As I've just become the president of Explorers, our local branch of the NZ Association for Gifted Children, I welcome the opportunity to out us all for the Gifted Online's NZ Gifted Awareness Week Blog Tour.
Aucklanders, don't forget the Explorers' Open Day this Saturday!Gifted parenting secrets?
I can read great stuff all day about parenting gifted kids. But just like many of you doing your research, as well as being a parent of gifted kids, I was a gifted kid. Sure, I got taller and overcame my social handicaps and overthinking long enough to find a partner (also gifted) and reproduce. But be honest, how grownup do any of us really feel?
So here we are, gifted adults and also parents. Along with the genius superpowers that everybody thinks we gifted enjoy, we also get our share of some gifted traits:
- Emotional and physical sensitivity
- Introversion and/or extroversion
- Strong sense of fairness, morals, and ethics
- Skeptical, critical, and evaluative tendencies
Not many of these on the list of Top 10 Traits for Great Parents. Parenting is the most stressful experience I've ever known, and my worst traits come out under stress.
So I'm still dealing with my own gifted stuff while I pretend to be dealing so much more intelligently than average with our kids.
All in the family
Just for fun, both my husband and I have gifted siblings (with gifted children) and gifted parents, and they had gifted parents... Love those stats. People ask, "How did you know they were gifted?" Well, I sorta assumed they might be and went from there.
And I wonder whether I would manage an average or slower child with grace. (With my first child born in emergency conditions weighing only 1.7kgs, this was something I had to consider.) It's hard enough with the children I have, who own a similar toolbox for the world.
Reading about methods of parenting gifted children may be our first experience thinking about better and worse ways of experiencing giftedness. So our gifted children get a mixed bag of:
- our version of today's research
- suggestions from peers that sound good
- avoiding what we hated about how we were raised
- expanding on what we enjoyed as children
We're all too used to thinking we know better than anyone else in the room, and we're also too used to disagreeing on most topics with just about everybody we meet. And too many of us come from families where being right wins over being happy (if happy even gets in the game).
My gift to my gifted children
With all my love and all due apologies: when you find (as I did) that you struggle to fit in with the crowd, just remember:
- Don't fit in. The world needs your busy crazy minds, new ideas, and boundless energy, because business as usual is not going to save us now.
- There are people who will value you precisely for what you are. Since you're so smart, don't give up until you find them.