It is my great privilege to work with parent groups and with families as they navigate the joys and challenges of raising gifted children. Without fail, at workshops and in coaching sessions, we often pass the kleenex because the task of parenting gifted kids, while full of joy and pride, can also be difficult and fraught with emotion. Many of the emotions, and the questions that go with them seem to be universal, and may present themselves at various points during the journey of parenting. One of the most important things we do is to reassure parents that they are not alone, and that other parents share these same emotions and questions.
While pondering this topic, I came across a blog that included a checklist of emotions, Gifted Challenges: Welcome to Gifted Parenting: A Checklist of Emotions by Dr. Gail Post, Clinical Psychologist, that helped me identify and group by “ages and stages” some of the most pressing issues and questions that parents of gifted children often share in our work together. I have chosen to “dig deeper” into each area, and to share the questions that most often come up when working with parents of gifted kids.
The questions and emotions are endless, and the angst and joy are real. Many families have found that reading widely helps answer their questions. One of my favorite sites for parents is The Parenting Link at hoagiesgifted.org. Additionally, many parents have found comfort in the book, A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children, which is used in SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted) discussion groups. SENG discussion groups, and Parent to Parent: Sharing Your Wisdom workshops, such as those offered at the WATG Fall Conference October 3-4 in Wisconsin Dells, also provide parents with a community of ideas, resources, and reassurance.
Parenting is always full of joys and challenges. If you are reading this article, I want to assure you that you are doing a good job. Let’s encourage each other, talk to each other, and share what is working.
As always, I welcome your thoughts. Together we grow.
Jacquelyn Drummer, Past President, WATG
Gifted in Perspective
A column designed to link the gifted perspective to other perspectives, and to make you think.