{GHF Blog Hop} Let’s Talk about Giftedness & Community

A conversation about giftedness and community  Pamela Price of RedWhiteandGrew

 

This month for the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum (GHF) November 2014 blog hop, Finding Community, I invited some members of my private online salon to weigh in on the following questions:

1. As a gifted person or parent of gifted kid, do you crave community? Why? What kind?
2. Where/how do you find community? Where/how does it find you?
3. What are some of the challenges that relationships within communities present for you?
4. How do you address or overcome those challenges?

Three people responded. Here are the responses in their entirety, with minimal editing from me.

From Caitlin Curley, My Little Poppies:

1. As the parent of a gifted kid, I do crave community. I crave it for myself, so that I have people with whom I can speak freely about my twice exceptional, gifted little guy. I want to be able to learn from others who have been-there-done-that and came through better for it all. I want to be able to ask questions of parents who have kids like mine, or of educators who have worked with kids like mine.

More importantly, I would love to find a community for my gifted child. We live in a small, rural town. The reality is, there aren’t many- if any- kids like mine in town. I would love for him to feel a sense of community, to know others like him, to be able to express himself freely and without reservation.


2. I’ve had to look online in order to find community. I am so grateful for GHF, Hoagies, and Davidson. I honestly do not know how folks did this before technology. It must have been so lonely. I’m still looking for a community for our son.


3. The challenges are lack of face-to-face, in real life, community.

 

4. I’d like to attend PG Retreats and other such events with my son, but it’s not in the cards this year.

 

From Celi Trepanier of Crushing Tall Poppies:

How do you find community? It is easy enough to find wonderful gifted communities online, but when you crave a like-minded person to sit down and chat with, you have to make more of an effort. Look to groups, clubs, teams and activities that focus on interests your own gifted child loves. Call or email the gifted supervisor for your school district, even if you homeschool, to see if there is a gifted parent support group in your area. Look on Facebook for local gifted groups and get involved in the conversation. And never be afraid to start your own gifted support group if you can’t find one in your area. Two years ago, out of pure desperation, I started a Facebook gifted parent support group, North Alabama Parents of Gifted Children, hoping to meet just a few other parents in the same boat I was in, and I ended up with more than I could have ever imagined!

From an anonymous responder:

The main problem I find in relationships outside (or even inside) of the gifted community is based in the fact that I am a multipotentialite, so I’m good at a lot of things (I often say I’m good at lots of things but great at nothing). But this tends to create jealousy or envy, in very odd corners of my world. One of my co-workers – with whom I have a very positive relationship – said to me once, “You know you’re the Golden Girl, right?” I didn’t really know what to say to that – I know it’s true in some ways, but it made me feel really dirty. I had another very close friendship (BFF-type) dissolve into nothing shortly after I started working near her and everyone kept saying how great I was and how glad they were to work with me. Friendship=gone. I’ve had this happen in school, in clubs, in friendship circles, in sports… pretty much everywhere. I’m not really sure what to do about it, because I don’t know *how* to tone it down – it’s who I am. I certainly don’t feel like I’m perfect or better than anybody else, and I *love* to help people. And I appreciate my extra effort being acknowledged, though I don’t need a big deal made – just thank you is sufficient.

I try not to make a show of doing stuff (I do a lot behind the scenes, too), and I don’t make a big deal about my participation in stuff because I don’t like being the focus of envy, but I feel it a lot.

But then also my perfectionism kicks in when I do something that *isn’t* up to par, so I can’t even tone that down!

Now, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. In the comments section, answer one or all of the questions at the top of the post or just riff on the responses shared. (And, yes, you can message me privately if you wish, via Facebook.)

P.S. There are lots of great posts today as part of the blog hop, but be sure to check out this one by my friend Jade Rivera, which includes a giveaway to her upcoming parent chat re: Holiday Stress and the Gifted Family.

 

GHF Blog Hop Stop for Finding Community | November 2014| RedWhiteandGrew.com

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18 Comments

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18 responses to “{GHF Blog Hop} Let’s Talk about Giftedness & Community

  1. caitlinfitzpatrickcurley

    I’d like your anonymous responder to know that she is not alone. 🙂

  2. I love the community cooperation involved in publishing these resources on community.

  3. What worked for me, and what works for clients in my psychotherapy practice, is finding other parents of gifted children who share the same concerns. This is the SAME dilemma that gifted children also face; they need to develop their own community of like-minded peers who truly understand them.

    • It’s interesting how the that problem continues throughout the gifted lifetime, but thankfully technology helps close that gap a little bit. (Still not the same, of course, as regular, face-to-face interaction, but it helps.)

  4. cdfox1

    One of the big problems that I face locally is the range within the special needs and gifted communities and finding a groove where you fit. There’s more potential with the handful of 2e parents locally, but it can still be a challenge to find your comfort level where you are among people who ‘get’ it.

    • Yes, and I know some people with 2E kids who actually feel more comfort in the special needs world, because the non-gifted part is the biggest challenge. It’s a complicated demographic.

  5. When it comes to gifted adults finding peers, I suggest that they find some activities that they love to do and look for other folks who share their sensitivities, interests and intensities there. Then, I recommend that they take the risk of asking them to tea/coffee. Chances are the potential friend will be grateful for the invitation. And, of course, there’s always the Argentine tango–a dance that naturally attracts people who love complexity, creativity, and sensitivity!

    • Paula, you are so right about taking the risk of asking others to coffee. When I started a gifted parent support group in Alabama, I had one new parent who I had never met who was interested in joining the group, and she asked me to coffee. That was a year and a half ago, and we have been the closest of friends ever since. I was always impressed with her method of asking people who she wanted to meet with–teachers, politicians, school board members–to coffee. It was such an effective communication tool, and it can be a very useful one for anyone to use when trying to find like-minded friends such as other gifted parents.

    • This is such great advice not only for growing a community but to growing all sorts of networks–from job seeking to advocacy. I agree, and I’d love to see you expand upon this (if you haven’t already) on your blog, Paula, because it’s such a simple, elegant solution.

      The group of local moms that support me here all came primarily through social media meetups by a mother of a 2E kid who is a teen. Breaking bread with those ladies a few times a year is a gift.

      • Thanks, Pamela. I’ll think about how I might write more about it on my blog. I’m glad to know you and Celi have found it to be an idea that works. It’s definitely worked for me over the years.

  6. 1. Oh yes. Finding others who understand what I’m going through gives me the energy to get through the day.
    2. My virtual communities have given me the courage and support to step out of my introverted comfort zone and start to create face-to-face meetups for parents who are going though the same thing.
    3. Logistics, mostly at this stage – getting a whole pile of quirky, busy parents and their kids in the same location at the same time while trying to help mitigate some of the challenges that make face-to-face meetings difficult for some 2e kids and parents.
    4. Patience, openness and discussion seem to be working so far…;)

  7. . Absolutely! As much of an introvert I am, I still crave in person relationships and if I can’t necessarily make in person work, Ivery turned towards social media. I even had a chance to have dinner with a mom who lives a few states away. She came in on a business trip and we connected like old friends. It’s been a really interesting dynamic. But it works.

  8. What a great discussion and generator of community connections you have made with this post, Pamela! Thank you for all you do for gifted, 2E and homeschoolers and so many, many others!

  9. Pingback: On the GHF November Blog Hop | Sprite's Site