Friday, October 10, 2014

Resource Review: A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children by James T. Webb, Janet L. Gore, Edward R. Amend, and Arlene R. DeVries

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Most of my resource reviews, it seems, are books. This is because I am absolutely addicted to books - if I don't lose sight of it, I'll read it. Usually multiple times, and generally enough to justify buying both ebook and hardcopy.  Unsurprisingly, this is also the case with A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children, and the corollary (affiliate link) Grandparent's Guide to Gifted Children. I've put both together here as they cover very much the same things, just one with an eye toward the parents, the other the grandparents. Big duh there, I'm sure, but all the same worth noting.

I picked up Grandparent's Guide first, largely because when we figured out what was going on with Mad Natter, Hammie and Buppa were having some issues with the idea that we might be pushing Mad Natter into things he wasn't ready for, rather than hanging on for dear life while we flung things at him and hoped they'd hold his interest. I bought A Parent's Guide at the same time, but as it was shipping from Amazon, and to Mooselandia, rather than to suburban Chicago, it was going to take a while - and Grandparent's Guide was available in my library, A Parent's Guide was not. Anyway, I skimmed over Grandparent's Guide and hopped over to buy it straight away. I had it sent directly to Hammie and Buppa, and told them it was coming, and it would help. I'm still not 100% certain they've read it, but given that we have many fewer troubles now, I'm going to say at least Hammie did.

I read A Parent's Guide significantly more thoroughly. The topics it covers are very similar to The Everything Parent's Guide to Raising a Gifted Child, but this book is written from a more clinical standpoint - while The Everything Parent's Guide covers a wide range of topics relating to giftedness with the "right beside you" feel of an Everything book, A Parent's Guide reads from a bit more of a distance. The book is not intended to be a textbook, but the authors are extremely cognizant of the fact that the bulk of their readership will be gifted adults.

This book was actually an invaluable resource. Alongside the Grandparent's version, it has helped mitigate a lot of stress in our lives. I would issue the caveat, however, that it's probably not the best "first" book. If you've never read anything on giftedness before, I would probably suggest that this not be the book to start with. If you're only planning to ever buy one book on the topic of gifted children, then absolutely purchase this one. But if you're looking to get started, you might choose this one second.  It covers a tremendous array of topics, including Finding A Good Educational Fit, Is Testing Needed, Complexities of Successful Parenting, and Intensity, Perfectionism, and Stress, all of which are topics that can be difficult to navigate on ones own - and finding intelligible and immediately digestible information on them can be daunting.

All told, A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children is a valuable tool to have in your back pocket. It has many anecdotes for illustration, tips and tricks, and is remarkably good at keeping things low key. While it's not inherently a beginner's guide, it is one that will undoubtedly be incredibly useful along the way.