Sunday, October 23, 2011

Life With Gifted Children (New Series Idea)

One of the goals of Gifted Exchange is to cover parenting topics, as well as educational policy. To that end, I'd like to start a regular series called "Life With Gifted Children" to provide an outlet for parents to share stories about the unique challenges of raising gifted young people. I'd like to focus on parenting advice that could possibly help other people, but I also want to provide a place for people to talk about their kids (albeit anonymously if you'd like!) knowing many of the people reading it are also raising gifted kids. In other words, they won't think you're just bragging when you mention that your 8-year-old is way into Shakespeare.

Various topics come to mind:

* How do you stay calm after the 20th question related to the same arcane topic?
* What to do when your children don't like to sleep (and don't seem to need it)
* Discipline -- what is age appropriate behavior when a kid often acts older than her age?
* How to find books that are challenging but age appropriate
* How to prepare a child for an acceleration
* How to speak positively about your child without alienating friends/family/neighbors
* Teaching respectful behavior when a child is bored in school

And so forth. Please email me at lvanderkam at yahoo dot com if you'd like to share what you've learned along the way, or any particular challenges you'd like input from others about.


Anonymous said...

Laura: We love our gifted family and wouldn't change anything, except, how do you find other gifted families? There seem to be a lot of proud parents claiming that their child is gifted and, when the kids meet, it clearly is not the case. What has worked best for you for finding true peers for your young children? Thank you to anybody with ideas!

Jackie said...

Getting my son involved with our regional academic talent search and having him attend the summer camp at a local university seems to have been a great way for him to find his ilk. Also found a camp for tech that he loves. is the one in the Mountain Region but there is one for East and West US also. is the tech camp one--he loved it!

Our school district closed one of the middle schools and now all elementaries feed into one so all the gifted kids ended up in the same classes--also helpful.

Anonymous said...

Here is what I've learnt about life with a gifted child....
I love his inquisitive mind and endless questions....
I love his passion and determination....
Those eyes that sparkle when he discovers new things...amazes me without end.

You would think that 7 year old body with the brain that travels at warp speed and those fingers that dance with the Mozarts, Chopins and Bachs, would need no reminders. Yet...
I have to make sure that his shirt is put on the right way round, his socks (and so his shoes)are matched, and he walks out the door with his schoolbag (and comes home with it). Such "mundane" stuff is not his thing.

He is an incredible human being that has decorated my life in more than one way...
I've been blessed a thousand fold and would not have it any other way.

I've also discovered that it's a cruel world out there for the likes of him...
He is a number for the school system, he is a body that fills the chair. I've been told he will "normalize", "acclimitize", and all the "izes" out there. I've gone through the rollercoaster ride of negotiations, aggravation, despiration, depression, and every other "tions".

I've come to the realization that I, and only I, have his interest in mind. With that mindset I've learnt anything and everything is possible. The journey is ours and we'll get where we need to go. I've decided to channel my energy into things I can do for him instead of wasting my breath speaking to an administrator who has a problem with his age.

He doesn't need to impress, he KNOWS what he wants. I don't need to impress, I KNOW what I have. As a team we'll get it done.