The issues that concern me have more to do with emotions and balance. My son is often highly-intense,easily frustrated, and negative.
Sound like anyone at your house? Sandra's comment immediately reminded me of my oldest son -- and of a workshop I've attended not once, but twice.
The workshop was Homeschooling Precocious, Sensitive, Intense, Creative (and Otherwise Gifted) Children; the presenter, Lisa Rivero. Giftedness, Lisa says, is more than intelligence. It's more than high test scores. It's more than ease of understanding. Giftedness, quite simply, is MORE.
A gifted child, Lisa explains, is one who is more sensitive, intense and creative than others. A gifted child might exhibit strong attachments to people, animals and things. A gifted child may find exceptional delight in beauty. A gifted child may create elaborate imaginative games.
As the parents in the room discussed their gifted children, the pieces began to fall into place. My oldest (at that time, only 7) had always been an extraordinarily intutive child; he's the kind of kid who can walk into a room and sense the emotional temperature before anyone says a word. At age three, he had not one imaginary friend but an entire work crew. (This was during his construction obsession.) He's very sensitive to sounds and textures. And the questions! This kid asked probing questions from the time he could talk.
In the book You Know Your Child Is Gifted When..., author Judy Galbraith writes, "gifted kids are often so much more of everything than other kids their ages -- more intense, curious, challenging, frustrating, sensitive, passionate."
Parenting such a child is, of course, a challenge. Strong emotions in a small package are frightening to many parents, especially when coupled with a powerful intellect. And gifted children frequently struggle with other issues as well, including peer relationships and perfectionism.
Tomorrow, we'll talk more about perfectionism. Today, I want to hear more about your kids. Do you have a son who is gifted? How is he MORE, and how do you handle it?