Signs of Love


Secrets of Raising Happy Children: Discover the 3As of a Happy Parent

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“Happiness is a habit – cultivate it.”

Elbert Hubbard

Parenthood is a lifelong journey that demands the best from you. You wonder, “How do I stay on track and go the distance, especially during the challenging times?” Discovering the 3As of what truly happy parents practice is a crucial step, otherwise the constant façade of happiness you put on for the sake of your family will eventually burn you out!

Although you cannot eliminate all the setbacks in your life, it is how you choose to respond to them that will make the difference. The following are three practical tips – Accept, Affirm, Align (3As) – that can help you be the kind of happy parent who is well equipped to raise happy children.

Happy Parent of Happy Child Tip #1: Accept your brain’s chemistry

According to Professor Loretta G. Breuning, Ph.D., there are four neurochemicals that regulate our feelings of happiness. Endorphin is the body’s natural morphine which grants us temporary euphoria to withstand pain when we get injured lest we have to make a quick dash from danger; dopamine keeps us high in view of a perceived reward; oxytocin triggers feelings of closeness when we bond with others physically or emotionally; and serotonin gives us a boost when we are made to feel important.

Our neurochemical levels fluctuate as the situations around us change; for example, dopamine dips when one’s goal is achieved. Since the neurochemical drop dampens our feelings, we may imagine that a problem exists and unwittingly adopt a negative outlook. But if we understand that it is just how the balance of our neurochemicals works, we can assure ourselves, “Relax, it’s the chemicals; it’s not me!”

Happy Parent of Happy Child Tip #2: Affirm yourself

We tend to be our own worst critic. In our earnest bid for self-improvement, we may go overboard berating ourselves for our failures. Unfortunately, if you put yourself down often enough, you will end up with so much negative energy that it spills over to others despite your best efforts to keep it under wraps. Your precious children are innocent parties that do not deserve your pent-up negativity.

To be a happier parent, do yourself a favor: Forgive yourself more. Speak affirmative words to the person you see in the mirror every day. If you don’t treat yourself well, who will? After all, it does not cost you anything to do so – no hired coach, no professional motivator needed.

Happy Parent of Happy Child Tip #3: Align your expectations

Studies in consumer behavior have shown that once a customer is happy with a certain product or service, it will take more to please the customer the next time because the level of expectation has been raised. Likewise, you might have discovered something that makes you feel happy. But can you derive the same level of joy through that same source day after day?

To counter the happiness paradox – i.e. the happier you are, the harder it is to make you happy the next time – bestselling author and psychologist Harry Beckwith, J.D., recommends this: don’t lower your expectations but don’t raise the bar either. In other words, align your expectations in a realistic manner so that you don’t create impossible goals and cause frustration instead.

Well, it seems as if being happy comes with a caveat! Nevertheless that is a small price to pay compared with the boundless possibilities that happiness can offer you and your loved ones.


The aforementioned tips are by no means exhaustive. However, the 3As – Accept, Affirm, Align – are a good starting point in your endeavor to become a happy parent more consistently. Remember, the objective of being a happy parent is to be able to raise happy children who can reach their full potential in life.


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Secrets to Success for Gifted Adults – 8 to Be Great!

Dear bloggers & Face Book users: please help us grow our little music school by sharing and reblogging this post – thank you – S


As a gifted adult, you are definitely in search of success, right? So why not make it as easy as possible? Use these eight simple steps right now to put yourself on the path to achieving what you really want in a short amount of time.

There are many frameworks for success out there, but what works for you isn’t always what works for everyone else. So here’s how you can apply the categories of passion, work, focus, push, ideas, improve, serve, and persist to gifted adults.

1. Passion – This area almost never seems to be a problem for gifted adults. As a matter of fact, they have more trouble trying to narrow down their passions than they do trying to find one in the first place.

So as far as passion goes, choose the one that stands out the most for you right now and think about what you could do to make it awesome and impactful on the world. This passion will be one foundational piece of your essential mission – the path that will give you the ultimate excitement, pleasure and satisfaction in life. You’ll probably find that over time many of your awesome and impactful passions will fit together to formulate your essential mission completely. And when that happens, in an incredible place you’ll be!

2. Work – However you’d like to consider it, it’s going to take a lot of work to get to the summit of your life experience. Time, effort, money, sweat and tears are all involved here.

