Reviewed by Davidson Institute for Talent Development.
Coping for Capable Kids: Strategies for Parents, Teachers, and Students is the collaboration of Dr. Leonora M. Cohen and Dr. Erica Frydenberg. Both experts in their respective fields, Cohen has worked in may facets of gifted education for more than 27 years. Frydenberg is an educational and clinical psychologist who helped to develop The adolescent Coping Scales (ACS), a tool used for assessing which strategies adolescents use to cope with their concerns. Coping for Capable Kids is a two-in-one guidebook that was developed by the pair for parents, teachers and students to develop a better understanding of giftedness, common problems that prodigious students face, as well as strategies that bright children can use to cope.
The parent/teacher component to Coping for Capable Kids an informative beginning read. The authors define giftedness and discuss its aspects at length, as well as common problems that gifted children may encounter. Cohen and Frydenberg include a section specific for teachers detailing how they can help capable students cope in their classrooms that prefaces a chapter on family functioning and coping.
The student edition for Coping for Capable Kids is a user friendly guide for capable children. The authors clarify the terms “coping” and “capable,” delve into how emotions work and what young people can do to change their negative thinking, and the 18 coping strategies created in the development of the ACS. They follow up the strategies with case studies of students much like themselves as well as “tried and true” activities to help kids develop coping skills.
With the title of the book being Coping for Capable Kids, one would expect to be immediately immersed in how to help exceptional young people cope with common problems. However, the authors take a lengthy yet indirect approach to revealing the entitled information in the adult section. The parent/teacher edition of this book will assist parents and teachers unfamiliar with gifted children, become aware of their potential characteristics and learn techniques they can use to model coping skills. Readers, who feel familiar with precocious young people and are looking for direct strategies, will perhaps find the student edition more practical, as it is clearly written with brevity in mind.
Coping for Capable Kids has the potential to be an instructive resource for parents, teachers and students if utilized collectively and both the parent/teacher and student edition are read in their entirely.
This article is provided as a service of the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to supporting profoundly gifted young people 18 and under. To learn more about the Davidson Institute’s programs, please visit www.DavidsonGifted.org.
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