The Difficulties of Being Gifted

gifted difficult

In the world of misnomers, the term “gifted” ranks high.

True, understanding concepts way above one’s age-level or creating insightful works most adults couldn’t dream of can bring deep satisfaction to the gifted child. But what about the isolation? The intensities that drive away potential friends? The difficulty finding people who share your passion or quirky interest? The struggle with knowing you’re “different”?

Read on as GHF Bloggers share their understanding, challenges, and solutions.


gifted difficultDealing with the Difficulties of Giftedness – One Day at a Time ~ BJ’s Homeschool (Betsy Sproger)

We started homeschooling our gifted 2e daughter when she was three. Along the way she encountered some of the typical issues associated with giftedness: including sleep issues, intensities and excitabilities, sensory issues, and anxiety, etc. We tried a variety of strategies to help her, and this article includes our most successful ones.

gifted difficultThe Difficulties of Being Gifted ~ Homeschool Hatters (Care Martin)

The traits that make gifted kids so ‘desirable’ are often the very things that make being gifted, and parenting the gifted, so incredibly difficult. Because that desire to learn new things? It doesn’t turn off at the end of the school day, on a weekend, or even at three in the morning. That need to be moving in order to think? Yeah, that doesn’t turn off either. Nor does the voice that tells you you’re not good enough and repeats all the voices of the people around you who think you’re weird for being different – even as it reminds you that you have an appointment on Thursday, and need to thaw something for dinner.

gifted difficultThe Difficulties of Being Gifted – Confessions of a Gifted Parent with Gifted Kids ~ Mommy Bares All (Teresa Gumap-as Dumadag)

People think that being gifted makes one’s life easy. The truth is that gifted people also have their share of difficulties. I have shared in this blog post three difficulties that I often experience as a gifted individual.

gifted difficultGifted Children Don’t Know Life Any Other Way ~ Sallie Borrink Learning (Sallie Borrink)

All gifted children have their “thing” and they don’t know life without it. It is as natural to them as breathing. It is a necessary part of their life. It would be easy for me to look at my daughter’s play with stuffed animals and think it is a childish thing, but it’s not about the stuffed animals, per se. It’s about what they allow her to do and a huge need they meet in her life. They aren’t toys. They are tools.

gifted difficultGrowing Up Gifted: Navigating the Real World With a Gifted Child ~ Not So Formulaic (Ginny Kochis)

My ruby cheeked cherubs who occasionally (publicly) lost their minds have become sullen, self-conscious, and withdrawn. Where once they understood and abhorred true injustice from afar, they now experience it on their own as tangible and real. Their gifted brains are wired to access, evaluate, and synthesize information in a highly effective manner – often more effectively than their little hearts can take. Meltdowns over brownies and doggy purses have given way to crippling anxiety for one, and angry self-loathing for the other.
And they both want to navigate it alone.

gifted difficultThe Health Aspect Of Gifted: Overdiagnosed, Underdiagnosed, & Hurting  ~ Homeschooling 2E (Mary Paul)

Being gifted with the sensitivities that come with it have hit our family hard. Gifted isn’t just about being smart – it’s about being wired differently, sometimes with the signals misfiring. Here’s how being gifted has affected us, and why it’s so important that doctors understand how gifted sensitivities are intertwined in our health.

gifted difficultIs My Seven Year Old Suicidal? ~ Preschool Engineering (Julie Uzelac Schneider)

“I don’t deserve to be alive,” he lamented softly through tears. He was talking to his yoga teacher (who is also a therapist), I’ll call her Purple, in our living room – someone he has known for a year and a half and is one of his most-trusted confidantes.
Tigger had recently turned seven years old. This statement wasn’t a surprise, per se. I had watched his self-esteem plummet over the course of his first few months of attending all-day school. But his declaration broke my heart nonetheless and set alarm-bells ringing. As I moved toward a solution I reflected on how we got to the point where I was asking myself, “Is my seven year old suicidal?”

gifted difficultOde to the Suckiness of Being Gifted ~ The Fringy Bit (Heather Boorman)

I have struggled to write this post. I have too many ideas. I haven’t been able to choose just one difficulty about being gifted. I really don’t think I’m that pessimistic or cynical, but oftentimes, there feel to be far more difficulties about being gifted than not. So – in lieu of being able to pick just one difficulty about being gifted, I’ve opted to create a list, in the form of an acrostic poem.

gifted difficultPrettier When Wrapped: What’s So Difficult About Being Gifted? ~ Laughing at Chaos (Jen Merrill)

This is the difficulty of being gifted. The world sees a gift bestowed upon someone, wrapped in perfection. Shiny, clean paper, perfect corners and crisp folds. A handmade ribbon and bow. Handed over to someone, who is often unfortunately snubbed for simply holding this gift. The world doesn’t recognize (or perhaps doesn’t want to see) what is under that pretty wrapping: layers of intense inner humanity that are difficult to manage, under-appreciated by others, and can sear the owner’s soul without a second thought.

gifted difficultRecovering from a No-Good, Very Bad Year ~ The Fissure Blog (Emily VR)

If your child is identified as gifted, perhaps his characteristics and needs were misinterpreted and/or not considered in his/her work level. Perhaps the degree of need was discovered because of underachievement, perfectionism, anxiety, or negative behavior…

gifted difficult

To Whom It May Concern: Being Gifted Sucks Sometimes ~ Crushing Tall Poppies (Celi Trepanier)

Being gifted is hard. Growing up gifted can be a sad, lonely and adversity-ridden time. Being gifted sucks sometimes, maybe most of the time.

gifted difficult

The Trouble With Gifted Is That No One Understands What It Is ~ Laugh, Love, Learn (Lucinda Leo)

The story of a girl who thought her quirkiness meant she wasn’t gifted, and who found wholeness when she grew up and went hunting for answers about her quirky children.


