Why I advocate for gifted children

by Suki Wessling July 6, 2012

Parents with kids designated “gifted” have a choice to make: When they’re out in public, will they use the word? You’d be amazed at how often I see this theme recur on gifted parenting lists: “Do you tell people your child is gifted?”

Of course, parents have no trouble admitting to their children’s other qualities. You don’t hear people trying to find ways not to refer to their kid’s red hair or skill at catching a baseball. But somehow, when your kid is smart you’re supposed to hide it. Some parents go so far as to deny it—they don’t want their children set apart.

In my case, I had no interest in the word until I needed it. We were having troubles with our second child that didn’t fit any parenting manual, and didn’t fall neatly into any psychological profile. I finally found the answers amongst literature about gifted children. Like other parents of gifted kids, I found my parenting manual in A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children.

The thing that I’ve noticed since is that in general, people really don’t understand what this is all about. The most common reaction is confusion—my old reaction: why do you care?—but I also get people thinking that I’m bragging about my kids, thinking that I’m some sort of pushy helicopter parent who wants to promote her kids, and probably lots of other unflattering things I haven’t heard. Continue reading