Parenting is never an easy task. When you add some type of special challenge to the mix, whatever side of the spectrum, it adds to the challenge. In today’s world, there are many free resources for children with challenges who may fall on the lower side of the spectrum. These children may be labeled “learning disabled” or “special needs.” There are countless organizations that will help you learn how to advocate for your child, how to find special resources to meet their needs, and provide plenty of support in respite care and parent meetings.
However, when the child is on the other end of the spectrum, the support dries up. I’ve experienced it myself and seen this with my daughter dealing with her own gifted/talented (G/T) child. If you talk about your five-year-old child reading at seventh-grade level, people will look at you like you’re bragging. If you mention your child learning how to do some physical feat months ahead of time, then you get that glare, like how dare you. Somehow over time being G/T has become a dirty word.
All children need to be celebrated at whatever level they are performing at, whether they meet developmental milestones a year behind what is considered normal, or advance in grade level faster than the typical child. Yet, many people today do not wish to hear of the accomplishments of the G/T child. They don’t want to hear Johnny in third grade is tutoring some high school students in calculus, because somehow it will diminish what their child is doing.
I want to validate the parents out there who get frustrated from being unable to share the various accomplishments of their G/T child because of people thinking you are bragging. It’s good to share a child’s accomplishments.
I would like to provide some resources on where you can find other parents who may be experiencing the same thing. The first place I would check would be your local community. If you live in a city of any size, there may be some parent support groups. The school would be a good place to find out about support groups for parents of G/T kids. Unfortunately, there are not that many out there in our communities. However, the internet abounds with various online groups. Below are two links that will give you a place to start.
http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/parents.htm [Wonderful source of daily articles concerning G/T kids, especially those who are “2e.”]
With homeschooling, there are various Facebook pages that will offer support for parents no matter what their child’s issues are. One example is the Old Schoolhouse Magazine. Another is the Gifted Homeschool Forum.
Whatever group you find, do not be ashamed to share about your child’s accomplishments. You are not bragging as much as celebrating a new milestone, no matter the age it was accomplished at.
Remember when you hear of another parent sharing their child’s accomplishments, be sure to give your own support. It’s the only way to change the way society thinks regarding giftedness as a dirty word.