Guest post by a mother of gifted children.
I offered to write this post. I have the best of intentions but sometimes have difficulty in carrying them through. The blog tour has started and I am still scratching my head. Perhaps it’s because giftedness is not something I talk about much in my everyday life. In fact, I spent a number of years trying to hide my firstborn daughter’s giftedness.
R was born a socialite. From when she was just a few weeks old, she hated being put to bed and would always cry. Sometimes it was just for 10 minutes and she would fall asleep like the books said. But if we had visitors she would just cry and cry – she hated to miss out on the company! And so an extrovert was born to two slightly bewildered & introverted parents! She also has a strong will – which was also evident very early on.
R has always been on the go – wanting attention, to do things with you, to have you play with her.
Her early milestones were achieved at a similar rate to those of others in my antenatal group. R’s communication quickly became advanced – she stood out for her height also. I was happy for early childhood teachers to see my daughters’ giftedness, but felt unsure about it among my peers. I didn’t want R to stand out any more than she already did.
At just over 2 years old R told us this story;
Chew it up
Stick – all gone
At two and a half she said to my husband – “when you’re a big girl Dad, you can go to kindy!”
When R was four it dawned on me one day that it was highly likely she would be able to read if I got her some appropriate material. (Thank goodness for the library – we get good value for money out of the local council rates we pay!) I got some simple books and away she went. It was wonderful to see. She would write simple stories and made books at kindy. I’m very thankful for kindy teachers who supported and encouraged R and stimulated her learning.
R had a great year at One Day School (ODS) when she was 7 (she is 11 now). We travelled 45 mins each way to get to the nearest place where ODS is held. She has not wished to return since then as she has been more settled socially and there has been enough to stimulate her within her everyday school environment.
At her recent 3 way conference at school R’s teacher began by asking us what we had done to raise such a great daughter. Wow! Lovely to hear (and it certainly made us think twice about asking the difficult questions – I don’t think that was why the teacher said it?!) It makes the hard yards of raising a gifted and strong-willed child seem worth it somehow.
It is still difficult to know if and when to talk about R’s giftedness with the parents of other young people I mix with. I always choose my words carefully.
I am proud of R! She works hard and has made some super new friends this year for which I am very thankful. She is learning to not get so uptight about things she doesn’t want to do, and to have a go at those things she finds difficult.
I am grateful to my girls’ teachers who see their capabilities and both extend and encourage them.
I am grateful for having a couple of friends with whom I can talk freely about having gifted children.
Finally I am grateful for events such as these where I can learn, ask questions and share my experiences.
Nau te rourou, naku te rourou ka ora te manuwhiri
(With your food basket and my food basket the guests will have enough. (May each contribute)