That is so very true, and a reason why so many parents of gifted children share their frustrating experiences. It is painful to advocate for our children only to be told that we are bragging. It is painful to see our children suffer and be told they “have it made” and we should stop “complaining.” When we share our frustrations and sorrows, we don’t feel so alone and the sorrow is indeed lessened. But we should share our joys, too. It’s not enough to diminish our sorrows; let’s double our joy, too! There are some upsides to parenting a gifted child.
Gifted kids tend to have a great sense of humor.
Even at very young ages, gifted kids can exhibit a pretty sophisticated sense of humor. (It’s small wonder their age mates don’t “get” their humor.) When my son was just 3 years old, he played quite an interesting practical joke on me. I was in the kitchen and he walked in, wearing just a t-shirt and underpants. His hand was holding his bottom. “Mom..” he started to say, but the look on his face told me all I needed to know. “Peter*! What did you do? What happened?” But I knew. He’d had a major “accident” and that accident was about to fall out of his pants and onto the kitchen floor!
I quickly ushered him to the bathroom, helping him hold those loaded pants up. We made it safely to the bathroom, where I carefully pulled down those pants and found….a rock. He had found a rock and put it in his pants hoping to get the exact reaction he got. He started cracking up. I did too.
Gifted kids can be quite sociable.
When my son was about 6, we drove over to the park for a little fun outdoor play. He was eager to get out to the park, so as soon as he could, he got out of the car and took off running toward the park. I was still getting things out of the car and quickly closed the car doors as fast as I could and took off after him. I caught up with him in just a minute and found him chatting up a mom and her kids, who were all sitting at a picnic table. When I arrived, panicky and breathless, my son said to the mom, “By the way, my name is Peter,” and introducing me said, “And this is my mom, Carol. Do you mind if we join you?”
He would chat with anyone (which was rather scary at times) about nearly any subject. He preferred talking with adults as he found them more interesting. Once, when we were at a museum of natural history, we had to stand in line to wait to get in. Ahead of us was a man and woman who were chatting about the large Brontosaur that was displayed in the main lobby of the museum. “Excuse me,” my son said to the man, “but that’s not a Brontosaur.”
The man was amused, but played along. “It’s not?” he asked? “Is it a Brachiosaurus?”
“No,” my son answered. “You can tell it’s not a Brachiosaurus because….” and then he launched into a discussion on how to tell a Brachiosaurus from a Brontosaur, which is technically not a Brontosaur, but an Apatosaurus. The two of them passed the time waiting in line by discussing dinosaurs. This nice man didn’t have to bend down to talk to my son either because my son was still young enough to be held and I had been holding him.
Gifted kids are knowledgeable and like to share information
The dinosaur story is an example of how my son loved to share information. He wasn’t showing off. He genuinely enjoyed talking about his favorite subjects of dinosaurs, space, and the human body. And if someone was interested, he shared.
For years, my son would come into my home office – or wherever I was in the house – and tell me something he had just learned and found interesting. He started that almost from the day he first started reading. He’d begin with “you know what?” except that it got condensed to “yo what?” And then he’d tell me the latest thing he had learned. He was still doing that when he went away to college. He’d call me on his cell phone as he was walking from one building to another. Me: “Hello?” Son: “Hey mom! Yo what?” He was, and still is, fun and interesting to talk to.
Gifted kids have a strong sense of right and wrong.
My son didn’t do a lot of the “testing” of rules. It it was a rule, it was a rule. If he knew something was wrong, he was unlikely to do it. That meant I didn’t have to worry much about drinking and drug taking. Actually, I didn’t worry about it at all. He was the one lecturing the other kids in high school about why they shouldn’t drink or take drugs.
He had always been that way – to a fault at times. Even when he was quite young, he didn’t try to take advantage of a situation and see what he shouldn’t see or do what he shouldn’t do. For example, if something came on tv and people had a little too much skin showing or the topic was what he thought was an inappropriate one, he’d excuse himself from the room and tell me to call him when the topic was more appropriate for children. And if you realize that the channel that was on most often was Nickelodeon, you know there weren’t a lot of racy programs on our tv.
I have a lot of stories like this that explain why parenting a gifted child can be so much fun and such a pleasure at times. I’m sure some people will think that it’s bragging. But it’s just sharing the joy. Lord knows we have enough sorrows to share. We can diminish those by sharing, but how about if we starting doubling our joys by sharing those parts of our lives?
*My son’s real name isn’t Peter. He gets some privacy.http://giftsforlearning.com/wp/the-upside-of-gifted-parenting/http://giftsforlearning.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Mother-Son-Laughing-29547685_s.jpghttp://giftsforlearning.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Mother-Son-Laughing-29547685_s-150x150.jpgAbout GiftednessFor ParentsParenting,Personal Experience,Support for Parents of Gifted Kids