An 8-week group coaching program for parents

Parenting your Intense gifted kid

Do you want to feel more confident raising your intense gifted or twice-exceptional kid?

Perhaps this resonates with you...

  • You know your kid or teen is awesome.  They’re smart, funny, creative, and caring.  But they also have big, intense feelings that overwhelm them.

 

  • Your kid seems more passionate than their peers - they’re the one who throws a tantrum at soccer, storms out of the room when corrected, or bursts into tears at school when something doesn’t go their way.

 

  • Your kid loves to learn, but they hate the feeling of not knowing something.  If learning feels too hard or they make a mistake, they may cry, rip up their work, or refuse to participate.

 

  • Your kid is hard on themselves - really hard.  Even though they’re bright and talented, they call themselves stupid, say they’re the worst in the world, say they hate themselves, or wonder why they’re so different from their peers.

 

  • Once your kid is having a big feeling, it’s hard to get them out of it.  You’ve tried reassuring them, reasoning with them, talking them through it, being understanding - nothing seems to help.

 

  • You’re worried your child’s perfectionism will erode their love of learning and that their big feelings will drive away friends.

 

  • You’ve read a lot of parenting books and tried to implement the strategies, but your kid seems to run on a different operating system -  nothing you’ve tried has been quite right.

 

  • Sometimes you worry you’re too lenient with your child and they’ll never learn to function in the “real world.”  But other times you worry you’re too strict or that your child is developing some shame about their big feelings.

You're ready for a new approach...

  • You want to feel more confident and connected even when your kid is melting down or acting out.

  • You’re craving clear principles and practical strategies to guide you during tough moments.

  • You've maxed out general parenting advice and want ideas from someone who understands gifted and twice-exceptional kids like yours.​​​

You're ready for a new framework to support your bright, passionate kid - so you can feel more confident they’re exactly where they need to be.  

A mother and child hugging.

Imagine if you could...

  • Understand giftedness so you know what your child needs to thrive

  • Stay more calm and collected in the face of your child’s big feelings

  • Channel your child’s intensity into one of their greatest strengths

  • Nurture your child’s talents while also supporting their challenges 

  • Encourage your child’s resilience in tough moments

  • Build a strategy list and support system tailored to your child and your family

  • Tap into your strengths as a parent, even when things are tense

I designed Parenting Your Intense Gifted Kid

to help you reach these goals.  

What is Parenting Your Intense Gifted Kid?

An 8-week group coaching program designed to build parents' confidence

Lab meetings

An image of a lightbulb.

Each interactive lab meeting is 90 minutes long.  I’ll introduce new information about giftedness & new principles and strategies to support your child and your parenting.  You’ll respond to carefully crafted prompts, adapt strategies to your family, reflect on your experiences, collect helpful ideas, & make a plan to try out new strategies.  During each lab meeting we'll have time for Q&A and small-group coaching. 

  • Learn about giftedness so you understand what your kid needs to thrive.

  • Learn new strategies that are grounded in research and effective for gifted kids.

  • Personalize and adapt ideas to your unique family situation through guided activities, live Q&A, and interactive small-group coaching.  Get support directly from me - I'll answer your questions and help you adapt strategies as needed.

  • Reflect on your preferences, strengths, and challenges to celebrate successes and generate solutions for tricky situations.

  • Connect with other parents who are equally passionate about supporting their own smart, sensitive kids.

Apply & observe

Arrows arranged in a circle to indicate a cycle.

Between our weekly lab meetings, you’ll apply what you’ve learned to see what works best for you and your family.  Parenting is complex and each kid and family are different.  The learning lab process is all about learning new ideas, adapting ideas to your unique situation, trying new approaches at home, observing results, & adapting as needed until you find what works for you.

  • Put your plan into action - use the plan you made during the lab meeting to try out new principles and strategies at home.

  • Observe & reflect to see what works for your kid, your parenting style, and your current situation. 

  • Repeat this process to find what works for you and your family.

Support between meetings

Heart & Hands

As questions arise between meetings, you have two options for support: office hours and the group network.

 

Office hours: I'll answer questions live for 60 minutes during office hours on Fridays.  If you can't attend, don't worry - you'll have access to the recordings for six months. 

 

The group network: In a private online group network, you can share challenges, successes, and questions with your fellow labmates.  You can also post questions for me in our group network and I will post a video answering posted questions once per week. 

  • Get more support directly from me, your parenting coach - I'll answer your questions and help you adapt strategies or problem-solve as needed.

  • Connect more with other parents as you share challenges, success, and questions.

Learn

Adapt & Plan

Apply

Observe & Reflect

Repeat

By the end of 8 weeks, you’ll have:

  • A new framework to understand & support your intense gifted kid

  • A list of strategies designed to support gifted kids with big feelings

  • A developing sense of which strategies work best for your family, in what situations, and with what adaptations

  • A plan to support your child and yourself in the year ahead

A father and son working on a project together and smiling.

