Following your child's interest with support and enthusiasm

Watch Carolyn McWilliams, MA's video on Following your child's interest with support and enthusiasm...
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Following your child's interest with support and enthusiasm

This is one of the most important roles that we play as a parent, helping our child feel good about themselves and be prepared for future success. It might not have immediate rewards in an elementary school, middle school or high school setting. We know that many successful adults did not have their best days as they moved through elementary and high school. The most important thing is to support your child in their passions. Find what they are good at and go along with it. If you have to show up at a Russian bell program on Saturday mornings because that is what they want to do, then you need to do it and you need to do it with enthusiasm. You need to support them so that as they move through life, they keep exploring their passions and they do not shut down. And allow them to feel good about themselves in arenas other than traditional environments.

Watch Carolyn McWilliams, MA's video on Following your child's interest with support and enthusiasm...


Expert Bio

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Carolyn McWilliams, MA

Educational Specialist

Carolyn is currently an educational therapist and educational consultant helping students, parents, and schools meet the challenges of gifted students with learning challenges through her offices in Santa Monica, California. Carolyn also does general consulting with schools on topics from curriculum development to teaching study skills to interpretation of student test scores.

Carolyn began her educational career in Santa Barbara, California, where she received her B.A. and M.A. and became a Ph.D. candidate in Educational Administration with an emphasis on Curriculum and Instruction. She served as a supervisor of student teachers and taught courses across the educational curriculum during her eight years at UCSB.

After completing her studies, Carolyn moved to Los Angeles where she served as the head of Adat Ari El Day School in Valley Village and as a consultant on issues of learning and instruction to Jewish day schools across the Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Spectrum, as well as to elementary and secondary schools of all types. During this time she also served on the faculty of California State University at Northridge.

The parent of three highly gifted daughters of her own (one with learning challenges), throughout her career, Carolyn has designed innovative strategies, as well as unique programs to help gifted students achieve life success. She established the Johns Hopkins Center for Academically Talented Youth (CTY) Summer Commuter Program held at the University of California Los Angeles and served as parent liaison for the CTY to the press and larger community. She was the founder and head of Bridges Academy, which serves a population of twice-exceptional students in grades 6-12, from 1994-2003 (

Carolyn has been a classroom teacher in both Goleta Union and Los Angeles Unified School Districts. She was LAUSD Teacher of the Year, was one of five finalists for California Teacher of the Year, and was given an Outstanding Educator Award by the Los Angeles Times. She has published curriculum and articles in the areas of special education, social studies, English, educational computing, ESL, multi-cultural education, study skills, and classroom organization. She regularly presents at conferences and schools on topics related to curriculum, instruction, classroom organization, gifted students, and special needs populations. 

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