We have a son who is about to turn 8 years old. Recently we had him tested for giftedness by an ed. psychologist. His result was in the 99.8 percentile.
We have always found his behaviour and high need for stimulation challenging but most recently it has become almost impossible to manage in a family context, this was the main motivating factor behind having the test done. We also had a strong feeling that his thinking ability was outside of the normal spectrum for his age.
We met with the school today and had sent the report prior - giving the teacher/Principal time to read and so forth. We came from the angle that we were finding him very difficult to manage and were looking for help with this and also that we felt there was a very clear link between his thinking ability and his difficult behaviour.
We pretty much met a brick wall and were given advice on parenting strategies etc. There was absolutely no mention of the IQ test and the Principal felt that they did not want to load us of him with more work.
We are getting fairly desperate and whilst we can go down the avenue of family therapy etc. I do not believe this will necessarily resolve the issue. Significantly our son's behaviour is perfectly ok at school.
Any help or suggestions of where to go next would be great appreciated...
I have a similar son, now 8. His behaviour at school was/is fine, but at home he "dumps" his frustrations on us! It was difficult to define exactly what was the problem at school, because it was prettymuch everything: from the sound of the pencils scratching, to the boring books, to the annoying classmates.... and so on. Because he is a "good boy", he does not misbehave at school. (what I mean is, he can control his behaviour in that environment). I did homeschool him for a term this year (because he wanted to have a break from school), and this was very interesting because it convinced me that it was not our parenting that was at fault! It also gave me a chance to get in touch with where he was at.
Here are my ideas:
1. Gifted kids may realise that they are different at about that age. Also, the novelty of school has worn off, and they realise that it is the "same" as yesterday. The child may need strategies to deal with these things.
2. School can be stressful for kids in unpredictable ways, for example sensory sensitivities. Check with your kid about this. An 8 year old may be able to tell you about aspects of their environments that stress them.
3. If your child is behaving well at school, I doubt that your parenting is at fault. Kids with crappy parents *tend* to misbehave all over the place. Unfortunately, if your kid "behaves" at school but is difficult at home, the school staff will tend to just give you parenting advice. Try to find out from your child what is going on for them, then approach the school with specific requests. (eg. individual space for working sometimes, different readers) This is easier for the staff, and shows them that you are a "competent" parent.
4. Identifying what your child gets stressed about can be very very enlightening.
5. If the school does not recognise giftedness as a "real thing", find a school that does. Some people genuinely do not think that giftedness requires attention.
Gee this sounds familiar. We just got told that the school sees no issue as their is no problem behaviour at school but at home we see the resulting anxiety and stress caused by lack of stimulation and not fitting in. He is a master of disguise at school which actually plays to his disadvantage. At a recent meeting we were advised that the school would support us if we sought help to address problems at home! How generous!! But as they don't see any issues they won't change anything at school. Needless to say we are looking to change schools.
My boy is the opposite. No problems at home but gets anxious at school - he feels 'stupid' and other kids are 'mean' to him (they don't play by the same rules). He has the cognitive skills of someone at least twice his age so playing with another 6 year old doesn't work for him at all. School has recommended parenting classes for me (!!!) [I have a 9 year old in the same school with no behaviour issues at all]. I have to remind the school that I have no problems with him at home, and that maybe they need to improve the consistency of their discipline with him if he is a problem.
Needless to say, I am now labelled a "difficult parent". And, yes, this is a school often discussed in these forums as great for G&T kids (they are now hopeless at it).
Golly this is great this forum for making me feel normal, we have had the exact same experience with our boy; I have given up trying to get anything out of the school. I too went to what turned out to be a most distressing meeting at my sons school with principal and RTLB only to have my parenting abilities called into question. He too is 'well behaved' at school but comes home stressed, anxious and unhappy. Like yourselves the school can't see that there is a problem despite the fact that my son has effectively given up at regular school and continues to slip below average academically ( has been identified as gifted and dyslexic in ed. psych reports) It amazes me that these teaching professionals are not more up to speed in this area. Oh the frustration...I now know what it takes to create a pushy parent...
with due respect (and caustions of being politically correct) i have been noticing that most of this correspondence generatred on this forum is from very concerend mothers.
