In this episode, we’re talking to Dr Gail Post about the very different journey that we experience as parents of gifted kids.
“There’s so much more now about what to do when you’re raising a gifted child… but, very little looking at what the parents are going through and their experiences and as we know, raising a gifted or twice exceptional child is challenging in ways that folks with neurotypical kids may not experience.
A lot of the intensity and heightened sensitivity and quirkiness and asynchronous development, all of that make it a more challenging job, on top of the fact that it often falls on parents to advocate in the schools or figure out some way of patching together a more enriching education for them.
So it’s quite a challenge and that leaves families with a lot of emotions that are really hard to talk about… there’s very little that’s written about it.” – Dr Gail Post
- Book: The Gifted Parenting Journey by Dr Gail Post
- Gifted Challenges Website
- Gifted Challenges Facebook
- Gifted Challenges Twitter
- Dr Gail Post Website
Gail Post, Ph.D. is a Clinical Psychologist, parenting consultant, workshop leader, and writer. In practice for over 35 years, she provides psychotherapy with a focus on the needs of the intellectually and musically gifted, parenting consultation and workshops, and consultation with educators and psychotherapists.
She is also an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
Dr. Post is the parent of two gifted young adults and served as co-chair of a gifted parents advocacy group when her children were in school. Her writing includes online articles, several book chapters, and a long-standing blog, Gifted Challenges.
Her upcoming book through Gifted Unlimited Press, “The Gifted Parenting Journey: A Guide to Self-discovery and Support for Families of Gifted Children” extends her advocacy efforts to address the needs of parents of gifted children.
Hit play and let’s get started!
[00:00:00] Sophia Elliott: Hello and welcome to this week’s podcast. I’m very excited to be back with Dr. Gale post. Gail joined us recently for an episode where we talked about how to tell your child that they are gifted and how to have that conversation, which was just lovely.
[00:00:18] And I think you’re really going to enjoy today’s episode as well. Today, we talk about the journey of parenting gifted kids. Like. We’re talking about the parents and our experience and how that’s different and those different things that we need to negotiate. That other parents may not need to negotiate.
[00:00:40] So we dive into things like, how do we Uh, our own expectations. How do we manage to navigate the expectations? And dare I say, judgment of other family, friends, and other parents. How do we share the successes of our children, which can often feel like a very taboo thing to share? Where do we find support?
[00:01:10] How do we navigate other people in the world? And Gail has written a fabulous book, which is all about that journey of the parents who have gifted children. And it’s really lovely because they really. Aren’t other resources out there like this, and it’s very much what we do here at the gifted kids podcast. We talk about that.
[00:01:33] Journey. We get real. About the highs and the lows of it. And through sharing that. It can help us all feel seen, I think, less isolated and like, it’s not just us. And so. Gail has written a book called the gifted parenting journey, a guide to self discovery and support for families of gifted children.
[00:02:01] I had a thoroughly enjoyable time reading it. It was really lovely. It is very different. And it’s really nice to feel seen as a parent and dive into some. Challenging topics that. That are tricky. You know, managing our own emotions and expectations around this very different parenting journey.
[00:02:23] And if you haven’t met Gail before. Gail post PhD is a clinical psychologist. Parents consultant, workshop, leader, and writer. She’s been in practice for over 35 years. She provides psychotherapy with a focus on the needs of the intellectually and musically gifted.
[00:02:43] And she does consultation with both parents and educators and psychotherapists. She’s an associate professor of psychiatry at the university of Pennsylvania school of medicine. Dr. Post is the parent of two gifted young adults. And She served as co-chair of a gifted parents advocacy
[00:03:03] When her children were in school. Her writing includes online articles, several book chapters, and a longstanding blog called gifted challenges.
[00:03:13] So her new book, the gifted parenting journey is recently out. I think at the moment it’s on early order with full. Publication and availability over the coming days and weeks. So you can find it on Amazon and all those places where you find good books.
[00:03:32] So have a listen, check it out. Let me know. Does it answer all your questions? What other questions do you have? Perhaps we could get Dr. Gale back to discuss those. You can get in touch with our gifted kids through our Facebook page or our free Facebook group. We’re also on Instagram and you can firstname.lastname@example.org so that you don’t miss any of our podcasts.
[00:03:56] Thank you very much stay quirky. And I hope that you enjoy this episode.
[00:04:35] I absolutely delighted to have Dr. Gal post back on the podcast this week. Thank you so much for joining us. Scale.
[00:04:44] Everyone will remember Dr. Gail from an episode we did earlier, which was all about how to talk to your child about being gifted. Awesome episode. Thank you so much for that.
[00:04:57] You’re welcome.
[00:04:58] But excitedly, we are here today to talk about a book that you have written, and it’s released this month, October.
[00:05:10] And it’s called the Gifted Parenting Journey. So first of all, Gail, absolute congratulations on writing a fabulous book. I really enjoyed it. And what I love, love, love about the book is it is different to other books about giftedness that I have read because you. Well, you tell us. How have you done this differently,
[00:05:40] Dr Gail Post: Well, you know, I. There’s so much out there. Fortunately, that’s emerging about, well, obviously there’s a lot out there about parenting, a lot of articles and research, tons of it, but there’s, there’s more and more, certainly from when my kids were young, there was almost, there was very little out there at that point.
[00:05:59] There’s so much more now about what to do when you’re raising a gifted child, what their needs are, how to address their needs, how to address the schools, all of that. But, Very little looking at what the parents going through and their experiences and as we know, Raising a gifted or twice exceptional child is challenging in ways that folks with neurotypical kids may not experience.
