Friday, October 3, 2014

Book Review! The Everything Parent's Guide to Raising a Gifted Child by Sarah Herbert Robbins

I meant to get this review up ages ago, but then life happened, and NOPE. Nearly three years ago, when Mad Natter was already reading and doing basic math in preschool, and I was wondering why he was the only kid there who wasn't able to write at least a little bit of his own name, his cousin was tested and diagnosed as Gifted. WonderGirl (who is my cousin's daughter) was just like Mad Natter when she was his age, and I started to think maybe that was what was going on with my little monkey. We ran through a "Five Levels of Gifted" milestone assessment, and Mad Natter scored with an above-average IQ, even at just three years of age (the test is designed for 6+). Because this is me, I immediately hit the bookstore.  One of the first books I picked up was The Everything Parent's Guide to Raising a Gifted Child.

I learn best by inundating myself with information, allowing it to settle, and then letting it kick around in the back of my head for a week or two.  Unsurprisingly, this is also how I blog.  But, when you're staring a great big thing like "dear god, what do I DO!?!" in the face, there never feels like there's enough time to let everything settle out. I have to say that I'm exceptionally glad I have this book.  I refer to it fairly often, particularly when I'm having issues I don't understand.  You see, this book not only helps me cope with Mad Natter and what it means for him to be gifted, but it helps me understand what it means for me to be the gifted parent of a gifted child. When overexcitabilities collide, discipline, dealing with the overly literal, and spontaneous "I don't want you to ever die!" declarations.

There is, quite literally, a chapter about nearly everything. Mostly what seems to be missing is a camera in my living room.  Everything else is there. How giftedness is different for girls than boys? That's in there. The signs of giftedness in the preschool set? Yep, that's there, too. What is 'normal' for parents of gifted kids - oh, the commiseration is wonderful. The validation that it's not only not just me, but also that I'm not (entirely) crazy?  Priceless. Ranging from discipline to perfectionism, Dabrowski to planning and everything in between, it's actually all in there.  It's not an in-depth psychology textbook, it's not a step-by-step guide.  It's one of the very, very few "The Whatever Guide to" books that has actually been helpful to me. It is a spectacular place to start, covering all the basics and then some - without overwhelming the reader. As is typical in this format, there are callouts for websites and bonus tidbits of information, and I can't think of a single one of them that wasn't helpful in one way or another. If you're just getting started on the journey, I would humbly suggest this book to you - not only is it a good foundation for the crazy you're about to embark on, but it's written in enough of a no-nonsense yet friendly style that reading it helps bring panic levels from bordering on screaming and head-spinning down to deep breathing and "I can do this."  It's friendly, accessible, informative-yet-supportive, and I really do think it's beyond worth the money.

Okay, I'm going to give this a whirl.  I am now a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to  My affiliate link for this book is here:

The Everything Parent's Guide to Raising a Gifted Child: All you need to know to meet your child's emotional, social, and academic needs (Everything (Parenting))