It’s a transition, and like all transitions, little or big, different kids will require different levels of support.
It’s important that we find safe places – and people – in person as well as online — who listen without condemnation and then respond, “been there. I know what you’re talking about.”
We might even find some valuable help along the way.
Some people can accept quirky, can accept differing preferences, but there’s one thing that flummoxes most people: If it’s easy for them, it should be easy for you. They have a very hard time understanding why you’re struggling.
Sometimes, perfectionism looks like someone spending hours and hours laboring over draft after draft, making sure everything is just exactly so, but for some, especially those who deal with executive function difficulties, it may look exactly the opposite.
The early years of parenting gifted kids can be tough. You’re probably sleep-deprived, frazzled, questioning your parenting skills, asynchrony is in full force, and all around you, people are telling you to “enjoy every moment” and to “let them be little”. Meanwhile, you’re wondering what in the world you’re going to do with a 4 year old who reads a math dictionary for fun while his friends are playing pirates and house.
The funny thing is – for parents who grew up without a “gifted” label, this behavior is normal. It’s normal because it was their experience. It’s normal to be ultra-sensitive to sound or smells, normal to feel bored and disconnected in school, normal to be clumsy or sensory seeking, normal for academics to come easy but the social stuff to be hard. And that causes us to doubt our own kids, to minimize their struggles, because we were the same and made it through.