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