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Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students: Helping Kids Cope with Explosive Feelings

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  593 ratings  ·  89 reviews
Designed to provide support for the difficult job of parenting and teaching gifted children, Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students: Helping Kids Cope With Explosive Feelings provides the resource parents and teachers need to not only understand why gifted children are so extreme in their behavior, but also learn specific strategies to teach gifted children how to live ...more
Kindle Edition, 193 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by Prufrock Press
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Medeia Sharif
Oct 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book answered many of my questions pertaining to giftedness in children. Why do gifted children recollect feelings so strongly? Why do they lash out? What to do about mood swings? How about stress management and the strive for perfection?

The author wrote about deep psychological issues in a a simple format. She breaks things down, uses case studies, presents scenarios, and provides invaluable information to both parents and teachers. Checklists, tip sheets, and worksheets reiterate
Julie Butcher
Oct 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Your child is the smart one, the one who gets bored in school or refuses to do homework, the one who is bullied or has difficulty making friends. Your child has a heart the size of Mount Rushmore, and can inexplicably grasp concepts and emotions that should be impossible for him or her to understand.
Your child is in this book.
Christine Fonesca, in her book, Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students: Helping Kids Cope With Explosive Feelings, deals with problems that we as parents and teachers of
Michelle McLean
Aug 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Christine Fonseca’s Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students is a wonderful tool for anyone trying to understand these incredible kids. Ms. Fonseca debunks a lot of the myths associated with gifted children, including assumptions that children with disabilities can’t be gifted, that gifted kids never fail, and most importantly in my opinion, the belief that gifted kids don’t need help to get through school.

Ms. Fonseca’s book goes through what it means to be gifted and why that goes hand in hand
Danyelle Leafty
Jun 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookshelf
Generally I don't read as much nonfiction, partly because my brain cells are all asleep by the time I can settle down with a book, and partly because a lot of nonfiction is...dry. But one of the first things I noticed about EMOTIONAL INTENSITY is that it felt like Christine and I were sitting down and chatting. I love that the tone of the text is very conversational. It flows with a very natural rhythm that is easy to follow.

I was also very impressed at the range of the audience for EMOTIONAL
Sherrie Petersen
While many of the parenting strategies found in EMOTIONAL INTENSITY IN GIFTED STUDENTS would be useful in any home, what really impressed me were the tips for helping children (as well as parents and teachers) recognize emotional triggers. Once kids and parents learn to see the signs building, they can work together to prevent outbursts and find ways to relax before negative emotions overtake the entire family. Useful tip sheets, checklists and worksheets throughout the book offer practical ...more
My sister recommended this book to me since we both have very emotionally charged, gifted kids. This book was a pleasure to read. It's not dry or clinical at all, and Christine Fonseca is able to cover the subject of giftedness as both a parent and school psychologist.

Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students not only helped me to understand a lot of my son's behavior and issues, but I was able to learn a lot about my own issues and responses to him. There are tip sheets and worksheets throughout
Vanessa Olson
Jul 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a fabulous resource for anyone with 'intense' children, but particularly with gifted children as well. I normally shy away from books such as these, but even into chapter one I knew it would be helpful. I read is at the beginning of this past school year and waited to reserve judgement until I had tried to use some of the advice given in the book.

Nothing substitutes loving, listening and being engaged and concerned for your own children, but this book helped me understand a better
Steph Campbell
Jul 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am in love with this book. It is such an amazing feeling to find a resource like this and feel like someone "gets it". We struggle with these issues with Liam so much. It's gotten to the point where I've found myself wishing that he wasn't so smart sometimes because of the emotional struggles that he has. He doesn't want to try anything new if there isn't a guarantee that he can do it perfectly the first time and misses out on so much. I text Chris earlier to tell him I started reading this ...more
Cara Ball
Nov 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great resource for ideas/solutions when dealing with highly emotional children. I had stepped away from parenting books relating to the gifted child since I felt like they all seemed to be focused on the 'gifted' part of the child and not what is so challenging to the parent--in my case the emotions. This book was very helpful in explaining and offering step by step solutions parents can take in order to assist their child. It also reframed the social/emotional issues in a way which made them ...more
My review of: Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students! Although I was privileged to receive an advanced copy, I have received no other incentives to review it. I simply believe that this book will make your life as the parent of a gifted child a whole lot easier.

