The Psych Owl Ogist 4

Tweet and Retweet were beginning to feel as if their heads would explode!
They had consulted the Psych Owl Ogist because they were worried about the behaviour of their Tweetlets and whether they were parenting them in a way that would enable them to become well adjusted, sociable Twitter birds.
And now the Psych Owl Ogist was telling them that the Tweetlets were gifted and overloading them with information in the form of books and articles to read and websites to visit.

“But what about their behaviour?” asked Retweet “All our friends and family say our Tweetlets are noisy and naughty!  They say Tweetil is too smart-mouthed for his own good and  might have ADHD and that Tweetelle is emotionally immature, neurotic and weird because she talks to an imaginary Bedlington Dog/Lamb floating in a hot air balloon and won’t eat her caterpillars”

 “I’m here to tell you what you don’t have to worry about, as Lesley Sword would say” reassured the Psych Owl Ogist.

 Here is another great collection of articles for you to read. These are by Lesley Sword and you can find them at 
Have a look at this diagram which shows The Intellectual & Emotional Experience of being Gifted and Talented

Read the handouts
Psycho-social Needs: Understanding the Emotional, Intellectual and Social Uniqueness of Growing Up Gifted and
Parenting Emotionally Intense Gifted Children
You will see that, as Piechowski and Colangelo said

Emotional intensity is positively correlated with intelligence and so the higher the intellectual level, the more emotionally intense a gifted child will be. Emotional intensity is expressed by the gifted through a wide range of feelings, attachments, compassion, heightened sense of responsibility and scrupulous self-examination. While these are normal for the gifted and appear very early in gifted children, they are often mistaken for emotional immaturity rather than as evidence of a rich inner life.  (Piechowski & Colangelo 1984)

And you will read about forms and expressions of emotional intensity 


“You will see that it is natural for your gifted Tweetlets to be as emotional and expressive as they are.”

Gifted children need the significant adults in their lives to understand that it is natural for them to feel deeply and intensely and to experience a wide range of emotions and not interpret their intensity as over reaction or emotional immaturity. It is important to take time to listen to their feelings and appreciate their sensitivities, intensities and passions. However, gifted children need to realise that sensitivity does not mean weakness and so they should not be over protected from the world and from the consequence of their actions. (Lesley Sword 2001)

 “And do not worry about Tweetelle refusing to eat caterpillars. She is demonstrating expanded moral awareness. We could talk about Kazimierz Dabrowski and the theory of Positive Disintegration at a later stage.”

Expanded Moral Awareness: The Potential for Advanced Emotional and Ethical Development

Moral concern can be observed in even very young gifted children and is an expression of intellectual intensity. When combined with sensitivity and empathy, which are expressions of emotional intensity it is transformed into moral commitment.

Smutny (1998) explains how gifted children feel deeply for others. “They sense the joys, pains, sorrows and hopes of family members, friends, classmates and sometimes become distressed when they cannot alleviate the problems of others……gifted children will often weep at the cruel treatment of an animal. They will frequently ask questions and express concern about world problems – poverty, war, environmental devastation”. (p10)  This empathy for the suffering of others makes gifted children particularly vulnerable to the many forms of insensitivity they see on television, at school or in the world around them. Often these children feel powerless to act and this sense of helplessness can lead them to despair and being critical of themselves as they feel a responsibility for these situations.

Because of their intellectual complexity, gifted children are able to consider the possibilities of how things in the world might be. At the same time they can see how far short the world is falling of their ideal and they feel keen disappointment and sometimes despair. When they try to share their concerns with others, they are often met with reactions such as denial, minimising, puzzlement or hostility. (Webb 1998) (Sword, 2001)

“Many social and emotional characteristics which are rare in the general population and therefore appear weird and extreme to others are very common in the gifted.

Another website you should visit is SENG – Social Emotional Needs of Gifted   – they have great conferences and articles.

The equivalent organization for Twitter Birds is SONG!”


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