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Parenting Gifted Children 101
Tracy Ford Inman, Ed.D. & Jana Kirchner, Ph.D.
Prufrock Press Inc., 2016
paperback, $16.95, 176 pp.
There seems to be no end for writing books about the gifted! There seems to be no end for reviewing books about the gifted! And, here we are doing so again.
However, when new books refer to old, tried and true research, I am happy because I want the old research to be given credit. I want new teachers and parents to know what started this field. And I also like the old times to be remembered as the basis—the foundation— for Gifted Education.
A quote by Dr. Jim Gallagher starts Parenting Gifted Children 101. I can’t think of anything more appropriate or relevant.
Failure to help the gifted child reach his potential is a societal tragedy, the extent of which is difficult to measure but what is surely great. How can we measure the sonata unwritten, the curative drug undiscovered, the absence of political insight? They are the difference between what we are and what we could be as a society. (Gallagher, 1975, p. 9) That’s 41 years ago and is still a great truth!
Dr. Tracy Ford Inman and Dr. Jana Kirchner sum up the whole book by telling us at the beginning that “each chapter targets an essential question and answers it with background information, current research, useful tips, connections to home and school and additional resources.”
Chapter 1 defines giftedness. The Marland Report (1972), the parent of all reports, listed six areas of giftedness:
“1. general intellectual ability, 2. specific academic aptitude, 3. creative or productive thinking, 4. leadership ability, 5. visual and performing arts, 6. psycho-motor ability.”
This is an education in itself, but this is only the beginning. One of my favorite writers is Del Siegle who created the Gifted Children’s Bill of Rights. He says that “as a gifted child, you have a right to:
- know about your giftedness.
- learn something new every day.
- be passionate about your talent area without apologies.
- have an identity beyond your talent area.
- feel good about your accomplishment.
- make mistakes.
- seek guidance in the development of your talent.
- have multiple peer groups and a variety of friends.
- choose which of your talent areas you wish to pursue.
- not be gifted at everything. (2007)
Now, be tempted by the titles of each chapter:
Introduction: Tips For Reading This Book
Chapter 1: What Does Gifted Mean?
Chapter 2: What are the Myths About Gifted Children?
Chapter 3: What Does a Gifted Child Look Like?
Chapter 4: What are the Social and Emotional Needs of Gifted Children?
Chapter 5: What Should School Look Like for My Child?
Chapter 6: What Challenges Might School Hold for My Child?
Chapter 7: How Can I Communicate and Partner With My Child’s Educators?
Chapter 8: What Can I Do at Home to Help My Child?
Chapter 9: What Does It Mean to Be Twice Exceptional?
Chapter 10: Where Can I Find More Information?
About the Authors
Don’t forget to read the References, Glossary, and About the Authors. There is a world of knowledge in those categories.
Elaine S. Wiener is Associate Editor for Book Reviews for the Gifted Education Communicator and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.