Monday, March 13, 2017

The Difficulties of Being Gifted - Confessions of a Gifted Parent with Gifted Kids

People think that being gifted makes one's life easy. The truth is that gifted people also have their share of difficulties.

Let me share some examples with you.

I had not been sleeping well for the past nights. I wanted so much to sleep early. But I couldn't. Why? I found it hard to make my brain stop working. My brain has been so active. I could not fall asleep even though my body was exhausted. I had so many ideas. I wished I had a wire or something that allows my brain to transfer those thoughts to my computer so I would remember all those ideas the following day and I could sleep soundly at night.

It's great to have a lot of wonderful ideas for upcoming work projects. But it gets overwhelming and I wish that they would come at a time when I'm not supposed to be sleeping already.

In fact, I'm having a headache as I write this post because I could not go back to sleep even if I want to. 

Sleep has been an elusive friend to me. I found it difficult to nap when I was still a child. When I was a child, I would just pretend that I'm sleeping and wait until I hear my grandmother snore. ;) That's the only time I open my eyes and I start moving again in my bed.

When I became an adult, there were many nights when I experienced insomnia.  

Thus, I'm not surprised that my kids are not the type who easily fall asleep whether in the afternoon for naps or at night. Like me, they have a lot of ideas going on in their heads. Or they'd rather read than sleep.

In spite of this knowledge and the struggles, I still do my best to help my kids get as much sleep as they can. I don't force my eldest who is now 8 years old to take a nap, except when I know that he is under the weather. But I still require my younger kids to take a nap. If they really could not fall asleep in the afternoon, I just ask them to read quietly in their beds. Now, reading is something that they can obey easily. But "quietly" is another story!

Another difficulty of the gifted is knowing things that are not pleasant (to say the least) because the gifted are highly intuitive and insightful. Gifted people may have the ability to read or identify other people's motives and intentions even if these people try their best to hide these. I have personally experienced this countless times. I am amazed at how correct my intuition is a lot of times. But this is not always a positive experience because some of the things I notice or realize can cause me to be disappointed, hurt, angry or sad. It doesn't help that gifted people are also extra sensitive.

There are many other difficulties that gifted people deal with on a daily basis. But I will just mention one more which I and my gifted kids need to deal with daily: containing and managing our big emotions. 

Gifted people are quite intense. We usually have big emotions. I used to think that I can do a good job at handling my emotions. But when I became a parent of gifted kids, I discovered that dealing with my kids and the chaos that they bring into our home can overwhelm me many times during the day. I lose my temper at least once a day. The very organized me gets easily annoyed and overstimulated by my very messy, imaginative and kinesthetic kids. That is why "Slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love" has been my mantra for years now. That means I have a lot to improve on in this area. And that's not just for me but for my kids also. The more that I learn to manage my big emotions even when I'm triggered by their noise and mess, the more effective I will be in helping my kids learn to manage their own emotions. I think this is one of my most difficult challenges at this point in my life as a parent.

Last night, I read a blog post that reminded me to parent with grace rather than anger. I think I really need a lot of that... grace. I realized that it's not easy to control these intense emotions even when you are already aware of your tendencies. I'm doing my best to practice restraint and to be more mindful. I'm also doing my best to teach my kids to be more considerate of the people around them, I included. 

So, are you surprised to read about these difficulties that gifted people experience? Find out more as you read the entries of the other bloggers in our blog hop here

Monday, February 13, 2017

Is Your Child Gifted? Find out at the Giftedness 101 Talk on February 25

Some say that all children are gifted. Is that true?

What does it mean to be gifted?

If not all children are gifted, how do you know if a child is gifted? What are the signs?

Can children with disabilities be gifted as well?

Is giftedness something acquired through study techniques or learned through mental programming?

Or is giftedness something that a child is born with?

What if a child is gifted? What does a parent need to do?

What's the difference between typical children and gifted children?

Do gifted kids have special needs?

Do you have all these questions in your head as a parent? Are you wondering if your child is gifted?

