5 Reasons to Celebrate Parenting a Gifted Learner Today

By Deborah Mersino

James T. Webb, Ph.D. not only “gets” gifted children; but he’s also been working tirelessly for decades to ensure parents get the support they need to better understand their children fully. As author, founder of SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted), and president of Great Potential Press, Webb continues to inspire and educate. Together with the board members and volunteers of SENG, Webb and this organization serve as model exemplars for how individuals and nonprofits can stay fresh and impact.

For my leg of the National Parenting Gifted Children Week Blog Tour (brought to you by SENG), I have decided to focus on the positives of parenting a gifted child. We all know that sanity and harmony can feel elusive at times; however, organizations like SENG continue to remind us that community matters, gifted learners deserve support, and parents need other parents.

So, without further ado, I’m honored to share 5 simple, positive truths about parenting gifted learners today:

  1. Gifted children are complex beings who make life ultra interesting.
  2. Finding other parents of gifted learners has never been easier.
  3. Social media and the Web make finding resources and support a snap.
  4. The more you learn about your gifted child, the more you might find out about yourself.
  5. Our world needs your gifted child.

Let’s take a closer look!

Gifted children are complex beings who make life ultra interesting.

Whether you’ve just started on the parenting journey or have already navigated the complex twists and turns of raising a gifted child, one thing is undeniable. Life is never stagnant! The more you tap organizations like SENG for support and learn about the characteristics of these children, motivation, discipline, peer relationships, sibling relations, stress management, and communication strategies, the more you’ll realize how fortunate you are to be guiding these gifted learners through life. And if you haven’t already downloaded your free SENG NPGC ebook, The Joy and the Challenge: Parenting Gifted Children, do yourself a favor and check it out now.

Speaking of complexities, I recently came across a video, courtesy of SENG Board Member Lisa Rivero’s Everyday Intensity Blog, which blew me away. Click here to access Rivero’s post on Webb’s must-see video on gifted learners. You’ll find yourself nodding in agreement, learning, and appreciating how SENG came to be.

Finding other parents of gifted learners has never been easier.

Finding parents who live in your area, becoming a SENG Model Parent Group Facilitator, and/or starting your own SENG group is just one of many ways to create community. Here’s information on the next training, which will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina. Keep your eye out for training opportunities in your area and/or make a plan to be in Milwaukee next July!

Social media and the Web make finding resources and support a snap.

During NPGC Week only, SENG is offering a FREE SENGinar recording of its popular presentation “Is it a Gift or a Curse?” by Victoria Ragsdell, Ph.D. Sign up during the week of July 17-23, 2011 to take advantage of this limited time opportunity, a $40 value. Register now!

Moreover, whether you favor Facebook, Twitter, Google+, online discussion boards, and/or Webinars, today’s social media and Web are filled with opportunities to find answers, support, and hope. It’s never been easier to find like-minded individuals who have a passion for gifted learners. Take a moment and explore some of the social media and Web platforms available today!

The more you learn about your child, the more you might find out about yourself.

As you arm yourself with new resources, knowledge, and insights pertinent to your gifted child, you may just wind up discovering more about yourself. And couldn’t we all use a bit more grace, understanding, and self-acceptance in this hyper-paced world of ours?

Our world needs your gifted child.

On those days when you’re making tough decisions about the best educational options, coaching kids on friendship challenges, contemplating a grade skip, deciding to homeschool or change schools, and/or find an occupational therapist for your twice-exceptional learner, remember this. You’ve been blessed with raising a child who has the potential to surprise and delight you. This world needs your child, and even though his or her wants and needs may not always align with yours, one thing is clear…these young individuals will find their way into a future that desperately needs them.

So, this week, pat yourself on the back and remember – YOU are to be celebrated!

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3 Responses to “5 Reasons to Celebrate Parenting a Gifted Learner Today”

  1. Lisa Rivero says:

    Wonderful list, Deborah! Thanks so much. (I love your numerals.)

  2. ljconrad says:

    Having completed the first phase of gifted parenting, I whole-heartedly agree with you, Deborah. The rewards far outweigh the challenges … it just takes time to realize that. Gifted parenting embodies a message of hope. We need to count our blessings rather than dwell on the struggles. We also need to perservere and know that all our endeavors will make the world a better place.

  3. Josephine Giaimo says:

    Deborah, I appreciate everything you wrote, but especially item number 4, having to do with parents learning a bit about themselves. Parents of gifted children who are biologically related need to consider the possibility that the gifted apple doesn’t fall far from the gifted tree. Giftedness is largely but not exclusively heritable. Adults who “never fit in” anywhere, who are introverted, or intense, or driven, or complex, may “see themselves in the dishes” of their gifted children, reflected, as it were.

    My mother joined Mensa years after I did, and it changed her life to know that she was “certified” as gifted. Her self-concept improved permanently and dramatically. She was happy to be the swan she always was, rather than some sort of ugly duckling in the world. This story is testimony, too, to the importance of IQ testing. Moreover, since there are five levels of giftedness, testing allows us to distinguish between mild, moderate, high, exceptional, and profound giftedness–each with its own set of needs, which may certainly vary within a given family of gifted individuals.

    I hope other parents may be able to bask in the acceptance of their own gifts, as my mother did, appreciating their child who may be gifted in other ways, but gifted, nonetheless.

    Josephine M. Giaimo
    Former Trustee, New Jersey Association for Gifted Children,
    and Gifted Advocate

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