[00:06:23] So, uh, a lot of the intensity and heightened sensitivity and quirkiness and asynchronous development, all of that make it a more challenging job on, on top of the fact that it often falls on parents to advocate in the schools or figure out some way of patching together. A more enriching education for them.
[00:06:45] So it’s, it’s quite a challenge and that leaves families with a lot of emotions that are really hard to talk about, like very, uh, troubling emotions at times, sometimes embarrassment or envy or anxiety and, There’s very little that’s written about it. So, uh, one of my goals was to provide a place where people could learn more through theory and research and also, you know, clinical experience of my own.
[00:07:13] But to have a place to see what is out there, what information is out there about how parents grapple with these concerns, and also some tools for what to do about it as so support. And then secondly, The, uh, importance of really, I believe learning more about yourself so you can parent best, sort of like on you know, you go on a plane trip, the flight attendant says, you know, if in case of emergency, put the oxygen mask on yourself before you put it on your child so you can handle things.
[00:07:50] And as parents, we need to be able to handle our own emotions, otherwise, we’re. You know, just flailing around trying to, you know, patch together each incident that comes up with our kids as opposed to having sort of a sense of, this is my overrid goal, these are my plans, this is what I wanna do, uh, as a parent, and I’ll do the best I can and I’m gonna make plenty of mistakes.
[00:08:14] But, uh, overall knowing more about what’s, what values you have and what is most important. What
[00:08:26] Sophia Elliott: I love was, in your book, you actually can’t remember which chapter, but there is a point at which you actually have a bit of a chat about what research has been done on parents of gifted kids, and it’s very little, and which I guess doesn’t really surprise me.
[00:08:47] But I remember feeling the incredible sense of validation. I think it was late last year when I came across some research that said that parenting a gifted child is as stressful as parenting a child with physical disabilities. And right. For me it was this massive moment of oh my God, yes, it is hard.
[00:09:12] It’s not just me. You know, like some acknowledgement of those incredible different challenges that we go through. And so it’s lovely to hear you air killing that in your book. Talking about that, talking about that lack of research, what research has been done because. And as you touch on in your book, some of those things that we have to grapple with are very unique.
[00:09:40] And we’re gonna talk about some of those things in today’s episode. And I just wanna sort of say like, you know, Bravo for seeing that this had not been covered and providing, I think parents with this validation of. Yeah, these are the, these are challenges and you know you are not alone in those challenges.
[00:10:03] If you’ve got a gifted kid, chances are you’re having these challenges too. Like, you know, there’s that universality within that parenting gifted kid niche. So, yeah, really important because like you said, and I’ve certainly have felt this a lot as a parent, if we can, there’s so much. Uh, relief that comes from that validation and from, and that personal awareness that makes you better parent.
[00:10:36] Uh, so some of the things that we were gonna have a look at today, and these are things that you touch on in your book, is.
[00:10:43] What advice do you have for parents about how to navigate other people’s judgment or expectation of your child and. I think this is a big one to put on the table cuz first of all, it’s that acknowledgement that as parents have gifted kids, there is something very tangible that we must navigate about other people, the way that they judge us, our parenting and our children, and the expectations they might have.
[00:11:16] So let’s start that.
[00:11:19] Dr Gail Post: Uh, yeah, I mean that’s one that I think one of the rude awakenings parents often find is that because their child is so different, they don’t come across many other parents. And so it’s, it’s really, uh, you know, amazed to like, navigate basically. How do I find people who get this?
[00:11:38] Because there aren’t gonna be many when you think about iq. Giftedness is defined as the top one to 5%. That’s not a lot of people, That’s not a lot of kids. And so you’re not gonna find a lot of parents either who are parents of those kids to communicate with. So it’s, it’s really tough. And then there’s so much stigma and stereotyping and misunderstanding about giftedness that it, it really is, it’s a tough situation.
[00:12:07] So in, in terms of. Dealing with other people’s misunderstanding, or if you wanna call judgements as well. One thing I I like to think about is that as parent of a gifted child, you are an ambassador for giftedness. It is your job, sadly, to add onto everything else we do as parents, to educate other people because they don’t know.
[00:12:29] And a lot of times it’s not malicious, it’s just that they don’t understand. They have these stereotyped views of what giftedness is and. Think it’s all about high achievement or that parents prep their kids or that, Oh, these parents think their child is so special. And it’s, it’s not about that, as we all know.
[00:12:51] It’s, it’s these additional demands and expectations on families. So one of our jobs is just to tactfully in a matter of fact way. Just explain, just clarify, just to see ourselves as you know, we’re out there. Even if it’s not about our own child, we have to explain and educate other people cuz they’re not gonna know it otherwise.
[00:13:14] And they may be astounded like, Oh, I had no idea. I really didn’t realize that. Uh, and. There, there’s some different things that you could even try. I mean, I’ll just throw out a few examples. You could be like, Well, you know, he has different learning needs or, uh, we found that she learns best when exposed to somewhat different material in the classroom.
[00:13:34] You know, just again, very matter of fact, just like you might say, if your child had a sports injury and couldn’t play football or basketball or volleyball anymore, that for a while because they’re healing from that. It’s just a matter of fact, this is what happened. It’s not their fault. It happened. And the same thing with giftedness or twice exceptionalities, that it’s, it’s who these kids are and we’re there to help them.
