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Life in the Fast Brain: Keeping up with Gifted Minds


As a sequel to the delightfully entertaining and award-winning Raisin' Brains: Surviving My Smart Family, this new book will keep the laughs coming! The same characters are back, five years older, and are living proof that the journey of raising gifted children continues to be full of surprises. Enjoy more comical stories of the things that gifted kids do and say, and discover the wit and wonder of this mother of five all over again!
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Life in the Fast Brain: Keeping Up with Gifted Minds

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As a sequel to the delightfully entertaining and award-winning Raisin' Brains: Surviving My Smart Family, this new book will keep the laughs coming! The same characters are back, five years older, and are living proof that the journey of raising gifted children continues to be full of surprises. Enjoy more comical stories of the things that gifted kids do and say, and discover the wit and wonder of this mother of five all over again!
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Editorial Reviews

All About Kids Magazine
As a mom of five, the author has plenty of hands-on experience. This book is full of humor and insight about dealing with gifted minds. More of a journal than a parenting book, it's a very entertaining read. She gently reminds us to always look on the bright side when dealing with your kids, even if they did spend all weekend digging a 'pond' in the's OK. Really.
Lively Times Magazine
Karen Isaacson offers a delightful sequel to Raisin' Brains: Surviving My Smart Family that's brimming with amusing anecdotes and armed with coping strategies for living with a family whose gray matter processes thoughts and ideas 'in the fast lane.'
Nashville Parent Magazine
Author Isaacson shares anecdotes families can relate to. Her recommendations for handling life's curveballs thrown by gifted children, though, is the point of the book. She equips readers with handy ammo to curb even the feistiest of family fiascos, all the while encouraging readers to 'look on the bright side.' A light-hearted read for parents of gifted kids.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780910707824
  • Publisher: Great Potential Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/28/2007
  • Pages: 165
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1- On the Bright Side

A person with a fast brain-whether that brain is creative, or extra sensitive, or extra intellectually intense-needs coping skills to handle feelings of disappointment, failure, or inability to share his or her passion with others.

Everyone needs coping skills. No matter who you are or what you do, life has a way of coming at you with unexpected sucker punches. Things happen. If you factor in family members or work colleagues, including those who have a good dose of divergent thinking, intense passion, perfectionism, asynchronous development, and sensitivity--all common traits of people with runaway brains--you have quite a mix to cope with! You have to be on your toes. You have to be in your own fast brain.

As a mother of five children, I have developed some good coping skills. I have also developed some highly creative coping skills. Whether I'm hunting down the source of an unidentified water-operated contraption-in-progress that is about to take over the bathroom sink area, or stopping a child's "Why?" in it's tracks, I have learned to keep a good supply of coping tools handy.

While there isn't anything terribly original about looking at the bright side, I have found it to be one of my best sanity savers. It beats counting backwards from 10 and taking deep breaths. It even beats a big bowl of ice cream, though I must admit I do indulge in a little comfort food now and then, when optimism alone isn't enough to do the trick. It's important not to rely too heavily on just one technique for dealing with difficulty; you could develop immunities. But I am willing to test the immunity theory if it has to do with ice cream.

By now, you may be picturing me weighing in at 500 pounds and living in La La Land, blissfully ignoring both the bathroom scale and problems that spring up like dandelions. But no, it doesn't work that way. Not with the kind of coping skills I'm referring to.

For coping with any kind of stress, there are a lot of opportunities available-you know, things like golfing, jogging, therapeutic advice, hitting a punching bag, shopping, and really lo-o-ong vacations. Everyone has a few favorites. I'm sure you have yours.

But for an easy, reliable, you-can-always-count-on-it recipe for coping, my favorite strategy is looking on the bright side, or the lighter side. I have lots of other strategies, which I will talk about in later chapters, but looking at the bright side comes first. Why? Because it gives me hope. Look at that. "Hope" rhymes with "cope." Not that that has anything to do with anything, but hey, it's a cool coincidence.

When you're a fast brain yourself, it's more important than ever to be able to look on the bright side of things and to envision the positive. It may not change the situation, but it puts your mind in a less stressful position and enables you to think more clearly, or to at least enjoy what there is to enjoy without having all of the sunshine blocked out by the clouds.

Recently, on a Monday morning, when I was volunteering at our elementary school, a sixth-grade teacher walked into the faculty lounge to get some coffee. He looked a little frazzled. "I must be losing my marbles," he said, "I just finished teaching an English lesson, and after I finished, my students told me I gave that same lesson last Friday."

"Wow," I thought. But then, "Oh, well," my coping brain said out loud, without much advance thinking. "Look at it this way: The good news is that at least they were paying attention on Friday."

His face lit up. "You know what? You're right!" He seemed much happier with that thought.

I must say that kind of positive spin doesn't always work. The other day I was speaking with a friend who had gone away for the weekend with her husband and returned home only to find that her teenage son had hosted a party at their home-a party with all of the traditional teenage accompaniments, like alcohol and police cars. My friend was devastated. When someone asked her if her house was trashed, she said, "Oh no. He made sure he put all of the valuable and breakable stuff away."

I jumped in with, "Well, the good news is that he was responsible enough to do that."

She gave me one of those looks that could kill. Apparently, this wasn't the right time or place for looking at the bright side. So keep that in mind.

I don't think that my friend was emotionally ready for the "hope" stage. Her mind was still reeling from shock and worry. Sometimes we have to work through things a bit before we can jump into the hope business. However, the sixth-grade teacher was another story. When he realized that his class was actually listening, he had hope, because that meant all he had to do was get it together himself. He was having a bad day. It was temporary.

Hope is a magical thing. It keeps you going when nothing else will. It's the only thing that gives the impossible a shot at life. It fuels our dreams...
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: On the Bright Side
Chapter 2: Another Way Around It
Chapter 3: Too Much Information-Or Not Enough
Chapter 4: They Are Way Ahead of Us
Chapter 5: Getting It All Under Control
Chapter 6: Living in the Real World
Chapter 7: A Little Intensity Goes a Long Way
Chapter 8: Living with Good Intentions
Chapter 9: When Science Experiments Go Bad
Chapter 10: Feeling Different and Fitting In
Chapter 11: Laughing It Off
Chapter 12: Pulling Together
About the Author
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  • Posted February 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Mom's Choice Awards Recipient!

    Life in the Fast Brain: Keeping up with Gifted Minds is a recipient of the prestigious Mom's Choice Award. The Mom's Choice Awards honors excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. An esteemed panel of judges includes education, media and other experts as well as parents, children, librarians, performing artists, producers, medical and business professionals, authors, scientists and others. A sampling of the panel members includes: Dr. Twila C. Liggett, ten-time Emmy-winner, professor and founder of PBS's Reading Rainbow; Julie Aigner-Clark, Creator of Baby Einstein and The Safe Side Project; Jodee Blanco, New York Times best-selling Author; LeAnn Thieman, motivational speaker and coauthor of seven Chicken Soup For The Soul books; and Tara Paterson, Certified Parent Coach and founder of the Mom's Choice Awards. Parents and educators look for the Mom's Choice Awards seal in selecting quality materials and products for children and families.

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