Dr. Gail Post on the Gifted Parenting Journey and Support for Families of Gifted Children

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It’s been a while since I’ve done an episode that focuses squarely on giftedness and the unique challenges parents face in supporting their bright children, so when I heard that Dr. Gail Post, the psychologist behind the popular Gifted Challenge blog (incidentally, was one of my first go-to resources as a parent), had just released a new book, I invited her to join me for a conversation. Gail’s new book, The Gifted Parenting Journey: A Guide to Self-discovery and Support for Families of Gifted Children, combines research, theory, and clinical experience, and extends her advocacy efforts to address the needs of parents of gifted children.

In this episode, we dive into the realities of parenting gifted and 2e kids — the common challenges parents experience as part of their journey, why it can sometimes feel uncomfortable to celebrate our child’s accomplishments with others and how that impacts our kids and us, and how to handle our own expectations and pressures we may feel because of our child’s unique learning profile. We also explore what many families of gifted kids experience as a complicated relation with the word “potential,” as well as how we as parents can manage our own uncomfortable emotions that may arise in parenting our kids, including anxiety, envy, and guilt.


About Gail Post

Gail Post, Ph.D. is a Clinical Psychologist, parenting coach and consultant, workshop leader, and writer. She is also a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine In practice for over 35 years, she provides psychotherapy with a focus on the needs of the intellectually and musically gifted and twice-exceptional, parenting coaching and workshops, and consultation with educators and psychotherapists. 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 articles, several book chapters, and a long-standing blog, Gifted Challenges. Her new book, The Gifted Parenting Journey: A Guide to Self-discovery and Support for Families of Gifted Children, combines research, theory, and clinical experience, and extends her advocacy efforts to address the needs of parents of gifted children.


Things you’ll learn from this episode

  • The common challenges parents raising gifted and 2e kids may experience as part of their journey
  • Why parents of gifted kids feel intense pressure surrounding their child’s educational path and how that can negatively impact families
  • Why the word “potential” is a loaded one for many families, and how parents can change their relationship with this concept
  • Why anxiety is common amongst parents raising gifted or 2e kids
  • The unique challenges BIPOC parents raising gifted kids face
  • Why self-awareness is the roadmap to attuned parenting when raising gifted and 2e kids


Resources mentioned for parenting gifted children

* Gail is planning to offer parenting workshops online in 2023. To learn more, email Gail at  gailpostphd@gmail.com or sign up for her newsletter at www.GiftedChallenges.com

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Episode Transcript

Debbie Reber  00:00

This season of Tilt Parenting is being brought to you by the Differently Wired Club. If you’re looking to dive deeper with me and get live personal coaching support, be part of an incredible parent community and focus on creating significant change in your parenting world. Check out my Differently Wired Club program. Doors open for a few days at the end of every month, Learn more at tiltparenting.com/club

Gail Post  00:24

I think that’s one of the saddest things is that you see people driving around with bumper stickers saying my student’s an honor student or you have parents all over Facebook or Instagram, sharing what seems like kind of routine accomplishments but good for their kids, right and good for them. But we can’t do that as easily, because then we’re perceived as elitist or snobby or tiger moms or not caring about other kids. Like there’s this stigma against sharing some of these accomplishments, and some of them are really remarkable with what some of these kids do.

