There’s so much about highly gifted kids that doesn’t make sense to outsiders. So many challenges to raising these high-ability, delightfully quirky and often intense kids. Giftedness is not simply smart, it’s different. It’s hard for many, especially educators to see beyond the fact that a child might have had an early enriched environment (books! experiences!) and understand that gifted children are wired differently than their peers.
They are book smart, but socially clueless. They can blossom, but do not necessarily bloom where they planted. They are time travelling children.
Yesterday my friend Gigi from Kludgy Mom had a lovely piece in the Huffington Post about her ordinary son.
She explains he “has to work just a little bit harder than everybody else at most things” without realizing what a gift that is, the life skills he is learning as he tries to make his way. To me he sounds like a wonderfully resilient child who will win at life.
The grass is always greener, I know. But over here on my brown little patch of land I’m dealing with a child who made it to high school without any appreciable study skills and we’re dealing with the fallout because the kid who’s been told all his life that he is smart is coming home with grades that indicate otherwise. (Never mind that we’ve long told our boys hard work trumps genius.)
At any rate, Seth Godin recently reinforced stereotypes of giftedness and my friend Jen from Laughing at Chaos (have you bought her book yet?) wrote a wonderful response to his piece. Jen also links to other writers in the gifted community that similarly responded to Seth.
Go read. Now.