BOOK REVIEW (Davidson Institute) – Tracy Ford Inman, Ed.D., and Jana Kirchner, Ph.D., write from the perspective of their experience as educators and parents of gifted children. Inman and Kirchner provide a practical foundation for the basics of parenting gifted children in their book Parenting Gifted Children 101: An Introduction to Gifted Kids and Their Needs. Using both research excerpts and first-hand testimonials, they provide not only the reassurance of others experience but also the resources to delve deeper into the subject of parenting gifted children.
Reviewed by Davidson Institute for Talent Development
Tracy Ford Inman, Ed.D., and Jana Kirchner, Ph.D., write from the perspective of their experience as educators and parents of gifted children. Inman and Kirchner provide a practical foundation for the basics of parenting gifted children in their book Parenting Gifted Children 101: An Introduction to Gifted Kids and Their Needs. Using both research excerpts and first-hand testimonials, they provide not only reassurance through others’ experiences but also the resources to delve deeper into the subject of parenting gifted children. Topics include myths about gifted children, characteristics of the gifted, the how and whys of advocacy, social and emotional issues and needs, strategies for partnering with your child’s school, and more.
The introduction to book begins with an apt quote:
The authors use Gallagher’s words to set up the mission of this introductory text; namely, to advocate for the identification, nurturing, and success of gifted children. However, the tone of the book itself is approachable and often humorous, with moments of impassioned calls for understanding giftedness. The authors organize sections with commonly asked questions, such as Chapter 5 “What Should School Look Like for my Child?”, to allow families the freedom to either move linearly through the text or pick the topic most relevant for them.
While the contents of the book may be no surprise to those who have done some preliminary research on parenting gifted children, this book does have some aspects that set it apart from others. The authors provide several easy-to-read charts for concise overviews and impact assessments on subjects like types of acceleration, IQ interpretation, and different types of grouping practices in school. Another unique feature of this book is its ability to synthesize researchers’ findings with personal accounts. This holistic perspective has the advantage of uniting the big picture to everyday at-home experiences. Lastly, each chapter ends with the sections “Implications for Home” and “Implications for School” that provide ways families can apply information to their own unique circumstances. These tactics and the authors’ easy-to-read style makes the dense and often confusing terrain of parenting gifted children navigable
Overall, this book is an enjoyable read and a must-have for families new to the world of parenting gifted children. The stories and statistics offer an easy way to explore and maximize your gifted child’s development. This book also provides numerous resources, both at the end of each chapter and at the end of the book, for those looking for additional information. As the authors wisely advise, “You’re reading this book in order to better understand your child and better help him in life’s journey. The most powerful tool you can have in your advocacy toolkit is knowledge” (p. 13).
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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