Debbie Reber  01:02

Welcome to Tilt Parenting, a podcast featuring interviews and conversations aimed at inspiring, informing and supporting parents raising differently wired kids. I’m your host, Debbie Reber. It’s been a while since I’ve done an episode that focuses squarely on giftedness and the unique challenges parents face in supporting their bright, gifted and twice exceptional kids. So when I found out that Gail Post, the psychologist behind the popular Gifted Challenge blog, which, incidentally was one of my very first go-to resources before I even dreamed of creating Tilt Parenting, had just released a new book for parents, I reached out and invited her to join me on the show. As a clinical psychologist, parenting coach and consultant for more than 35 years, and as the parent of two gifted young adults, Gail has been providing psychotherapy with a focus on the needs of intellectually and musically gifted and twice exceptional kids. Her new book, The Gifted Parenting Journey: A Guide to Self Discovery and Support for Families of Gifted Children, combines research theory and clinical experience and extends her advocacy efforts to address the needs of parents of gifted children. In this episode, we’re diving into the realities of parenting gifted and 2e kids, Gail and I talk about the common challenges that parents raising these kids experience as part of the journey, why it can sometimes feel uncomfortable to celebrate our child’s accomplishments with others, and how that actually impacts our kids and us, and how to handle our own expectations and pressures we may experience because of our child’s unique learning profile. We also explore what many families have gifted kids experience as a complicated relationship with the word potential, as well as how we as parents can manage our own uncomfortable emotions that may arise and parenting our kids, including anxiety, envy, and guilt. If you’re parenting a gifted or to a child, I know this conversation is going to resonate. Before I get to that there is a new way to engage with me and the Tilt Parenting podcast this season. I love making the show and getting to have thoughtful conversations with fascinating guests. And I always find myself wanting to go deeper into the topics with other people who are as interested as I am. And now I can. I’m partnering with a new social platform for book and podcast clubs called Fable to host a special Tilt Parenting pod club. So what’s a pod club? It’s like a book club, but for podcasts. Together, we can go deeper on every single episode and share our highlights or comments or questions, related resources and more. And it is completely free. To join my new pod club and the discussion surrounding what Gail Post has to share about the realities of raising gifted and 2e kids, just download the fable app on your phone or device and search for tilt parenting, or go to tiltparenting.com/fable For a direct link. I hope to see you there. And now here is my conversation with Gail.

Debbie Reber  04:14

Hey, Gail, welcome to the podcast.

Gail Post  04:17

Hi, thanks for having me here. Glad to be here.

Debbie Reber  04:20

Well, I’d love if you could take a few minutes to just introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about the work that you do. And as part of that I always ask my guests to share their personal why for the work that they do.

Gail Post  04:33

Well, the WHY has really informed how I got involved in this. So background. I’m a clinical psychologist in practice for like 35 years working with teens, adults, parents, families, all that stuff. But my interest in giftedness was sparked by several convergences of events. One was as I was getting more involved in private practice, really bright, high achieving people and they had unique issues. I’m also tending to see a lot of folks with ADHD and other complicating factors. But the biggest thing was really raising two gifted kids that it up to how much advocacy work is necessary. And I got involved with a gifted parenting group that was within our school district ended up code sharing that we advocated for a lot of things with the schools and get some things accomplished things like universal screening all of that, as my youngest was about to graduate, because now we’re going on almost 10 years of my blog, I started a blog, which wasn’t so much about my own stuff, or my kids, but more about social and emotional issues, and advocacy and parenting. And I just felt like I needed to advocate in some other way. So I continued to write and workshops, and all of that, and then recently published a book through gifted unlimited press, all the gifted parenting journey, which is really about parents understanding their own motivations and emotions, so that they can parent at their best, but I just think that, you know, 10 years later, since my blog came out, I’ve seen some progress in the field, and certainly an explosion in awareness of neurodiversity. But, man, those school systems, a lot of times are still in the dark ages, and don’t get it. So parents are continuing to struggle. Fortunately, there are more options for parents to learn more like podcasts like yours and lots of groups online. But it’s always a struggle for families.

Debbie Reber  06:30

Yeah, I too, have noticed that explosion in awareness of neurodiversity of twice exceptionality. And it’s so exciting. And there’s a part of me that is, well, of course, I’m super psyched that this is happening. And I’m also Oh, my could this have happened, you know, 10 years or 15 years earlier. But it is an exciting time. And I really appreciate your book, we’re going to be talking about it today, as it felt to me to be a newer conversation within the gifted community. For parents, the book I just want to share for listeners, it’s called The Gifted Parent Journey: A Guide to Self Discovery and Support for Families of Gifted Children. And even having self discovery in the subtitle tells you something that this isn’t just about your kid, right? This is really focused on the parents, which is why I so loved it, that my work is about the parent experience, not about our kids, although we talk about that quite a lot. But could you talk a little bit more about that piece of this, like what was your highest hope in putting this book out into the world?

