Great Potential Press
BOOK REVIEW (Davidson Institute) – This is a review of Lisa Rivero’s book, A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Teens: Living with Intense and Creative Adolescents.
Reviewed by the Davidson Institute of Talent Development.
As a parent of a gifted student herself, Lisa Rivero writes as one parent sharing her experiences with another parent in hopes of offering suggestions for raising gifted teens. Rivero emphasizes the importance of parenting, and creating a home that is safe and a good fit for the child through four different themes: asynchrony, intensity, precocity and parenting needs. She also includes numerous resources, additional readings and opportunities for gifted teens throughout the book.
A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Teens starts with the basics of describing giftedness and talent, while recognizing these things do not have simple definitions and no two teens are going to fit the same mold. Rivero stresses embracing giftedness as an entire family, and talking to teens about their specific gifts and talents while knowing “it’s important for teens to know that being gifted does not automatically make one successful . . . we need skills of organization and old-fashioned hard work to get things done.”
This book does not stop at talking with teens about their giftedness; Rivero also includes tips and techniques on developing teens’ creativity first by breaking down divergent thinking into fluency, flexibility, originality and elaboration since many tests of creativity look at these aspects. Focusing on creativity Rivero examines Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s theory of Flow and suggests skills, such as goal setting and time management, in order to achieve Flow.
Knowing there are many dynamics to “intense and creative” adolescents, Rivero clearly explores overexcitabilities, including intellectual, emotional, imaginational, psychomotor and sensual overexcitabilities.
With the whole family in mind, Rivero was sure to include a chapter titled “The Gifted Parent” that allows parents to look at their own excitabilities and intensities. In addition to Rivero’s in-depth definitions, thorough suggestions and overall insight, she offers additional resources and readings at the end of each chapter.
While this book’s main audience is parents, it’s a great resource for any teacher, counselor or other professional.