I was concerned people would view my sharing the news as
bragging. Not in the normal mom way, but more of an in-your-face fashion. And I had read enough about gifted children to know there
are a lot of misconceptions, as well as negative associations. I feared those
would be applied to my daughter if I shared her situation.
I am not a fan of
labels. They often lead people to draw flawed conclusions based on preconceived
notions or lack of understanding. This had the potential to be one of those
Today, just a few
months later, I am far too busy working to ensure my daughter receives the
support she needs and to meet the challenges that come with parenting a gifted
child to worry about what others think.
The first week of school, she expressed embarrassment
because she already knew the material her class was reviewing. She said she
wanted to hide her knowledge so she could fit in with her peers and not hurt
her teacher’s feelings. It wasn’t long before she began to complain of boredom.
That’s when I knew I had to advocate for her.
Being gifted is not something to be ashamed of.
My child needs
support, understanding, the freedom to be who she is. That is what matters
most. She doesn’t necessarily understand what being “gifted” means, but she
knows the struggle. It is real and daily for her. For us. So I won't be staying
And if there is one
thing I've learned since I became a mom, it's the importance and value of
connecting with others who share and understand your challenges, of building a
strong support system, of finding your village.
Being gifted is not
something to be ashamed of. It is a real, definable and measurable set of
characteristics that impact the way my child approaches and functions in the
world. That is not to say it defines who she is. But in order to help her be
the best she can be, we need to approach her needs with care, understanding and
To quote from one of
my favorite musicals, “If that light’s under a bushel, It’s lost something kind
of crucial.” And every child deserves the opportunity to shine.