October 9, 2006 at 9:23 pm 3 comments

that’s what my boy is. Different. I feel like this year has been a big learning one for us as parents. Starting school has really bought those differences we’ve known all along to the fore. And having another child, one that isn’t showing the same differences, is only sharpening it.

I found this passage this evening. It’s by Linda Silverman:

Gifted children are expensive and time-consuming. They usually need less sleep than you do, ask more questions than you can answer, want 100 percent of your attention 24 hours a day, have obsessive hobbies, are unstimulated by the school curriculum, react intensely to everything, endlessly long for a best friend who understands them completely, hold perfectionistic standards for themselves and you, want to know the meaning of life when other children only want to know how to tie their shoes, and keep their bedrooms in a condition you can never show company. … In order to be the perfect parent, you need unlimited funds, unlimited patience, an encyclopedic mind, and someone to sleep for you. But don’t despair. Gifted children grow up even better with imperfect parents than with perfect ones. Eminent adults rarely came from peaceful homes where all their needs were met; they came from families that exploded and made up often; that shared their interests; that stimulated their thinking; that recognized and encouraged their abilities; that loved them a whole lot; and that had faith in them. If you find yourself exhausted, remember that some day your-daughter-the-doctor or your-son-the-artist will have you to thank. No matter what schools you put them in, it is their home-life that determines what they do with their lives. Trust your intuitive judgment abut their needs; no one knows them better than you do. Gifted children really enrich your family life. They have a great sense of humor and their development is so remarkable that they’re exciting to watch grow. They grow up fast, so enjoy their childhood while you can.

I have cried and cried after reading that. That is Mr L. Exactly. That is our life. All along we’ve got “Why don’t you get his IQ tested?” or “It’ll even out once he gets to school” but the reality is – it’s not that easy. Numbers don’t mean anything when he won’t get water in his face and he has swimming lessons on Thursday, or when he panics if a word is spelt wrong.

Until this year I’ve never really sat down and thought about what it means to be a parent of a gifted child. Now, it’s a big priority with me to learn more. I say me, although my husband is as concerned as me – but it’s me that’s going to go and learn more. I’ve booked in for a workshop about parenting gifted children in regional and remote areas. I was so excited – you’d think I was crazy. It’s like I’ve just realised that maybe there’s something I can do – that we don’t just have to muddle by ourselves – we can find out from people who know what it’s like. So we know we’re not alone in this.

Mr L got a veryearly Christmas present today. It’s a bit hard to hide an envelope with his name on it from the CSIRO. Part of his Christmas present membership of the CSIRO Double Helix Club. He was off his tree with delight. He still hasn’t used his fake CSIRO tattoo that came with the last issue of the Helix – he’s saving it because it’s a good thing (to be looked at and admired, and maybe used on a special occasion). So, not only does he get the Helix mag 6 times a year, he’s part of a “science club” AND will get mail from them. He is thrilled.

Enough rambling for this evening. I think I mainly wanted to get this down for me – so I have a record of it. Thanks for listening.

Catch ya…


Entry filed under: Life.

Finally… Thankful…

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tania  |  October 10, 2006 at 11:14 am

    It sounds like you have a good understanding of what’s going on with him and I think that’s wonderful. After all, besides love, understanding is what he’ll need most. Thanks for sharing Karen!

  • 2. Granna Deanna  |  October 10, 2006 at 2:07 pm

    Thank you for this post. I was a gifted child & now I am the parent of one. Conversely, I work in a classroom for children with special needs. I personally know that there is as much stigma & frustration in being/parenting academically advanced as there is in being adademically delayed. I copied parts of your blog to share with my gifted daughter & my mother (to thank her for her patience!). I applaud your efforts to better educate yourself & to appreciate the uniqueness of your child. It may not make each day easier to navigate but it will increase your empathy when you try to envision life through his eyes. May God bless you & your family.

  • 3. Joanne Froh  |  October 11, 2006 at 6:20 am

    I’ve been searching the web, looking for blogs written by parents of gifted children, which is how I ended up here. And although my own gifted child is now grown (and studying fine art at a Michigan university), I recognized so many of the feelings (exhaustion, wonderment, frustration — am I doing it right?) contained in your post. It’s funny to look back on it now, but all my worry was for naught. Everything turned out just fine, better than I even hoped — just as the essay you quoted said it would.

    The reason for my post? To let people know about my new children’s book. Yes, I know, everybody’s got a book in them, and everybody thinks theirs is great. But — and I’m one of the few authors that can say this — mine is the only children’s book I know of that was written specifically with gifted kids in mind.

    The book is called Imagine This!, and it’s a book of poetry all about the daydreams and musings of particularly thoughtful and creative children.

    Gifted, imaginative kids, kids who think beyond the obvious, those who take what’s presented to them and naturally take it to the next level (often leaving their friends behind) will immediately recognize and relate to the poems in Imagine This!

    The poems are adventurous, fun, and beautifully written, rather than humorous or silly (as most children’s poetry is). Each is like a mini-story of its own and accompanied by an intricate 2-page pen and ink illustration.

    The book is great for children from around age 4 on up — depending on how precocious the child is. But even the older kids, if they are particularly gifted in the literary sense, adore the poetry even as they grown older — as they start to appreciate the poetry for its art form instead of just its message.

    Anyway, I’m just trying to get the word out to the right people. This book clearly isn’t for everyone, so as a self-publisher, I’ve got my marketing work cut out for me.

    If you or anyone you know is raising a gifted child, I invite you to check out my website (www.joannefrances.com), or my book listing on Amazon.

    I sincerely hope you like what you see enough to purchase a book, and (if you’re happy with your purchase) tell everyone you think may also be interested (other parents, teachers, etc.)

    Sorry for the long post….


    Joanne Froh


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