I have been working with GnT kids for many years in a practical way, running hands on workshops, thought provoking discussions, consceptual concepts and making projects etc.
I am writing a paper that will cover issues like :
raising GnT kids is punshisment or a challenge . It needs equal input from both parents . GnT kids in single parent families do fall through the crackes.
Please write your experiences ( not just views) . many thanks > melvindin
Yes, that is the school (Gladstone - to be subtle). I have no problem naming names and I am screaming for help and support (which ODS has been my saviour - and this forum! I'm not alone! Thank you everyone!).
To Robyn, coincidentally we are just down the road from you although not at Gladstone we are at a nearby school, literally a stones throw. Although my boy is well behaved at school he does get terribly anxious as well which basically doesn't help with his motivation. Just this week I have decided to take him out of school at least one day a week. He attends one day school on Wednesdays and fortunately I've been able to get his regular school teacher on side with this latest development: don't know how technically correct it is ( to be taking him out of school some days on a routine basis) but his anxiety levels have dropped noticeably already. Perhaps this is the bridge I need to attempt home schooling....? To be honest keeping him at home is easier than sending him to school and he got through the work set by the teacher quickly and effortlessly so then we could go onto something that interested him. If the school isn't helping you I would suggest you consider attempting something that makes life easier for yourself even if they don't agree with it. I personally feel quite overwhelmed by the idea of homeschooling (especially if you have other children at school to consider) but I understand that there is a very supportive network in place. I've always assumed it would be too difficult and that I wouldn't be cut out for it but after my experiences this week with keeping my boy at home I'm beginning to wonder if it could be an option. Hope you find an answer, I know it's not easy when you feel like the school isn't listening. And for Melvin, I too have way too many experiences to share on this forum, if you want feedback perhaps get in touch with ODS or other such place and try to harness the parent experiences through their network. I'm sure you'll get a common thread through alot of the responses!
We have just started ODS (Note the "We") and there has been a HUGE improvement after just 3 weeks (although two steps forward, one step back). Homeschooling is my idea of personal hell but I may need to choose which is hell is worse for my son. We're not hopeless with school yet. Thank you so much for your helpful words.
I too have a challenging wee guy (8) at home... at school he's fine, his teacher loves him and his mind. he's being signed up for the one day school which will help keep his mind ticking over. At home he's a challenge, constantly complaining about everything, meltdowns, anger etc. I homeschooled for a while and although his overal behaviour was LOTS better, he got pretty lazy and didn't do enough work for what I know he's capable of doing, so back to school he went and he's doing really well. He's just impossible to deal with at home sometimes (not all the time thankfully) and that was one of the main reasons why I decided to homeschool in the first place... it's abit like a neverending circle. Now he's learning good but 'interesting' to live with whereas before his behaviour was good but he wasn't learning enough..... The school is very helpfull with keeping his mind challenged but obviously they don't see the 'problem' at home. I'm very open/honest with his teacher and am considering professional help to help him deal with his anger/disapointment etc. I'm also thankful to know that I'm not alone, that this forum is here and it's a place where I can feel 'normal' - even if it's just for a little while! LOL. I'm in this alone, no other family so I don't get to bounce ideas of others very much but this forum is great.
Hi there!My husband and I have begun to homeschool master six, this year.He is a great kid,and a great challenge!Having been assessed as gifted,and dyslexic/dyspraxic,he was understandably a big ball of frustration at school(and at home,too!) Now we have a bit of insight into gifted/mixed ability kids,his behaviours/stresses/passions are easier to understand,as parents.As for homeschooling,we are all so pleased with this decision.We have a calmer and happier boy who loves to learn,and our homelife is happier too.Good luck!
How are the school meeting your son's educational needs at the moment? Is he extended at school in some ways? If not, then getting his educational/learning needs met would be the first thing to work on I would think. Assuming he is not being sufficiently extended, I would talk to the school about getting an IEP in place for your son (Individual Education Plan).
