Do you sometimes react ‘out of fear’ with your Highly Gifted Child? Do you feel that there is a discordance between your mind and your heart? Do you sometimes lack self-confidence because your child’s reaction is unprecedented and you lack any frame of reference with which to hold it?
I recently read an article about this exceptional population, and what struck me again is how the characteristics described by the author differ from the usual pictures of children, held in the collective. And, how these characteristics can create a sense of being lost for their parents.
A Highly Gifted child can provoke uncomfortable reactions often, and, as his parent, how can you create an environment where it is safe for him to express himself fully, without him fearing that you will worry about him because of his unique ways?
A child I work with made a comment lately. In the context of reading about the height of prehistoric men, he told me, “It means I was tall like that at that time.” I was curious and asked him, ‘What do you mean by, ‘I’ was tall like that.’” He replied, “When I was living at that time, before I died and was born again later this life, I was tall like that.” Some may question the concept raised by this child, but can we dismiss it or blame the child for the reason that his idea is not mainstream?
Hearing such an original comment may create disorientation; yet, these situations cannot be left ignored.
Indeed, how many of us grew up with the feeling that the adults in our life considered us inappropriate, different, perhaps even abnormal, and as a result left us with a sense of not being good enough?
How can you make sure to support your child in who she really is?
Learning about your child’s way of thinking, with genuine curiosity, without judgment and as though you sometimes forgot all that you knew about education, about what is right and what is not, can be a beginning. So often, we over-load ourselves with expectations passed on to us by well-meaning others that we cannot hear our natural response anymore.
While it is important to educate oneself about giftedness, do not forget that you are the one in charge, and that you have everything it takes to make the right decision for your child. In this respect, I find that nurturing self-confidence in your own abilities to raise a healthy child is essential.
Moreover, once you let go of the external expectations regarding what you should do as a parent, or how your child should be, you can begin to better enjoy the actual relationship you do have with her. She will develop more trust in you, and you will trust yourself more. All for the best!
What personal practice or attitude is not supporting you in your daily parenting life? Are you paying too much attention to what others say, so much so that you feel lost and confused? Are you doubting yourself and your own ability to raise your child? Do you try to reframe your Highly Gifted child’s unusual interrogations, even minimizing them, because you are uncomfortable with them?
I encourage you to honestly write down one or two things that leave you dissatisfied. This will provide a good place to start exploring the arenas where you would like to be more effective in raising your child.
Marion Franc is a Mentor and Coach for gifted children, and their parents. To enquire about mentoring possibilities for yourself and your child, you can send an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Caring for the Gifted Child