Gail Post  07:32

As a psychologist and from my own personal awareness that the more we understand about ourselves and our underlying motives, the better we can parent? There, there’s some good books out there that focus on that in the general parenting literature, for example, Parenting from the Inside Out by Dan Siegel. But there isn’t a lot out there, and certainly nothing to my knowledge specifically about this in the gifted literature. So I wanted to invite parents to learn more about themselves through self reflection and other exercises, so that they can really have a handle on what they’re feeling and feel more grounded going forward with advocating for their children and being there when their child is really intense or demanding or asking a million questions and how to calm their own worries and fears and anger and frustration and all that because it’s quite a challenge. I think that again, the more we know about ourselves, the more we can help our kids, sort of like on an airplane when you’re told well, in case of emergency put on the oxygen mask first before you put on your child, we have to be grounded in who we are. So we can weather the rough times and also fully immerse ourselves in enjoying the good times.

Debbie Reber  08:48

And as you talked about in the book, parenting a gifted child comes with some inherent challenges that parents who aren’t raising gifted kids are probably not aware of from the outside and you address this in your book. There’s this idea of well, what do you have to worry about? Look at what your kid is able to do or they kind of assume that we’ve got it made in the shade. Those of us raising gifted and 2e kidskids know that is not the case. You mentioned intensity being emotions. Can you talk a little bit about some of the more common challenges that parents raising gifted into a kid’s experience as part of their journey?

Gail Post  09:24

Sure, well every gifted child as we know is different from the next but there are some common up a lot. So certainly the intensity and heightened sensitivity, increased empathy, awareness of social justice issues, but also for some there can be asynchronous development, which as we know is where aspects of their development lag behind others most commonly seen in front most frustrating when the child’s social and emotional immaturity is on the immature end of the spectrum and their intellect is on the really high level to describe I can see that not only makes it hard for parents sometimes to figure out well, which age are they? How the heck do we decide what they need, but certainly for outsiders who don’t get it, who see a child who can understand things on such a high level, but then has a meltdown. So there’s that a lot of times these kids are somewhat rigid about things, especially if there’s sensory processing issues. So some of these kids have sensory issues that make it very difficult for them to tolerate certain onslaught from the environment, and make it difficult for parents. And again, they often require a certain level of sensitivity on our part, as parents to navigate what they need. On a positive note, though, a lot of them really thrive when they feel understood, and when expectations seem logical. And when they can view things from multiple perspectives. A lot of times when they’re struggling, if you can just get them to engage in a more creative way, problem solving. A lot of times that helps.

Debbie Reber  11:01

Yes, and I’m happy that you said that, because I think there is this idea, again, among maybe muggles, or people not raising these kids, that it’s just about acceleration, it’s just about doing higher level work. And that idea of being more creative in the way that a strength or an interest is demonstrated is a really big piece of that. And I think that is probably one of the biggest limitations in traditional education. Yeah, I’d love to just hear your thoughts on that.

Gail Post  11:29

I really agree with you. I mean, you’re kind of saying basically, the the situation that many parents face, which is their child needs a different approach, than just going to school sitting still raising their hand, following linear base directions doesn’t work, especially with kids who are more spatially oriented, who are more creative, who think outside the box, and that would cover most gifted kids. So a lot of schools, they just don’t have the time for it. It’s not the teachers fault. Typically, it’s just they’ve got a room full of 25 kids, and they have to meet kids where they are and gifted kids are outliers, so they don’t get the attention they need.

Debbie Reber  12:11

And that then, is one of the challenges right for parents who are trying to ensure their kids get what they need. You talk in your book about advocacy, and about how difficult it can be for a lot of parents to voice their concerns. They don’t want to be perceived as that parent, they don’t want to be complaining or causing tension in a school setting. They’re advocating for what their kids really need and deserve in order to be successful the way any other student deserves their needs to be met.

Gail Post  12:39

I really think you’re speaking to this core dilemma that parents face is that they don’t want to be annoying. They don’t want to bother the teacher. They don’t want to be on the teacher’s negative list toward themselves or their child, but yet their child is floundering. So the biggest challenge is how do you approach a teacher and some teachers really get it but their hands are tied because of budgetary or administrative concerns, and others don’t necessarily get it. But the concern a lot of parents face is I don’t want to be seen as pushy or elitist, or thinking my child’s so special, or I’m dismissive of the needs of kids who struggle, I just need to have these special needs addressed in my child. So parents, they struggle with that, they want their child to fit into. So they’re worried about bullying or other children, seen as nerds or outliers, how to get them to fit in. But a lot of times again, the structure of a traditional classroom doesn’t work.