Based on the resutls of the test and the constant need for stimualation that you see, he is not just "pleasantly gifted", he probably fits at least into the Highly Gifted category if not Exceptionally Gifted. In which case, unless the school has individualised an approach for him, he will not be sufficiently stimulated (and a debate can be had about whether they will be able to do that given the resources in the public school system - how they respond to the IEP converstation will give you an idea of whether they're willing to try).
You could suggest things like the One Day School, or a dual enrolement with the Correspondence school (they'll need to do an IEP to get that happening). They should have a policy around gifted and talented children written up somewhere - ask to see it (if they haven't, that's a bit telling).
With regards to behaviour at home, what kind of behaviour is distressing you?
If it's any consolation, we've possibly been in a similar situation. Things are better at the moment with increased intellectual stimulation and some changes in parenting strategy. Getting older/growing up is helping a bit too (although I imagine that will boomerang back the other way at some point!).
Anyway - good luck. It's very hard work sometimes!
Do they still do IEPs under the new education regime? Why aren't the schools proactive about this? I'm quite sure the school has labelled my child as a "problem child" rather than "gifted" or "mixed gifted". Avoidance of the issue seems the key for them ( as I slowly morph into one of THOSE parents). They don't even notify me any more if he gets in trouble at school, which is wholly unfair on my really, really lovely boy.
Yes, homeschooling gets more attractive every week (thank goodness for ODS).
Yes they definitely still do IEPs. Perhaps with different levels of formality eg. my DD's most recent IEP did not involve anyone external like an RTLB - it was the principal, her teacher and her dad. Perhaps your school calls them something else, but I think the Ministry still works on that terminology.
Likely they won't be proactive about it due to resource contstraints (teachers have almost no free time in their day so adding in an hour long meeting that has to suit several people in terms of timing is not going to be their favourite activity - plus the result of an IEP almost always has time/resource implications for someone: it's often a good and persuasive move to offer your support in some way eg. what can we do at home, could I come to school and supervise that; is there anything I could do to free up some time for the teacher etc.
Robyn, ask for their policy on G&T kids to see what it says and consider asking for a planning session for your child (see if *they* say IEP). I've found the IEP framework a constructive way of getting things changed so far, but our school is more G&T supportive than some. If they're concerned about his behaviour, this can be a way to talk that through as well.
Regarding IEPs, I found this process very frustrating indeed because essentially after all the meetings with the RTLB etc the document in question failed to materialise. I only became aware of this after I went to the parent teacher interview some 6 to 8 weeks after Easter to discover that the teacher didn't even have a copy of it. I hadn't had a copy of it either despite assurances that I would get one before easter.
The whole process just seemed to be a sorry tale of poor communication and empty promises. I should have gone with my gut instinct when on the first day of talks with the RTLB she happily informed me that she regarded all students as gifted. Clearly she was lacking in some vital research somewhere along the way. Add to the mix that we were also dealing with a child who has dyslexia/dyspraxia and no wonder we didn't get anywhere.
In the end we decided to tackle the issues directly with the classroom teacher who is supportive as much as her time and resources allow (which effectively doesn't allow for anything extra).
As mentioned before I have started doing a 'Learning at Home Day' which is helping no end with the anxiety. We also do ODS, Explorers Club and just lots and lots of emotional support and encouragement that it's Ok to be different and school isn't forever. There comes a time also when these kids benefit from knowing that they function and learn differently to other children. My son was actually relieved when we told him he was dyslexic/dyspraxic but actually pretty damn clever as well and that we had the piece of paper to show him!
Obviously we all have to advocate for our children but for us personally we found the stress of dealing with a system that in many instances just can't deliver ( or won't) was just having too much of a negative impact on our lives and making things even more difficult for the very person we were trying to help. By taking matters into our own hands and by basically taking a big step back (which was very difficult I can tell you) we have funnily enough taken a big step forward. We now feel alot happier and our son has relaxed and is beginning to enjoy learning and creating outside of school again.
I suppose the point I'm trying to make is that you will find a way through this muddle eventually. Hang in there.
