It’s hard to be misunderstood, underestimated, asked to fit in a box that doesn’t come naturally. Parenting gifted kids is hard. The superhero baby may be a bit of a stretch, but not much. These kids have amazing capacities to learn, analyze, and create, but they can’t do so in a vacuum.
Our kids will come alive as they have never before when they finally find their niche, finally find people who are on the same wavelength, with similar interests, who respond to conversation with conversation rather than the “you’re so smart” excuse of a response. People who inspire and motivate rather than constrain and frustrate.
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.
When we connect with people, even through their biographies, they can inspire and challenge us. When we read about others with similar interests who go on to do great things, that makes us more willing to try hard things as well.
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.
Every once in a while, though, a student came along who was so disenchanted by the educational system, so convinced that it was irrelevant, that he did everything possible to declare his independence.
By the time they got to me, at age 15, it was almost too late.
What can we do in the early years to help kids stay engaged and motivated so they don’t reject the system and end up failing out of school?