Wednesday, May 11, 2011

GIVEAWAY: 101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids

Today we're welcoming the amazing and wise Christine Fonseca to discuss her latest book 101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids. As most of you have probably inferred from reading our blog on a semi-regular basis, we're pretty much clueless when it comes to raising children (gifted or otherwise) so Christine's books and practical advice have come in pretty handy over in LiLa Land. Lucky for us we managed to pin down Christine for an interview.

1. Give us your best piece of parenting advice in 140 characters or less.

Oh man, 140 characters or less? Okay, here it goes:

Never do for someone else what they are completely capable of doing for themselves. Instead, remind them just how capable they are.

That works, right??

2. The jury's still out on whether or not our kids are gifted, but how can parents/teachers apply your research to the average Dora-obsessed toddler?

Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students is full of advice that can be applied to almost any child – things like setting a solid foundation at home, one that included rules, consistent consequences, unconditional love and non-emotional parenting (yea, that IS the hard one!). Furthermore, coaching your child to learn to discern the difference between what they can control and what they cannot control is advice for any parenting scenario. The big thing, which I mentioned earlier, is to focus on teaching self-sufficiency. Never do for the child what they can do for themselves. Let them make mistakes, and learn that it is through those mistakes that learning takes place. Let them become empowered by learning they can push through things that are hard without needing to be rescued!

3. What do you think is the most surprising piece of research you've come across?

For 101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids, I interviewed nearly 1000 gifted kids from several countries. What I found the most interesting or surprising were their comments about expectations. Pretty much every kid I interviewed stated that they felt undo pressure from their parents and teachers – pressure to get straight A’s, to always be on top, etc. Interestingly, the parents I interviewed all said the thing they worried about the most was the pressure KIDS put on THEMSELVES to perform. Talk about interesting – neither side saw themselves as a piece of the problem!!!

The truth, in my opinion, both sides apply pressure.

4. Are there things that we as authors can do to better reach gifted children?

The GT kids I spoke with are all readers – but they like complex plots and complex characters. The younger kids liked complex plots as well, and liked characters they could identify with. To reach GT readers, we need to appeal to that desire for complexity, while delivering stories that are rich in both character and storyline.

Another thing – help those GT kids that want to write. I met a lot of would-be writers on my journey. So many, in fact, that I will likely start a writer’s club for teens this summer. These kids have questions, tons of them, on how to break into this industry. We, as authors, are in a great position to mentor and guide them.

5. For parents with younger children, what are some signs that you might be raising a gifted child? (Stealing food? Knowing how to turn on the TV? Constant whining? Extensive building of marble mazes? These are hypotheticals, of course.)

Ha! Many of these things can indicate giftedness. Here are a few other typical indicators that your young child may be gifted:

· Early walkers and talkers

· Very alert

· Gets very fussy if facing in the same direction for too long (in the crib or in a chair, for example)

· Demonstrates a strong desire to explore and learn

· Easily bored with toys and things

· Shows a strong preference for new things.

· Easily frustrated with familiar objects

· Highly intense

· Early reading or math skills

· Demonstrates an early and high interest in numbers and letters

· Lots of "why" questions

· Emotional intensity - may be highly sensitive to their environment, for example

6. Anything else to add?

101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids was specifically written for kids as a resource to give them what they need to grow into their full potential. While it is definitely written with GT kids in mind, I have to say I think the advice is good for any kid. And any adult for that matter. I’m pretty sure this is going to sound super embarrassing, but I have mini ah-ha moments every time I read the book. My hope is that anyone can find their own ah-ha moment.

Amazing, right? I love how Christine's advice is practical and can be applied to ALL kids. Lucky for you guys we have a copy of 101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids to give away today. All you have to do is leave a comment to be entered! If you tweet or Facebook about the contest we'll give you an extra entry. 

In the meantime, learn more about Christine and her books at her Website or Blog and find her on on Facebook or Twitter. And click here to read an excerpt!


Jen Daiker said...

Totally awesome!!! Great interview and I love that you added twitter style at the beginning!!!

KatieO said...

This sounds like a really interesting book. It's funny how many of the "Signs" of a G/T child could also be interpreted as ADD or ADHD, especially by overworked teachers...

wonderful idea to start writing groups for teens!

Katie Anderson said...

I am always so fascinated by Christine's interviews. I must read these books!

Christina Lee said...

Hi Christine (YAY)!!

Love your answers (esp. #1--very wise). I've sent your book to my friend who has a gifted child, but really I should buy it for my own child b/c it does sound very practical! xoxo

Matthew MacNish said...

Christine is awesome! I haven't had the opportunity to read her books, but I've heard nothing but praise.

Also, I'm really excited, because we are now both part of the same group book review blog, and I never used to make it to Christine's blog/website enough.

Nisa said...

That was such a great interview!

Sarah P. said...

I would love to get my hands on this book, as I often suspect that my daughter is gifted. (what parent doesn't suspect such a thing, though, right?)
Great interview. Very interesting topic!

Marsha Sigman said...

So what you're saying is those things that make my kids extremely annoying...could mean they are gifted?

I need more convincing than that.

Lindsay said...

Great interview. I'm sure my goddaughter is gifted (I'm biased naturally). I'll have to get this book for her mum :)

Lisa Potts said...

My daughter switched schools last year in order to start a GT program. I would love to read Christine's book for a little extra insight.

Matthew MacNish said...

It's 7:49 AM over here.

Christine Fonseca said...

Thanks you guys! I just loved hanging out over here.

mromero said...

Looks like a great giveaway! Loved the interview.

Suzanne Klein said...

Sounds like a great book. I need to check it out for my child. Thanks for the great information.

Jackee said...

Christine has so many good things to teach all of us moms! This one is definitely on my list to read.

Thanks, ladies! :o)

Taffy said...

So uplifting and inspiring! THANKS ladies!
Good luck, Christine!

Ashley said...

I am so happy to see someone is writing a book to help parents parent gifted children. Gifted kids are often miss understood and I've seen parents scold children for simply being over curious. My boyfriend and I were both gifted children and often discuss the difficulties we faced trying to learn at our own paces and how difficult it was for our parents. He and I both skipped ahead of our grade in math classes and were teased for it. He was home schooled because he couldn't take the bullying anymore. Gifted kids need gifted programs and the opportunity to learn at there own pace but it's hard to be a kid and stand out. I'm just really glad there are tools becoming available for parents of gifted kids.

Christine Fonseca said...

You guys are all so awesome!

Don't call this a comeback

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