[00:14:00] And we, you know, one of the things we do when we protect our kids is to explain to the other adults in the room you. This is what’s going on. So, And another, you know, another thing one might say is, you know, for example, we know that giftedness is a confusing and loaded term, which it is. We don’t like the term either because it implies that gifted kids are special in some way, but all kids are special.
[00:14:23] Our child just has different needs, so, Regardless of the term, we’ve learned that our child has special and specific learning needs that require different approach. And the other thing to be that it’s important to explain would be we also know that gifted kids have something called asynchronous development.
[00:14:42] So sometimes his behavior’s a lot less mature than his ability to grasp knowledge. Uh, it’s quite a challenge for him, for us, and probably for you having to deal with him. So again, just to kind of put it out there as a matter of fact as possible and be ready to answer questions. And hopefully you’ll be dealing with people with an open mind.
[00:15:01] Not always, but hopefully Absolutely,
[00:15:05] Sophia Elliott: because we’ve all got it is really tricky. There’s. Parents at the school gate, family members, and there’s so many misconceptions, like you say. So it’s just try and be as matter of fact, as possible about it and just stick to the facts really. , they just learn differently.
[00:15:25] And I’ve certainly kind of approached it this way with. Some family members of older generations and , it can be quite, I guess, what’s the word I’m looking for? Confronting or challenging when, , gifted kids are correcting us, on, , matters of which they know a lot.
[00:15:47] Uh, and that can be really challenging, but it’s, it. Trying to approach that with openness, I guess, and not see that as a disrespect. It’s, it’s more about the excitement of learning, excitement of the topic and things like that. So, yeah, so just trying to be really matter of fact about it. So I love that your introduction actually starts with, Surprise, your child is gifted
[00:16:15] It really made me laugh because it’s kind of like, Oh my God, , You know, I just was like, I remember that moment. Uh, for us, and it’s kind of like surprise. It’s like, Oh my God, what are we, You know what the, we entered a surreal twilight zone right.
[00:16:37] Dr Gail Post: And for a lot of people it’s, it’s, you know, excitement.
[00:16:40] Like, wow, they’re gifted. And then it’s like, oh my gosh, now what? It’s really, Yeah.
[00:16:45] Sophia Elliott: Oh, absolutely Right. So many, so many emotions at that point in time. So how do we navigate our own? Expectations, our own emotions. Judgements, . In this kind of parenting, a gifted kid space.
[00:17:02] Dr Gail Post: Well, you know, it’s a tough one, but it really comes down to understanding ourselves and where our expectations are coming from.
[00:17:08] So being able to dig deep and look at where is this coming from? Is this something that is almost pre-programmed that I assume X, Y, and Z should happen? Or is it. Really based on my value. So first of all, expectations are normal, right? We all have them and we all have them for our kids in, in good ways and, and important ways.
[00:17:30] Uh, and it could be based on our values or our culture or, uh, a sense of, uh, personal responsibility we wanna infuse in our children or a work ethic or loyalty to family, whatever it is. These are values that all parents have, you know, or they come to some terms with what is important. And not all expectations are bad.
[00:17:51] Uh, maintaining, especially with gifted kids, positive, realistic, and appropriately high expectations lays the groundwork for internalizing values related to responsibility and achievement. It also boosts their self-esteem to feel like they can complete tasks. And I’m not talking about anything extreme.
[00:18:11] It could be, yeah, I took out the garbage, or I cleaned my room, just anything. They had to tackle somebody they didn’t wanna do or was difficult. They can feel good about themselves for behaving responsibly. The problem is with gifted kids and their families, there are usually increased expectations that parents have for their kids because they see this tremendous potential and all this ability that they want to nurture, and it’s terrifying to not know what to do because there aren’t a lot of supports or resources.
[00:18:43] Courses out there, as we all know. So parents often feel this, this daunting responsibility to find enrichment activities or find the best possible school or homeschool or put all their money into extra activities for their child to do. And it’s, it’s really overwhelming. And they struggle with how much do I push my child?
[00:19:03] Do I push them a lot? Uh, do I do like that tiger mom thing and really push hard or do I hold back and let them find their own way? And again, the more we know about ourselves, the more we can look at where is this coming from. So a parent who might have been a super high achiever might think, I, I want my child to be with that too.
[00:19:25] Or they might think that nearly killed me. I don’t want my child to achieve, so I’m not gonna push them at all. In fact, I’m gonna try to like hold them back a little bit either way. It’s not being attuned to what your child needs in any given situation. Cause every child learns at a different pace, uh, with a different level of intensity.
[00:19:44] They have different interests. They have good days and bad days, just like we all do. And. We need to be as attuned as possible, imperfectly attuned, because we’re always gonna be imperfect at it, but to really try to pay attention to that. So I, I can talk more of that. I wanna, you know, give you a chance to respond, but a little bit more about expectations, but it’s, it’s a really complicated topic for parents.
[00:20:11] Sophia Elliott: Uh, yeah, no, please, please continue. , if you’ve got more,
[00:20:16] Dr Gail Post: it’s really good. Well, one thing, you know, I, part of writing this book is I put out an online survey asking parents to respond. Parents have gifted children, and I put it out on different Facebook groups for parents, have gifted kids, and my website and my blog side and other websites like gifted homeschoolers for a lot of different places.
[00:20:37] Got over 400 responses was really amazing. But. In, in terms of this particular topic, over 50% of parents indicated that they either almost always or always, Feel this sense of, of responsibility to help their child reach their potential and worried that they, their child wouldn’t reach their potential.
