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    #245861 - 07/11/19 11:33 AM Parenting Gifted Children
    SecretGiftedMom Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 03/02/19
    Posts: 19
    My 9-year old is EG. Since finding out this information, Iíve found myself questioning my own parenting. It is almost as if Iím intimidated by her. Prior to this, Iíve been incredibly confident in my parenting as my daughter has been highly cooperative and weíve had an excellent relationship. But recently, perhaps because she now a tween, sheís more difficult and easily gets annoyed at me. Iím smart myself (I have a PhD and am a professor), but she is smarter than I am and I think she knows it. I worry that sheís manipulating me (sheís highly intuitive) at 9....I certainly manipulated my parents but I was older.

    Has anyone had similar experiences or worries?

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    #245862 - 07/11/19 12:20 PM Re: Parenting Gifted Children [Re: SecretGiftedMom]
    Wren Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1472
    I think you have to really prepare for the next few years. My kid is at a school for HG kids. You test twice to get in, it is accelerated, starting at 7th grade. It is behind socially public schools, since these are kids that have to apply themselves to get into the school but there is a group starting in 8th grade going into 9 that gets into drugs, sex and drinking. Social media becomes big. Kids are struggling with a lot of pressures in the tween years, getting into early teens, of who is cool, being part of the group, getting rejected from that group. I think parenting through these years is tough. Just because a kid has an high IQ doesn't mean they are immune from the social pressures. A former math teacher from the school, who lives on my street, told me there was a kid, perfect math scores in 9th grade, perfect science scores, got into crack and he had to leave in 11th grade. There are parents that say, "not my kid" and not on top of it, while their kid is experimenting with serious drugs and other parents who won't let their kid take the subway ever or go to a party. Maybe your kid is smarter, but I think you have to be socially smarter and be on top of things. I started early talking to my kid about many things. She isn't going to the parties or drinking. But there is a boy that likes her and asks her if she would go to the parties and drink. He is encouraging her. Luckily she tells me. These are all texts. My opinion is that you keep talking, and keep listening. I recommend boy advice is a good starting point. That if something happens boys will tell other boys within seconds. Got proven right on that one and now she trusts me.

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    #245864 - 07/11/19 04:19 PM Re: Parenting Gifted Children [Re: SecretGiftedMom]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3463
    Remember that we are all parenting children who are different from ourselves in some way, and that what we bring to the parenting relationship is not principally about intellectual advantage, but about the accumulated wisdom of life experience. Are you potentially "smarter" than your own parents or grandparents? In the context of a positive relationship, would that stop you from seeking their approval, the benefit of their life experience, their emotional support?

    I benefited tremendously from the models in my own FOO: both of my parents are highly accomplished professionals with terminal degrees, but they ended up parenting at least one child who was clearly ahead of them intellectually (one well into--even beyond--the PG range, an outlier even in a family of outliers). I think my sib figured this out very early (considering this sib started doing the taxes while still elementary age, after catching a costly mistake made by the CPA). For myself, I remember 1) realizing quite early, around your DC's age, that each of my parents had specific temperamental and psychological vulnerabilities, and 2) in my early teens, interfering in my parents' relationship by explaining to each of them (but admittedly one more than the other) my nascent clinical formulations regarding their respective contributions to their relational dynamic. During an argument between them. So there's that for you to look forward to! They were remarkably patient with this specific presentation of adolescent arrogance, which I think is quite representative of how they dealt with parenting children who were as or more intellectually advanced than they were, one of the keys to which, I believe, was that they had the combination of humility and self-confidence which comes from being entirely comfortable with one's own profile of strengths and weaknesses. They were thoughtful and curious seekers of truth and ongoing self-development then, and have continued to grow in the decades since. They never ended a parental request with "because I said so," were consistently willing to explain the rationale behind a rule, request, or decision, and weren't afraid to say, "I don't know, but let's find out together," or to apologize. We also learned early and explicitly from them that intellectual (and other inborn) gifts are not a basis of superiority, but a natural resource to be stewarded for the greater good (which encompasses one's own good, of course).

    IOW, your DC still needs you to teach her to be a healthy whole human, a significant part of which is understanding that intellectual and intuitive (and other) gifts--or their absence--do not change the value of a human. Nor is a strength in a solitary area enough to give one access to a life of personal satisfaction and productive contribution to the community.