Here's a summary of what we'll do each week

Week 1: Understanding Gifted & Twice-Exceptional Intensity

You’ll learn a clear, simple framework to understand your child’s big feelings and how their intensity relates to their giftedness or twice-exceptionality.  You’ll also uncover how your child’s apparent intensities are related to some of their biggest strengths. 

 

We'll talk about commonly-missed indicators of twice-exceptionality and how to know when additional assessment might help you understand the source(s) of your child's intensity.  If you’re still not sure why your gifted or twice-exceptional kid is so intense sometimes, this is the week when you finally get a clearer picture.

Week 2: Responding to Big Emotions & Intense Moments

You’ll learn a 3-step process you can use when your bright kid has big feelings or an intense moment. This process can reduce power struggles, help you stay calmer during emotional moments, and help your child feel seen while also maintaining boundaries and rules.  The strategies you learn this week are some of the biggest keys to a calmer family life, so you can start putting them to work right away.

Week 3: Expanding Strengths & Interests

Gifted folks thrive when they’re engaged in one of their strengths or interests, but big feelings and disruptive behaviors often distract from kids’ strengths.  You’ll explore some creative, new ways to expand and leverage your child’s strengths - because focusing on strengths can reduce meltdowns and improve mood, relationships, and behavior.

Week 4: Supporting Challenges by Embracing Neurodiversity

Many intense gifted kids need additional supports and accommodations to set them up for success and reduce their emotional overwhelm.  But, many parents don't know where to start or which supports are reasonable.  We’ll discuss concrete strategies to support your child’s challenges with an approach that affirms neurodiversity and helps your child develop a realistic, positive identity.  These strategies will help you avoid many difficulties, meltdowns, and power struggles in the first place.

Week 5: Crafting Better-Fit Learning

Typical school practices often aren’t a great fit for bright, passionate kids.  That's one reason parents of gifted and twice-exceptional kids often have to communicate and advocate with school more often than the average parent.  This week, you’ll learn common educational “fit” problems for gifted students and some potential solutions, such as acceleration, assistive technology, 504 and IEP plans, and collaboration with school.  I’ll tailor the specific content to each group’s questions, with extra time for Q&A.

Week 6: Encouraging Resilience

If your child gets overwhelmed by setbacks and disappointments, you’re not alone!  This week you’ll learn tips and strategies based on motivation research to support your child’s engagement and resilience.  We’ll review common de-motivating messages to avoid and more motivating messages to use instead.

Week 7: Building a Social Support System

Raising an intense gifted kid takes a village - tailored to your child’s strengths and needs and to your family’s style and resources.  This week, you’ll explore new ways to find your people, build a support system, and feel less alone in your parenting journey.  We'll also discuss strategies to support positive social relationships where your gifted kid can be themselves and connect with others.

Week 8: Making a Plan

You’ll reflect on your learning lab experience and identify your key take-aways.  You’ll identify your biggest wins and favorite new strategies. Then I’ll lead you through a process to set goals for the coming year and craft a clear, actionable plan to reach your goals.

A portrait of Danika, a white woman with short brown hair, wearing glasses and a striped blazer.

Meet your coach

Hi, I’m Danika. I’m passionate about helping families understand and nurture their gifted and twice-exceptional kids. 

As a teacher, therapist, and researcher, I’ve always been drawn to bright, passionate kids who struggled at school or home or who were misunderstood because of their big feelings, behaviors, or learning challenges. 

As a parent coach at The Gifted Learning Lab, I have a unique approach to supporting parents that's rooted in research as well as my 12+ years helping gifted kids and their families thrive.  It's also inspired by my personal experiences growing up gifted and parenting a young gifted child.  

I believe all kids can thrive when there's a good fit between their characteristics and their environment.  To craft this fit for intense or sensitive gifted kids, parents need to know how they work and what they need.  

 

That's why I started the Gifted Learning Lab - all parents of gifted kids deserve information and support designed just for them, so they can feel confident and thrive right alongside their child.

This learning lab is for you if...

  • You think your kid is awesome - a truly creative, fun, and likable person - yet you’re at your wit’s end about handling their behavior or supporting their big feelings

  • You know you’re a great parent with a lot of strengths - even though you don’t feel as confident yet about handling your kid’s intense feelings and behaviors 

  • You’re curious about different approaches to parenting and ready to try new parenting techniques 

  • You’re comfortable reflecting on your own feelings, thoughts, and identity as a parent - in fact, you sometimes even enjoy this or find it validating

  • You want to learn and make brave changes alongside other thoughtful parents who understand the joys and challenges of a bright, passionate kid

This learning lab is NOT for you if...