Debbie Reber  13:38

Yeah. And I shared this in my book Differently Wired that early on talking with a parent coach about some of the many challenges that we were facing: the big sensory issues and intensity and the rigidity and all of those things. And also knowing from a fairly early age that Asher was gifted. She said to me, she’s like Debbie, people who are raising gifted kids do not call me excitedly saying, guess what my kids are gifted. They’re like, Oh, my gosh, oh, no, my kids are gifted. Just to kind of loop in with what you were just talking about the parenting experience in relation to society. And we could have a whole conversation about stigma. But I really was struck by the conversation you had in the book about the way that parents also stay silent about their kids’ accomplishments. And there’s a quote, it’s lengthy one, but I want to read it because it really jumped out to me. You said “Playing by different rules takes its toll. It’s a man’s vigilance, a dampened spirit and delivers a crushing blow to spontaneity. When you can jump for joy. Your child’s concert school, play math league or award night due to fear of repercussions, your experience is diminished. You’re suppressing and hiding your authentic joy over your child’s success, leaving you isolated with your strong emotions.” And I think that’s something so any parents can relate to. We feel kind of stuck. We want our kids to fit in, we want our kids to be seen. And yet there is such a sometimes strong reaction from parents raising kids who aren’t gifted, that we quiet ourselves, we play small. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Gail Post  15:17

Yeah, I think that’s one of the saddest things is that you see people driving around with bumper stickers saying my students an honor student, or you have parents all over Facebook or Instagram, sharing what seems like kind of routine accomplishments, but good for their kids, right and good for them. But we can’t do that as easily, because then we’re perceived as elitist, or snobby or tiger moms or not caring about other kids, like, there’s this stigma against sharing some of these accomplishments. And some of them are really remarkable with what some of these kids do. So we’re kind of stuck with that. Unless we can find our niche, our group of parents and people in the community who understand and get it and support it. And they don’t necessarily have to be parents of gifted or to eat kids. They can be folks who just really understand you and your child and love you and your child and are willing to appreciate and enjoy and share their victories. It’s tough, for the most part. And even in situations where parents do receive some compliments about their children, a lot of times they fall into doing something that you could call undoing. So they may say, Yeah, you know, they, my I’m so proud of my daughter, she won this award, but you should see her messy room, or, you know, my son did great in the play. Yeah, I appreciate that. But man, he can barely keep up with his homework. So there’s this need to quickly normalize it, by pointing out something negative, rather than just accepting the compliment. It’s really hard and your kids are going to pick up on it. It’s quite a challenge following that bouncing, because they’re going to think, well, maybe my achievements aren’t so great, because you know, my parents don’t seem to make a big deal about it in public. Or maybe I have to be a super high achiever, they’re going to pick up on it, unfortunately. So we have to kind of talk to them about humility, and what to share and when not to share and the harsh reality that we’re in a society that really has a lot of ambivalence and negative feelings about gifted folks.

Debbie Reber  17:20

Yeah. And we’ve had Marc Smolowitz on here who’s doing the documentary, The G Word and talking a lot about the stigma of the word giftedness. And yeah, I think it is really tricky. And it’s something that parents don’t really understand if they’re not experiencing it in that way. So I’d love to talk a little bit about expectations. This to me, again, really jumped out at me, I think it’s something that I have always grappled with, as a parent who homeschooled my kid for a long time and just felt this incredible responsibility. Like, oh my gosh, right. This kid’s education is in my hands. And so you talk about having expectations for kids, you use the phrase appropriately high expectations a lot, which I liked that language. But we also can have a lot of guilt that we’re not doing enough. It’s kind of this dance constantly. We’re trying to provide everything that this kid needs, because we recognize how incredible they are. So can you talk about expectations and the toll that that can take on parents and any best practices on balancing that out?