We have an EG child who skipped 2 years and despite our attempts has never had a proper IEP. The reason: apparently he has no issues. Although I don't find this amusing, and don't find any of the trouble gifted kids go through at school amusing, I want to share something that finally, after years, made me smile. He's moving next year, new school. The new principal, aware that DS must be pretty bright to be *double* grade-skipped by the current school asked about the "other" accommodations the school had in place for him, and his IEP. A child who copes well when ahead two years clearly needs something quite different to most children, even to some gifted children. The new princjipal assumed DS would have had other accommodations, follow-up, etc.
The new principal will speak with the old principal and I smiled wondering how the old principal - who values his reputation - will explain skipping our boy two years then essentially leaving him to it ...
Our very sweet, highly gifted boy got bored at school, couldn't cope socially (touch of Aspergers), and turned into the "naughty boy" of the class. (I used to worry that he was too compliant - never naughty til then). He's better home schooling but it is really hard to keep the stimulation level up. Games are good. If we don't play board games like we used to a lot a lot a lot he just reflexes towards Nintendo, and it takes a lot of my vital energy to get him back on track. If we start on a board game (or other "intelligent" game) he'll often do his "real work" more willingly and have a lot more of his own ideas as well. I, too, felt I was becoming "one of those" parents - actually I think I should have done more so - one teacher in particular was rather sneering when we mentioned we were trying ODS - and when tested, he scored off the scale in pure reasoning etc, even scored high on the things aspies typically don't do so well on . School was so stressful for him and his love of learning switched off. We still struggle with that - and he was the most sponge-like child ever. He had some quite good teachers and one excellent teacher - with her, he was fine, just needed prodding to keep on track. With all the others he was marking time or moving backwards intellectually, and miserable and isolated. Please do act on the warning signs and either get things going well at school or find another way. We home-school and it's not perfect, but it's better. Lynette
That's so helpful, Lynette. Just had a visit to the Principal this morning to do with failed communications between people at the school and now my son is even more anxious about going to school (he went to his prescribed "safe place" and the staff weren't told about it from the principal!!). They all let him down terribly and did more harm.
I like the idea of one day at home to learn. How did the school feel about him being there just 3 days a week? It doesn't sound like your school was supportive for ODS. [I had to chuckle at your: "Every child is gifted" comment].
I don't want him to avoid the "normal" bits of school like the reading, writing, and maths - some of which he hates with his dysgraphia.
Your encouragement is helping heaps. Thank you, Lynette.
We are into our third week of three days only at regular school. The classroom teacher has been very good about the arrangement but of course the tradeoff was that we had to get through the work she had set for the class that day. This is working well though because like your boy my son has handwriting and spelling issues. At home he can dictate his answers and I write for him so it takes a lot of the frustration out of the situation. The principal has not shown a lot of enthusiasm for the arrangement but to be frank I'm beyond caring what he thinks. He's not meeting my son's needs so I have to do something about it.
Additionally if your son has been identified as having dysgraphia you may want to investigate an Assistive Technology grant through the RTLB. This takes some time to go through the system but might be helpful if you've got the patience to wait and chances are you'll have to be quite pushy to make sure it gets processed. You might be able to get a laptop for him to use in class and at home.
As you're probably aware there are some interesting articles on 2e kids on the internet. The TKI website is the MOE site on gifted kid matters and there's an interesting article by Sarah Mcfarlane, "Gifted Children with Learning Disabilities". If you can manage to get on side with the class teacher she/he may benefit from reading it.
Hope this helps...I'm probably about two months further down the track with this whole business than you are by the sound of it. Not so very long ago i felt like I was going out of my mind but it does take a while to fully realize what you're dealing with. Twice Exceptional children are complex puzzles who are difficult to solve but hugely interesting all the same. Good luck.
Thanks for your words of wisdom, KHYF. I think the biggest disappointment for me is that the school/teachers just don't see how wonderful he is. All they seem to do is punish him for being different. It breaks my heart!
I always thought they would understand kids better than me (they serve my 9 year old girl very well, as she "fits in").
