Skip to main content

Gifted 101: Our Favorite Gifted Parenting Books

Gifted Resources

In the information age, even basic research on a topic can be overwhelming. With a topic as broad as gifted parenting, the results can get even more difficult to wade through. Busy parents looking for high quality, practical resources may find themselves getting pulled in many different directions online. To help parents skip the hassle of Googling for hours, we have complied a list of some of the tried and true books on gifted parenting that we turn to again and again in our community. Consider this your gifted parent syllabus that covers the basics – from parenting, to education options, to social-emotional development, and more. While we know there is always more to learn, we hope these books will provide a great foundation of information for your gifted family!

A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children
by James Webb, Janet Gore, Edward Amend, and Arlene DeVries

Raising a gifted child is both a joy and a challenge, yet parents of gifted children have few resources for reliable parenting information. The four authors, who have decades of professional experience with gifted children and their families, provide practical guidance in areas such as: Characteristics of gifted children, peer relations, sibling issues, motivation & underachievement, discipline issues, intensity & stress, depression & unhappiness, educational planning, parenting concerns, finding professional help, and more. Click here to read a full review of this book.

Developing Math Talent: A Comprehensive Guide to Math Education for Gifted Students in Elementary and Middle School
by Susan Assouline and Ann Lupkowski-Shoplik

This book offers a focused look at educating gifted and talented students for success in math. More than just a guidebook for educators and parents, this book offers a comprehensive approach to mathematics education for gifted students of elementary or middle school age. Click here to read a full review of this book.

Doing Poorly on Purpose: Strategies to Reverse Underachievement and Respect Student Dignity
by James Delisle

There is no such thing as a “classic underachiever.” Students are influenced by a wide range of factors, including self-image, self-concept, social-emotional relationships, and the amount of dignity teachers afford their students. Smart, underachieving students need the reassurance that they are capable, valuable, and worth listening to despite their low academic performance. Helping smart students achieve when they don’t want to is not an easy task, but teachers can reengage and inspire students using veteran educator Delisle’s insights and practical advice on these topics: autonomy, access, advocacy, alternatives, aspirations and approachable educators.

Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students: Helping Kids Cope with Explosive Feelings
by Christine Fonseca

Teaching children how to manage their intense emotions is one of the most difficult aspects of parenting or educating gifted children. This book provides readers with helpful, specific information about this population, as well as helpful interventions to attempt that are easy to implement and supported by research. Click here to read a full review of this book.

From School to Homeschool: Should You Homeschool Your Gifted Child?
by Suki Wessling

This book guides parents through the process of considering homeschooling options and educational alternatives for gifted children. The book is filled with practical information and loaded with resources that will get parents off to a good start as they begin their home-schooling journey with their children.

Genius Denied: How to Stop Wasting Our Brightest Young Minds
by Jan Davidson, Bob Davidson, and Laura Vanderkam

With all the talk of failing schools these days, we often forget that schools can fail their brightest students too. This book tells the stories of gifted children who have suffered the tedium of classes years behind their ability level, and others who have excelled while learning in an enriching academic environment. The authors explore the impact of gifted education policy and advocacy efforts in various locations around the United States. Click here to read a full review of this book.

Make Your Worrier a Warrior: A Guide to Conquering Your Child’s Fears
by Dan Peters

A companion guide to From Worrier to Warrior: A Guide to Conquering Your Fears, this book offers parents the opportunity to help their children or teens do the most courageous thing they will ever have to do: conquer their Worry Monster. Make Your Worrier a Warrior provides useful and comforting methods that parents can use to help their children create an anxiety-reducing “toolbox” to carry with them wherever they go. In building this foundation for their children, parents might even find that these strategies will work just as effectively to manage their own anxieties.

Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults: ADHD, Bipolar, OCD, Asperger’s, Depression, and Other Disorders
by James Webb, Edward Amend, and Paul Beljan

This book addresses the development, and implications, of misunderstanding gifted young people and adults by drawing on a wealth of professional experience and training. Misunderstanding characteristics frequently associated with giftedness often leads professionals and parents to mislabel, and therefore mistreat, gifted individuals. The authors of this comprehensive text emphasize the need for greater awareness of how giftedness in the context of environmental factors impacts the diagnostic process, as well as appropriate interventions, with the goal of improving the quality of life for gifted individuals and those who interact with them. Click here to read a full review of this book.