  • You have a hard time naming your child’s strengths or your strengths as a parent - everything about parenting your intense gifted or twice-exceptional kid feels really tough right now

  • You want to reign in your child’s big feelings and behaviors without changing your perspective and approach as a parent

  • You don’t have the bandwidth right now to try new parenting techniques and strategies

  • You’re not very confident your child is gifted - if that’s the case, the strategies in this program won’t be a great fit

A boy and mother hugging.

Registration

Interested in Parenting Your Intense Gifted Kid, our 8-week group coaching program?

The Winter 2023 Cohort for Parenting Your Intense Gifted Kid will start on February 7th, 2023. 

 

Registration is currently closed.  If you get on the waitlist, you'll be the first to know when it re-opens.

 

When registration opens again, here's how it will work:

  • You'll register and pay.

  • You'll get an email with a brief form to complete registration, to make sure the program is a good fit.  If I have any concerns the program isn't a good fit, I’ll tell you why and refund your money.

  • You’ll do some reflection and goal-setting before our first meeting, to help you get the most out of the program.

  • We’ll have weekly small-group lab meetings on Zoom.  Each lab meeting will be 90 minutes long and will include presentations from me; guided journaling, reflection, or planning; time for Q&A; and small-group coaching.

  • Each lab meeting will be recorded and you’ll have access to the recordings for six months after the program ends.

  • Between meetings, you’ll adapt & apply the ideas and strategies you learned during each lab meeting to see what works for you, your child, and your home.   

  • You’ll have access to your small lab group in a private online network (through Mighty Networks) to connect, commiserate, ask questions, and share successes.

  • I will host a live 60-minute Q&A group coaching session on Fridays, where you can get more support applying ideas to your specific situation or problem-solving tricky situations.

  • If you can't make it to the live Q&A, you can post questions for me in your group’s private network and I will post a Lab Q&A video replying to questions at least once each week. 

  • You keep a copy of my presentations and reflection prompts forever.

Have more questions about the group coaching program and whether it's a good fit for you? 

See the Frequently Asked Questions below.  If your questions aren't addressed below, contact Danika at danika@giftedlearninglab.com.

 

Details

A lightbulb.

The program includes 2 live meetings every week:

  • 90-minute learning lab meeting

  • 60-minute office hour meeting

The Winter 2023 Cohort will begin on February 7th, 2023.  Lab meetings will be on Tuesdays from 11:30am to 1pm CST.  Office hours will be on Fridays from 10am to 11am CST.

Registration is currently closed.  Put your name on the waitlist to be the first to know when registration opens.

The cost of the entire 8-week program, including a copy of Danika's presentations, worksheets, and reflection prompts, is $1925.

A payment plan is available for no extra fee.

Get on the Waitlist

Interested?  Get on the waitlist and be the first to know when registration opens for the next learning lab cohort.  When you sign up for the waitlist, I'll also send you Gifted Lab Notes, my weekly email with tips and information about supporting intense or sensitive gifted/2e kids.  You can unsubscribe easily at any time.

 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is this learning lab relevant for me if I have an intense gifted preschooler?  An intense gifted teenager?

This program is designed for parents of intense gifted kids ages 2-18.  The key principles you’ll learn are relevant throughout the lifespan - so if you’re a grown-up gifted kid, you may even use some of them to support yourself.  Based on my background in child development, I’ll give examples about how to adapt the strategies for different ages.  You can continue to use the strategies for years to come.  

Does my child or teen need to be officially identified as gifted for me to participate in the learning lab?

Your child does not have to be officially identified as gifted, as long as you strongly suspect your child is cognitively gifted or advanced.  

 

If your child isn’t officially identified as gifted, please read these gifted characteristics listed by the National Associated for Gifted Children or this list of behaviors common among gifted children during early childhood.  Not all gifted children exhibit all these characteristics, but you’ll want to make sure that some of these descriptions resonate, or the strategies in this program won’t be a great fit.

 

If you have any questions about whether the learning lab is a good fit, please contact me directly at danika@giftedlearninglab.com to set up a time to chat.

I’ve already read a lot of books and articles and listened to a lot of podcasts about gifted kids, intense kids, or parenting.  What’s different about the group coaching in the learning lab?

There is an overwhelming amount of information about giftedness, intensity, and parenting on the internet, in parenting books, and on podcasts.  You could spend hours reading or listening (which perhaps you already have!) yet still not get clear answers to your most pressing questions, like how to help your child with their big feelings or what expectations are appropriate.  

 

During our group coaching meetings, I’ll guide you through an organized process to understand your child better, craft a plan for your family, and reflect on what works and what doesn’t.  I’ve used my background in giftedness, twice-exceptionality, education, parenting, and motivation to distill tons of information into a manageable set of guiding principles and strategies.  