[00:21:02] And similarly felt this confusion most of the time, or always about how much to push their child. So a lot of anxiety goes into what to do, What the heck do I do? What’s the best course of action for right now with my child or in the long run? And if I don’t push them now, will they? Just, you know, being miserable and not having a career that they want or will, uh, will they blossom or will it make them so miserable that they’ll retreat and withdraw and rebel and become anxious and develop too much perfectionism, All of that.
[00:21:40] So it’s, it’s quite a fine line. We all have to walk on how to handle. Parents also worry about how others will perceive them. Will they be labeled as pushy? You know, even just advocating with a teacher in school can get you that label, which is, I think, why so many parents are worried about advocating because they don’t wanna be seen as that pushy parent.
[00:22:04] But. If your child had a learning disability, it would be understandable to push for that. If your child had difficulty reading, it would be understandable to push for more services. But when a child who’s seen is seen as having, having it all right, being super bright, Then parents are looked at a little bit sideways about what’s this all about?
[00:22:24] Can’t you just be happy for what your child has? But as we all know, that doesn’t work because our kids get bored and then they get rammy and, and impatient and difficult and, and cause problems at school and start to underachieve and feel bad and all that, all that bad stuff that happens. Uh, so I, I can go into some questions.
[00:22:45] People could ask themselves for exploration if you’d like me to, or if there’s anything else you wanna ask or say. I,
[00:22:56] Sophia Elliott: that’s really great because I think it helps to know. You know, like we’ve all got, this is a challenge common to, to all of us parenting gifted kids. And it’s like, where do we find that balance between . You know, nudging, pushing you know, influencing, uh, and. And and finding the balance. And it’s a really tricky one and I certainly remember feeling incredibly overwhelmed initially cuz it was kind of like, Oh my God, how do I meet this insatiable need to learn in a particular area that is so far removed from anyone their age.
[00:23:44] And it took us a long time to. Find the balance and relax into that and understand that it was okay if, if they revisited things cuz they’re learning something different each time. And uh, it’s okay if they’re reading books again cuz it’s a year later and picking something else up and, but it’s a huge sense of anxiety and stress.
[00:24:11] For parents. I, I am, I’m not as surprised at all at the numbers there that you quoted from your survey, because I’m like so many parents are, are trying to find that particular balance. Another issue that comes up a lot is parents who are having conflict or friction between family members who. Are not understanding, I think why we’re parenting in a particular way and struggling to, uh, communicate to family members.
[00:24:54] Why, you know, our children have these particular needs and we do this in a particular way, and there’s that friction, you know, can start to develop. Have you got any advice around those kind of closer relationships and how we might manage those?
[00:25:13] Dr Gail Post: Yeah. As always a tough one, right? A delicate balance. Yeah.
[00:25:19] Because they, these family members could be grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, whomever, may have certain expectations of what kids are supposed to be like. And then your kids are just a little different. They’re a little off. You know, they may see them as, you know, these smarty pants, like why are they talking like that?
[00:25:36] Or why don’t they have better manners? Or why can’t they? Be rough and tumble and fit in with all the other kids and they just need some guidance. And again, tact being, matter of fact about. Uh, trying to be as educational as possible, You know, point out that, hey, you know, this is who they are, just like the color of their eyes or their height.
[00:25:58] I mean, this is who they are. This is how they came into this world, and we’re just along for the ride as parents and would love you to help us along the way with this, with your support and what we’re doing. But, you know, you can say from what we’ve learned, With gifted kids and with our particular gifted child or children, they respond best to X, Y, and Z.
[00:26:20] So it’s about enlightening them about what giftedness is that it’s not a gift, but it’s basically a different way of approaching the world. Looking at the world, like looking through a different pr. Different colors that they see the world differently, they respond differently, Their pace of learning, their intensity, their grasp of information, it’s also different.
[00:26:42] And explaining a little bit about that intensity, explaining about asynchronous development, like, yeah, sure, they can tell you all the facts and figures about, uh, about what’s going on in the world. They’re, they have a meltdown if they don’t get their way, because there’s some immaturity going on there, and we’re working on it.
[00:27:01] You know, we’re, we’re trying to help them navigate that and get past it, but it can really be a challenge. So we need to explain about any, twice exceptional concerns, explain a synchronous development mentioned that. Just like they have a very active mind. They have an active nervous system, and so they might react intensively to things they might not like certain food textures or colors or sounds they might struggle with.
[00:27:33] Uh, melting down and starting to cry because they saw something on the news about some, something that seems so socially unjust, unjust to them. They might, uh, respond really overly, intensely. They might have trouble fitting with other kids their age. This just goes with the territory and we’re there to try to help them.
[00:27:52] And also to maybe discourage family members from saying things like, Oh, you’re so smart. Or I bet you’re gonna go to Harvard, or just to over, to put too much emphasis on their intelligence. And also not try to shame them. For their behaviors. Yeah, they misbehave. They’d do something wrong. You talk to them about it, but that’s different than shaming them.
[00:28:13] Like, You seem so smart. What’s wrong with you? Why don’t you, why don’t you know this already? But just to say that, you know, sometimes they lack a filter. Sometimes they don’t censor themselves. Sometimes they come across as bossy with their other cousins. Just again, matter of fact, explanation, but trying to give some guidance in a.
[00:28:36] Careful and tactful way with family members or neighbors or anyone else about how to best deal with their, your child.
