Did you know it’s National Parenting a Gifted Child Week?

A young Pamela PriceIn honor of the occasion, I’d like to remind you of two old posts of mine:

The first one tells the story of how I flunked out of the gifted program. The second one regards what my mother told me after I shared the story with the world.

It’s challenging to be the parent of a gifted child in a world where people get nervous if you bring the topic of  “giftedness” up. That’s because most people continue to insist that giftedness is about academics (and hothousing). It’s not. The fact is that we gifted people experience life a little (or a lot) out of step emotionally, cognitively and sometimes even physically. Plus, gifted kids are more apt to be bullied and are more apt to take that bullying to heart.

All that can present some real challenges to parents of gifted kids.

As I’ve worked with some of these same parents for my book research and consulting, I’ve had the opportunity to suss through a lot of my own childhood and past. Although I excelled academically, not all of my life as a gifted kid and young adult was pretty. The “mean girls” bullying that I experienced in grade school and later in college left me emotionally bruised and vulnerable. There was a fair amount of self-loathing that still crops up on occasion.

It took me nearly 40 years to learn that I don’t have to suffer casual social cruelty from others. In fact, if anything, I’m now more vocal in my opposition to it. Having once suffered in silence, now I can’t seem to pipe down. Yet I’m also exceedingly cautious about engaging in social events, preferring to focus on relationships with a few carefully cultivated friends than risk what I experienced before being in “the crowd.” (Fortunately, a hermit’s life is well suited for becoming an author, which is my new career.)

Mind you, the household of my childhood was loving and supportive. I had great parents. But it would have been nice if my parents would have had access to groups like SENG around to help them help me.

On that note, go check out the free seminars and other support options SENG is offering parents this week.

National Parenting a Gifted Kid Week 2013

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2 comments

  1. My son is a gifted program reject too. He’s an extrovert (unlike you and I) and in many ways his need to be in the thick of things only complicates his life. Rather than hunker down and succeed academically, he’s unmotivated and more interested in the relationships that surround him than work on paper. Today’s free webinar is a great one for parents like me (I work for SENG). It’s about how to communicate with your kid’s teacher and why it often fails. Thanks for posting!

    • Thanks for your note, Lauren. I hope people will check out the seminar.

      Earlier in the year I did a series of posts about temperament in homeschooling, which might dovetail with today’s webinar:
      http://www.howtoworkandhomeschool.com/search/label/Temperaments

      I’m actually an “expressive introvert,” and am often mistaken for an extrovert. Our son is a true extrovert, and so I totally “get” what you mean about a “need to be in the thick of things.”

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