How Do We Talk About School Shootings to Gifted Kids?

Source: Photo: Pixabay free image used with permission

A wonderful parent of gifted/2e (twice-exceptional) children emailed me this morning to ask if I had written anything on school shootings: did I have advice for parents of gifted/2e kids?  did I have words of wisdom for the gifted/2e kids themselves? I responded that I had written about fear related to deadly viruses, the flu, terrorism, and our political situation, but nothing on shootings. I then said that I wasn’t sure what to write and to offer. I didn’t like that answer but it was the truth as I have been reeling from all the shootings myself with the most recent one taking the life of psychologists and a social worker.

I went for a run and pondered this. What can we tell gifted/2e children? What am I telling my children? What should I recommend? As a recovering perfectionist who happens to be a psychologist who is supposed to have answers, I often feel tremendous pressure to give the “right” answer. The older and more experienced in life I get, I realize that not only do I not only have to have the “right” answer, but sometimes there aren’t “right” answers and that is okay. As I worked this out during my run I felt a quiet sense of relief that allowed me to get in touch with my thinking. This led me to realize (because I was in my thinking brain rather than my emotional anxious brain) that these latest scary shootings are yet another example of unpredictable situations like…

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