From author Christine Fonseca, it is the kind of book that you read … fall in love with … hope there is a sequel (there is) … want to give as a gift to every teacher, school psychologist, and guidance counselor who has ever come in
Melody Riggs
Apr 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My daughter's teacher recommended this book to us because over the last two or three months she has had moments where she has exploded at school, either with the teacher or with another student.

I was skeptical at first. As an educator myself, I've never been a fan of the "gifted" label. There were some times initially too where the writing style of the book frustrated me (particularly with the author would bring up a new lint and then say it would be discussed later). Also, there were times
I am so grateful that this book was written and that I was able to read it. It answered so many questions for me that I have struggled with in my 23 years of parenting, including: "Why are my children so intense?", and "Why is such and such child having such and such problem, when they are so smart and capable?". It also explained much in my childhood, and really my adulthood also.

It explains the special needs and challenges that gifted children face in school, in relationships, and in life. I
Oct 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-reads
This book is great for any parent but especially for those who parent and teach gifted children. It wouldn't hurt all teachers and principals to read this book!

What I loved: Christine starts at the beginning by educating the reader what a gifted child is and why they are more emotional. She goes over the mislabels, myths, diagnosis, etc. that often accompany a gift child's emotions.
Every chapter is short and doesn't read like a college text book. Christine uses understandable terms. At the end
Marissa Morrison
This is probably the best book I've read about helping kids deal with big emotions. Fonseca references Dabrowski's Overexcitabilities and explains that a high level of emotional intensity is totally normal in the gifted population. In addition to urging parents and teachers to recalibrate their expectations, Fonseca recommends specific ways to help kids deal with emotional intensity, anxiety, perfectionism, friendships and bullying.

I wish that the book contained less general discussion and more
Nov 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a female who studied at a gifted school for 7 years and parent of an 8-year old gifted and spirited boy I found this an excellent book full of practical strategies for coaching and helping gifted children with their emotional and behavioral issues. I think it is one of the few resources that describes the emotional intensity of gifted children in great detail and gives parents the tools they need to make a shift from managing child's behavior to understand and shape the way in which child ...more
May 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I recommend this book for anyone with an intense child. I devoured this book in just a couple of evenings after a rough few weeks with my 7yo son. It's a wonderful feeling to feel like this is a "normal" thing that some parents experience and you truly are not doing something terribly wrong. This book is filled with indispensable advice and, beyond that, scenarios that make you realize this may be a different kind of normal.
Janet Helmcamp
Purchased for use with school counselors. A little disappointed when I discovered it was written for parents. There are anecdotes for school personnel. I think overall it helps the reader understand how emotional intensities are manifested in gifted students and gives a few strategies for helping the student decompress.
Ashia Pollen
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some very helpful suggestions I will be trying. Actually helped me understand myself as a child and adult better. I definitely think this will help me respond to and teach my son how to handle his emotions better.
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It’s like she knew my daughter.
Morgan Schulman
Feb 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve read so many parenting books about dealing with children with intense emotions but none of them ever seem to get it. I never thought to look at it through a gifted lens because I always think that “gifted” was a “good thing”. This book give me an excellent insight into my child’s behavior, as well as my own reactions to it and some of my own childhood issues. Just knowing I’m not alone take so much of the emotion out of the situation. I got it from the library but I’m going to buy a copy ...more
Mar 15, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

There were a couple of sections of this book that I found interesting and/or useful. The conversational tone annoyed me, a more professional or informational tone would have been better. The redundancy got a bit old. The model conversations could be helpful if a parent can out-talk their gifted student.