 

The step-by-step learning lab process helps you approach your parenting in an organized way that can feel calming and grounding after months or years of stressful research alone.

 

A second critical part of the group coaching experience is the opportunity to adapt ideas and strategies to your specific parenting situation and your unique child.  One of the most frustrating parts about learning parenting ideas from the internet, books, or podcasts is that it's not always clear how to use the ideas in your life, or how to adapt them so they'll work.  During group coaching and live Q&A sessions, you'll get help applying the program's content to your actual parenting situations and questions. 
 

A third big difference is that my approach is grounded in science and clinical experience.  While there is a ton of helpful information about giftedness on the internet, there is also a lot of potentially misleading, inaccurate, and unhelpful information. 

 

In this program, I let you know which frameworks and strategies are based on trustworthy research, and I tell you which strategies come from my experience as a teacher, psychologist, consultant, and parent.  To the best of my ability, I’ll let you know when there is no good research about a certain area.  I’ll let you know which common ideas about giftedness are unsupported by evidence or potentially harmful.  And I’ll give you a new framework for understanding your gifted kid that views giftedness in terms of strengths and neurodiversity.

Is this program therapy?

No, this group coaching program is not therapy and is not a substitute for therapy or a professional relationship with a licensed mental health professional.  During group coaching lab meetings, you'll reflect privately on your own experiences, strengths, and challenges - but we won't spend time exploring any participant's personal psychology in depth with the group or with me.

If you or your child are already participating in therapy services, this group coaching program can be a great complement to your personal therapy work because it will give you a gifted-specific framework to understand your child and improve your family dynamics. 

If at any point during the group coaching program you realize that your own or your child's anxiety, sadness, history of trauma and stress, or other mental health challenges are affecting your ability to use the new information and strategies you're learning, I'd encourage you to seek out therapy services to get additional personalized support.

What if I have some issues with the terms “gifted” or "twice-exceptional"?

You don’t have to be completely comfortable with the labels “gifted” or “twice-exceptional” to benefit from this program, as long as you see your child as bright or as intellectually/academically advanced.  During this program, you’ll get a chance to understand giftedness in a new way and learn more about what giftedness means for your child.

 

The term “gifted” has a complicated and problematic history.  Historically, IQ testing and gifted programs have been used to support eugenics, racial stereotypes, and inequities.  Yet some children from all races, ethnicities, and socioeconomic situations are unusually bright and advanced.

 

My view of giftedness is this: giftedness isn’t about being better, it’s about being different.  And I believe it’s important to acknowledge when a child is bright or gifted because we have to understand a child accurately to support them well.  For gifted kids, knowing they’re gifted helps us make a better fit between their environments and their unique characteristics.  

 

If you don’t believe that gifted or high-ability children sometimes think and process the world differently than typically developing children, this program probably won’t be a good match.

What if I have some issues with the word “intense”?

If the descriptions at the top of this page resonate with you, this program will probably be a good fit even if you don't love the word "intense" or if you prefer other words to describe your kid - like passionate, energetic, sensitive, assertive, independent, or curious.  

 

I chose the word "intense" because it resonates with many parents whose gifted kids feel deeply, think deeply, and notice things that others don't.  In this program, we'll look at "intensity" in a new way to highlight your child's strengths and help you identify successful strategies to support them.

I think "intense" can be a useful shorthand, but it doesn't capture all the nuance and individuality of a child's strong feelings, thoughts, or behaviors.  In fact, I wrote a brief article about the word "intense" - how it can be validating or invalidating, depending on how it's used.  I also list some other ways to describe apparent "intensity."  Check it out here if you're interested.

My intense gifted child is autistic, has ADHD, or has a learning disability like dyslexia.  Is this program designed for families like ours?

Absolutely!  I have a special interest in twice-exceptionality and Parenting Your Intense Gifted Kid was designed with twice-exceptional kids in mind.  The approaches you'll learn are neurodiversity-affirming and appropriate for twice-exceptional kids.  We also spend significant time helping participants adapt the principles and strategies to their specific child's neurotype, personality, interests, and other characteristics. 

 

I have a lot of experience supporting families of intense gifted kids who are autistic, have ADHD, and have learning disabilities or sensory sensitivities - as well as supporting the kids themselves.  I am continually learning about neurodiversity-affirming approaches to parenting and coaching as well as the lived experiences of neurodiverse folks of all kinds.

What’s the refund policy?

This is an all-in investment.  There are no refunds after lab meetings have begun.  You’ll be learning a new framework to help you understand your child better, feel calmer as a parent, and bolster your support systems.  The 8-week group coaching experience walks you through this framework and gives you the tools you need to make real, lasting changes in your parenting and your family.  This is vulnerable, exciting work.  I want you to be fully invested in the process so you can get the most out of what the learning lab has to offer.  With this policy, you’ll know that your labmates are as invested in the process as you are.