How old is your gifted child? When did you realize your child was gifted?
My gifted son is almost 7 1/2-years-old. In all honesty, I knew there was something about him early on but my husband and I were so consumed with his reflux, colic, and failure to thrive that our thoughts were elsewhere.
Was there a certain lightbulb moment or event?
The lightbulb moment for us was the day that my son came downstairs after nap and read an entire book to us. He was four. The book was a new one, one that we had yet to read to him. The first time he read to me, he read an ENTIRE book. I was dumbfounded, in awe, paralyzed by what it meant.
Looking back, did you miss signs of giftedness? Which ones stand out the most now?
I can see so much now, in hindsight. My son has every OE in the book. When I remember him as an infant, all those signs were there. He was just so alert, so curious. He never took no for an answer. It’s amazing to reflect upon!
Were you ever in denial about your child’s giftedness? Or was giftedness simply not on your radar?
I wouldn’t say we were in denial. We always knew he was intelligent and different. Yet, we didn’t know how gifted he was. That came as a surprise. I remember the afternoon that the psychologist told me to research Davidson Young Scholars. I didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. In truth, I did cry. I saw my son’s life pass before my eyes- and by that I mean the “expected” or “typical” life. I knew that profoundly gifted was a whole new ballgame. I didn’t know what that meant for our family at the time but I knew things would have to shift in a major way.
If you had a do-over, what is one thing you would change regarding how you parented your gifted child?
I would have removed him from kindergarten immediately. Public school, even half-day, stole something from him. Yet, as a school psychologist and former public school employee, I felt that I had to give it a chance to work.
What do you enjoy most about your gifted child?
Oh gosh… so much! His energy, his passion, his creativity, his spark, his inquisitiveness, his perseverance. Of course, all of these things I love about him are also the very same things that wear me to my core. 🙂
What is most challenging about parenting a gifted child?
The not knowing. You have to go with your gut. Your child is atypical and so the general rules don’t apply. You have to believe in your gut in a way that you have never needed to before.
What is one thing you would tell parents who have a newly identified gifted child?
FIND YOUR TRIBE. FIND HIS/HER TRIBE. If you can’t find one, make one. I created a local gifted group and it’s amazing to see my children play with intellectual peers. I also co-founded an online Facebook community for gifted and twice-exceptional parents. I founded it with Colleen Kessler of Raising Lifelong Learners and the group (Raising Poppies) has been a lifeline. Even on my worst days, if I go in there I feel understood and normal. It’s a blessing.
Is there a specific blog post that you would like to point people to that will show them more about your gifted child journey?
A couple of posts that show a lot about our journey include Gifted Overexcitabilities: OEs IRL and Asynchronous Development and the Gifted Child.
Read More Parenting a Gifted Child Personal Stories
Read all the parent posts in the series Parenting a Gifted Child – A Series of Personal Stories:
- The Key Was Understanding Twice-Exceptional (2e) – Sallie’s Story
- Writing at Age 2 Wasn’t in the Baby Books – Kathleen’s Story
- Missing the Gifted Overexcitabilities – Doresa’s Story
- Profoundly Gifted is a Whole New Ballgame – Cait’s Story
- Embracing the Gifted Label – Renee’s Story
- Highly Verbal But Not Reading In a Twice-Exceptional Child
- Parenting Multiple Gifted Children – Heather’s Story
Begin Understanding Your Child With My Short Ebook – Available Right Here in My Shop
Cait @ My Little Poppies
Thank you for including our story in your series, Sallie. I can’t wait to read them all!
You’re welcome, Cait! Thank you for sharing your story! 🙂
I so agree that PG is an entirely different experience. I’m now in my 11th year of homeschooling my PG son. Read my 2012 post on why I took him out of school. http://sengifted.org/archives/articles/the-first-duty-of-love My blog also has some additional articles you might relate to including Unstoppable.