Our next step is the "home Learning day", if things get worse. All your advice is gratefully received! (and thank you for sharing it)
i just posted a new topic about my five year old whose behaviour has gone berzerk since he started school and now i'm worried, reading all this, and seeing how hard some of you have to battle to get what your kids need. i hope our school is on to it. we have behaviour issues both at school and at home though.
it just puzzles me that things could get so bad so quickly with our son.
will keep a watching brief on this thread.
all the best for all of you
Just wanted to say that if your school is ok about you visting during class time, I think it's always a valuable exercise. Kids sometimes don't behave/respond at school in the ways that we think they might and it can be very useful to see how they manage themselves, and interact within the class dynamic. I got quite a lot of insight into my daughter's social issues by spending time in the classroom.
Offer to do cutting and pasting, some photocopying for the teacher or some reading while you're there.
I think I will follow up on your advice, Joanne. All reports from the school indicate that my son is a COMPLETELY different person there than at home, except when school anxiety spills over into home life.
I really need to see it in action. My silly, clowning, happy boy at home is aggressive, disruptive, and "entitled" in the classroom.
I pop onto this forum from time to time as it is always interesting to see what new threads are coming through - and in the day to day of our busy lives (both my husband and i work full time/ commute far more than we would like/ and have 2 kids) i often can't see the forest for the trees so to speak - having read three or four threads today - i have found myself saying out loud 'oh that's right - that's why he does that!' -now i remember...
I don't usually write so sorry if this is a bit long...
I have a just turned 8 yr old that had a terrible time in his 2nd yr at school, went from a bright happy child to one who came home saying he was dumb and stupid and did not like school, became a loner/ had no friends and broke my heart. He had a 'lovely' teacher who did fantastically with the girls in the class but as i witnessed was at a loss with most of the boys - As a working mum it was hard for me to get to the school to follow up on my concerns and I trusted that all kids have bumps along the way that work themselves out, and left it that for most of the year. Although I do now thank this particular teacher as it was only at her insistence that our boy was severely ADHD (and should be on ritalin for his own good), that i agreed to get him formally assessed - the results being that he is twice gifted in the top 5% with severe dyslexia and many of the attributes and challenges that come in the kit...
The flip side is that i can not speak highly enough of our school, since the assessment we have had full support/ he has been placed 2 years running with a teacher who has a specific interest in gifted kids (under which he has come leaps and bounds - from the principle to leaning support to the classroom we have had time money and resources assigned to us)
I guess why i am writing is that i felt the frustration and anger in that first year with the teacher / the brush off/ the labeling/ the not being listened too/ being told that i or my son was a problem to be fixed - (and he and i still struggle daily).
The turning point for me was to say to myself that i would work through their process (the school)- i attended the meetings/talked to everyone i could/got used to the 'difficult parent label'/cried in the office (hadn't done that since i was 5!) and i asked more questions than my son does in a day... gave permission to get firstly internal assessments and then external assessments - I did this as i decided that even if the results were not what i was ready to hear or accept at least my decisions would be informed and the best i could make for him - and they would be my decisions not a system or someone passing through his life for one fleeting year.
I was lucky that the results have been positive from the school and that he has be fortunate to get a teacher who is very dedicated to him. But this will not always be the case.....and high school - well who knows where we will be then.... I am committed however to get to know his teachers REALLY well/ I check in regularly not just when things are going amiss/ i remember to thank them for the small achievements that he is making/ I put my hand up and give up weekends to support the school and their fundraising/ although a struggle i pay my fees on time/ I do what ever i can to listen to them /support what they are doing in the classroom at home and follow through on my end of the deal/ i try to understand what they are dealing with - god knows i would not want to be a teacher with half of the issues that most of them currently have to manage.
I have been very honest with his school about my fears and anxiety for him and that this is so knew to me -guess what it was new to them too - no other child in that school had be formally assessed as gifted before.
Hence the teacher (being young) had no idea what she was dealing with and the school just got the feedback she was relaying.
I am lucky at the moment but there will be LOTS of teacher's and school staff that i will need to go back to the 'starting point' with in the years ahead... build relationships and work with some i just wont like- and that's just part of it....im not saying it's right - it just is. Schools/policies/ governments - for any kid 1 teacher can be the 'make or break' - be resilient and work with the teachers
...sorry about the book....
My story is basically the same as many of you have outlined.
My son is 8 years old, assessed as gifted, but seems to have some learning problems. great reader (but didn't read really well till about 7), but writing, maths facts etc a bit of a struggle. Doesn't fit in too great socially. a bit anxious at school but his behaviour is good.
