Making connections 3

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

“Pincher’s real name is Prudence” Sprite said “I finally talked to her today.”
Ever since Sprite had decided that maybe she was supposed to act as a mentor for the little girl she thought of as Pincher Sprite had been rehearsing the introduction that Emotional Dabrowski had suggested to her.
“Hi! How are you today? My name is Sprite by the way; what is your name?”

“I am scared it will come out all wrong” said Sprite. “It would be so embarrassing if I ended up saying Hi Pincher. Who are you today? My name is Sprite by the way.”

She had also been taking a ball of wool so that she could ask Pincher if she wanted to play cat’s cradle.
She had become so anxious about it that she had even prayed that if she really was supposed to be a mentor that the introductory process would go smoothly.

But for several days she had not seen Pincher. One day it rained and they ate their lunch in their own classrooms. Another day Pincher’s class went on an excursion. Then Pincher was away from school for a few days with a cold and then Sprite was absent for a day for a doctor’s appointment.
Sprite had stopped taking the ball of wool to school and rehearsing her introduction.

“It turned out so much better than I could have possibly hoped” Sprite said. “Pincher’s teacher was on yard duty at lunch time and Pincher was walking around with her. I like to do that too. And they came over to where I was sitting to eat my lunch and read my book.
The teacher said “Hi Sprite! How are you feeling now? (And listened properly while I told her) And then she said “I would like you to meet Prudence. She has a present for you.”

“The day I was away our class visited her class because they have organised a buddy program.
And I have been paired with Prudence. Mostly the teachers chose who we were going to have as a buddy. But Prudence had specially asked if she could have me!”

“Prudence had drawn a picture of me and she wanted to give it to me but she felt a bit shy about doing it in case I didn’t like her picture. So the teacher helped her to introduce herself to me. I think it is a pretty good drawing for a little kid!”

Making connections 2

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

Now that Sprite had decided that maybe she was supposed to be a mentor for the little girl she thought of as Pincher she was worrying about what she should do and say.

Of course the Dabrowski Dogs and the Black Dogs were eager to provide input.

“I think it would be wonderful for you to be her mentor” said Imaginational Dabrowski. “She could come to visit us and go on excursions with you and you could lend her books and …”

“I would like to urge caution” said Guard on Duty Black Dog. “You really do not know anything about her. You do not know whether she needs or wants a mentor. You do not know whether she even wants to be friends or if she just likes playing with your crutches.”

“Paula said I need to talk to her to find out about all that.” Sprite said. “But I just do not know what to say.”

“I suppose I could talk about the weather” she suggested.

“Yes, you could talk about barometric pressure and isobars and the Stevenson Screen” said Intellectual Dabrowski.

“Talking about the weather is depressing!” said SAD Seasonally Affected Black Dog

“Then you could tell her about chaos theory, fractals, tessellations and harmonic motion of the planets” said Intellectual Dabrowski.

“That is NOT a good idea!” said Wistful Black Dog who tends to have negative thoughts about the past. “Remember the reactions you got when you tried to talk about those things in the past.”

“Take a ball or a Frisbee and ask if she wants to play” yelped Psycho Motor Dabrowski.
“Yeah, great idea. You can throw it and she can go fetch it” said Little Bully Black Dog. “Then you could ask her to go and get all sorts of other stuff for you too.”

“That is not a good idea at all!” Sprite said. “I don’t want to bully her or tease her. I want to talk to her and find out more about her”

“Ask her how she is feeling” suggested Sensual Dabrowski. “Ask her if she wants to use your crutches because she really has a sore ankle or if she is just dressing up like you because she is a copycat. If you like I could sit in front of her and scratch myself and see if she gets itchy too.”

“Ask her if she feels like an alien too” said little Thinks-he’s –an-alien Black Dog

Emotional Dabrowski was horrified by those suggestions! “You can’t say things like that to her the first time you talk to her. That is NOT going to make her feel comfortable enough to talk to you.
You could take a board game or a craft or wool for a cat’s cradle game and ask her if she wants to play with you.
Why not say “Hi! How are you today? My name is Sprite by the way; what is your name?”

Making connections

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

“I think I have an Apprentice and I don’t know what to do about it!” Sprite told her mentor, Paula the Physicist.

“There is a little kid in a lower class who follows me round and copies what I do.  When I got my new pinafore she wore a pinafore just like it two days later.
She always wants to have a go on my crutches and if I sit down to eat lunch she will try to borrow them. Sometimes I do let her use them.
I noticed she has a bandage on her ankle so maybe she is like me.”

“Why do you think she is your Apprentice?” Paula asked.

“It was something Retweet said yesterday.” Sprite replied. “How did you know you were supposed to be my Mentor?”

“Well you asked Jo to invite a Physicist to your P Party back in 2010 and Jo chose to invite me. And because we arrived for the party a month late we had an opportunity to spend more time talking than we would have had at the party and we discovered the things we had in common. I was able to share the things I had found helpful to me and our mentor/apprentice relationship has developed from there.”

“If she really is supposed to be my Apprentice – what am I supposed to do about it?”

“You could spend time together doing something you both enjoy and, as you talk, you will work out how you can help. What do you both like to do?”
“I don’t know.”
“What is she interested in?”
“I don’t know.”
“What subjects does she enjoy?
“I don’t know.”
“What does she find difficult?”
“I don’t know.”
“Well you need to start by talking with her. What is her name?”

“I don’t know – I think of her as Pincher.”

Gifted relationships

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

Retweet the Twitter Bird was back from the Hoagiesgifted’ July blog hop feeling very encouraged and bubbling over with ideas for future projects for her tweetlets.

