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An 8-week group coaching program for parents
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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

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Each interactive lab meeting is 90 minutes long.  I’ll introduce new information about giftedness & twice-exceptionality as well as guiding principles and strategies to support your child and your parenting. 

You'll "do the work" during our lab meetings, so you know you're getting the most out of the program. 

 

You’ll collect helpful ideas and respond to carefully crafted prompts that will help you adapt ideas to your unique child and family.  You'll make a plan to try out new strategies and you'll reflect on your experiences.  During each lab meeting we'll have time for Q&A, small-group coaching, and conversations with other participants.

  • Learn about giftedness and twice-exceptionality so you understand what your kid needs to thrive.

  • Learn new strategies that are grounded in research & effective for gifted/2e 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, address your concerns, and help you adapt strategies as needed.

  • 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, & adjusting as needed until you find what works for you and your child.

  • 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.

  • Share your questions to get help applying strategies and adjusting as needed.

  • 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 and I'll post videos answering questions at least once per week.  You'll have the option to ask your questions anonymously - I'll reply with a video to the whole group.

  • 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.

Private coaching meetings

Speechmark

The program also includes two 30-minute private coaching meetings per household.

Initial meeting: Before the program starts or during the first 2 weeks, we'll meet for 30 minutes to discuss your biggest goals for the program and your most pressing questions about how to support your intense gifted kid.  I'll give you individualized feedback about which weeks and strategies to focus on - based on your goals and questions as well as your child's characteristics.

 

Second meeting: During the last 4 weeks of the program, you can schedule a private coaching call to go more in-depth on a specific question or topic, or you can use this time to discuss questions you're more comfortable discussing in private.  

  • Apply the program's ideas to your specific kid and family by discussing your situation in more detail during these private coaching calls.

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

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 or 2e kid

  • A list of strategies designed to support gifted and 2e 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 also talk about commonly-missed indicators of twice-exceptionality and how to know when additional assessment might help you understand the source of your child's intensity. 

 

If you’re still not sure why your gifted or twice-exceptional kid can be so intense at times, this is the week when you finally get a clearer picture.

Week 2: Responding to Big Emotions & Intense Moments

You’ll learn the VIEW framework, 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.  You'll get help applying this strategy to your child's big feelings and intense behaviors.

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’ talents and passions.  You’ll explore some creative, new ways to expand and leverage your child’s strengths and interests - because focusing on strengths and interests can reduce meltdowns and improve mood, relationships, and behavior.

Week 4: Supporting Challenges by Embracing Neurodiversity

Many intense gifted and twice-exceptional 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, strong-willed kids.  That's one reason parents of gifted and twice-exceptional kids often have to communicate and advocate more often with school 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: Building a Social Support System

Many intense gifted kids struggle to find "their people" or seem out of place in typical social situations.  At the same time, many parents of gifted kids feel alone in their parenting journey, without a social support system that understands them and their child.  This week, you’ll explore new ways to support your child's positive social relationships and build a social support system for the whole family.  

Week 7: Encouraging Resilience

If your child gets overwhelmed by setbacks and disappointments, you’re not alone!  This week you’ll learn tips and strategies to support your child’s engagement and resilience.  These strategies are based on motivation research and give you specific things to say during moments of frustration and low resilience. We’ll review common de-motivating messages to avoid and more motivating messages to use instead.

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.

Participants describe how the coaching experience in

Parenting Your Intense Gifted Kid improved their confidence:

In the past it was hard to set consistent limits with my son because he often pushed back.  I had to prepare for a 45-minute meltdown if I stuck to my limits.  It felt like his intensity could change the family mood, and he sometimes lashed out and hit us or his sibling. 

 

During Parenting Your Intense Gifted Kid, I learned ways I could value my son’s autonomy while maintaining my own boundaries.  When I gave him more autonomy, he stopped pushing back as much.  In the group, it was helpful to share struggles and hear that other parents with gifted kids experience the same struggles we do. It’s hard to parent an intense gifted kid but this experience normalized the difficulty for me.

 

Now I feel less shame and guilt over parenting because I’ve realized we are already doing so much.

- Mom of a 5-year-old

Before this program, I wanted to work more effectively with my children but I felt like I was missing key information about how to understand them. Now I feel empowered to do what works for my kids and to not do what doesn’t work! I’m embracing their neurodivergence and am able to meet my kids where they are with confidence.

 

I really appreciated the opportunity to get feedback from Danika between meetings. It made a huge difference for me to be able to ask clarifying questions as I was applying the ideas to my own parenting. The private coaching call was also super helpful to continue to personalize the skills and training from the group coaching sessions.

 

I use my skills learned in the coaching program every day! Now, with my kids, I can acknowledge all of our bravery in moving towards wholeness together.

- Mom of a 5-year-old and 12-year-old

Before this program, it was hard to deal with my son’s day-to-day intensity challenges, and I wasn’t sure how to help him with friendship challenges at school. I also wondered how we could best support him as a gifted learner. 

 

It was so helpful to learn specific strategies that are easy to remember in the heat of the moment (like "VIEW").  It was also helpful to learn how many of our challenges are shared by other families. 

 

It was invaluable to have a thoughtful and knowledgeable person (Danika ;-)) to get ideas for specific situations.  It's one thing to read or learn a theory about what will help - it's another thing entirely to have professional guidance applying the theory to specific challenges. I found the most value in the program from these weekly discussions and collaborative problem solving. I also appreciated the sense that we were "doing the work" during the lab meetings - this helped me feel certain we are doing enough and on the right path as parents.

- Dad of a 5-year-old

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 joining the next cohort of Parenting Your Intense Gifted Kid?  I'd love to have you!  

Sign up for the waitlist below to be the first to hear when registration opens.

Here's how registration works once it's open:

  • You'll register and pay.

  • You'll get an email with a brief registration form 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 pre-work before our fist meeting - reflection and goal-setting to help me understand your child and help you get the most out of the program. You'll also have the option to share any of your child's assessment results with me if you like, to help me understand them better.  (It's optional to share assessments - and it's fine if your child has never been assessed but you suspect they're gifted.)

  • You'll schedule your first 30-minute private coaching call to discuss your goals and most pressing questions.  I'll also give you some feedback based on your pre-work.

  • We’ll have weekly small-group learning lab meetings on Zoom each Tuesday.  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 or conversation.

  • We'll have weekly small-group office hours meetings on Fridays.  Each office hour meeting is 60 minutes long.  During office hours, you can get more support applying ideas to your specific situation or problem-solving tricky situations.  You'll also connect more with other families during this time.

  • Each lab meeting and office hours 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've learned 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.

  • You can ask questions in your group's online network (with the option to do so anonymously) - and I'll post videos responding to questions at least once per 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, you can schedule a brief chat with me to discuss your questions. 

If you prefer to email your questions, you can reach me at danika@giftedlearninglab.com.

Registration

Details

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Specific dates for the spring cohort TBD.

The cost of the entire 8-week program, including a copy of Danika's presentations, worksheets, and reflection prompts, is $1925 per household (up to 2 adults per household).

A payment plan is available for no extra fee.

Space in the Spring 2023 cohort is limited to 15 households.

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 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. 

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, strong-willed, 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 that highlight your child's strengths and helps 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.  I strive to make all the approaches and strategies 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.

If you're interested in the program and want to learn more about supporting your twice-exceptional kid, I would love to have you!

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.

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