Parenting Gifted Children 101: An Introduction to Gifted Kids and Their Needs
by Tracy Inman and Jana Kirchner

This practical, easy-to-read book explores the basics of parenting gifted children, truly giving parents the “introductory course” they need to better understand and help their gifted child. Topics include myths about gifted children, characteristics of the gifted, the hows and whys of advocacy, social and emotional issues and needs, strategies for partnering with your child’s school, and more. Click here to read a full review of the book.

Smart but Scattered: The Revolutionary “Executive Skills” Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their Potential
by Peg Dawson and Richard Guare

There’s nothing more frustrating than watching your bright, talented son or daughter struggle with everyday tasks like finishing homework, putting away toys, or following instructions at school. Your “smart but scattered” child might also have trouble coping with disappointment or managing anger. Drs. Peg Dawson and Richard Guare have great news: there’s a lot you can do to help. Small changes can add up to big improvements–this empowering book shows how.

Smart Kids With Learning Difficulties: Overcoming Obstacles and Realizing Potential
by Rich Weinfeld, Linda Barnes-Robinson, Sue Jeweler, and Betty Roffman Shevitz

This book is a great educational resource for parents, educators or counselors of intelligent children who face learning difficulties. The authors provide useful, practical advice for helping smart kids with learning challenges succeed in school. The second edition includes a look at current definitions of twice-exceptional students, updated research findings and identification methods, a detailed description of the laws and policies impacting this population, what works and what doesn’t work, model schools, response to intervention, understanding by design, comprehensive assessments, social-emotional principles, and new assistive technology. Click here to read a full review of this book.

Smart Parenting for Smart Kids: Nurturing Your Child’s True Potential
by Eileen Kennedy-Moore and Mark Lowenthal

This book explains the reasons behind a number of struggles that smart children face, such as perfectionism, authority, peer relations, self-esteem, and more. It offers parents do-able strategies to help children cope with feelings, embrace learning, and build satisfying relationships. Drawing from research as well as the authors’ clinical experience, it focuses on the essential skills children need to make the most of their abilities and become capable, confident, and caring people.

Some of My Best Friends Are Books: Guiding Gifted Readers from Pre-School to High School
by Judith Wynn Halsted

Good books are often good friends. This book offers a list of recommended books for gifted students from preschool through high school. The author describes how to use books as bibliotherapy to provide support, guidance, and insight. This is an in valuable resource for parents looking for books to recommend to gifted readers not only to enjoy, but also to gain perspective on themselves and others. Click here to read a full review of this book.

The Gifted Teen Survival Guide: Smart, Sharp, and Ready for (Almost) Anything
by Judy Galbraith and James Delisle

This one-of-a-kind book is full of sage advice to help gifted teens understand themselves, relate well with others, and reach their potential in life. Based on surveys of nearly 1,500 gifted teens, this updated classic is the ultimate guide to thriving in a world that doesn’t always support or understand high ability. Full of fresh illustrations, surprising facts, cutting-edge research, revealing quizzes and survey results, step-by-step strategies, inspiring teen quotes and stories, and insightful expert essays, the guide gives readers the tools they need to appreciate their giftedness as an asset and use it to make the most of who they are. Click here to read a full review of this book.

The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children
by Ross Greene

This book provides a new conceptual framework for understanding the difficulties behind the explosive and easily frustrated child, based on research in the neurosciences. Dr. Greene explains why traditional parenting and treatment often don’t work with these children, and he describes what to do instead. Instead of relying on rewarding and punishing, Dr. Greene’s Collaborative Problem Solving model promotes working with explosive children to solve the problems that precipitate explosive episodes, and teaching these kids the skills they lack.

Please feel free to include your go-to gifted parenting book in the comments. We know there are so many wonderful selections out there!

Comments

Add a comment

Please note, the Davidson Institute is a non-profit serving families with highly gifted children. We will not post comments that are considered soliciting, mention illicit topics, or share highly personal information.

Related Articles

Gifted Resources

Top Tips for Exploring Interests and Developing Talent in Gifted Kids

We here at the Davidson Institute have put together some resources to help gifted students explore their interests—whatever they may…

Gifted and Twice-Exceptional

Twice Exceptional: Definition, Characteristics & Identification

Twice-exceptional students (also known as 2e children or students) are among the most under-identified and underserved population in schools. The…

Gifted Parenting and Strategies

How can you determine if your baby/toddler is gifted?

We recently received the following message from a parent of a precocious baby: Q: I’m reaching out because I have…

Gifted Parenting and Strategies

A Parent's Perspective on the Young Scholars Program and Raising a Gifted Student

A Davidson alumna parent recently provided the following thoughts both on her experiences with the Young Scholars program and her…