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HSP and gifted

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Dear all , I have a Highly Sensitive gifted child (almost 7 years old) Little things make him sad and angry. He doesn't want to learn anything . I really don't know what to do with him. If I give him easy work he doesn't want to do it because he believes baby's can do this work. If I give him harder work which I know he can he doesn't want to do it because it is to much .I really don't know what to do with him. He also can't play with his brothers he always will have a fight with them. He gets upset very quickly and the friends of his older brother don't want to play with him because of that . I really don't know what to do with him . I am afrraid that he will stay like this . I have read many hsp books but still nothing works with him.

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At 7, we didn't pressure at all.  Younger DS went to regular B&M school, and we waited until he started asking for more.  We started home schooling at 8, and he accelerated like mad.

 

Sometimes, it's like food - picky eaters will try things if the options are available around them.  The only thing you can't do is tell/ask them to try the options.  They will eat something.

 

If it becomes severe - not just a problem for parental sensibilities, but really a problem for the child - then I would recommend visiting with a professional.  "Highly sensitive" could actually be an anxiety disorder.

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In our case, my highly sensitive girl has both an anxiety disorder and ADHD. Professional help was definitely needed for me to make progress with her.

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I'm working through this book with my 7ds. We've just started, so I'm not sure if it will help long term, but I like it so far.

 

What to Do When Your Temper Flares: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Problems With Anger (What to Do Guides for Kids) By Dawn Huebner

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One of the hardest aspects to starting Applied Behavioral Analysis therapy was having the Behavior Analyst point out (nicely but firmly) all the ways I was unintentionally reinforcing negative behaviors. If you give in to tantrumming, that just teaches the child that tantrumming works and he'll be even more likely to do it.

 

You need to be firm and not give in to tantrumming. It's hard at first to break the cycle but if you stand your ground, it WORKS.

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One of the hardest aspects to starting Applied Behavioral Analysis therapy was having the Behavior Analyst point out (nicely but firmly) all the ways I was unintentionally reinforcing negative behaviors. If you give in to tantrumming, that just teaches the child that tantrumming works and he'll be even more likely to do it.

 

You need to be firm and not give in to tantrumming. It's hard at first to break the cycle but if you stand your ground, it WORKS.

 

For tantrums, this is true.  For disorders, it can have exactly the opposite effect, and entrench the disorder.  It's why I recommend a professional opinion.

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:grouphug:

 

The child is fortunate to have a mother so actively engaged in helping him!  This can't be easy! 

 

If the child is not able to productively engage academics AND struggles with other activities (like playing with siblings and other friends) then clearly you need to find something to help him have days that are constructive and satisfying. 

 

For my older child, gifted and a HSP, having to do formal academic work at a young age left him able to play more constructively the rest of the time, though school work was always a struggle.  If it is the case that, after struggling with you about school for a while, he then plays more happily, then you might want to just make sure he does a good amount of formal work.  I still spend so much energy just getting my child to work (though things are much better) that I work with a boxed curriculum as a spine (we're using Memoria Press) and even though I'm substituting most of the components, and re-purposing the rest, the structure helps. 

 

In addition to the Highly Sensitive literature, I've done a lot of general reading about parenting.  These children require extraordinary parenting skills!  High structure + high affection, with a lot of control over my emotional affect (I work hard to not show more anger/frustration than an emotional "neutral", but make sure that I show positive emotion generously and enthusiastically) and being sure not to reward disruptive behaviors, as Crimson Wife suggested. 

 

The special needs forum at Memoria Press is terrific if you want another place to sound concerns about behavior, though the focus is not gifted learners.  MP is a Christian curriculum, so if you are not Christian it might seem awkward, but people there will do their best to give good feedback.  If you are Christian I'd definitely consider getting a perspective over there, either on the main board or the special needs one; several mothers had experiences similar to mine, with very bright, very intense, very not-willing-to-do-school kids, some with diagnoses (such as anxiety or behavioral disorders) and some without.  

 

And of course, if there is the Learning Challenges board here -- they will have a good deal of experience with entering the world of professional evaluations, if that seems appropriate to you. 

 

hang in there! 

 

ETA: I want to be carefully clear that I don't think your parenting is the cause of these problems, nor necessarily the solution.  We have been able to help my older son ourselves, at home, with very careful parenting and management of his environment; but many children have challenges beyond the scope of even the best parent's care.  Another hug!

Edited by serendipitous journey

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OP, I was just re-reading your post ... I have a few questions, that might make it easier for folks on this board to give you even better help. 

 

Dear all , I have a Highly Sensitive gifted child (almost 7 years old) Little things make him sad and angry. He doesn't want to learn anything . I really don't know what to do with him. If I give him easy work he doesn't want to do it because he believes baby's can do this work. If I give him harder work which I know he can he doesn't want to do it because it is to much .I really don't know what to do with him. He also can't play with his brothers he always will have a fight with them. He gets upset very quickly and the friends of his older brother don't want to play with him because of that . I really don't know what to do with him . I am afrraid that he will stay like this . I have read many hsp books but still nothing works with him.

 

What sort of little things make him sad and angry?  How often?

 

What formal academics are you doing, or trying to do, with him? 

 

Can he play happily on his own?

 

Do you know why he gets up set with other children when he plays with them?

 

Does he show understanding of how some other people feel?  Not all of the time, but sometimes relating to another person's happiness or sorrow?

 

This might help give some insight ...
 

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