Awhile back, I posted here my “Strange Advice for Bright Kids.” Today I offer the same gems again, but tweaked to fit the parents of remarkably bright kids. I am once again calling it “strange” advice because I like to look at things from unusual angles and this advice comes from perspectives others may not consider.
1) Ask for help. As you have likely discovered, being the parent of a gifted child isn’t always the cakewalk that a lot of teachers, friends, and parents of average intelligence kids sometimes think it is. These bright lil’ buggers can be INTENSE, which means keeping up with them can be exhausting. They can debate you into a corner, even at a very young age, rationalizing their way into controlling the conversation. Some gifted children have extremely high energy levels and may not need naps at an age when other kids still do. Their sensitivity can catch you off guard as seemingly nonchalant moments turn out to be the impetus that causes a meltdown. Their keen sense of justice means they’re interested in causes beyond their years – and they enlist you to help them save the world. With remarkable focus, they become so immersed in the interesting task at hand that they are impervious to you struggling to tell them it’s time for dinner. And your ten-year-old is having a mid-life crisis, exhibiting his existential depression by asking you questions you haven’t even considered yourself yet (“Why am I here? Why is the world so cruel? What if I can’t make a difference? What’s the point if we’re all going to die someday anyway?”). Plus you know that if you tell your friends you’re worried about your seven-year-old because she’s reading four grade levels above but only being given grade-level material and instruction – that their reaction will be a cynical snort.