Gail Post  18:24

Yeah, it’s really a tough one. Because we see all this potential and don’t know what the heck to do about it. You know, do we push them too with personal too much do we push aren’t pushing them too little? What are the short term ramifications for the long term ramifications? It’s really puzzling. And most parents don’t know what to do, because there isn’t much clear advice. And again, each child is different. And each child is different at different developmental phases in their lives, based on what’s going on for them emotionally and socially, and intellectually, but I think it’s fine to have appropriately high expectations, which doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to be all A students or excel in some exceptional way. But rather, that they know you have faith in their abilities and potential and expect them to find a path that will allow that to come to fruition in a way that’s meaningful and important for them. So it boosts their self esteem to know you have expectations. But you just need to figure out okay, what’s the best way to approach my child? I mean, in a sense, we all have expectations, right? We expect our kids to do chores to be reasonably polite to people on the outside to censor some of their thoughts, which is sometimes hard for gifted kids. But with gifted kids, again, we have this you know what you’re describing this daunting sense of responsibility like am I going in the right direction and certainly that goes to schooling. Do you homeschool? Do you pay a lot for a private school? Do you keep them in the public school? What do you do to to help them along the way I think The most important thing is to be attuned as much as possible to the composite of their abilities, their interests, their developmental level, their emotional temperament, their frustration, tolerance, and the social climate that they’re living in, and then be willing to change and recalibrate based on what works and what doesn’t work, leaving room for disappointment and failure. Acknowledging small successes as well, for a lot of kids, especially those with executive functioning, skills, dilemmas, just cleaning their room is a big accomplishment, just finishing their homework on time. So the accomplishment, it’s not over overstating the fact that those should be important things to recognize just as much as winning a science fair project. So looking at the big successes, as well as the little ones, but even with the big successes, to really make it clear that you’d love them no matter what, the love and attention they receive is not hinging on their success. And then parents can also ask themselves, what are my core expectations? What do I value? What’s important for me in raising this child, and helping this child become a happy, successful, fully functioning adult? What influences and values do I need to instill and be a role model for them as well. So when you really think about it, it’s quite a big task for parents.

Debbie Reber  21:27

Yeah, and you really do share that so wonderfully in the book. I feel that it really was helping parents feel seen. The way that you wrote the book is so relatable. And, again, it’s an experience that isn’t really often talked about in this way, I think it really is going to hold people and support people and validate their experience.

Debbie Reber  21:51

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Debbie Reber  22:33

I’d love to talk about this word potential for a moment because that is a word that I think a lot about, and with kids who are maybe struggling because of their neuro divergence, their executive function stuff, maybe mental health challenges, which we’re seeing more and more of, and you talk in the book that there is a higher correlation, I believe with mental health challenges or depression or anxiety.

Gail Post  22:57

Well, yes and no, I mean, I think the verdict is not in yet. And there are different researchers and theorists in the field who suggest different things. I know that for example, one study with Nicole Tetreault and Ruth Karpinski talked about a higher prevalence of anxiety, depression, and even autoimmune illnesses and allergies among folks who are highly gifted. So there’s this sort of built in sensitivity, which I think we see in general, that these kids are sensitive to the radar for what’s going on around them. And the more we can support them, the better. But in terms of hardcore mental illnesses, I don’t know. So in preparing for this book, I also put together an online survey where I received responses from over 400 parents who were kind enough to answer it, and a lot of them identified anxiety, perfectionism, overthinking as top concerns among their children. That doesn’t mean they’re all clinically diagnosed with anxiety or depression, but they experience it and probably display it in a very intense way. I’m not sure yeah, there really needs to be more research about it. But certainly these kids bring a lot of intense concerns to the table for parents.

Debbie Reber  24:13

Yeah, I appreciate you clarifying that. So I’m wondering, going back to this idea of potential, then there’s a part of me that thinks is potential a dangerous word. I worry about kids who have grown up being told you have so much potential, you’re gonna do great things. And then because of what they’re experiencing as they get older, having this sense, like, wow, I’m letting everybody down here. Can you talk about how to navigate the word potential?

