Parents learning how to live with a gifted child have a few tell-tale signs. Just like you can usually spot parents of multiples (all those same-size car seats in the minivan are the usual giveaway) there are clues to recognizing these parents.
- They’re on a first name basis with all the librarians in their lives. I say all librarians because these kids usually have books checked out from the school and the community library.
- Books are scattered everywhere. Cars, bedrooms, home libraries (yes, I mean the bathroom), dining room table, homework spot, school locker, and stacked near every comfy chair they come across.
- You know way too much about dinosaurs, Lego robotics, black holes, or whatever the topic of the week is that has captured 99% of your child’s attention.
- There are no soccer games to attend on the weekends.
- They know every summer camp, enrichment opportunity, and robot workshop available in a 50 mile radius.
- When they talk about Hoagies, they don’t mean the sandwich.
Courtesy of D. Sharon Pruitt
But the number one way I’ve found to tell the difference is that the parent of a highly gifted or profoundly gifted child has a unique look of tired terror when discussing their child.
Having a child on the far right of the bell curve can be exhausting. It’s tiring just keeping up with all of those questions, especially when they’re young. Thank goodness when they’re old enough to Google things themselves.
The terror sets in when you realize schools usually don’t have a good game plan for how to effectively educate your child. If you’re like me, you thought that once Kindergarten started everything would be fine. Wrong!
In most cases that’s when the real work of parent advocacy begins – and doesn’t end until you pack them off to college.
Finding ways to keep your child interested and engaged in learning can take up more time than many parents realize. We’ve had to visit libraries and used book stores more than I ever thought possible just to keep a steady supply of reading material available.
But what reading material? What does a seven-year old at a 10th grade reading level read? That’s another blog post – stay tuned.
I’ve had the honor to meet with several parents starting on this wonderful, terror-filled journey of raising gifted kids. Almost always the higher the child’s IQ, the less bragging there is, the more questions are asked, and the more tears are shed.
What’s your experience been with parents of gifted kids?