What happens to unidentified gifted children when they become adults? What happens when they don’t understand why they are different? Why they can’t identify with their peers? Why they feel weird? Why they seem like they are trouble because they do not comply with the norm because they are an individual and it’s who they are? When they are older and they tend to latch on to those that are easy to become friends with and end up getting into trouble?
This is why parents of gifted children advocate for their children. It is not to brag, because the concequences of not advocating could be life changing for a child. I hope and pray society stops judging and opens their hearts to supporting, helping and understanding. It could save a gifted child from suicide, jail, drugs or a life with misdirection and misunderstanding. Gifted children are not always the ones that always pass the test or win the spelling bee. There is a major misunderstanding in society of what gifted children are. They think differently. They are not always high achievers. And what happens when you try to squish a gifted child into the box and not let them be who they really are? That is a different story for each individual. But it’s not worth finding out. The ramifications of doing so could be devastating.
Let your children be who they are and be proud. Not all children are gifted. But I have found there are true signs of quirks that speak louder than test results. Sometimes they correlate with test results (as with my youngest). But if you don’t choose to test and have a feeling they may be then my suggestion is to treat a child as though they are gifted and go with the parenting style of having a gifted child for the sake of your child. Everyone doesn’t want to assume their child is gifted because of the stigma, but if you think there’s a possibility your child is gifted (and children tend to be gifted in one area) then go with it regarding how you parent them differently and don’t let society make you doubt yourself. You know your child better than anyone.
Now testing is the only true way to determine, but do they catch on to something (not everything) very quickly? Do they have a specific interest in certain topic that they dig super deep into and know everything about it? Like weather, rocks, a time, place or person in history, math, science, art, sports (Minecraft and video games excluded.) Do they seem off? Not like other kids? Super sensitive? They can tell you facts about things that seem to be not important in the moment that you didn’t know? Do they ask a billion questions? Have an adult quirky sense of humor? Do you feel like you have to apologize for your child not being like others? Good or bad? Also gifted children tend to gravitate to each other. They choose others that they can identify with.
They may not soar in something they could because they are not allowed to shine on their own or may be too self-consious to really try, or they are a perfectionist, or are a twice-exceptional child. There are so many self-paralyzingly reasons. And many ways they can be unidentified or misdiagnosed because they are an underachiever.
Those are the traits of gifted kids that aren’t as likely to be found on the checklist. And the more you squish them or insist they conform the more devestating the impacts could be to their future. By doing this you are basically telling them it is not ok for them to be who they are as a person. They internally suffer if you expect them to act and be someone they are not. To be what society views as the perfect child.
And that is why when a gifted child does succeed despite their quirks, parents shout it out to the world. It’s not bragging, it’s being truly proud.
One trait of of gifted children is that they all tend to be very intense in one way or another. That is if you don’t squash them and punish them for it. And if you are an intense parent, you may not recognize that they are intense. Or if they are an introvert, they are easier to conform to fit into society, but it takes a toll internally.
Here is a recent article that is worth reading. http://giftedkids.about.com/od/familylife/fl/Am-I-bragging-now.htm
Gifted doesn’t always equal genius, it equals thinking differently. And they are our futures inventors, leaders, enterpenurs, and more. They don’t fit into the box and shouldn’t. So as their parents we need to embrace them, not destroy their spirit. As frustrating as that may be sometimes. We should never expect them to just be normal.
Here is a resource I love: http://www.raisinglifelonglearners.com/blog/
When it comes to giftd children, one size doesn’t fit all. Always go with your gut on how to raise your child. But also educate yourself on how that may not be in a standardized child rearing way.
*If I knew 20 years ago what I know today….