Gail Post  24:40

That it’s so complicated? I mean, even the word gifted can have a strong feeling of pressure for some kids, it all depends on how you explain it to them. There are folks out there on the internet and I’m sure you’ve seen them and everyone listening has seen them who say you know, there’s no such thing as giftedness or I’m not going to tell my child they’re gifted or giftedness a really bad word creates a fixed mindset. And it’s really bad for kids. Well, the word gifted may not be the best word that was developed to encompass these qualities, but it’s a fact it’s a reality kids know it, they sense it. And unless their internal sense of who they are is validated, they’re going to be confused, they’re not going to know why they think differently than all the other kids or learn things at a different rate. So it’s about in a very matter of fact, we’re explaining that to them. And that doesn’t make them a better person. It’s just about who they are, how their mind works. And now they have to figure out what to do with that mind, right, how to corral it, how to get it to pay attention, and not procrastinate, but also, are there some really exciting enriching things they can do? That would be energizing for them? So I think if we can couch both giftedness and potential, as just a matter of fact, concept, I mean, everybody has potential, right. But I mean, with gifted kids, I think there’s more weight on them, because they think, oh, it’s like a huge potential. But potential doesn’t have to be becoming a millionaire, or getting a PhD or whatever it can be more about, how do you achieve a sense of equilibrium in what’s meaningful for you. So that could be finding a career or down the road that speaks to you that is really fun and engaging and interesting, because for most gifted kids, if it’s not, they’re going to be miserable. And that we just want you to be happy and find your path, rather than Oh, my gosh, you’d have to be super successful.

Debbie Reber  26:34

I really love that reframe. As you said, equilibrium, I was thinking of integration. But this idea of being able to be a fully expressed self where those parts of who you are, are sparked, or you get to really play in your zone of strength. For most of the time,

Gail Post  26:51

I just want to say I think that’s true for parents as well, that a lot of parents don’t realize their giftedness. And the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. A lot of folks with gifted children, assuming their children are genetically their children, and not necessarily adopted. But if there’s dyadic relationships, they’re probably gifted as well. And interestingly, in this survey for the book, I found that 25% of parents finally realized they were gifted once they had a gifted child. So there were that many people who were never identified, but then saw, Oh, my gosh, I have these same traits. So I think we need to recognize it in ourselves as well.

Debbie Reber  27:28

Yeah, I appreciate that. And that was a great pivot, because I wanted to pivot and start talking about the parent experience, because we have been focusing on our kids. And we’ve touched upon the demands on parents, but you spend a lot of time talking about the emotional rollercoaster that many parents are on, and the really big, uncomfortable emotions parents can experience. You talk about parents who are dealing with guilt with envy, you talk a lot about envy, and I just so appreciated that. And those are things that people can be really uncomfortable to even admit that it’s something they experience. So why did you really want to talk about that emotional experience?

Gail Post  28:10

Well, I think these are sometimes hidden emotions. Most people out in the field or most people in the community know that a lot of parents of gifted folks are worried about their child’s schooling. I mean, that’s a given. That’s widespread. But then there are these other emotions, too. And it could be anxiety about just your parenting. Am I doing the right thing? Am I pushing too much or not enough? What will happen with my child? How do I deal with a child who doesn’t fit in socially? Oh, my gosh, what’s going to happen for them down the road? Are they going to be sad? If they don’t go to prom? Are they going to have trouble in college fitting in with other kids? What’s going to happen for them? There’s also embarrassment. Sometimes our kids really embarrass us, they say something that comes across as rude and insensitive when they’re just sort of pointing out a fact. You know, when they tell the teacher Oh, you know, what you’re saying doesn’t fit with what’s in the book. Teachers don’t like that. Right? You know, it doesn’t go over well, but they’re stating facts. A lot of times they don’t know how to censor themselves, and what’s appropriate social conversation, when they have meltdowns in the grocery store aisle when they won’t do certain things because they don’t like, I don’t know the color of the room that they’re in, you know, because it affects them in a sensory way. So it’s really tough to think, Oh, my child embarrasses me, envy. Also, as you mentioned, that’s a big one that a lot of times we can be envious of the kids who seem to be getting along in school and have lots of friends and they don’t seem to cause their parents much of a struggle, or even families who maybe have more financial wealth and can afford private schools or other extracurriculars that we as parents can’t necessarily envision and the sense of isolation like wow, I don’t want to be one of those parents that from thing It’s because I have this gift to child and parents to other parents are going to think I’m pushy, or I’m weird. And so there’s a lot there. And then ultimately, the guilt, as you mentioned, the sense of Did I do the right thing? Should I have chosen a different path? Should I have done something more?

