For Moms of Gifted Kids: Learned an important parenting lesson yesterday

My folks just got back from a trip to California to visit my brother and his wife.  They are having their second child.  My mom was the perfect doting grandma telling me all about my niece and how smart she is.  They brought back pictures and oh is she adorable too! It had me thinking back to the things my kids did at that same age and my mom and I began talking about the adorable things my son used to do. Both my kids are gifted.  Gifted kids are precious, but they can also be difficult to parent at times.  It’s tough to be the one in charge when your kids think they know more than you…especially if they DO!  But having a brain that is always on overload can short out some mundane tasks and cause difficulties that can be pretty humorous. Chris was always thinking but his thoughts followed an unusual path that lead to unusual conclusions, but always took the scenic route!  Chris was always too busy to eat and he was such a picky eater that there wasn’t much that would entice him to finish.  Meals were three hours long but only included four Chicken Dinosaurs!  To add insult to injury, he had a hard time remembering to chew and…SWALLOW!  He’d see a fly and follow it around the house with food in his mouth.  It would land on the wall high up near the ceiling taking his breath away.  He would gasp in delight at the thought of the fly’s ability to remain in that position high up on the wall…and choke on his food! I used to sit by him to remind him to chew and swallow.  lol We talked about how he figured out how to work the computer at the age of 2 and would spend 6 hours a day on it standing up all the while because he was too little to reach the keys sitting on the chair.  We shared about the time he taught himself to read at the age of 3 using Jump Start 3rd grade and DVD subtitles. He kept asking questions about himself and what he used to do.  He was fascinated by the stories He was so proud of himself at his early accomplishments that his self esteem went up by a factor of 10! Then at home during dinner, my son brought it up again.  My dh and I began to talk about some of the other things he did and how Kelsey had done some pretty amazing things too.   Then he asked if Kelsey had ever done anything wrong.  He is 9 years her junior and has always looked at her as a mother figure. She has been such an amazing young lady and such an easy kid to parent for many years that all he knows is how good Kelsey is and how accomplished. Here she is at an elite university after two years of jet setting around the U.S. for leadership and political programs she raised the money for herself.  She has a black belt in Karate and over 150 trophies.  She was even one of his instructors at the dojo.  She has accomplished so much in her young life as many gifted children do.  But that was all he saw. So he was amazed and excited to learn that when Kelsey was two she bit her great grandmother and hit her with a broom because she didn’t like being told no. He was interested to learn how we disciplined her, as we do him. He loved the stories of her Terrible Twos and her screaming matches at the store, how she got caught after hiding the vitamins she told us she was taking.  He was in hysterics and nearly fell out of his chair when he realized how easily we found them because they were all together in the waste basket when we had to empty it!  ROFL He began to see her as human and more like him.  He began to realize that this amazing young woman who we are so proud of was just like him and that we are just as proud of him as we are of Kelsey. We realized that, though we tell Chris how special he is and how he has different talents and issues than his sister, he was comparing his weaknesses to her strengths. A typical MO for gifted kids.  Gifted kids see themselves differently than others see them.  They tend to be perfectionists and self-critical.  The communication they have with themselves is that they are not as smart as everyone thinks they are and they are secretly afraid of being “found out”.   What a blessing for them to find out that the ones they look up to are just as human as they are! What an important lesson for my little gifted son!  If you have gifted kids, I would love you to share your stories.

1 comment

  • MeritK

    Yay – I am so glad I got to your blog! What a great reminder! The purple crayon is back!

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