This should be useful for parents of gifted kids.
Gifted children can be challenging and exhausting: unable to handle frustration, finding it difficult to accept boundaries, talking endlessly, negotiating the slightest rule or order … However, according to Jeanne Siaud-Facchin, a psychologist who is a specialist in gifted children (see our previous article in which she explains what makes a child gifted), creating boundaries and setting limits is a vital necessity for their emotional development, and the only way to avoid the creation of permanent and escalating conflicts. How should we respond to these tantrums due to a child’s heightened emotional state? We’ve spoken to some experienced moms who share what to do to calm and reassure our sensitive children.
Why are many gifted children challenging and exhausting?
Of course, not all gifted children are difficult; some are more docile and compliant. However, in many cases their extreme sensitivity can lead them to react to the slightest emotional change in their environment. This can result in violent and excessive emotional reactions.
Valérie, a 41-year-old mother of six children, shares her experience: “My children are all hyper-sensitive, but don’t all react in the same way. The eldest, at nine and a half (diagnosed as gifted) still has angry outbursts. If it is a reaction to something his brothers have said or done, he shouts, and if that doesn’t seem enough, he hits. If his anger is aimed at me, he yells. My second son (eight years old) yells, then runs to his room to calm down. He cusses when he doesn’t find a way to cope … My third son (aged 5) cries and needs hugs. He is the only one I manage to help when he’s having a tantrum. Personally, I’d say that these tantrums are perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of having a gifted child among so many siblings that I have to cope with on a daily basis, as there are endless opportunities to overreact.”