[00:28:47] Sophia Elliott: I love that you touched on asynchronous development. And you know, because I think sometimes, , within our family kind of network, Like I, for years, we just opted out of dinners out, you know, like some family members would be like, Oh, we’re going for dinner. And it’d be like, Oh, oh, thank you. Love to,
[00:29:12] Dr Gail Post: That’s just,
[00:29:13] Sophia Elliott: , that’s bad time or too late and, and , that would be a factor, but it’s just also just kind of like the reality is.
[00:29:21] there is no way due to the asynchronous development and sensory seeking behavior that my children will sit at a table , , and so I guess it’s having those conversations, isn’t it? Where we can, uh, and, and just trying to be upfront about it. Uh, and in more recent years, We’ve been able to go places that have those kids’ playgrounds and things.
[00:29:46] Right. You know, and it’s becoming something we can do. We don’t do it often , but it’s becoming something we can do cuz it’s somewhere for them to express their energy and, and work around that expectation to sit at the table, which they just can’t sit at a table and eat food. It just is beyond any reason, unfortunately.
[00:30:06] As much as, but we’re supporting them with that. And so I can see that that’s a conversation that we can have and just try and be, , as honest but tactful and appropriate as possible. And I think it helps to have some words like that to, to use . And the other thing that’s really tricky and comes up a lot is how do we navigate.
[00:30:32] What I feel is a real taboo around talking about our kids’ successes or for that matter, their challenges, because it’s another really hard topic, whether it’s friends especially, and I’ve heard this particular story quite a few times. It’s like, well, we were in the mom’s group and everyone’s kids were developing.
[00:30:55] Actually, I read this possibly in your book, this anecdote. Tell me if I’m right. This, I think this is actually from your book, and it was like a little story of like, we’re in the mom’s group and, and as the kids started to develop, my child was obviously developing in certain areas more quickly. And then that parent was like, I can’t talk about the milestones anymore because it’s like this taboo, because they’re advanced.
[00:31:23] And you know, and I, I know that we’ve all kind of felt that so. Oh, that’s so hard. Well, how do we,
[00:31:32] Dr Gail Post: I mean, well, I mean I think that that was from the book something along those lines because it was I believe it was one of the quotes from people in the, that survey I sent around. They, they. I was just, I was just blown away and so grateful that there were so many amazing, heartfelt responses where people talked about their experiences.
[00:31:55] And that was one of the, one, I, several examples came up. I mean, I had hundreds of responses, so I only included a few in the book, but, well, fair amount of book. But uh, yeah, the sense of we don’t fit in, My child doesn’t fit in, and what the heck do I do now? Mm-hmm. , it’s really tough. So I, I think that, you know, we have to, First of all, in an ideal world, we find like-minded folks.
[00:32:19] We find other parents have gifted kids, or if your child has. Uh, an extracurricular activity where there’s a meeting of the mind. So something, whether it’s theater, music, chess robotics, whatever, whatever it is that you can find some other parents whose kids really excel or have these intense, passionate interests and be able to talk about what’s going on.
[00:32:43] So just again, to find your peers, just like your children need to find their peers. And in those situations, or you can start to talk more about these things. That are just part of daily life that you don’t have to qualify what you’re saying so much. Uh, but with other folks, I mean, if it’s a close friend who doesn’t have a gifted child, they care about you, they love you, so they’re gonna wanna understand.
[00:33:08] And if you explain it in a way and just talk about your joys, your struggles. They’ll be there for you and you can educate them a little bit. Like, Well, this is why my child is like X. Just like if they had some other issue going on, you, you try to explain it. Uh, there are gonna be plenty of people who aren’t gonna get it.
[00:33:27] And you’re probably not gonna wanna share a whole lot with them. And that’s just reality. Almost like we teach our kids to stay away from the bullies or the, or the mean kids in class. Right. You know, you tell that that kid was mean to you, so why don’t you not hang out with them? Don’t keep trying to play with them if they’re gonna be mean to you.
[00:33:42] So that not, I’m not saying other adults are mean, but I mean, they don’t get it. So you, you kind of hitting your head against a brick. But if they do make comments about your child, you know, whether it’s positive or, or a criticism, again, just to respond in a very practical, educational way and, you know, show your humility and your sense of gratitude.
[00:34:02] Like, yes, thank you. You know, they did skip a grade and I’m, you know, really, you know, happy that they are maybe finding some classes that are engaging for. You know, something just very simple along those lines. One thing that parents often do, and I certainly have been in culprit with that, uh, along the way, is they do something called undoing.
[00:34:24] So when they share something positive, they quickly come up with a negative to equalize it or to try not to make the other person feel bad. So it might be, uh, you know, yeah, he read that the whole Harry Potter book in a week, but he can’t tie his. shoes Or, uh, yeah, you know, she won this, uh, award for her acting skills, but you should see her messy room.
[00:34:50] Like there, there, there’s always a yes, but mm-hmm. and. Not that those, you know, we don’t have to have those valid complaints or concerns. If you’re concerned, your child’s tying their shoes or the room’s a mess. You can, That’s the kind of thing friends talk about with each other, right? Parents, you know, we talk about and complain about our kids, but that’s different than feeling compelled to minimize or, or put some other, you know, another ribbon around these accomplishments with this caveat that, Oh, well, yeah, but they have all these other problems.
[00:35:22] And so we have to watch for that.
[00:35:25] Sophia Elliott: Yeah, yeah, definitely. Uh, and I think, like you said, I think we’ve all done it at one point or another. It’s like, Oh yeah, they did really great at that, but you know, they really suck at this or whatever. It’s just kind of like, and that’s like, Oh my God, where are my children?
