I’m going out on a limb here: parenting the gifted is freaking exhausting. For eleven years it’s been a marathon at a sprinter’s pace. I feel like we just left the terrible twos, and now we’re staring down the barrel of adolescence. It’s more than a little terrifying. Our son is still 2e, still as intense as they come, still chockablock with over-excitabilities…but now there’s something extra there. Something a little discordant, like a badly out of tune musician in an ensemble.
It’s attitude. Or, should I say, ATTITUDE. And as with everything in his past, it’s more. It’s an attitude with greater range, more depth, and certainly more intensity. Everything is run through his quirky filters, and there are no grey areas. Black/white, up/down, right/wrong. This is where he’s driving me guano crazy. If I am right, and I most certainly am because I am always right, then you are wrong and I must inform you of this with great ferocity and volume. Give me strength.
He has not yet learned that it is often better to be kind than right. I am grateful that for the most part he has contained his ATTITUDE within the four walls of the House of Chaos, but it’s only a matter of time before it escapes into the wild and causes no end of trouble. Because under that I am right so therefore you are not ATTITUDE is an extremely sensitive young man.
As you read this I am in Milwaukee, for the annual Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted conference. I am unreasonably excited about going, not only because I will finally get to meet a lot of people who live in my computer, but because it is this very area of giftedness that
exhausts fascinates me the most. I believe very deeply that giftedness is wiring, and an intricate part of that wiring is the emotional aspect. I homeschool our son, and am more or less confident that I can feed his intense curiosity and thirst for learning. It’s the other bits that throw me, because he’s so very much like me and so very much unlike me. Oh, and because he is more. So very, very more.
To be right or be kind. Something my son needs to learn, not because I say so but because it’s a life skill that doesn’t come naturally to him. And because his younger brother would really like to be right for a change.
Jen writes at Laughing at Chaos, and is the author of If This is a Gift, Can I Send It Back?: Surviving in the Land of the Gifted and Twice-Exceptional, to be published Summer 2012 by Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Press.