One Mother's Journey Raising a Gifted Child - Part 2

Part Two

Frustrated School Boy
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Many parents of gifted children spend much of their lives feeling alone and isolated. I know I did. It helps to know that you aren't alone, but it's not always easy to find people who understand. After all, only about 3-5% of the population is gifted, and not all gifted kids have problems that puzzle and upset their parents. That means your chances of finding someone near you who understands what you're going through can be quite difficult.

I assure you that you are not alone. Whether you are just starting out as a parent of a gifted child or have been at it for a while, you will most likely find something familiar in my story, so you won't feel alone any longer. If your child is not yet in school, start by reading about my early parenting days. Here you'll find stories about my son's first two years in school: kindergarten and first grade. I'd had a hard time finding a school to take him in for kindergarten, but finally managed it.

Kindergarten "Success"
I continued to be amazed at how difficult it was to find educators who understood the academic needs of my son and kids like him. But I did finally manage to find what I thought would be a great private school and they were willing to take him early!

Disillusion with the Perfect School
I was so happy to have found what I thought was the perfect school. After such a hard time trying to find the right place for him, I was more than disappointed in how it turned out.

Kindergarten Woes
When I sent my son to kindergarten, he was a happy, confident, and very social little boy. After a few months in kindergarten, he was turning into a different child.

Kindergarten Socialization
We're told about the importance of kids learning to socialize in kindergarten. But what about kids who are already quite social?

My son started out far more social than he ended up!

Kindergarten Conflicts
It didn't take all that long for my son to encounter problems in school. He was so frustrated and so unhappy. He didn't understand the other kids and they didn't understand him. It was when my son was in kindergarten that I had the first of many heartbreaking moments.

Blaming the Parents and Home Life
I knew exactly what the problem was with my son. He was unbelievably frustrated. He needed more academic challenge and more interaction with intellectual peers. That's not what the teacher thought, though.

Finding My Son's True Peers
In the midst of all the problems we had, there were also some moments that were wonderful, moments when I saw my son happy and enthusiastic again about learning. One of those moments occurred when my son encountered a roomful of his true peers.

Moving on to First Grade
I was relieved when the kindergarten year was over. My son, however, was still focused on kindergarten, so I assured him that first grade would be better.

New Year New Hope
What do we have if we don't have hope? I clung to it the entire summer after my son's disastrous kindergarten year. And initially it seemed that there was a good chance first grade would be better for my son.

First Grade Disaster
It didn't take long for my hopes for a better school experience for my son to be dashed. Not only was first grade turning out to be little better than kindergarten, it was turning out to be worse.

Emotional Intensity or Emotional Disturbance?
My once happy and confident little boy had by now become a totally different child. He was now angry and depressed. It took years and years to undo the damage done in these early years, especially since they never really got any better.

Seeking Help for My Child
Realizing that no one would listen to a thing I said if I didn't "cooperate," I finally relented and gave in to the school's "request" to seek counseling for my "disturbed" child.

That was one of the biggest mistakes of my life.

A Simple Solution
After nearly two years of trying to convince the school principal to provide a more appropriate environment for my son, he finally decided, along with the first grade teacher, to make some changes for my son. It solved the problems virtually overnight. Unfortunately, the damage had already been done. Why is it so hard to convince schools to provide what gifted kids need?

Read about the early years - pregnancy through preschool.

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