[00:35:42] I hope no one heard that. Cause I’ve just torn them down in front of this person. You know? But it’s that, yeah, it comes back to that sort of sense of. We can’t just be proud of them, , when they’ve done something amazing that’s beyond their years, which I think is really hard. Uh, and so, yeah, I’m, I’m inclined to agree with that one.
[00:36:07] It’s like your advice about finding your parenting peers and, and sharing within that safe group. They get it as well. You know, like a recent milestone for us in this family is one child in particular has actually learned to tie their shoes and it doesn’t sound, this is the achievement. Parents have gifted Kids will get that.
[00:36:37] Right. You know, they will be like, bravo, well done and yeah. So I think sometimes the successes, much like the challenges can look very different as well, can’t they? You know, and it’s, when you’re amongst peers, they kind of, they get the significance of things and it’s safe. And I have to admit that if I have a sense that a place isn’t. Going to be receptive to or understanding of my kids. I just don’t share that stuff, , in those places because it’s not worth my energy. Right. Of, of going down that path. And then sometimes I’m like, no, I’m gonna advocate a bit here and educate a little bit, but I don’t have always that much energy,
[00:37:25] Dr Gail Post: so.
[00:37:26] Right. I love that you’re saying, you know, you gotta conserve your energy and put a word needs to go and not beat your head against a brick bull.
[00:37:34] Sophia Elliott: Yeah, absolutely. Very, I, I wanna share with everyone some of the chapters of your book because a lot of the things that we are talking about in this episode you actually really dive into in your book.
[00:37:51] And I wanna just sort of help listeners get a sense of some of those. So Naturally, you kind of go into what is giftedness all about. But then it’s like the social and emotional aspects of giftedness. You talk about that intensity and asynchronous development. And then with the chapters, you kind of have this really helpful little, what’s next section where you’ve actually got some tips.
[00:38:18] And so in terms of this conversation we are having here about expectations and judgment and navigating these different scenarios, uh, some of those, what next things, what might be sort of like, how do we find that? And what kind of support might a parent of a gifted child look for? So maybe you could share with us some of those ideas.
[00:38:42] Cause that’s something I know you, you touch on in the book as well. Quite a lot is different places that we can sort of seek out support. Yeah.
[00:38:51] Dr Gail Post: Yeah. I, I, I appreciate, First of all, I appreciate you reading the book, Sophia. I really appreciate that. And, uh, but secondly, the There, there’s a lot about some of these difficulties parents face, you know, some of the challenges, anxiety, envy, embarrassment, regret, disappointment, and also pride and joy.
[00:39:13] Like how do you express that? And expectations. And then just dealing with basic challenges around parenting, You know, how to. Just engage in a loving, wonderful relationship with your child, but also be able to set limits when needed. So there’s all that, and parents desperately need support. And there, there are different ways to get it, but one thing is just again, to know yourself and know what works best for you.
[00:39:40] So I. First of all, as we were talking earlier, finding like-minded peers, finding other adults who understand, who get it, who really support you unconditionally, who are not being judgemental towards you. And again, you can sometimes look for that in the schools. You can look for that through extracurricular activities.
[00:40:03] There are a lot of online parenting groups, which again, you don’t know those people, but sometimes you can get some helpful advice. My one caveat is that sometimes in those groups, people get a lot of advice about a problem they’re presenting and. It’s important to remember that each person is putting out what they, what’s worked for them, but that may not work for you, so you have to just take it and, and thank them for it, but decide, does this fit for me or not?
[00:40:30] Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. Maybe it fits a little bit and, and to move on. But either way, you’re getting some support and validation. Uh, on a basic level, just read as much as you can, read as many books, articles, uh, research articles as, as you mentioned earlier, there, there actually is not a lot of research about this topic.
[00:40:50] It’s, it’s really shocking. Uh, just, just as an aside, one of the. Few researchers that I, I wrote about in the book, Remlinger, who actually is from Australia, and she did her dissertation on parenting issues, uh, when parenting gifted kids. And she was, she was amazing. I mean, she talked about how. It would be nice if giftedness were considered an exceptionality because then maybe parents would have that legitimacy that this is, this is something we’re struggling with.
[00:41:21] But one thing she did was really interesting. She, she did a, she’s Google scholar, which as we know is a way of getting more up to date research information. And she typed in, uh, what was it? What was it? Parent, Parent wellbeing Autism. And came up with 26,000 hits in terms of articles. Now, certainly autism, you know, there should be articles about that because it’s always an additional challenge, of course, but then barely a handful.
[00:41:55] Of articles about parenting gifted kids without an exceptionality. Uh, so it, it’s, it’s pretty amazing how little research there is out there. But you, you still can find research about giftedness. You still can find research about parenting. I mean, there’s, there’s tons of things out there. So to educate yourself, Which may feel like, ugh, another task really as a parent, you know, that I have to do something else.
[00:42:19] Like, why can’t I just send my kid off to school and they’ll take care of it? It’s like, now, unfortunately, we have a lot to do. So a third thing is getting some support from other, uh, other adults who are in a different position of expertise. So if there is a trusted. That you really respect and admire, uh, if there’s a gifted supervisor at the school who runs the gifted program, uh, maybe a school psychologist and maybe even a mental health professional, if you want some support on how you’re dealing with dealing with all this and, and ideas for, for your child.
