If I’d Known Then …
Yesterday I read an article about gifted children that was written over 10 years ago. It had deeply profound insights that could have made a world of difference in the life of one of my children. If I had known then what I know now … but I didn’t; and I can’t change the past.
My husband and I have been beating ourselves up lately about all the mistakes we made as parents; lamenting poor decisions; not advocating for our children more forcefully. We bought into the myth that things would ‘work out on their own’. After years of fighting the system, with limited resources; we eventually gave up.
But you know what? Kids do not come with an instruction manual. Most of us try to do the best we can for our children. Life has taught me … if nothing else … that as parents; we need to follow our instincts. We DO know our children best. Just because someone may interact with our child for a few hours a day does not give them the right to tell us how to parent our children; especially if they lack the training to understand gifted children.
I have been extremely fortunate through my work in the gifted community to meet and talk to many experts in the field of gifted education and ‘gifted’ in general. What I’ve come to realize is that it is extremely important when seeking help or advice to seek out professionals who are both gifted and understand what it means to be gifted
"Life has taught me … if nothing else … that as parents; we need to follow our instincts. We DO know our children best."
Unfortunately, professionals … be they educators, psychologists or therapists … are few and far between who truly ‘get’ us and our children. To this end, I did include a page on this blog listing professionals who identify as working with gifted. However, the list is rather sparse for many areas.
The good news is that there are many resources (see below) readily available online for you to take advantage of today. It does take time, but I can’t emphasize enough the importance of doing so. For the most part, we are only given one shot at this parenting gig. Make the most of it! I have listed below some of the resources I have personally found most helpful.
As for my husband and I? We have decided to try to finally give ourselves a break and appreciate the joys and triumphs our children have experienced as young adults. The story is still unfolding and we are still involved enough in their lives to become the parents we’ve always wanted to be … not perfect ones … just parents who seek the best for their children.
Speakers to Seek Out: Lisa Van Gemert, Ian Byrd, Patricia Gatto-Walden, Brian Housand, Joy Lawson Davis, Dan Peters, Sharon Duncan