Oh, those intensities 



“Ok, you finish up here in the kitchen, I’m hitting the couch with my wine and iPad to write. I have a blog post due in the morning.”

“What’s the topic?”

A wince, a sigh, a muttered curse.

“Intensity.”

And the laughter rang out from the sink behind me. 

It’s a good thing I love my husband, because with the mood I’ve been in lately…

I’ve had a headache and random vertigo since the end of September, when I got slammed with something (jury is still out as to exactly what) that made the world spin around my head like a whirling dervish. The change from summer to fall has kicked the SAD into high gear. The just ended election cycle here in America has thrown my emotions and resiliency into a tailspin. And I am 99% certain that I’m deep into a midlife crisis. I am a real $@#&%*^%# joy to be around right now, I tell you. 

Intense much? I am an overachiever in this area. 

“Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your kids.” But parents also get something else from their kids. Perspective. If I hadn’t had the sons I do, I doubt I ever would have learned about gifted intensities. I likely would have gone my entire life thinking I was just overly emotional and feeling bad about that. Instead, I know it’s just how I’m wired and that I’m in the thick of positive disintegration (and, for the love of all things holy and green, CAN I PLEASE GET TO THE END OF IT ALREADY?). Doesn’t make living it any easier, but at least I know what’s going on. 

In the interest of ongoing self-care (look! I can be taught! Le gasp!), I’m taking an indefinite hiatus from Laughing at Chaos. I plan to continue my scheduled writing here, as I do honor my responsibilities. But I need to respect that little voice within that started off whispering and is now screaming at me to back off and figure ME out…or else. My inner intensities refuse to be set aside any longer. And as a parent, I want and need to model to my boys (who are at that critical growth age) how to learn about and care for oneself. I learn from having them, they learn by watching me.

Gifted intensities, man. They ain’t for the faint of heart. 

How To Make A Dream Poster


Girl playing in the sun
Girl playing in the sun

Parenting gifted children is a challenge in many ways. But it is also exciting. Their intensities and passions are electrifying to be around. But sometimes our kids struggle with wrestling that excitement into a dream for their future. Life happens, the world misunderstands them and slowly they begin to limit their dreams, their passions. This is where we need to intercede and help our kiddos NOT lose sight of their dreams.

Dreaming isn’t about being practical or pragmatic. It’s about imagining the most fantastical life you can dream up, and imagining it in perfect detail.  Teaching our children how to visualize their passions can inspire them to do as Henry David Thoreau says and “go confidently in the direction of your dreams.”

A Dream Poster is a great way for your children to put their fantasies and dreams into something that can remind them of their passions. Making one is easy and can be done with minimal supplies. The how-to list below can be done to create a print poster. You can also adapt it to create a digital poster or collage board on Pinterest, Tumblr page, or similar online site:

How To Make A Dream Poster:

  • Start with a listing of your interests
  • Find or draw pictures that capture those interest, as well as your goals for the future
  • Make a collage, poster, or some other artistic representation of those interests. Be as creative as you dare. Some people have made 3-D letters, decoupaged with pictures of their dreams. Others have created Wordle posters or Tumblr pages. There really are no limits to what you can create.
  • Somewhere in the picture, write a goal of something you would like to do or achieve.
  • Date the picture.
  • Revisit it often and change it or add to it as you desire.
  • Most importantly, DREAM BIG!

It’s important for all of us to make visual reminders of where we want to go, both in terms of our goals and our dreams. Teaching your children to to this can help them harness their intensities and turn them into passions that ignite their future. A dream poster can be their (or your) reminder to help us when life throws curve balls, gets too difficult, or our dreams seem to fade from view altogether.

Looking for a “gifted” coach?


Did you know that emotional coaching is a highly effective way to reach gifted children? Not only that, but parent coaching can provide parents of gifted children with the insight they need to meet the needs of their gifted kiddos.

When I started working with families of gifted children nearly 2 decades ago, I became increasingly aware that teachers, parents, and students all needed more resources and more support than was available. That is a large part of the reason why I wrote Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students and 101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids.  

As the years went on, I realized that the books weren’t enough. I could do more to support our gifted population and those that serve them. My consulting and coaching business grew from that desire. Now I am a regular speaker at school districts and other venues. My audience includes parents, educators, and students. Topics include the social-emotional needs of gifted students, understanding the role of temperament and using social-emotional learning competencies to coach gifted children. Speaking events can be presentation or workshop style.

In addition to my speaking events, I also provide coaching for gifted children and their parents. Different from counseling or therapy, the coaching I provide is centered on understanding giftedness and how to maximize potential through empowerment and embracing the positive aspects of giftedness while managing some of the difficulties. I work with clients on goal-setting, specific strategies to address areas of concern, and other skills to help them fulfill their goals.

If you or your organization would like more information about speaking opportunities or coaching, please contact me through my website by clicking HERE.

For 2016, I will be looking for more ways to support the gifted community, as well as anyone living an intense life. If you have ideas about what you’d like to see from me, please leave me a comment and let me know.

Thank you for the ways you supported gifted individuals.