[00:42:55] So that can be, and those can be amazing resources. Again, it’s not the same interpersonal validation that you get from peers, but it’s worthwhile. And finally, A gifted parenting group. I, I just can’t say enough positive things about it. I, I experienced that when my kids were in school where, uh, several of us came together.
[00:43:17] We formed a parent advocacy group to try to affect changes in the schools. And at that time we were able to get some changes done, like universal screening, uh, different ways of identifying kids, all of that, But, Beyond that. It also was a tremendous support where we could talk about what’s working for our kids and what’s not and what to look out for in the schools.
[00:43:41] And it was, it was just a tremendous support. So if there’s any way, if any of you have those groups through your school or homeschooling cooperative, and if there isn’t any to start one because you just, It’s word of mouth, really, just you can. Find as many folks who have gifted kids or talk to the gifted supervisor to see if they’ll put that information out, that you wanna start a group, but sometimes it falls on you as a parent to get this going.
[00:44:08] And it, it’s so valuable not only for your own support, but also if you are gonna advocate in the schools, because then you have, uh, a large number of voices. It’s not just you as the only parent walking in feeling like, Oh, I’m the only one, but. Instead that you have a group of people who can advocate. And there also are some other groups, formal groups out there like through sang, supporting the emotional needs of the gifted.
[00:44:31] They have these sang model parenting groups and other groups out there, sometimes in local communities, uh, where there, there are more supports available, but. Whatever you can do, You know, again, think about what do I need at this point in my parenting? Cuz what you need when you have a preschooler, or what you might need when your child is going into middle school is different than when they’re about to go off to college.
[00:44:54] So, to think about what do I need at this point? How will I, where can I find the support to help me parent at my best to feel confident, clear, uh, more in attunement with my child, even if they’re, you know, driving me up the wall because they’re being annoying and difficult. I still wanna be as attuned as possible to what’s going on.
[00:45:17] Sophia Elliott: And
[00:45:17] it makes me think of, you mentioned there in different places to find support and when necessary finding that, , professional support through C therapist. And that’s certainly something that we have done over the years with our family. And there was one, there was one time where we were really challenged by a particular issue and we tried a variety of, Different ways of, , trying to manage and parent strategies and, and we, we eventually are having this conversation with the therapist and it was incredibly validating
[00:45:57] and she sort of said, Look, Any one of those things could’ve, would’ve and should’ve worked with a typical child. And you have run into X, Y, Z problems because of the asynchrony, because most kids of that age are older, won’t be thinking about the things that your child is thinking of and and you know, and the reasons why they’re not working.
[00:46:19] And so it was actually very heartening to kind of go. Okay, , we’ve been trying perfectly reasonable strategies. Yes. Now I understand why they haven’t worked because we’re dealing with something that’s not. Typical, I wasn’t gonna say perfectly reasonable, actually. Very perfectly reasonable child, but just not typical and you know, and was looking at things beyond their years.
[00:46:45] So it took extra special approaches to kind of navigate that and eventually find our happy place, which we did. But, and I think sometimes, We don’t always know what typical looks like. Like as a family, I often, I’m like, I got no idea what typical looks like because we are who we are as a family.
[00:47:07] Our kids are our kids. I haven’t. Been in a, in a job where I’ve met lots of kids and typical kids, , until I held my own baby, I think it was possibly one of the first babies I’d ever held. , I didn’t have the big family units with siblings and babies and kids everywhere.
[00:47:24] So it can be very hard to know , the broader context. And I think that’s where, for me Therapists and you know, whether it’s speech therapists or an OT or a psychologist or whoever it might be, have been really useful resources because it’s that opportunity to kind of go, where does this sit within the scheme of the context?
[00:47:48] Give me the context, help me understand, what we are dealing with here. And so, and I always encourage people to. Find those people, those helpers in the mix. And so I think that’s really great advice there.
[00:48:04] Dr Gail Post: You know, you, you described something also that is, is interesting in that, you know, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
[00:48:11] And usually gifted kids, if they’re biological children, you know, they’re, the parents are likely gifted or, uh, somewhere in that vicinity, but often don’t recognize it, especially if they were not identified. So one thing that happens is that we rely on our history to define what seems normal. So, It may be hard to appreciate you have a gifted child, because what they’re doing is what your parents told you did at that age.
[00:48:39] Like, well, of course you talked before you were a year old, or of course you were walking at ex ex age. You know, like there’s this information that you think, Oh yeah, that’s normal. That’s the way it is. But like, no, not necessarily at all. You know, it’s not, it’s not normal in terms of being normative. For children to talk before a year or read by the age of three or those are not normal, but we may have grown up for that with that in our families and assume that’s the way things are, and it can be really a shock to find out that the world isn’t that way.
[00:49:12] One example I have, uh, that just is occurring to me now is, and by the way, I don’t usually share a lot or hardly anything actually about myself or my kids in the book because I really wanted it to be based on information that’s out there. But my heart was in it because, I mean, I went through this raising gifted kids, but one time, and I was volunteering in the classroom in first or second grade, and.
[00:49:35] Volunteer. One of my jobs was just to take one of the kids aside and took a little room and do flashcards on addition and subtraction. And I was stunned that my very mathy children, you know, that’s what I was around these very mathy kids and now suddenly these, these students I was working with were struggling with some very, very basic stuff.
[00:49:57] And it was quite a reminder to me like, wait a minute. These weren’t necessarily kids in special ed at all. These were just regular kids and wow, what a difference. So I think it’s, It can be quite an awakening to realize that, oh, our children are different.