    Edited by aeh (07/11/19 04:20 PM)

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    #245869 - 07/11/19 08:52 PM Re: Parenting Gifted Children [Re: SecretGiftedMom]
    MumOfThree Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/07/11
    Posts: 1527
    Loc: Australia
    I am not sure itís possible to make a more helpful reply than AEHís. However, Iíll add a thought just in case... At least one of my children is ďsmarter than I amĒ. But all of them have at least one strength or area of knowledge that outstrips me, or soon will. A good example is music, people donít come less musical than me, and all of my children are quite musical (with different instruments or areas of strength). I canít read music, i canít even sing, I canít help any of them AT ALL if they have a problem with a piece. I can however tell if they are practicing enough, or if they are practicing well, I can discuss issues with their teachers that they may not understand themselves yet, I can find the opportunities and support them through nerves about participating... Iíve never done a musical exam or audition in my life, but I can still give them useful and valid advice about preparing for, completing and living with the results of exams and auditions. I can, for example, discern that a certain audition panel will be most concerned with technical perfection, while another opportunity may be judged more on artistic merit and engaging performance, which is something a 12 yr old may not consider... your child is still a child, they may not be like you were at their age, they may not be like many of their age peers, but they still need your wisdom and guidance, your love and your confidence that you are the parent they need, and you need to be particularly able to stay confident in the face of their childish or adolescent arrogance, which does seem to be more extreme in gifted children.

    As AEH noted, though in completely different ways, my children can be very arrogant with us at times, and we deal with it. However, it is also clear that they view their home life, their siblings and parents as being ďmore like themselvesĒ than what they encounter out in the world. Iíve had a teenager yell at me that they hate me and wish they didnít have to live here... and the same child tell me that we are the best parents they know and most of their friends havenít been ďraised properlyĒ... again with the arrogance of adolescents, Iím sure many to most of her peers do get decent parenting.

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    #245871 - 07/12/19 06:09 AM Re: Parenting Gifted Children [Re: SecretGiftedMom]
    Platypus101 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/01/14
    Posts: 661
    Loc: Canada
    Awesome suggestions above (and aeh - no words, but as mom to two teens - thanks for the appalling joy of this story!)

    As a society, we're incredibly confused about how we feel about intelligence. It's simultaneously denigrated and worshipped, which sends really mixed messages to gifted tweens and teens at an already-terribly confusing time of their life. It sounds like maybe both of you are getting sucked into the evil void of equating smart with value? I think especially when a kid's IQ makes them noticeably different and separate from their peers, it can be pretty easy for that IQ to become one's identity, and who we think we are readily morphs into our self-worth. So it's remarkably easy to get to IQ=value, but it's a pretty toxic place to hang out. There's a lot of anxiety in making your self-worth dependent on something you didn't earn and can't control.

    So I spend a lot of time with my kids talking (indirectly) about value, and what makes people good and why, what they do, how they contribute to society. I've been quite explicit that my kids get no more credit for their intelligence than they get blame for their LDs. Both are luck of the genetics, outside of their control, and as earned as their height or shoe size.

    What matters is what we do with it. Do we add - or subtract - to the happiness around us? What do we choose to do with those gifts? Gifted isn't who we *are*, but it can be a powerful tool in helping us become who we want to be.

    I still read a lot to my younger, and the older is a news junkie. So we are always looking at examples of really smart people in books and real life who worked very hard to make the world a better place - and lots who didn't. We talk a lot about what matters is the choices we make, how hard we work, what we do with our strengths and weaknesses, the responsibilities they give us. You (my kids) were born with some huge advantages (and disadvantages). Who are the people/ characters we admire, and what do they do with their abilities? How do they handle their weaknesses? (Hint: it's not by whining and complaining and blaming others when things go wrong smile ). This all sounds pretty heavy-handed, but while I've had a few explicit conversations (especially with the kid who is way more extreme on both Es), it mostly flows pretty naturally in talking about what we're reading on an ongoing basis.

    On a different note, 'The Manipulative Child" used to be frequently recommended here as an awful title but extremely helpful book.

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    #245872 - 07/12/19 06:19 AM Re: Parenting Gifted Children [Re: SecretGiftedMom]
    Platypus101 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/01/14
    Posts: 661
    Loc: Canada
    One more thought. At about that age, my math monster found a camp full of kids who were smarter than him and had spent a lot more time doing math. Transformational. Suddenly, math was no longer "who he was", or something he "just had". Math was now something that got way better the harder he worked at it - something he had no interest in doing before. The experience profoundly changed him.

    So I can't recommend enough finding the room where the kids are smarter than she is at doing something she loves, and she has to work really hard to keep up.

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    #245873 - 07/12/19 06:31 AM Re: Parenting Gifted Children [Re: Platypus101]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3463
    That is an excellent suggestion, Platypus. I think many GT children are really craving that, even when they appear to resist it. It's lonely at the top, and when you discover you're not only not alone, but there are others ahead of you, it puts you into the middle of a community.

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