I didn't think the book did a good job of defining "giftedness" to begin with. It was helpful to see some of the behaviors described and to consider some of the reasons for those
Nov 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this book on Goodreads.
Having gifted granddaughters that I regularly interact with I was very interested in reading this book.
I read the nearly 200 pages in about an hour and a half. It was easy to read, enlightening and validated many of the emotions and behaviors I have witnessed in my granddaughters. I especially enjoyed the scenarios and conversations between children and adults, then an explanation of that conversation and then a coaching method of dealing with the situation. I am
Dec 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's like I found the guide book for my son. This Book has a lot of good info in it. There are many conversation examples- that point out where they went wrong and how to fix them. I did skip most of the notes to the teacher sections. Also there are pages of recommended reading on several subjects (anxiety, bullying, dually exceptional etc) at the end. If only I could get my husband to read this!!
Sep 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You can read my complete review at This book is for any parent who has an emotionally intense child. You know, the one you look at pretty much every day and wonder WHAT.THE.HELL? The one who can change mood on a knife's edge, who is just "more," who just doesn't seem to roll with the punches as well as others. Get your hands on this book; it's the one I wish we'd had five years ago.
Nov 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not quite finished with this one, but essentially the author is encouraging parents to use a positive behavior support system in the home - I don't think she called it that, but I definitely felt the suggestions were incredibly similar to what teachers are asked to do in classrooms. Then kids know in advance what expected behaviors are and can relate them to a predetermined acronym. I should probably go back and reread the sections on handling the meltdowns...
Elizabeth Nugent
Mar 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-reads
This book is really interesting, and I think that some of the techniques will be useful for my daughter. However, some of them seem like an awful lot of work! I sometimes feel like I'm expected to be out in advance of every experience she has, and I just can't do that. Easier for stay-at-home parents, I expect.
Apr 23, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is quite a good book -- easy to read and useful information for those of us who have very intense (!) kids. It didn't address the one particular issue I was hoping for, but there are lots of generic strategies discussed. The list of websites and books at the back of this book are very useful for further information.
Aug 04, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recommend this to anyone who is gifted or has a child who is gifted. Giftedness is a blessing and a curse. This book helps appreciate and embarrass both. It is a difficult read for some who appreciates literature and fine writing. The structural components were weak. The content was awesome.
Kim Baccellia
Apr 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! I went over some of the definitions and totally saw my son here. He's the dual gifted child with a learning disability. The examples and worksheets are easy to read and follow. For sure I'd recommend this book. Now I'm going over to buy the supplement book.
Raechel Wolcott
Mar 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A great place to start

Having just found out our kindergartener is gifted but was labeled developmentally delayed because of his big emotions this was a good place to start. Its not uncommon. Are there are things you can do to help
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Q&A with Christin...: Parenting books 13 6 Sep 19, 2012 09:21PM  

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Award-winning and critically-acclaimed author of fiction and non-fiction. Lover of books, lattes, and family. Passionate about humanity. Critically-acclaimed titles include Transcend, The Requiem Series, and The Solomon Experiment series, and Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students, second edition.

When Christine isn’t writing a book, she can be found sipping too many skinny vanilla lattes next to a
“EMOTIONAL INTENSITY DEFINED Emotional intensity can typically be described as strong and intense emotional reactions to various situations. Explosive outbursts, crying jags, paralyzing anxiety, or fear are all features of the negative aspects of emotional intensity (Sword, 2006a). But not all emotional reactions are negative or sad. Sometimes the extreme emotions include giddiness, highly frenetic energy, laughter, and general happiness. Most often, emotional intensity features the frequent vacillation between happiness and anxiety. That’s right, mood swings. Gifted children are prone to intense and somewhat erratic mood swings; it is the very nature of their giftedness.” 0 likes
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