But home, well a different story, and I am tearing my hair out!!
He is often oppositional, easily angry,generally uptight, and I am trying to calm him down. he will go all angry at the simplest things such as being asked nicely to get ready for school instead of reading his book. I try to be calm with him but no matter how calm the approach he will often give a negative reaction. he is also really creative and always wanting to make things which results in all kinds of frustrations. I try to support him in this but he is also a real "one man band" and resists any interference, has to be totally in control. He creates a lot of conflict in the family (he has two younger siblings) yet if we do anything with him one on one he is the perfect child and wonderful company. If he is reading a book he is totally engrossed in it, and doesn't even hear you, but at least he's quiet and not fighting with anyone.
I find it upsetting as we both (myself and my husband)really try our best to be good parents, and here we have a kid who just doesn't seem to be happy much of the time.It gets so disheartening and frustrating and impacts the whole family, even a trip to the beach can turn into a nightmare. I don't know whether to just keep soldiering on, or if we need professional help-if so, who do I go to?If we try being strict or using a cross/angry voice he just reacts angrily back. he is so strong willed nothing seems to work.
I can't imagine school will be much help as they seem to think of me as a bit overanxious, and also his behaviour problems don't manifest at school, they just say he's a bit anxious.
He has started ODS recently and really loves it, but I'm yet to see positive spin offs at home in his behaviour.
He also finds it really hard to focus on homework, gets all frustrated
and can't approach it calmly.Maths just sends him off the deep end, even though he can do it if he approaches it calmly. I don't know if he should be on medication, or what-is he ADHD? I am not in favour of that idea (meds) at all, but I also don't want him to get to teenage years and go completely haywire, and to have him calmer would be a big help. I feel that his behaviour has got harder to manage as he gets older. As a toddler/preschooler he was extremely busy/creative and active but he was happy, didn't have tantrums etc till he got a bit older. He isn't violent or anything, more just verbally angry, stomps around etc, but I don't want it to get worse. I have a pretty good relationship with him when he isn't like this, he's actually a really sensitive child, but I think he has strong perfectionist traits which add to the problems.
He eats well, plenty of fruit veges etc, sleeps ok, but can find it a bit hard to get to sleep-needs to read to wind down.
Has ANYONE found a psych or anyone else who has been able to get to the bottom of this anger/frustration issue that so many of us seem to be dealing with in gifted kids, and been able to offer strategies to deal with it positively? I just want a happy child, and a reasonably peaceful home life.
Any advice appreciated. Would an ed psych be the right person to see?
I totally agree with Cath - the teacher makes the difference (or makes it worse!).
Mumofthree, my son was right there too last year - nearly identical except it was handwriting that set him off. We threw everything at the issue.
Today, barring the occasional upset, we have a COMPLETELY different (nearly normal-ish, for a gifted kid) child. Life is a pleasure! Here's what we did:
- see an educational psychologist first - find out what's going on for him!
- for my boy's anxiety and behaviour issues (which were only at school, not at home) - we got a referral to the Kari Centre - mental health through Auckland DHB. Sorted after getting the tools and teaching him about anxiety. A private child psychologist may also be able to help with the anxiety and behaviour.
- For his handwriting issues, Occupational Therapy has been HUGE. Confidence way up, problem behaviour way down to near nothing.
Also, his teacher this year is totally on board with what's going on for him.
She is also an experienced teacher (last one was only 2 years teaching) and is quite old school - strict discipline, very organised, very high standards of behaviour.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE!!! Insist on an experienced teacher!!!
Don't give up on him! He needs support and you need to help him find the right type. He's worth every ounce of energy it takes (and it takes a lot). You are not alone
I may try and see a Psych, but I am not sure how to get the right "sort" as I don't think we have any ed Psychs that do gifted kids in our area.
As for teachers-he has a good teacher, well in as much as he does really like her. In fact he hasn't ever had a teacher he didn't get on well with. But I do think he struggles to get any real extension at school. He loves ODS and the stuff they do there.
I guess at school since he doesn't really achievee that highly except in reading. he's just kind of assumed to be an average kid.
