To Be or Not to Be? Is There A Choice?

Giftedness; it’s not something you can choose or really hide very well. It’s not something you can make up or pretend either. Yet many children have a bit of a problem with it. No, I’m not talking about the kids who aren’t gifted, I’m talking about the gifted kids. Our society has a problem with pride. They’re so proud if a child grows up to be the next big star, or a leader, or an athlete. But heaven forbid if a child is gifted and their comprehension level is higher than average. So they teach those kids about shame. They shouldn’t be proud about that. They should be proud of normalcy, with some talent thrown in in a certain area. I disagree. This pride of normalcy is telling gifted children they aren’t normal, they can’t be like other kids. But they can. It’s ok not to be a cookie cutter mold.

The above average comprehension skills of gifted children can throw many people off at first, and many times can make the child or teen feel isolated. As a three year old, I was reading at a twelfth grade level, with the comprehension of a tenth grader. Needless to say, my parents were careful what they spoke about. No, but really, many children or teens with this level of comprehension can be (I hate to say it) outcasts, loners in the big world of public schools and growing up. They are small bodies with the mind of an adult. Therefore, as they begin to interact with other kids, as groups start to form and circles of friends, and, sadly, as cliques start to build, a child will be accepted and rejected. Why? Because their logic is not the same as that of the others. They automatically analyze the situations they’re in and any ideas and probably totally dismiss them as, well, stupid. For an age group, the ideas are not stupid, but as adults, we see the flaws in them and so can most gifted students. Hence the importance of finding gifted programs. When I first started schooling, I was in a normal kindergarten, and most of the kids probably couldn’t stand me. To fix the problem, every week, the teachers and principal would try to place me in another grade. The fifth week, I was in the fifth grade. I was irritated and bored. I knew everything they were teaching or at least understood it quicker than the kids in the class. I was tutoring fifth graders. I couldn’t stand homework because I though it was pointless. To me, and even through (actual) fifth grade in a gifted program, I thought school was stupid. Mainly because I could comprehend things outside school quicker. My point is that gifted children often get pushed to the edges by other children because they are so unafraid to be different and express that.

This can also cause problems with adults though. In the school system and out, when a gifted child shows blatant disrespect for the system, it won’t go over well. I know what you’re thinking. But my child loves to learn and he loves his teachers and he’s an angel, he would never do such a thing! Good. But this is general. That’s wonderful if it never happens, but don’t be surprised if it does. However, the situation can be diffused. Gifted programs are designed for them and provide them an environment where they can talk about whatever their heart desires. I really enjoyed it myself because all the kids thought like me, were interested in school and learning, etc. Otherwise, outside of school, a gifted child just needs stimulation. Give them a hobby, try to pique their interest. Many love music, the arts, reading, writing. By focusing them on that, you’ll help them grow and give them something to talk about in a group. You know, other than the formulaic expression for salt or politics.

I’m not saying that the above isn’t ok. I’m merely suggesting that some help should be provided and an explanation given why some kids might be overwhelmed by their normal conversation, or how to express oneself, or how to start conversations and make friends. Because their comprehension is so great and they’re mini adults, you’ll be happy to know that this should go over well. If not, just tweak how you’re presenting yourself, try presenting the notion at a different time, etc. Do what works for your kid. These are just general. But overall, teach your kid it’s ok to be. To be gifted, to be smart, to be talented, to be different. To be them.

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The Daisy Charter: The Magna Carta of Gifted Children

This is my Charter. My Daisy Charter. Why daisies?  Because sometimes gifted children get overlooked, kicked under the bus so to speak. They are labeled (there’s that word again) as “just hyperactive”, “socially incompetent”, “emotional”, “overly sensitive”, and more. Seriously, I could go on and on and on. Daisies are the small flowers of the world. The ones that tend to just pop up randomly and in small little bunches. They’re flowers, but not many care about them because they wilt easily, they aren’t pretty enough, they attract some bees. Well, daisies just so happen to be a lovely flower; one of my favorites. Because they aren’t  random, you can find them anywhere and in large groups too. They only wilt without water, they have tough little stems and hardy leaves. They’re cute and can brighten up a big bouquet with just a couple. And all flowers attract bees. So I guess what I’m saying is yeah, gifted kids come with some stingers; quirky habits, little irritants, stuff that sets them off. And yeah, gifted children aren’t overly abundant, but there are enough and the number is growing. Maybe they aren’t the Picasso’s, the Mozart’s, the Jimmy Choo of the world. But they are pretty dang smart and loving and beautifully different. They can get pretty hard to deal with sometimes and they can seem too sensitive and incapable. But give them support and love and they blossom. Try to understand them, and you will be appreciated. Don’t fool with them, they will grow. This is my Daisy Charter.

I want love and support and understanding. In return, I will give you intelligence and fun facts until twelve o’ clock on that long car ride home from grandma’s.

I want to be considered normal because different is normal and indifference shouldn’t be normal. In return, I will give you quirky habits you will love and jokes so overthought they’ll make memories aplenty.

I want the right to be looked up to, not looked down on. In return, I will give you a bright smile and happy laugh.

I want the right to be a perfectionist even when you consider it ridiculous because nobody is perfect. In return, I’ll give you a hard worker, loyal and ready to do what she does best anytime.

I want the right to inspire others to get past what others consider a disability and do better than before. In return, I will never give up, even when I’m past the point of no return.

I want the right to be considered just another child. In return, I will give you a big hug every time I am happy and you have helped me, even if I didn’t understand the first time.

I want the right to have education specialized just for me. In return, I will give you my all, I will pore over books and learn all the things you teach me and more.

I want the right to not be labelled, but to be accepted. In return, I will not be who or what I am labelled but I will be me.

I want the right to be emotional, to be sensitive, to be hyper. In return, I will give you energy and fun and confusion and love and a learning experience, for both of us.

I want the right to be a daisy in a field of roses, the so called different in a pot of so called normal. In return, I will show you how different can be good and normal is just an ideal.

-From all the Daisies

P.S. This document is subject to changes because I am gifted and can sometimes be unpredictable.

Yeah, gifted children are unpredictable. Something can be going so right and then BOOM, meltdown. That’s ok. Your child can be having the best day ever and then BOOM, tears of frustration because her sock is on wrong. That’s ok. That essay looks so fantastic and it’s sure to win first prize then BOOM it’s horrible, everything written seems stupid because you forgot citations. That’s ok. BOOM. BOOM. It’s constant. It will get better. But try to understand, not WHAT I, you, he, she, is feeling someway. Try WHY. We don’t know WHAT all the time. But we know WHY. Getting to know these quirks and irritants and habits can help to minimize them, to deal with them. And to understand them. And understanding and support is all we need and want. We don’t want labels when we know we are something. Gifted isn’t what we are. We are gifted. And that’s ok.