When you become a parent, your world expands. When I learned that my eldest child is gifted, I devoured every literature I could find on the topic. I attended whatever seminars, workshops or conventions that fit my already busy schedule. I was eager to learn and I was motivated to learn for the sake of my child and for my sake. When I discovered that my second child is also gifted, the more I became determined to learn more about this field. This is because I am a parent of gifted children and I need to learn how to support my children’s special needs and to help them reach their full potential.

Because of this also, I have chosen to help raise awareness on giftedness and to help my fellow parents understand their gifted kids.

On February 25, 2017, I will give a talk titled Giftedness 101. This will be at Playworks, SM Aura Campus from 2 -4 PM.

The topics that I will cover are the following:
  • Are all children gifted? What does it mean to be gifted?
  • What are the signs of giftedness or twice exceptionality, especially in young children?
  • What are the advantages of finding out if your child is gifted or not?
  • What are the advantages of hands-on parenting to the gifted or twice exceptional child?
  • What should you do when you see signs of giftedness in your child?
  • What are the advantages of homeschooling gifted or twice exceptional kids?
  • How do you homeschool a gifted child?

Aside from learning more about giftedness and twice exceptionality, parents will also have the opportunity to meet other parents of gifted and twice exceptional children and thus find a support group who will understand the same challenges and joys that they experience.

The registration fee is Php 750. The Early Bird Rate of Php 650 is available until February 14, 2017 only. The parents of students from Playworks get a discounted rate of P500. The registration fee already covers the handouts and light snacks. The snacks will be provided by Mommy Bakes PH.

I'm very excited for this! We're also giving away to the first 20 parents who will register and pay for the GIFTEDNESS 101 talk Gift Certificates worth Php 3,000 each courtesy of KIDS ACTS PHILIPPINES (KAPI). This performing school has been the training ground of the Aliw best Child Performer and The Voice Kids Philippines semi-finalist, Noel Comia Jr.

We will also raffle some prizes from Filway Marketing Inc. who is one of our sponsors. Filway provides good quality learning materials for children. I especially like their product called A Child's First Library of Learning.

Participants get a chance to win this during the raffle at the Giftedness 101 talk.

We will also raffle off several educational toys and materials from Mom and Milly Educational Toys.

This is just one of the toys we would raffle off.

Click here to register for this talk. We have very limited slots so I suggest that parents secure their tickets fast. Buy your ticket here.

I am blessed to get the support of the following sponsors and media partners: Playworks Early Childhood Center, Kids Acts Philippines, Inc. and Filway Marketing Inc., Mom and Milly Educational Toys,, Experience of a Super Mommy and The Filipino Homeschooler.

Monday, February 6, 2017

My Mommy is Famous: A Book That Made Me Cry

I was in a bookstore and looking for a certain book that I wanted to buy for my kids. While going through the display of books, I saw this book (My Mommy is Famous) and immediately picked it up. I leafed through the pages quickly to see what it is all about. As soon as I got the gist of the story, I decided not to let it go. Yes, I bought it that day even though it was not part of my plan. I still found and bought the book I really wanted to buy. But I added this gem that I found because the story resonated with me.

When I first read the book to my kids aged 8, 5 and 2, there were parts when I could no longer read well because I could not help but cry. I could very much identify with the mom in the story. The other day, I read it again to my kids before their nap time, along with other books. Still, I could not help but break into tears. Well, not as much as the first time, but my eyes welled up fast just the same.

The book My Mommy is Famous and a calendar with Mama Mary in the cover. Mama Mary is one of my role models on motherhood.

Let me tell you why.

The mom in the story is a hands-on mom to her daughter. She did not get a nanny or yaya for her because she wanted to personally take care of her. She attends to her needs. Towards the end of the story, it was revealed that she left her prestigious and high-paying job to focus on motherhood. Her child, at first, did not understand this. She was wondering why she didn't have a yaya and was even envying her classmates who had nannies. But in the end, she realized that she is one blessed child for her mom chose her over her own career.

