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Stress and Giftedness

"Is a Gifted Student More Likely to Feel Stress than Others?
Many gifted youngsters have a heightened sensitivity to their surroundings, to events, to ideas, and to expectations. Some experience their own high expectations for achievement as a relentless pressure to excel. Constant striving to live up to self-expectations--or those of others-- to be first, best, or both can be very stressful. With every new course, new teacher, or new school questions arise about achievement and performance, since every new situation carries with it the frightening risk of being mediocre. Striving becomes even more stressful when unrealistic or unclear expectations are imposed by adults or peers. The pressure to excel, accompanied by other concerns such as feeling different, self-doubt (the "impostor" syndrome), and the need to prove their giftedness can drain the energy of gifted students and result in additional stress."
  Leslie S. Kaplan, Helping Gifted Students with Stress Management, ERIC Digest E488

Also visit Social / Emotional, Sensitivities, Counseling, Depression and Suicide, Spirituality and Dabrowski's Theory... and Social Stuff in Hot Topics! for great Social/Emotional books for our kids...

Guiding the Gifted Child: A Practical Source for Parents and Teachers Recommended by James T. Webb, Elizabeth A.
Meckstroth, Stephanie S. Tolan. Considered the classic text of this field, this book is now in its 18th printing, and has sold over 100,000 copies! Called the "Dr. Spock" for parents of gifted children, it deals with the issues of motivation, discipline, peer relations, sibling rivalry, stress management and depression. The Wall Street Journal called it "An excellent book," and it was awarded the National Media Award from the American Psychological Association...
 
"Play Partner" or "Sure Shelter"? Why gifted children prefer older friends.. Recommended by Miraca Gross
A recent Australian study compared conceptions of friendship held by average ability students, moderately gifted and highly gifted primary school students. "The following incident is only one of many which have brought home to me, over the last few years, the distress experienced by gifted children who think, rapturously, that they have found a friend, only to discover they have simply made an acquaintance..."
 
The Fourth R: Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Relaxation by Ron Rubenzer, in Insights, a publication of the Duke University Talent Identification Program
Competition can be a good thing, because it can make everyone perform just a little better.  But taken too far, competition can lead students to feel overwhelmed.  One out of three college freshman feels overwhelmed, and many high schoolers feel overwhelmed by achievement stress.  You can get the proper grip on competition by following these recommendations ...
 
Helping Gifted Students with Stress Management (ERIC Digest E488) by Leslie S. Kaplan
How can a youngster experience stress when nothing bad is happening?  Is a gifted student more likely to feel stress than others?  And more important, How can parents, teachers and counselors reduce stress on gifted students?
 
Homework Without Tears: A Parent's Guide For Motivating Children to Do Homework and to Succeed in School by Lee Canter and Lee Hausner
The help parents need to create an unstressful learning environment in the home and motivate their youngsters to succeed in school...
 
Joy and Loss: The Emotional Lives of Gifted Children by Joshua Freedman and Anabel Jensen
For most gifted children, childhood is more pleasurable and more fulfilling because they derive joy from challenge and reward from work. At the same time, it is a childhood that is more painful, more isolated, and more stressful because they do not fit in with their peers and they set high expectations.
 
"Mellow out" They Say. If I Only Could: Intensities and Sensitivities of the Young and Bright by Michael M. Piechowski (also visit Piechowski's site "Mellow out" They Say...)
“The purpose of this book is to give voice to the emotional life of bright young people, to show how their intensities and sensitivities make them more alive, more creative, and more in love with the world and its wonders” (Chapter 1)
 
One Minute Test-taking Tips by Ronald L. Rubenzer
The "testing triathlon": being fact smart, test smart, stress smart.  Left-brain, right-brain, and both-brain activities to assure test preparedness... (requires Adobe Reader)
 
Psychologist Blames Stress for Gifted Students' Misbehavior by Susan Walton, in EdWeek
Some high-school dropouts, chronic truants, and classroom daydreamers may be very bright children who use inappropriate behavior as a way to ease the distinctive stresses they and others like them often experience in schools...
 
Stress Can Really Get on Your Nerves! by Trevor Romain and Elizabeth Verdick
Uses silly jokes and light-hearted cartoons along with serious advice to help readers recognize the causes of stress and its effects and learn how to handle worry, anxiety, and stress...
 
Too Stressed To Think?: A Teen Guide To Staying Sane When Life Makes You Crazy by Annie Fox and Ruth Kirschner
Basics on stress and stress management, then details on the most stressful stuff in teen lives: family, friends, school, and boyfriends / girlfriends ...
 
Young + Brilliant, Blessed + Cursed by Patti Hartigan, The Boston Globe
They are barely into their teens, yet they are declared the next Mozart or even a modern Messiah. But child prodigies are often both misunderstood and openly ostracized, and, as adults, they struggle under the burden of their astonishing intelligence...
 

Last updated July 01, 2016


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