It’s a New Day…


As I’ve mentioned previously, I changed jobs almost 2 months ago. This change has done more than enable me to pursue my passions in new ways, it has freed up my creative self. As a result, I have been working on several very neglected areas in my life ranging from my physical health, to goal-setting habits, to my writer’s life. It’s an exciting and productive time. I am so thankful for the sudden infusion of creative energy and commitment.

One of the by-products of my rekindled passion for writing and my coaching work has been opening my online store. This is something I’ve thought about doing for many years – ever since I started using a Square reader I guess. Well, I finally did it.

Currently my store includes signed copies of my nonfiction work, available at the special pricing I reserve for my speaking events. I am not certain how long I will be offering these prices, so if you think you might like a signed copy of my books I’d order them soon.

In addition to the online store, I am working on a new logo and new website/blog designs – all things that will be coming soon. Also, I will be putting out information on my coaching business as well.

Thank you for coming with me on this ride. It is exciting, overwhelming, and fun!

What things are you working on?

When High Performance Standards Hinders Forward Progress


One of the hallmark characteristics of gifted children and adults is an incredibly high-performance standard. While this is a fabulous thing, and the very thing that can propel many gifted individuals to excel, it can also be the thing that causes complete and utter stagnation.

For me, it is often the latter. Especially if I can’t reconcile WHY I’m struggling or not performing at the level I expect.

I’m a hard worker. I take pride in my ability to assimilate information, learn new things and improve in the various fields I approach. With my creative self, however, I struggle. I work hard at the craft of writing. And I get great feedback from writers, editors, and the industry. That doesn’t mean my books are performing where I’d like them to be. Or that I am able to produce at a similar rate as that of many of my high-performing author friends.

And therein lies the rub.

I struggle to accept that hard work and improved craft isn’t enough to bring success in creative endeavors. There is a huge, intangible part. There is luck. And I can’t “work” my way into that piece.

For the last several months, the dissonance created by this intangible element of the writing business has resulted in a complete standstill for me. I haven’t been able to produce my fiction work. Every time I attempt it, I stare blankly at my computer, eventually writing and deleting too many words to count until I finally do something else (usually that means finding a nonfiction project to jump into). For a while I decided that maybe fiction wasn’t in the cards for me anymore.

And then I stopped. I changed my focus and decided it was time to quiet the noise and recognize the truth of what was going on…

My high-performance standards had morphed into the paralyzing procrastination that many gifted individuals wrestle face. It was time to try something different. Focus on the action I could take and “let go” of the things that were out of my control.

So, I chose a new approach – a few different projects to work on and a different way to push past my demons.

This morning, for the first time in a long time, I woke refreshed and ready to tackle my fiction-writing world. I drew up a plan and my mind raced. I feel excited.

I feel ready.

Time to act. Time to write. Time to move forward.

Have you ever gone through something similar? What did you do to move forward?

Celebrations are in Order


Happy Friday!

I couldn’t let this week pass without officially letting you know that two of my books have won 2015 Legacy awards – I’m Not Just Gifted and Parenting the Shy Child.

e1028-raising2bthe2bshy2bchild2b-2bhrAccording to their website, “The TAGT Legacy Book® Awards honor outstanding books published in the United States that have long-term potential for positively influencing the lives of gifted individuals and contribute to the understanding, well-being, education and success of gifted and talented students.”

Parenting the Shy Child, my critically acclaimed book about social anxiety disorder, won in the parenting category. I’m Not Just Gifted, my book of curriculum for gifted children focused on building social-emotional learning competencies, won in the curriculum category.

ee811-iI am so thrilled and thankful to both my publisher, Prufrock Press, and the TAGT Legacy Book Award committee for this honor. Creating these books has met a lot to me.

You can find out more about these books and my other titles by visiting my website.

Making a Change


As some of you may know, I left my job as a school psychologist after 18 years earlier this month. It’s been a surreal transition to a consulting job, working with school districts. Although much of the skills I used in my former role come into play, I am now traveling across the state to work with a variety of districts. It is work I deeply enjoy. And, it is somewhat freeing to my time and my creativity. My stress levels are reduced as I am able to focus now on the things I love to do most – coaching, consulting, problem-solving. I can let go of the things that bothered me in my previous position.

A dream job.

That isn’t the only change I’ve made recently. As the job frees up my creativity and time, I am now able to expand some of my parenting and child coaching practices and increase the time I give to writing and book events. I’ve added a few clients, began giving book chats again and started a few new proposals for upcoming books. It’s a time of deep productivity. You can check out my website to know more about my events, or contact me directly to ask about presenting at your function or inquire about coaching.

As my time fills with more of the things I love to do and my mind frees, I realize just how blocked I’ve been. Has that ever happened to you? Have you become blocked to your own goals by the goals of others or the obligations on your plate? I’m sure that it has. As a creative, intense, and gifted adult, I pay a steep price when I am blocked. It impacts my ability to sleep, my physical and emotional shelves, and even my faith. I do not make major changes easily (part of it is a loyalty thing). But as I become more in touch with my authentic self, I understand my need to live from a place of “flow” and authenticity.

If you are finding that you are out of sync with your goals or your own happiness, maybe it is time to contemplate making a change and pulling yourself into alignment. You’ll be thankful you did!