I feel as if I have been inducted into a secret sisterhood which few people dare to mention. This guild is lonely, but once a member pops up, you do your best to connect. This is the secret sisterhood consists of mothers (and perhaps fathers) of gifted children.
Once upon a time, you could just show your video of how excited you are about your young child who could type song lyrics at age 2. After a few more videos of interesting discoveries as your child gets older, you start to notice how your friends (with children of the same age are not doing the same thing), and the crowd have strangely grown silent. This is when you realise you have ventured into unknown territory, where people think you are showing off or hothousing your child, but you are actually at a loss on what to do with your child. When you finally realise that your child is gifted, after months of googling and wondering how many of the characteristics could be checked, you start to search for parents with similar children.
When other parents reach out to you, it is almost like a lifeline. You get to share more about the issues that their children are facing, and what resources they have already found. Perhaps it could be about interacting with the gifted education branch. Perhaps it could be about sharing homeschooling materials. Perhaps it could be simply just happiness about having another person to talk to and that you can form new relationships with other parents of gifted children.
Joining groups such as Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page allows me to strike up conversations with other parents, and also tap on their vast experience on issues such as dealing with gifted friendships, advocating for gifted children, and finding reliable testers. Having this blog also allows others to reach me. Some of them are worried about their children who had teachers who could not handle their immense curiosity and incessant questions. Others have seen family members and friends downplay their children’s numerous early milestone achievements and other gifted characteristics.
Occasionally, you realise that a friend’s child is advanced, and you reach out. If the other parent speaks the same language, you are extremely happy that you have finally found a comrade. With friends who have younger children, sometimes I get to see videos of what their children are up to. I would observe possible characteristics and I raise the possibility that their children could be gifted. For many, it is the first time they are hearing this.
Most of the people I know with gifted children are women since mothers tend to discuss their children more, hence the term sisterhood, but occasionally I get to know fathers with gifted children too, and they have taken more active roles in their children’s education and interests.
Psst, are you already in this sisterhood?
This post is part of a blog hop by Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page in July on Gifted Relationships.