Debbie Reber  30:15

Yeah, I mean, something I talk with my therapist about regularly because people who know my story and listen to this show know that we’ve had a pretty unconventional last dozen or so years with moving abroad in the homeschooling and doing all kinds of different things. And I don’t know that there’s a day that goes by where I wonder if we do the right thing. And that is a super helpful road to go down. When you are talking about the emotional experiences. You mentioned the word anxiety, but you have done a whole section just on anxiety. And I’m talking about anxiety in parents, why is it such a common experience for parents of gifted and 2e kids to experience that?

Gail Post  30:54

Well, I think most parents of a newborn feel a lot of anxiety and feel anxiety when they’re toddlers throwing tantrums. I mean, there’s different points in all of our lives where we feel anxiety and worries and fears, or when our teenagers are out too late. But there isn’t much of a roadmap for parents of gifted or to eat kids to know well, how do I deal with these different scenarios that are not listed in parenting books, you read things about? Well, just give them a coloring book? And they’ll be fine. They’ll sit quietly in the restaurant, it’s like, No, they won’t, they won’t do that. What are the struggles about what to do? How to set up a situation that is best for my child? And for us, you know, what events can we go to with a child who has a lot of needs? What do we do about expectations? Do we push them? Do we not push them? Do we advocate a lot? Do we change schools? What do we do about their social relationships? There’s so many worries, and again, not a lot of clarity about what works with gifted kids. Because again, if the concern, usually different from one another, but even in the composite sense, there’s just isn’t a lot of research out there about what path works best.

Debbie Reber  32:03

I wanted to talk for a few minutes about gifted kids of color. So we have had episodes about the challenges for gifted kids of color black and brown kids being identified, being overlooked. But I want to talk about the parenting experience are their unique challenges for bipoc parents raising gifted kids in terms of their emotional experience, like we’ve been talking about or navigating school systems, what have you found in your research? Well,

Gail Post  32:31

Well, fortunately, there’s a lot more out there about under identification in minority students in impoverished families in rural settings as well. I mean, it’s pretty widespread that these kids don’t, quote unquote, look gifted a lot of times to the school. So they are overlooked. And there’s a lot about that. But as parents, again, they want to fit in in their community, and there may be less support within their community and outside of their community. There still are some prejudices out there about children of color, who are not seen as gifted, or who may be expressing it in slightly different ways. And parents are put in this difficult position of having to advocate and go up against folks who don’t believe them, which is such a devaluing experience. But fortunately, again, I think there’s a big upswing in terms of awareness about this. Certainly I know NAGC, the National Association for Gifted Children, really works on promoting different ways of identifying and supporting these children.

Debbie Reber  33:40

As a way to start to wrap up our conversation, I do want to talk about the fact that your book really addresses the parenting experience in terms of that self awareness piece. And again, it was in the subtitle, but you wrote that parenting without self awareness is like driving without a roadmap. So what do you mean by that? And why? And what does that actually look like a parent becoming more self aware in their role as the parent of a gifted or 2e kid?

Gail Post  34:06

If we’re not aware of what our motivations are, or where we get our values from, you can feel like you’re floundering all over the place. And gifted kids, all kids really bring challenges to the table. And even if we’re really angry and upset and frustrated and money on screen, just to try to stay grounded in our beliefs and our values of what is important. And we’re going to make mistakes, that’s okay. But to be really clear about that, but without some clarity, we’re going to be influenced by social media by what our neighbor says about children by our childhood experiences, which may not always have been the best. So it’s really hard to kind of figure out what we need to do and the more we’re aware of what our feelings are or separating out our personal needs, you know, if somebody is was part As a child to achieve, they may be hands off, like, I don’t want to push my child, I don’t want them to have the negative experience I did. But yet, maybe they need a little bit of a push. Or if felt socially ostracized as a child, they may be hyper focused on making sure their child is popular to the point of really not allowing the child to express their uniqueness or their quirkiness. So the more we’re aware of our hidden motivations based on maybe some early experiences, but even just influences in the general culture around us, the better we can find that clarity, and separate out what our child needs, from our own needs. And we can also feel more in control and in charge of what we’re doing, and not feel so adrift.

Debbie Reber  35:48

I mean, that really is the ongoing work, isn’t it? Like to notice, okay, I’m getting triggered, I’m getting dysregulated in this moment, what’s mine here? What’s going on? What am I making this mean? So I just really appreciated that that was such a focus of this book.