I think I need to have a chat with his this years teacher, the school have his IQ test, SPELD report and optom report, but I think its all just filed away somewhere.
ZINC: I have a son with similar issues, aggressive, defiant, willfull, his own way no matter what etc. One thing suggested to me by my osteopath was 6 drops of liquid zinc three times per day as this supports and calms the nervous system and keeps nerve cells firing smoothly. Low zinc can cause irratic firing of nerve cells resulting in spikes and dips in behaviour. Boys need more than girls, especially during a growth spurt and puberty. NZ has soil nearly devoid of zinc. (Zinc is also good for sperm count which is low in NZ and skin colagen which helps avoid stretch marks which are appearing in teenagers of normal weight in NZ). After putting DS on zinc drops his behaviour dramatically improved, yes he was still full on but he seemed to have more control of his will and behaviour resulting in a calmer energetic boy rather than a scattered, unpredictable energetic boy.
RESPONSIBILITY: These kids like to be in charge and it is great to give them something to be in charge of. Planning a family holiday including map to get there costs and spending money (give them a budget), planning the family outings including a stop for icecream and where to go (go on internet and research costs, travelling times, time to leave house, packed lunch or bought etc, give them receipts and let them see if their pre calculation is on target with actual cost, consult them throughout the day about if this was in the budget or time frame). Other things that make them feel like a responsible and important member of the family are letting them decide how to save power in the home, which car is cheaper to run and which does the greatest distance each week so which car should be used for what purpose, creating a roster for parent time each week where all siblings get the same amount of parent time. Choosing a sport which is great for burning off energy and releasing their anger on a ball is good, however they usually do best a at single sports rather than in a team.
MENTOR: Usually kids need a mentor outside the immediate family at age 14. Gifted kids are ahead and so they may benefit from a mentor at a younger age in an area of their interest. If your son is into writing, science, maths, mechanics or whatever, find a mentor for him who is very calm. The local retirement village is a great place to start if you don't have friends or family with the skills in that field of interest.
SON'S SOLUTIONS: Also, try asking your son to come up with his own solutions as I read one of many great strategies in a book that works well on my son. So here is one helpful strategy: have a meeting with him saying that you value his opinion in this matter. These are the issues you see impacting upon the family (without blame, just fact *interruptions are annoying for him *being told what to do can be frustrating *outings sometimes seem boring or pointless). How does he feel when these things happen. Repeat back how he feels, "so that I have this right, you are feeling ....?" Then say how you feel without blame or judgement "We feel upset when we are ignored/spoken to harshly". Then ask if he can see a way where it can be resolved so that all involved are happy? Write down every solution he says on a sheet of A4 to show you give importance to his view, come up with your own also and write them down on same sheet inbetween his ones. Then read through and cross off the ones you are not happy with and he can cross off your ones that he is not happy with (make sure you put some in there that he can cross off like; each time he gets angry half an hour gets minused off his bed time). Then pin the paper up in the kitchen or beside where he sits to read so that he can see his solutions clearly.
DIFFUSE WITH A STORY: A good idea that works with our son is when things start boiling and we know it's going to end in tears/anger/frustration/disrespect so nobody wins, we take a pause and start telling a story. eg. "There was a boy at my school once and he did something very sneaky. One day, when the teacher wasn't looking, he crept up behind one of the girls and (pulled hair/stole rubber/said something horrible etc, similar to whatever the situation is that our son has done). The worst part was that he thought he got away with it and he didn't stop to think how she felt. How do you think that girl felt? Well the teacher actually saw him and what do you think happened to him then? What do you think should have happened to him? Well what happened was... which made him feel angry and misunderstood. No one seemed to care about his view of things. Still he knew his behaviour was not acceptable and he felt bad about that. What do you think he should have said to the little girl to make amends? Hmmm. How are you feeling now? I'm glad you know how to make good decisions like the ones you came up with for the boy." Then we walk away and give him time to make amends. If he doesn't, we approach him later when he's calm and explain how unresolved issues make everyone feel bad. "We expect you to make amends now."
Just saying what works for us and hoping something here works for you too. All the best.