So far in the 31 Days of Children Who Learn Differently series we’ve focused a lot on the challenges of homeschooling and parenting a differently-wired child. As I was reading some comments earlier today, I realized that I needed to also write about the joys of having a gifted child.
As I mentioned in another post, it took me a few years to get to the point of truly enjoying parenting a spirited child as opposed to trying to come up with ways to survive. LOL! I can say I truly do enjoy my child now. David and I have both said many times that God knew we needed a court jester to lighten things up around here and so He sent Caroline.
So where to begin with the joys of parenting a gifted child? There are so many to choose from!
Caroline has a zest for life that spills out spontaneously. She doesn’t just love something. She LOVES it! She doesn’t just get excited. She gets EXCITED! She doesn’t just enjoy something once. She wants to enjoy it AGAIN! and AGAIN! and AGAIN! It’s good to be reminded on a daily (and sometimes hourly!) basis that life is worth celebrating and enjoying to the fullest.
I’m not an especially playful person except for when it comes to words or a battle of wits! Having a playful daughter has helped me remember not to take life so seriously. It forces me to forget my mental to do list I’m trying to plow through each day and spend some moments just enjoying the playfulness of a child.
I love seeing my child create, especially in ways I am not very talented. I love it that my child already excels beyond me in some areas. I love that she is so naturally creative and enjoys it. She looks at things in ways I would never consider and that stretches me.
I’m not an imaginative person. I’m really not. Caroline has more imagination in her pinky than I have in my entire body. It has been eye-opening for me to live with an imaginative person. And not just an imaginative person, but a person who could be imaginative all day, every day if given the time and space. And who never gets tired of finding new ways to stoke her imagination.
Gifted children are often very sensitive. Having a highly-sensitive child has provoked growth in me in terms of patience and compassion. It has also driven me to prayer to know how to effectively parent a sensitive soul which I hope, in turn, has made me more Christ-like in how I treat others and not just my daughter.
Gifted children are also frequently compassionate souls. They feel deeply and sincerely. Seeing Caroline’s compassion and care in action whether it is for one of us, one of her stuffed animals, or one of her Minecraft pets stirs me to greater compassion toward those around me. It also gives me great hope for the impact she will have on others throughout her life.
All of these different qualities combine to bring greater joy to our home. Joy over new goals attained, experiences enjoyed, and lessons learned. Although I have invested much in an effort to understand my child, I have been blessed with great joy as I see the fruits of our labors expressed in a wonderful little girl.