Mind Over… Emotion?

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This word perfectly describes the gifted childs not-so-strong point. So many gifted children have so many things going on in their head all at once, and sometimes that causes trouble on the outside. Sadly, as a nation, we have a problem with name-calling. We label these children and teens as “problem kids”. I’ve heard it done and I’ve seen the emotional toll it can take.

Now we have a child who already has difficulty expressing him/herself and so acts out because he feels he/she is being called names. What does that do? It makes more emotions. Which he can’t express well. Which leads to negative actions. Do you see the negative train? It’s a vicious cycle that will continue throughout his/her life. Unless parents/teachers/educational helpers, etc. help derail it and merge onto a more positive line. Because everybody can help, not just the parents or just the principal. It takes a team effort.

I myself still have trouble vocalizing my emotions. And when I say trouble, I mean I don’t do it barely at all. Gifted children, as stated in an earlier article here, don’t always like being asked how they feel. We can be almost analytical and would rather be asked “what happened”. After which, you’ll probably have to wait quite a bit to get the whole story but during which you can clearly see their emotions on their sleeve. And this is something not many people realize.

I’ll cover more later, but giftedness isn’t all about being smart. It’s an emotional thing as well. We tend to get overstimulated by certain”triggers” so to speak. We have what some would think are the “silliest” quirks. But to us, they’re the world. So, when they are put down or misunderstood or ignored, etc. we become emotional. And sometimes it shows. And not in a good way. A lot act out, leading to the previous stated situation. But what can you do to help your child or student?

Get them to tell you what happened. Don’t talk. Listen and nod. When their hearts are emptied, commend them. For anything and everything they did good. Thank them for telling you. And then, reason with them about what they should have done. Don’t tell them. Have them analyze how a different behavior or reaction would have worked out. Appeal to their intellect but not their ego. In this way, you’re teaching them to slow down, think, and then react. This also can help with overstimulation. When there’s a hundred things going on in our heads, we don’t often “slow down”. In most cases, that’s ok. But in others, not so much. More on that later. For now, help your child or student feel comfortable expressing him/herself and teach them how to. And overall, love them and watch them grow!