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Top 10 Books on Parenting Gifted Children

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Updated June 27, 2014

Parents of gifted children soon discover that most books on parenting don't seem to apply to their children. These parents need books specifically about parenting gifted children. Here are ten of the best books available. They range from beginner books with basic information to more detailed books. Some focus more on school issues, while others focus more on personal issues. One is even directed at grandparents of gifted kids! The more parents read, the better they will understand their kids.

1. You Know Your Child Is Gifted When...

Boy building wooden airplane model
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The subtitle of this book is "A Beginner's Guide to Life on the Bright Side." It is definitely a beginner's guide to living with bright kids. Chapters are organized around some characteristics of gifted children, such as curiosity. Each chapter is then broken down into little chunks of information, often as bulleted lists, which includes the pros and cons of the trait and what parents can do for and about it. It is a simple and often humorous overview, and is not intended to provide depth.
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2. Keys to Parenting the Gifted Child

This book by Sylvia Rimm is another beginner's guide, but with more depth than You Know Your Child is Gifted When.... It covers issues of gifted children at home, such as sibling rivalry and relationships with the extended family as well issues at school, such as testing and homework. It also covers other issues, such as perfectionism and peer pressure. It can't cover the issues of gifted children extensively, but it is a good place for parents to start understanding their gifted children.
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3. The Survival Guide for Parents of Gifted Kids

This short book answers some common questions parents of gifted children have, questions like "How hard and how far should I push my child?" It covers characteristics and behaviors at school and how to handle them. It also covers advocacy, providing suggestions on how to advocate successfully for your child with teachers, school boards, and even state legislators. It provides a brief history of gifted education and discusses some myths of giftedness. It's primary focus is on school-age kids.
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4. Guiding the Gifted Child

This book is one of the classic books for parents of gifted children. While The Survival Guide for Parents of Gifted Kids spends much time on school, this books covers more personal issues. It has chapters on issues such as motivation, discipline, stress management, sibling rivalry, and depression, with each chapter providing tips on how parents can help their kids with these issues.
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5. Parents' Guide to Raising a Gifted Child

When you're ready for more in-depth reading about gifted kids, this is the book to get. It is comprehensive and informative, but also readable and practical. It provides strategies for determining whether a child is gifted as well as ways to nurture a child's gifts and talents, and explains how gifted children can become bored, socially aggressive, and even underachieving if not appropriately challenged. It also provides tips for parents to help them cope with their own doubts and fears.
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6. Parents' Guide to Raising a Gifted Toddler

This book is the sequel to Parents' Guide to Raising a Gifted Child. As informative and comprehensive as the first book, this one is geared more toward parenting toddlers, although some of the information is similar, for example, what can happen if a gifted child is not challenged. If you're the parent of a gifted toddler and you're looking for some in-depth information about gifted children, this book is an excellent choice.
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7. Raisin' Brains: Surviving My Smart Family

If you want to learn more about gifted children (and other family members) and want a good laugh while you're at it, then this is the book to read. Karen Isaacson has captured the essence of the gifted family, with both its blessings and its curses and has done it with humor. The purpose of the book, however, is not simply to provide parents of gifted children with some much needed humor; it also contains plenty of information about raising and living with a gifted child.
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8. Being Smart About Gifted Children: A Guidebook For Parents And Educators

Here is a comprehensive book that dispels many myths about gifted children as it explains how to identify these children. It covers a wide range of issues from testing to labeling, from social and emotional issues to learning problems. It also covers educational and enrichment programs, both in and out of school, as well as behavioral issues. This book will provide parents with the information they need to help them make good and informed decisions concerning their gifted child.
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9. Parenting Gifted Kids: Tips for Raising Happy And Successful Children

Dr. Delisle provides tips to help parents with their gifted children at home and at school. He starts with an explanation of what giftedness is -- and is not, then moves on to discuss inclusion and other school issues affecting gifted children, perfectionism, and underachievement. He also gives advice on how to help a gifted child set and achieve life goals. With examples that most parents of gifted kids can relate to, Delisle presents his tips with a touch of humor parents of gifted kids need!
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10. Grandparents' Guide to Gifted Children

While this book contains much of the same information as other parenting books, it presents it specifically for grandparents. It has additional information the other books don't have, such as the unique role a grandparent has in the life of a gifted child. It also discusses such practical matters as estate and financial planning fora gifted grandchild. It's a wonderful resources for any grandparent of a gifted child.
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