Discipline and Your Gifted Child

gifted discipline

A popular axiom states that kids don’t come with a user’s guide. For parents of gifted children, it seems their children have read all the user’s guides and are determined to prove them all wrong. How do we teach our gifted kids right from wrong, help them navigate the complexities of social interactions, and guide them toward making good choices, when nothing in the parenting books or magazines works? GHF Bloggers have been there, done that, and now share their experiences and insights. What worked? What failed epically? What would they do differently? Read their stories to discover positive ways to use discipline to strengthen our gifted children’s self-esteem and ability to make wise choices.


gifted disciplineFostering Self-Discipline ~ Free Learning (Julie Schneider)

Four important aspects for fostering self-discipline: The Purpose of Discipline, Making a Path, Establishing Routine, and the Yes Bank.


gifted discipline

F@#K Sticker Charts ~ The Fringy Bit (Heather Boorman)

Sticker charts can be motivating, kind of, for some kids and for specific situations with short term effects. Generally, though, they fail miserably. And this is with the general population. With gifted/2e kids, those sticker charts tend to backfire much more quickly.


gifted disciplineHow to discipline your gifted child ~ Gifted Challenges (Gail Post)

Gifted children can present quite a challenge when it comes to discipline. Whether throwing a tantrum mid-aisle at the grocery store, or questioning your rules with legalistic flair, your gifted child is no stranger to intensity… or conflict… or pushing the limits. What can parents do?


gifted disciplineOur Take on Positive Discipline: From Stickers and Star Charts to Dean’s List ~ BJ’s Homeschool (Betsy Sproger)

You hear that sticker charts and the like don’t work with gifted kids…But for us they were a godsend. We started using them just for simple things like chores and homeschool studies, but then they actually became a way to deal with problem behaviors. And she came out the winner. The tantrums and the acting out diminished… It took a lot of work as a parent, to think of what would be the opposite of things, to support her feelings even though thebehavior was not ok, and to be as consistent. But it was SO worth it.


gifted disciplineUnderstanding Extreme Gifted-Boy Behavior ~ Help My Child Thrive (Teresa Currivan)

Some gifted boys can be extremely sensitive about how they are perceived by the adults in their lives, even though they do not show it. Add behaviors that mask their sensitivities and adults who are (understandably) losing faith in them, and you get a negative feedback loop.


gifted disciplineWant to Have Your Heart Broken? Take a Close Look at an Angry Gifted Kid ~ Not So Formulaic (Ginny Kochis)

I have angry kids. They are also brilliant, sensitive, loving, and empathetic, but those things don’t garner the attention of authority figures in a school or enrichment class.

What does? Hitting the art teacher. Telling a fellow student to “bug off, you black-hearted maggot.” Responding to direction with “you can’t force me to do anything.”
Throwing a glass figurine across the room so it breaks.
Yep. Nothing makes you question your parenting ability (read: sanity) than a child who’s the perpetrator in an incident report. Or a child who makes you flinch. Or makes your fingers hover over the dial pad of your smartphone. But I’ve learned something over my years of parenting – the rage is never anger for anger’s sake. Rather, it’s a first line defense for a much deeper emotion. Punishment doesn’t do anything. It’s understanding and forgiveness that does.

Resources for Understanding Giftedness

gifted resources

Giftedness is not just test scores or academic achievement. It’s not all difficulties, either. Jokes about duct tape and soundproof closets aside, it can be helpful to understand what your child is feeling, how they are developing, and what they were thinking when they asked that unusual question or performed that dangerous experiment alone out in the shed (and how do you explain the damage to your neighbors?). After all, not all children are gifted and  all gifted children do not learn alike. These kids are asynchronous, intense, and endlessly fascinating to live with. Sometimes their giftedness may be easy to communicate to others in the community, but sometimes it’s hidden by twice exceptional (2e) issues or by the expanded complexity of race and culture (Gifted Cubed). Having a gifted or 2e teenager can add a whole new layer of complication to parenting. Additional resources here give some perspective to those of us raising such children and reassure us that we are not alone.


Don’t miss these topical books from GHF Press:

when homeschooling is a dragWriting Your Own Script: A Parent’s Role in the Gifted Child’s Social DevelopmentMaking the Choice: When Typical School Doesn’t Fit Your Atypical Child

by Corin Barsily Goodwin and Mika Gustavson, MFT

Parents of asynchronous children are often criticized as “helicopter parents” for being overly involved in their child’s social development; others take a hands-off approach out of fear or self-doubt. In this book,  the authors have turned their focus from finding the right academic environment for your child to exploring what we need to know and how we know when we are doing too much or too little to create age- and intellectually appropriate social opportunities for our children. Includes explanations of Dabrowski’s Overexcitabilities, stages of friendship, and how to address conflict with others in a variety of situations.


If This is a Gift Can I Send it Back - New Book by Jen Merrill

If This is a Gift, Can I Send it Back?: Surviving in the Land of the Gifted and Twice-Exceptional

by Jen Merrill

When is life like a prize fight, a garden, and a quiz show, all hurtling down the road on an office chair, wrapped in song? When you’re living in the land of the gifted and twice exceptional. Jen Merrill, author of the Laughing at Chaos blog, brings laughter, tears, and honesty to her latest book by GHF Press, If This is a Gift, Can I Send it Back?: Surviving in the Land of the Gifted and Twice Exceptional. Join Jen on her journey through discovery, understanding, and acceptance, as she copes with the challenges that only the gifted and twice exceptional can create. So, pull up a chair, pour a glass of wine, and start reading. You’ll swear Jen’s written about you!



GHF also offers resources for understanding your gifted/2e child’s social needs and finding community for yourself and for your child. Check out our online classes, where kids make friends and gain mentors. Dear GHF also answers questions about


FREE Downloadable Brochures:
The Healthcare Providers’ Guide to Gifted Children
The Educators’ Guide to Gifted Children
Twice Exceptional—Smart Kids with Learning Differences
Gifted Cubed — The Expanded Complexity of Race & Culture

What is a Blog Hop?

A Blog Hop is a way to discover and follow blogs, as well as share your own. Every month or two, we pose a topic, our blogging members discuss it, and we link to their posts. GHF blog hops include bloggers from around the world, all of them committed to articulating the unique concerns, needs, and perspectives of gifted/2e families, especially (but not exclusively) those who choose non-traditional education for their kids.

Past Blog Hops

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