The most important thing to remember as you’re putting in huge amounts of effort, and being gifted, are likely on an emotional roller coaster for a good part of the time, is that every step of the way is getting you closer to where you want to be. Even if it doesn’t look like it, or if everyone around you is telling you you’re wasting your time, know that every learning experience makes you a more knowledgeable and stronger person – one that is all the more able to handle the super success that comes at the top.

3. Focus – The things that you want in life won’t necessarily fall into your lap – you will have to work for them – but you’ll find that they will all come together much more easily when you’ve determined your focus and you know for sure, or at least mostly for sure, what you’re striving for. (Not having focus is kind of like deciding to go on vacation but not knowing where. When you decide on your destination it makes getting there a whole lot easier.)

For gifted adults, finding focus means, not only doing one thing very well, but figuring out how to use the many things you do well to make a difference in the lives of yourself and others. It isn’t about narrowing your focus down to such a point that it includes only one thing. It’s about combining your many points of focus to create something new, exciting and unexplored.

4. Push – This is one of the toughest parts of the success process for gifted adults. Usually the aims they have in life aren’t the traditional ones that most people shoot for. The things that bring them the most satisfaction are maybe not even understood by many of the people closest to them. So what do they do? This is where making connections with other gifted adults becomes mandatory.

It’s tough enough to succeed at doing normal things, so you have to set up your support systems in a big way when you’re ready to succeed at an ultimate unconventional level. When you start to feel down and out, when the work is becoming overwhelming, or when you feel like you’re not even sure you’re on the right track, getting in touch with your gifted friends can offer you the push you so definitely need at that moment in time.

5. Ideas – Generating ideas is also something that usually comes relatively easy for gifted adults. The challenge for them is to figure out which ones to use right now and which ones to put on the back burner for a while.

Keeping a journal is very helpful for this, as is having some awesome let’s-bang-around-some-great-ideas conversations with gifted friends. You can use some local or reachable experts in the fields you’re working with as well who will also be able to help you refine your reflections and insights. And if independent, do-it-now kind of idea creation is what you prefer, you can try setting up a filing cabinet with folders or compartments for each of your magnificent ideas along with the supplies they need to put them into action.

6. Improve – This one is another given for many gifted adults. You can say it may even be built-in directly somehow. For them, the desire to improve is less like a potential option and more like a life-giving necessity.

Sometimes, for gifted adults the desire to improve is so strong that what to do or how to go about it in the best way becomes more of the challenge. Using the connections you’ve made with positive and uplifting people will help you figure out where the most important places are for you to progress from the position you’re standing in right now. And remember, with the high learning curve that giftedness brings, your place of improvement might be different tomorrow, and next week, and next month. Just know that is absolutely OK.

7. Serve – This is one more area that’s nearly part of the genetic makeup of gifted adults – the need to contribute something beyond themselves. The secret for them is to put their unique sets of passions together to create something that serves others in the maximal way.

You can do amazing things; you’ve got bucket loads of ideas and passions; you’re not afraid to keep on trying; and you really want to help people with what you do. So now consider what you would love to do, be and have if you had all of the time, money and resources you needed at your fingertips, and then take the first steps toward making that real. Putting the pieces together to change the world, not just in any way, but in the most beneficial and positive way is the goal now.

8. Persist – Isn’t it amazing that one of the key traits of giftedness is also one of the eight keys to success?

The biggest challenge for gifted adults here is not that they are not persistent – they so often are to an incredible degree – but that they keep moving forward when they’re feeling down and out, when the world goes against them, and when their unconventional ideas are just beginning to break through into the conceptualizations of the rest of the planet. — So perhaps the ultimate success question for gifted adults is this: If 6-7 of these secrets to success are basically built into them, why are they not all incredibly successful?

The biggest answer lies in Success Point 4 – Push. At only 3-5% of the general population, gifted adults are so physically scattered in their cities, communities, and countries that they have trouble finding one another. And without other people who understand their intensities, and what some may call insanities, it’s hard to keep moving forward. It’s tough for them to stand on their own day after day, idea after idea, potential miracle after potential miracle.

So if you are a gifted adult, be on the lookout for others like you anywhere and everywhere you go. And when you find them, hang onto them, especially the positive, motivating ones, because their presence around you may just be the final piece you need to complete the puzzle of your essential life mission and find ultimate success.