Resources for Understanding Giftedness

gifted resources

Giftedness is not just test scores or academic achievement. It’s not all difficulties, either. Jokes about duct tape and soundproof closets aside, it can be helpful to understand what your child is feeling, how they are developing, and what they were thinking when they asked that unusual question or performed that dangerous experiment alone out in the shed (and how do you explain the damage to your neighbors?). After all, not all children are gifted and  all gifted children do not learn alike. These kids are asynchronous, intense, and endlessly fascinating to live with. Sometimes their giftedness may be easy to communicate to others in the community, but sometimes it’s hidden by twice exceptional (2e) issues or by the expanded complexity of race and culture (Gifted Cubed). Having a gifted or 2e teenager can add a whole new layer of complication to parenting. Additional resources here give some perspective to those of us raising such children and reassure us that we are not alone.

Don’t miss these topical books from GHF Press:

Gifted, Bullied, Resilient: A Brief Guide for Smart Families
gifted, bullied, bullying

by Pamela Price

Gifted kids, with their often asynchronous development, eclectic interests, and intense emotions, can be prime targets for bullying. What can compassionate parents, friends, and educators do to help these kids rise above the bullying and become emotionally stronger and more self-assured?

In her second book, Gifted, Bullied, Resilient: A Brief Guide for Smart Families, author Pamela Price draws upon her experience as a journalist and gifted parenting advocate to provide concerned adults with a plan of action. She introduces readers to contemporary research, an array of social learning best practices, real-life anecdotes from veteran parents, and select resources relevant to the families of bullied gifted kids and adolescents. The slender, informative, and insightful text is geared both toward parents of public and private school students, as well as homeschoolers in cooperative learning environments.

If This is a Gift, Can I Send It Back?: Surviving in the Land of the Gifted and Twice Exceptional

by Jen Merrill

When is life like a prize fight, a garden, and a quiz show, all hurtling down the road on an office chair, wrapped in song? When you’re living in the land of the gifted and twice exceptional. Jen Merrill, author of the Laughing at Chaos blog, brings laughter, tears, and honesty to her latest book by GHF Press, If This is a Gift, Can I Send it Back?: Surviving in the Land of the Gifted and Twice Exceptional. Join Jen on her journey through discovery, understanding, and acceptance, as she copes with the challenges that only the gifted and twice exceptional can create. So, pull up a chair, pour a glass of wine, and start reading. You’ll swear Jen’s written about you!

Writing Your Own Script: A Parent’s Role in the Gifted Child’s Social Development

by Corin Barsily Goodwin and Mika Gustavson, MFT

Parents of asynchronous children are often criticized as “helicopter parents” for being overly involved in their child’s social development; others take a hands-off approach out of fear or self-doubt. In this book, Corin Barsily Goodwin and Mika Gustavson, authors of Making the Choice: When Typical School Doesn’t Fit Your Atypical Child, have turned their focus from finding the right academic environment for your child to exploring what we need to know and how we know when we are doing too much or too little to create age- and intellectually appropriate social opportunities for our children. Includes explanations of Dabrowski’s Overexcitabilities, stages of friendship, and how to address conflict with others in a variety of situations.

your rainforest mindYour Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Adults and Youth

by Paula Prober, MS, MEd

Do you long to drive a Ferrari at top speed on the open road, but find yourself always stuck on the freeway during rush hour? Do you wonder how you can feel like “not enough” and “too much” at the same time? Like the rain forest, are you sometimes intense, multilayered, colorful, creative, overwhelming, highly sensitive, complex, and/or idealistic? And, like the rain forest, have you met too many chainsaws?

Enter Paula Prober, MS, MEd, who understands the diversity and complexity of minds like yours. In Your Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Youths and Adults, Paula explores the challenges faced by gifted adults of all ages. Through case studies and extensive research, Paula will help you tap into your inner creativity, find peace, and discover the limitless potential that comes with your Rainforest Mind.

FREE Downloadable Brochures:
The Healthcare Providers’ Guide to Gifted Children
The Educators’ Guide to Gifted Children
Twice Exceptional—Smart Kids with Learning Differences
Gifted Cubed — The Expanded Complexity of Race & Culture

What is a Blog Hop?

A Blog Hop is a way to discover and follow blogs, as well as share your own. Every month or two, we pose a topic, our blogging members discuss it, and we link to their posts. GHF blog hops include bloggers from around the world, all of them committed to articulating the unique concerns, needs, and perspectives of gifted/2e families, especially (but not exclusively) those who choose non-traditional education for their kids.

Past Blog Hops

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