Parental chit-chat, and the PG kid
Kim Moldofsky, mom of two gifted children, sent me a link to an essay she has in Chicago Parent this week on Giving Up on Public Education.
Moldofsky highlights a side benefit she's found by sending her children to a school for the gifted: she now has fellow "refugee" parents to chit-chat with. Why is this important? Turns out, just as some gifted kids feel isolated in their regular schools, their parents can, too.
Talking about your kid, and how proud you are of her, comes with the territory of being a parent. But there's a quid pro quo. One dad waiting to pick his kid up from Girl Scouts can talk about his daughter's great grade in English, then the mom next to him can say what a great goal her daughter scored in soccer over the weekend. No one wants to hear that the next mom's daughter is taking college literature classes and has just translated a series of Italian sonnets into English.
It puts parents of gifted kids in a bind. You want to praise your kid, but our culture doesn't like praising people's intellectual gifts, particularly when they achieve things without difficulty at times.
At a school for the gifted, on the other hand, parents may nod and laugh when you say, throwing up your hands, that you had to enforce lights out last night when your daughter insisted on reading one more chapter in her math book. They won't think you're bragging -- they'll think you're parenting.
No wonder Moldofsky quotes another mom saying "This conversation feels like a hug!"