NAGC provides a Parent Resource Specialist service, whose role involves supporting parents and others who advocate for appropriate and challenging educational opportunities for high-potential children and youth. Our Parent Resource Specialist, Dr. Robin Schader, has agreed to expand her services to include a regular "question-and-answer" column for Parenting for High Potential.
Important Notice. Dr. Schader's services as NAGC's Parent Resource Specialist are designed to help readers find and understand general information on parenting high-ability children. The responses in this column (or on NAGC's website) contain advice and comments from individuals with training and experience in gifted education. Responses from the Parent Specialist, or other participating experts, are not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. By submitting your question for a response, you understand and agree that your question, and the Parent Specialist's answer, may be used by NAGC in print or on the NAGC website, although names and other obvious identifiers will be removed. Often the best way to resolve issues for your child is to talk with your child's teacher, school principal, pediatrician, or doctor. If you haven't already done so, we encourage you to investigate the resources available through your state or local gifted education organization. Contact information for NAGC state affiliates can be found on the NAGC website at: http://www.nagc.org/ or by calling NAGC at (202) 785-4268. Submit your questions in an email, or as document attachment to an email, to: email@example.com
Excerpts from Parent Email: Managing Life's Stresses
* Just before grades come out, my 6th grade daughter becomes very anxious. She twists her hair, starts to cry at the drop of a hat, and picks fights with her sister. She's never had a bad mark, but it's as though the very idea of being judged is too much for her.
* I am interested in information about the stress placed on students who have gone through their years in classes with work that's relatively easy and then find themselves in classes with work that is much harder. I'm always worried that my son will give up under pressure and now I think the social aspects of school are placing pressure on him, as well. He's not so interested in sports or dating, so he tends to be a loner.
* Last night, when I went to tuck my daughter in bed, she had been crying. When I asked what was wrong, she said she had been having a headache all day and then told me that this was the day before George Gershwin died and he must have been in terrible pain because he had a brain tumor. I've noticed how she "feels" the things she hears, reads, and sees. Is there information to help me understand this? Are there ways to soften her worries?
* I think my daughter's mental and emotional health has been suffering because of the stress of school. It isn't that things are hard (she has always done well), but this year she doesn't seem to have many friends. Her schoolwork and grades are dropping and she wants to stay home more. She says she just doesn't fit.
* Our family recently moved across country because of my husband's job. Everything was working out great, I thought. Bigger house, better climate, top school, but now it's obvious that my son isn't happy. He loved the TAG program in his old school and had lots of friends there. Here he just goes through the motions. He doesn't want to join anything and I don't think he's trying to make any new friends. For the first time he talks about not being understood. I rarely even see a smile. Are mere any resources about this?
Currents of anxiety, pressure, and frustration run though each of these email excerpts. It's stress and it seems to be swirling in epidemic proportions - headlined in newspapers, magazines, and blogs. With our days so oppressively saturated with "stressors" (both good and bad), the apprehension of dealing with the realities of everyday life can easily throw us out of balance. …