Elitism? Walk a Mile in My Shoes


In the past few weeks, there have been online discussions and blog posts concerning charges of elitism directed at gifted children and their parents. Honestly, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Looking back over the past 15 years, I’ve decided that 9 months of expecting the arrival of those precious bundles of joy was akin to waiting in line at Disney’s Space Mountain. Little did I realize what lay in store … the ups and downs, the fears and joys, the extreme range of emotions that were to come.

I’m often reminded of the saying, “walk a mile in my shoes.” Believe me … it was no walk in the park. Some days felt more like being on a field-mine retrieval team as you tried to avoid making a wrong move!

 Elite? I don’t think so! Blessed? Definitely. Feeling alone? Often. Looking for answers? A never ending story. Dealing with extreme behaviors? Unfortunately.

Parenting a gifted child can be as much about sitting in the audience of an award ceremony as waiting in an emergency room. Gifted children come with their own set of rules, idiosyncrasies, special needs … almost from the moment they draw their first breath. There are over-achievers and under-achievers, profoundly gifted, highly gifted, creative types … the list goes on and on.

What does one say to the critics who think we “have it so good?” Ohmmmm ….. How do we cope with our situation? We become informed parents. By the time your child has grown into adulthood, you’ll be wondering why some institution of higher learning has not offered you an honorary degree ~ because you will have earned it! Nothing trumps a good education, and in this case; consider it to be an independent study.

Whenever confronted with an issue dealing with my gifted children, I would scour the Internet looking for articles; go to the library seeking books; seek out professionals who I thought might have ‘the’ answer … someone to solve my perceived problem. Too often, it simply did not happen. You see, all bets are off when parenting gifted kids.

Ultimately, you will find your answer. It becomes easier the more you learn about gifted children. You’ll also learn that charges of “elitism” are voices of the unknowledgeable. Always remember, you are not alone. Keep searching. 

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