[00:50:16] Sophia Elliott: Yeah, it really is. I had a similar experience when my youngest was in kindy and I went and facilitated a kind of group.
[00:50:26] Art project, we, we did some canvases and we got everyone involved. And so I would have sort of six kids at a time contributing to this kind of group artwork. And I, I, it was similar because obviously within that kindy there was a whole variety of children and it was really interesting for me to see what stood out the most.
[00:50:51] And, you know, it was a kind of a creative. Context, but was the difference just in intensity in kids and, and it really helped me to appreciate the difference in intensity of my children. Yeah, and, and it was really interesting to say how different children approach to. That activity. And unless you get these little opportunities or it’s something you do professionally or something, it’s, it’s really hard to have that context.
[00:51:32] And I think as parents, we rely on teachers a lot to give us a sense of and I think that’s where it can be really challenging when we kind of don’t feel like we’re not getting that feedback back. You know and it’s, you know, or they’re not seeing it for, for a variety of reasons. Hugely tricky.
[00:51:56] And so I love that you have taken us on this. You know, the Gifted Parenting journey is the name of the book, but it’s also very much the thread of the book and. And you really kind of delve into what it is like as a parent of a gifted child, to go from surprise your child’s gifted to what are some of the, what’s the terrain that we have to navigate?
[00:52:27] And it’s kind of like our own self awareness. The taboos around talking to people, our natural kind of reaction where we might be embarrassed or a bit envious or. Amazed, you know about kids’ behaviors, uh, and you really kind of traverse this terrain really beautifully, and I think it’s just a lovely resource for parents.
[00:52:51] So thank you. Thank you so much for doing all that work and writing it. And coming and talking to us about it.
[00:52:59] Dr Gail Post: It was something to do during the pandemic, you know, there was more time available. , well, thank
[00:53:03] Sophia Elliott: goodness for the pandemic making,
[00:53:05] Dr Gail Post: making lemonade outta lemons I guess.
[00:53:08] Sophia Elliott: Absolutely. Well that, that is really great.
[00:53:11] So how can people get in touch with you? I like to, cuz people be listening and and I guess it’s like, where can they find the book? Okay, I
[00:53:23] Dr Gail Post: know that you.
[00:53:25] Sophia Elliott: Uh, you sort of practice clinically, locally, but you do parent coaching online. You can do that more globally and that kind of thing. So just, yeah, let us know how we can get in touch with you.
[00:53:38] Dr Gail Post: Well, uh, Again, I’m a clinical psychologist and so I, I do practice locally. I, I don’t see people for psychotherapy outside of the states, outside of the United States. There, there’s a pact in the United States called Side P where I can see people in different states that have that authorization.
[00:53:56] But my local practices in Pennsylvania the Philadelphia area, But because of Zoom, the advent of Zoom, I, uh, see people all over. And something I did even prior to the pandemic was I was doing parent consulting or coaching where I would meet with parents because that’s, it’s different than psychotherapy.
[00:54:14] It’s a completely different process where you figure out, Okay, what’s the problem? What are the concerns? Let’s put our heads together, Let’s come up with a plan. It’s very fast paced and, and problem focused. And it could be anything from, how do I. Figure out if my preschooler is gifted based on their behaviors and their intensity, or how do I get my child tested when the schools won’t let them be tested, What kind of schools they need.
[00:54:39] And even college planning, which is a completely underrepresented concern because parents often rely on the schools to help their kids find it in college. So I try to, I try to work with a lot of these concerns and. I, uh, you know, in terms of reaching me, I have a blog site, Gifted Challenges. I have a website, which is just my name, gale post.com, and I have a few social media sites, uh, Facebook page, a gifted Challenges Facebook page, and also one on Twitter as well.
[00:55:14] So, uh, I try to post a lot of articles, not just stuff I write, but things that I find interesting and helpful, hopefully. And this book has been, A great opportunity for me to kind of put together a lot of the ideas I’ve been writing about for a long time, but also to combine research and theory of all the great minds out there and pull it together.
[00:55:35] But hopefully with some relatability, especially with so many Vignettes and comments from parents of the survey and my own, you know, experiences clinically. And again, I don’t share a lot about myself, but my heart’s in it because I’ve been there like everybody else. So thank you for sharing this.
[00:55:55] Sophia Elliott: Oh my absolute pleasure. And there really are lots of lovely stories weaved throughout from, from the survey that you got. So it. It’s very relatable and I love seeing those in books because you can just imagine yourself, you might have been in that situation or something very similar, and I think that’s really great.
[00:56:16] And where can people find the
[00:56:17] Dr Gail Post: book? Well, it’s, uh, available for pre-order. It should be out October 5th, I believe, fully out. But it’s, uh, available for pre-order on, you know, all the usual sites, Amazon, Barnes and Noble. Mm-hmm. . The publisher is Gifted Unlimited, uh, used to be. Under a different name, but now it’s Gifted Unlimited and they it’s there, but it’s, it’s on all the different sites and I imagine there might be some overseas as well.
[00:56:44] I just am not familiar with what’s out there, but mm-hmm. No
[00:56:47] Sophia Elliott: worries. We’ll put all those links in the show notes so people can find them nice and easily and find you. So thank you so much for joining us today. Absolute pleasure to have you back and have a chat.
[00:56:58] Dr Gail Post: Thank you so much. You’re so easy to talk with today.
[00:57:01] It’s really been a pleasure. So thank. Oh,
[00:57:04] Sophia Elliott: you’re welcome. Thanks.