how there are times when I really want to listen and give her my full attention, but I need my brain and I just can’t give as much as I want right now. She is learning patience and learning to wait (and often when she has waited or entertained herself by dancing or doing something else sensorily fulfulling her need to talk and hyper-talk is lower.) But we’re a work in progress. Aren’t we all?

    thank you for this.❤

  17. Kate Arms-Roberts

    I am struck by how many of us are seeing our parents and ourselves through different lenses as we learn about our children. The whole family is impacted by these dynamics.

  18. Sue NZ

    Thank you for this, Christine! You could be writing about me in every area except the psychomotor. I also teach gifted kids and the learning I have done along the way has been invaluable to my parenting – my own kids (all gifted too) happily talk about their own overexcitabilites, easily identify and tolerate mine. Even so, it must have been hard for them growing up with a neat freak mum who couldn’t bear mess, always went straight to the worst possible scenarios when considering opportunities, and found playing with little ones intensely boring. Thankfully, they’ve all grown into amazing young adults, but I sometimes think that was in spite of me, rather than because of me!

  19. Pingback: Dabrowski`s Over-Excitabilities – Defined | listentomethunder

  20. tammyCA

    Wow, I am just amazed at what I am discovering this week as I search for answers to my gifted daughter’s intensity of emotions…I thought I was the only one using that phrase! My eyes have been opened and I am ashamed that I only saw the negative when she is probably grappling with all this internal stuff going on. I still don’t know how it all connects. I know that I was a very sensitive child (and major worrier with extreme fearful imagination) & just figured she inherited that part from me and the intense, stubborn part from her dad & probably his intelligence.

    1. Kate Arms-Roberts

      Coming to understand and help manage this intensity is an ongoing struggle for many of us. Christine Fonseca’s book “Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students” is a great place to start.

  21. tammyCA

    Thank-you…I’ve just ordered Christine’s books…I hope this is the key that opens up some understanding. Nobody tells you anything other than “your child tested as gifted & is now considered a GATE kid”…whatever that means, but, to me just looks like more schoolwork & a stressed out teacher dealing with many kids who talk all the time, can’t sit still & bother each other. I really, truly hope this is the answer…she has anxiety problems beginning & physical things happening & I have to take her in to see a pyschologist now. I definitely plan on bringing up the “giftedness” and what I am finding.

    1. Kate Arms-Roberts

      I hope you find the book useful. It certainly helped me understand my kids and myself. Not that the tools are a quick fix, but they do seem to be helping.

  22. Manal Khalife

    I forgot to mention, there is a group on facebook for gifted adults called ‘on the edge’. The site is calles giftedforlife.com
    THe conversations are buzzing. Might help to have other peers to discuss giftedness and how it affects our lives.
    My friend running it is now taking story submissions for a book she is compliling. I think it can help a lot of people.xoxo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s