This gifted stuff doesn’t start at school age. Our intensely curious, intensely witty, intensely emotional and intensely creative kids start these things early. Which, like everything gifted, has its good points and its not-so-good points.
I think teens get a bad rap. Yes, they have hormones coursing through their bodies that can make them act a little erratic from time to time. Yes, their priorities start shifting and they have the potential to make decisions with some pretty big consequences. Yes, their eyes roll and their snark takes on a new level of intensity. But, when we understand them and see the delights of this stage, all of those things are tolerable at worst and maybe even a little endearing from time to time.
That picture . . . the one above with the charred chicken and burnt on mess of carbon and chicken juices? That was literally the results from my last attempt to actually cook dinner.
I used to be a pretty decent cook. Linguine and clams, shrimp stir fry, chicken tikka masala. I could hold my own.
And then I had a fringy kid.
Sometimes being gifted gets in the way of being a patient teacher. When our giftedness simply allows us to easily understand a concept, it becomes hard to explain it in different ways, to be patient, to understand how someone else doesn't get it. With that, I often forget that my kids’ learning is supposed to be frustrating. For me.
So, dads. I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and I trust that not wanting to trigger doubt in your child’s mom. I know you’re probably wanting to problem solve. I know you’re probably just comparing circumstances without judgment. But, we feel judged with those statements above. So, lets try some new responses instead.
It’s a long, hard road to see that something’s different with your child. The giftedness I could see. I understood that. I accepted that. The other exceptionalities? I didn’t want to see it. I wanted it to be a phase. I wanted it to be intense emotions that, with help, would learn to be regulated. I wanted it to simply be an intensified version of typical development. It wasn't.