Gail Post  36:04

Well, thanks. And the other thing is just to try to be aware on a daily basis, you know, like you said, triggers and what triggers you and doing what you can to prevent it. Like, if you know that you’re coming home from work, and you’re really stressed, and hungry and tired, that’s not the time to engage in a battle about homework with your child, you know, you need to chill out a little bit calm down, get Sunday, relax, and then you’ll have the resources. So it’s being attuned to your own resources, and what you can do that works in any given situation. And again, in the book, and in general, what I encourage people is to look at ways that they can understand themselves better through self reflection, through questions about where did this idea come from? How much do I value it? How helpful is this idea or this approach based on what our family needs or what my child needs or what I need? And to just be more clear, it is, like you said, an ongoing process.

Debbie Reber  37:04

Yeah. And your book, also, I don’t know if it’s at the end. But within every chapter, you tend to have questions for reflection, like questions to go deeper and see how this applies in your own life. I thought the questions were great, and really helped to dig in there and see what’s really going on as a way to kind of wrap up if there’s one takeaway, that you want to make sure parents on this journey, leave this conversation, either feeling empowered about or having a deeper awareness of, or to something you’d like them to know, what would that be?

Gail Post  37:35

For the most part, we’re all doing the best we can and doing a darn good job. And even though there’s always room for improvement, through for example, self discovery. That’s not to say that you’re not already doing a good job. You first of all, anybody that’s listening to this podcast, or reading and gathering information about this is an attune parent because they want to learn more. And that really says something about yourself. So do not take anything that I’ve said certainly today, as a criticism, but as maybe an encouragement to grow further.

Debbie Reber  38:09

That’s great, thank you. Where can people find your blog and learn more about your work?

Gail Post  38:14

My blog is Gifted Challenges, just giftedchallenges.com. It’s going on 10 years now, January will be 10 years of doing that. So it’s been a really fun road for me. And I have other articles on medium and indifferent to newsletters through NACG and saying and all those. And my website, regular website is just my name, gailpost.com. And my book can be found in all the different bookseller sites, you know, independent bookstores, I always like to support them, but also, you know, Amazon, Barnes and Noble that I’m in the process of trying to get together some workshops for parents online as well as I mean, I’ve done plenty of them locally, but also to offer some online.

Debbie Reber  38:55

No, that’s great. Well keep us posted on that. I’ll spread the word through till and I know my listeners would be interested in that. And of course, everyone listening I will have links in the show notes page for this episode, for Gail’s book, Gail’s blog Gifted Challenges which I’m sure I was reading long before I started Tilt Parenting. Yeah, congratulations on your upcoming 10 year anniversary. That’s awesome.

Gail Post  39:17

Thank you. Thank you. And I just want to say you do such great work and spreading the word and supporting parents. I really appreciate it.

Debbie Reber  39:25

Thank you. I appreciate that so much. And again, thank you. Thank you for writing this book. Thank you for everything you shared today and I look forward to staying in touch and seeing what you do next. You’ve been listening to the Tilt Parenting podcast. To go deeper into this episode, visit the extensive show notes page. For every episode, there’s a dedicated page on my website with links to all the resources mentioned, a full transcript and a podcast player with key takeaways marked so you can easily go back and re-listen to the sections you’re most interested in. Just go to Tillet parenting.com slash podcast and select this episode. The tiller parenting podcast is hosted by me, Debbie Reber, author of the book Differently Wired and the founder of Tilt Parenting. This episode was edited by Andrea Curtis-Amezquita and show notes were put together by myself, Andrea and Lindsay McFadden. If you get a lot out of this podcast and want to help cover the costs of its production, please consider joining my Patreon campaign. On Patreon, you can sign up to make a small monthly contribution as little as $2 a month and it’s super easy to sign up. Just go to patreon.com/tiltparenting To learn more, or click on the Patreon link on any show notes page. To follow Tilt Parenting on social media, go to @tiltparenting on Instagram and Twitter and on Facebook. Lastly, please help this podcast stay visible and easily found by the listeners who need it by subscribing and leaving a rating or review on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Thank you so much. And that’s all for this week. Stay safe, stay well and take good care. And for more information about this podcast or any of the resources that tilt offers, visit tiltparenting.com


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