RDS is pleased to announce our fall SENG Model Parent Group will hold its first session on September 17th, 2015 at 6:30pm. The group will run for 8-10 weeks. Out of respect for the nature of the group, please only register if you are available to attend every week. Cost for the series is $120 and space is limited to 16 participants. You can register here.

Our Founder Lisa Reid answers some questions for parents about these groups below:

Why are these groups important for parents of gifted kids?

I receive calls from parents every day who are frustrated, heartbroken and confused. Giftedness is so misunderstood by not only the general population, but also by many professionals. People assume that to be gifted is a blessing, when in fact it often brings a host of challenges ranging from intensities and emotional challenges to underachievement. Given the lack of awareness of the nature of many gifted, and especially 2e children, parents are often left feeling very alone. This is in addition to managing the challenges associated with raising a child with special needs. I can provide all of the resources and advice in the world but it is not the same as hearing someone else tell your story and relating to it. Parents share their experiences and they learn from one another. It is a huge relief for them to be able to feel as though they have a community that “gets it”, is supportive and nonjudgmental, and can provide hope and guidance through common experiences. The bonding and growth that occurs in the group is a beautiful and inspiring thing to see.

What are some activities that take place in a typical group?

Each week, parents read a chapter from A Parents Guide to Gifted Children. In addition, they receive “homework” that consists of one new parenting approach that they will try during the week. At the beginning of each session, parents have an opportunity to share and reflect upon the impact of the approach. In addition, they reflect upon the reading, which includes some key points for discussion. Some topics include but are not limited to, Characteristics of Gifted Children, Motivation, Friendships, Communication and Teaching Self-Management. As facilitators, we guide the conversation, but we are not present to lecture or give advice. These are group-initiated discussions.

How can peer camaraderie and community benefit parents of gifted kids?

The most important and repeated testimony we see is “I don’t feel as alone now.” People make friends, learn about themselves and their children and gain a new and positive perspective toward the way in which their child is experiencing life.

What do parents learn in these groups? Give me some concrete examples.

-Myths about Gifted Children

-Understanding neuropsychological profiles and learning styles

-Communication strategies (active listening, separating behaviors from feelings, understanding how our beliefs impact our behavior, encouragement)

-Learning how to start where the child is and recognize their needs. Develop an understanding of the root of behavior and lacking motivation.

-Positive communication – dealing with perfectionism

-Managing negative self-talk and modeling positive behavior

-Managing idealism and depression

-The difference between discipline and punishment

-How to set limits (setting limits because you care)

-Consistency

-Creating clear expectations

-Understanding asynchronous development

-How to be a strong advocate for your child as opposed to being a pushy parent

-Caring for yourself as a parent

Anything else to add?

The transformation that occurs within groups as they come to know, trust and learn from one another is truly incredible.

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