Sonia Dabboussi is the founder of Gifted for Life, a groundbreaking community of empowered gifted adults who maximize their unique abilities, sensitivities, experiences and insights to make a remarkable world impact.

For over a decade and a half, her diverse experience in academic and personal development through positions in education, educational administration and success coaching has led her to conduct seminars, workshops and one-on-one trainings for exceptional people in local, national and international regions.

She is also a gifted adult.

Connect with gifted adults and other outstanding people at Gifted for Life,

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Indigo Adults: What Are These Special Children Doing Now?

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Before I launch into Indigo adults, let me give you a bit of back-story. The title “indigo children” was originally developed by authors Lee Carroll and Jan Tober who when working with Nancy Tappe discovered that her rare brain disorder synaesthesia allowed her to perceive auras or colours around people. These colours were a representation of that persons personality and essence, and never before had she seen so many children with indigo in their auras. Lee Carroll determined at the time that these were “boys or girls who displayed a new and unusual set of psychological attributes, revealing a pattern of behaviour generally undocumented before”. It was those attributes that marked these children as a force that would slowly change the world simply due to their questioning nature, rare insight and strength to challenge established authority.

Ten years on from their original book ‘Indigo Children’ and we now have indigo teenagers and adults. However it is difficult to say where they are today since there is both a light and dark side to every story. Neale Donald Walshe, author of ‘Conversations with God’ said “Indigo children have access to human experience at a larger level, at a greater depth than most people”. But these are also adults who were often misdiagnosed with Attention-Deficit Disorder, medicated and brought up with the ingrained autocratic methods of their parents. A loving environment growing up, is important with every child, and more so with indigo children as they learn and experience in a different way to others. Some Indigo adults have started their own families with a new generation of indigo children that they are lovingly raising in a balanced and harmonious environment. Others have never found their place in the world, have had difficult conforming to society and constantly felt misunderstood.

As you can imagine indigo teenagers would be difficult to live with if parents tried to constrain them with rules and regulations. Talks ending with “because I said so” would have absolutely no effect, or perhaps the opposite effect desired. Dr. Jill Porter developed a ‘Constructivism’ learning environment for indigo teens where their knowledge is constructed from experience. She also advised that parents take a similar approach to their teens and young adults by allowing them to learn and process for themselves rather than supplying them with lists of do’s and don’ts. “Indigo Children anticipate respectThey expect to be spoken to, not talked at or over” said Prof. Jennifer Townselyin ‘Indigo Children: Ten Years Later’.

Indigo adults are also now in the workforce. Company executives maintain that the new generation of workers is not like the old one. These employees’ question and wont give respect that is not earned. In serving positions like waiters and desk clerks, the ‘can I help you’ protocol is gone. Instead it’s replaced by silence, an assessing look – and if you treat them as an equal regardless of the hierarchy of the office, they will offer you the same courtesy. Studies show Indigo adults are less concerned about monetary value and more passionate about freedom, creativity and changing perceptions. These adults may be seen as lacking motivation, having a terrible work ethic and not knowing their place. However Indigos have an innate sense of self worth and though they do not accept the oppressive attitude associated with ‘servers’, they can make the best humanitarians if society stops judging each other on class, job, social standing, and instead treats everyone with the same compassion.

Nancy Tappe affirms that “usually each universal age is accompanied by a preponderance of people with that life color… this the Violet Age of transition. During the next age, the Indigo Age, Indigo colors will be the norm.” The indigo aura is dominating our society these days from children through to adults. They are now in schools, in the home, in the workplace and they have the remarkable potential to make a difference. Regardless of whether or not they are psychic or whether or not you believe indigo auras exist. We can all see the change in the world, where young people becoming adults refuse to accept governments and methods that are corrupt, where ‘sit down and be quiet’ is no longer a viable teaching method in schools and where the energy, spirit and enthusiasm of children is now seen in adults who are slowly but surely making their mark on the world.


Annabelle Wadsworth has been a healer and energy worker for over 20 years. For more great information on Indigo Adults, visit


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Is High IQ Sufficient to Identify a Gifted Child?