That's where I always get emotional. When the mom explains to her child why she doesn't have a yaya and when the child finally understands why and appreciates her mom for all that she does for her.

If you have been following my blog, you would know by now that we have a similar story. I also resigned from my prestigious and high-paying job so I can focus on my family. I made this decision a few months after I got married. When I tendered my resignation, I didn't know that I was already pregnant. Actually, it was also the beginning of February when I did that. Weeks after that, we found out that I was pregnant with our first child. I really felt led to make that decision because I was put on bedrest as soon as my pregnancy was confirmed.
Since then, I did not work outside the home anymore as an employee. I only accepted freelance projects or gigs mainly because I wanted to ensure that majority of my time is spent building our growing family and investing in my relationship with my husband and children. I wanted to build a strong foundation for my family and since we were newly married then and our firstborn was on the way, I concluded that that's the best decision to make.

Fast forward to several years later, I'm still working from home and doing home-based business for the same reasons. My kids are still young and need much attention. I want to be present to them most of the time during their formative years. I want to be part of their childhood memories. I want to take an active role in their values and character formation. I want to be the primary influence in their young and tender lives. I want to give them the best care and education we can afford. That meant I would be the primary caregiver and teacher.

One of my latest photos with my 3 kids, all boys.

I liked how the book helps kids understand the lesson in the story and the love and devotion that the mom has for her child. I liked that it helped me communicate and share with my own kids my own reason for choosing to be a hands-on mom to them. The other day, I also emphasized the advantages of having their own mom take care of them as opposed to having a yaya. We've had our own experience of having helpers at home. Their main job is to do household chores. Then, when I get tired taking care of my kids and when I need to work on my laptop in my home office, I let them watch over the boys while I do my job. But these maids proved to be unreliable even for a short while. I would find them just talking to each other and not really engaged in play with my kids or ignoring the kids.

One time, I was surprised to see my kids already climbing our gate while the two maids were chatting with each other. Good thing that I got curious when my kids' voices got a bit loud. This prompted me to look outside the window of my home office and I saw my boys up on our gate. I rushed downstairs and out into our garage and hurriedly put my boys down. I reprimanded the maids for not keeping the boys safe. Their excuse, the boys would not listen when they told them not to climb. Hello! Those are kids! They do no grasp yet the danger of what they were doing. That is why they need to be supervised by adults. That is why I asked the maids to watch over them because I wanted their eyes on them while my eyes were on my work. Sigh.

After several occasions of these maids not really being responsible either with household chores or with occasional child care, I fired them. Actually, even when we had maids, I still do almost everything for the kids. I feed them, breastfeed them, put them to sleep, read books to them, bathe them, teach them, etc. The maids simply assist in cutting their food, cleaning their toys and in watching over the other kids when I am attending to another.

So, these days, when I need to work and the kids are awake, I simply make them play near me where I could easily glance at them and hear them while they are busy playing. At least now I know that they are truly safe.

I don't know if we will ever find a reliable maid in the future. But one thing I'm sure of is that I love being a hands-on mom to my kids and I think I'm going to stick to this lifestyle as long as God permits. It's not easy, but it's surely rewarding. I think that as my kids grow older, they are beginning to understand and realize the value of my devotion and the sacrifices that I do for them. Maids come and go but I will always be here for them as long as I'm alive. Most of all, nothing can be compared to a mother's love and devotion for her children. I think it's the best kind of love next to God's love for us. Do you agree?

I highly recommend this to moms who have a similar story. Although the mom in the story had great achievements and was famous, I think ordinary moms can relate to her reason for choosing to leave her job to prioritize being a hands-on mother to her child. I'm glad that I found this book by Lampara Books. It's part of the Kuwentong Nanay Series. I plan to check out the other titles in the series, too.

Do you have other recommendations of good books about motherhood that can help us parents teach kids to value what their mothers do for them? Feel free to share with me in the comments. I would love to discover more wonderful books. Reading is one of my favorite bonding activities with my kids who are also bookworms like me.