She had been encouraged by Paula Prober’s post   If I’m so smart, why am I so lonely? at Your rainforest mind that there were other like minds to be found

And she had found tips about where to find like minds at Cait’s My little poppies post Finding and forging gifted relationships

She heard about the effort required maintain relationships at Adventures of Hahn Academy’s post Relationships require work /

And she had seen the value of relationships in Celi’s Crushing tall poppies post
Gifted relationships The silver lining in the gifted storm

She had found these helpful tips about building healthy friendships at Up Parenting Creek
7 Tips to help your kids build healthy friendships
Build Negotiation Skills
Foster Empathy
Teach How to Say, “I’m Sorry” (and Mean It!)
Role Play Through Tricky Situations
Encourage Hobbies (Find a Tribe)
Make Your Home Welcoming
Model Healthy Friendships

She had decided that she would incorporate these tips into their NEST Ed and also would investigate the Virtues program mentioned in GiftEd connections post
Gifted and Struggling with Relationships? The Virtues are a Good Place to Start

But it was the post from Braver than you believe which really made Retweet think!
Five relationships every gifted kid needs

She agreed that it is important to have people in our lives who have the relationship of role model, mentor, peer, apprentice and sergeant.

Her tweetlets had found true peers of all ages at the Bower Holiday Programs and the Psych-Owl-Ogist had arranged a mentor for them. She was not sure whether they had anyone filling the other roles.


She asked Sprite whether she had people who fitted those descriptions.

“My mentor Paula the Physicist is also my role model” Sprite told her “She has overcome the same problems I have and has earned tertiary degrees. And she loves astronomy like I do so we always have plenty to discuss”

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

“The role of Sergeant is being filled by Intellectual Dabrowski and P’est Pour Parfait, the Perfectionist Poodle. I don’t need anyone else telling me what to do and how to do it!”

“I guess I do have an Apprentice” Sprite continued. “There is a little kid in a lower class who follows me round and copies what I do. Like when I got my new pinafore she wore a pinafore just like it two days later.
I do not know what her name is. I call her Pincher because she always wants to have a go on my crutches and if I sit down to eat lunch she will try to borrow them. Sometimes I let her use them and one time I took a photo of her. Then I noticed she has a bandage on her ankle so maybe she is like me and I should try to help her like Paula helps me.”

“There was a post on the hop about gifted/special needs relationships” Retweet said.
The Fissure – The Power of Special Connections: Gifted/Special Needs Friendships

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

“What about peers? Do you have any special friends?” asked Retweet
“Can I count Paula and Columbus Cheetah and the Memory Elephant and the Dabrowski Dogs?” asked Sprite.

This is a follow up post to the Hoagiesgifted’ July blog hop 


Friends and relations

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

Great Aunt Hashtag was visiting the Tweet family again.

Retweet was trying to make the visit a positive experience by declaring that as part of their NEST Ed activities for the week they would be researching their family tree as Great Aunt Hashtag was very knowledgeable about Tweet’s family history.
“I am glad to see you are doing that.” said Great Aunt Hashtag.
“In MY day we knew how to respect our ancestors and relatives!”

Retweet already knew that there were several illustrious ancestors who were Leaders of the Great Migrations in Tweet’s family tree. She attributed the giftedness of her tweetlets to the genes they had inherited from Tweet’s family. However she acknowledged that there were many brilliant musicians, poets and visionaries on her side of the family tree.
And of course she had discussed the nature versus nurture issue with the Psych-Owl-Ogist on several occasions. He had shown her a diagram of Professor Francoys Gagne’s DMGT model and pointed to the Environmental Catalysts section to demonstrate how the influence of the nest environment played its part in the development of the Tweetlets innate giftedness into fully developed talent.

Tweet had also told Retweet about an old uncle who was a brilliant thinker and was said to be rather peculiar. Retweet was really keen to know more about him.

“Oh he was a bad egg, a bad egg!” said Great Aunt Hashtag “He was the black sheep of the family!”

Tweetelle tugged at Retweet’s wingtip “You told us sheep and dogs do not come out of eggs” she whispered
“The black sheep of the family is just a saying. We will talk about it later.” Retweet whispered back.

“It is a good thing you can choose your friends because you cannot choose your relations” Retweet said.
She was trying to smooth the conversation but she was also remembering some of the awkward moments when Great Aunt Hashtag had caused upset to the tweetlets during her visits.
Relationships can become quite strained when the characteristics of giftedness are not understood.

“Talking about friends – do you still keep in touch with Trending and her family?” asked Great Aunt Hashtag.
“No. Trending and I have grown apart over the years and her tweetlets did not have any interests in common with my tweetlets.” Retweet replied.

Retweet had found that her tweetlets preferred the company of older tweetlets or adult Twitter birds. Finding same age friends had proved quite a challenge. She was glad that the tweetlets had found some like minded peers of all ages at the Bower Holiday Program.

“Is the Peculiar Bad Egg Bird my Uncle?” asked Tweetil.

“Let’s work it out” said Great Aunt Hashtag “If I am your great aunt and he was my third cousin once removed what relationship is he to you?

“I thought ‘In a Relationship’ was a polite way of saying the naughty word” said Tweetelle. “The baby sitter said she was In a Relationship and….”

Retweet went very pink in the face. “I think we may have to revisit the Birds and the Bees talk later” she said.

This is a post for Hoagiesgifted’ July Blog Hop: Gifted Relationships
To read more posts on the hop please visit