Dear bloggers & Face Book users: please help us grow our little music school by sharing and reblogging this post – thank you – S


Schools have a responsibility to provide the best education they can to every child. Part of this duty is the identification of those with learning difficulties and also the gifted and talented. Both groups of children require different support from the school environment, but learning difficulties are often prioritised above helping the gifted. After all, schools want to make sure there are no barriers to education, and the natural inclination is to see a gifted child as one that has no difficulty with accessing education.

Sadly, this can cause problems for the gifted child. If the school does nothing to challenge them, a gifted child can deal with their boredom in a variety of ways. The best case scenario is that they find ways to educationally challenge themselves, or have a family with the time and resources to find activities designed to stretch them. However, the less positive outcome is a gifted child with huge potential to achieve that becomes bored and disillusioned with schooling, and learning in general. Realising that they only need to do the bare minimum to keep up, or sometimes not caring when they fall behind, it can be the beginning of a downward spiral into behavioural problems such as truancy, depression and even petty crime. At this point, the school becomes focused on the behaviour, rather than the problem, and once a child is labelled as a troublesome student, it can take a huge effort to reverse the process.

The definition of a ‘gifted child’

In order to prevent this from happening, the first step is the correct identification of a gifted child – something that all parents and education professionals need to be able to do with confidence. Having been in education for over thirty years, I have come to the conclusion that the word ‘gifted’ is overused, and frequently applied to children who are simply very bright. In the 1930’s, the official indicator for a gifted child was an IQ above 130, but is this sufficient?

In order to illustrate how extraordinary a gifted child can be, I’d like to offer some anecdotes about a French student that myself and tutors in my agency have been working with for the past year.

The parents of the teenaged boy in question got in touch because he had been expelled from a prestigious private school in Beijing. The school simply hadn’t found the right way to engage him, or deal with a group of troublesome students with whom the boy had got involved. The family found themselves in a terrible situation: their child had been expelled from a prestigious private school, he had effectively lost a semester of work, thus damaging his grade point average, and it seemed impossible for him to be able to attend any decent university, let alone the Ivy League school he had his sights upon.

Several months later his life has turned around and we are starting to see what this young man is capable of. Recently, he completed one semester of an AP Literature course in ten days – a course that usually takes 16 weeks to complete. He scored more than 92% – his tutor didn’t even have to grade the last three assignments as he had already achieved an A grade. This is an American college level course, but he completed it at this high level in this extraordinary timeframe.

Another illustration is the reaction of a Cambridge professor who kindly agreed to tutor him for three weeks during the summer vacation. The student attended a one-on-one tutorial with the head of maths of Churchill College for three hours everyday, and thrived on it. The professor later told me that he had had reservations about teaching such a young student, but that he had found the experience ‘refreshing’.

Why high IQ should not be the only criterion when identifying gifted children

These anecdotes demonstrate that high IQ is not sufficient to determine whether a child is gifted. An IQ test wouldn’t reveal all of the other traits that are seen in truly gifted children; their tenacity, for example, or their ability to produce exceptional work in exceptional circumstances. The truly gifted child will develop an incredible work ethic when given the right support and stimulation.

Children like the student described are rare, but they have the capabilities to go on and do incredible things for society. A school system that cannot give such children what they need can crush the enthusiasm out of them and also deny society the benefits of their abilities in years to come. Coping with a gifted child can be a challenge – the young man I described has needed ten tutors this year to give him the required breadth and depth of tuition, but the benefits cannot be denied. As education professionals we must encourage and nurture gifted children, otherwise society will suffer in the long term.

Adam Caller has been directly involved in education for the entirety of his career, and has tutored students of all ages. He has received specialist training in dyslexia and Attention Deficit Disorder and is very sensitive to children’s educational difficulties. As founder of Tutors International, a worldwide organisation providing experienced private tutors to work with children of all ages and nationalities, Adam has turned his expertise to recruiting, training and placing other tutors to help families. Tutors International has extensive experience of tutoring gifted children and ensuring that they can reach their full potential.

Tutors International specialises in providing tutors for a wide variety of situations, from helping students re-take critical exams, helping pupils with the transition of moving between international school systems, and supporting youngsters with AD/HD and dyslexia. They provide a bespoke service to find the right tutor that suits the child’s needs and aspirations, and if a full-time live-in tutor is required, Adam personally ensures that the assigned tutor is the right match for the family and fits in the environment.

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