Gifted? Now what? How can Mage help me?
You have just learned that your child is gifted, or are concerned they might be. What can you do as a parent to best support your gifted child?
Frequently, parents find out from teachers or others when their child is gifted. Just as frequently, bewildered parents find out their child is gifted when a mental health professional is called in to evaluate the child due to school trouble. This is because many gifted children are intense. How does one deal with the emotional intensity? Why does my gifted child do (insert thing here)? How do I tackle their academic needs? How do I help them to grow up a happy, well rounded individual?
There is an organization dedicated to the emotional needs of the gifted, called SENG. They are a great resource if you are just starting down the path of discovery for your child. Here is a great article http://sengifted.org/overexcitability-and-the-gifted/ about some of these challenging facets of giftedness. We plan on running SENG and other Parent Workshops and a general support group at MAGE on a regular basis. Check out our calendar and local resource recommendations pages for more information about this and about how to get this sort of a general support. One of our board members is a SENG facilitator and we are plugged into the gifted community – check out the resource page for additional SENG information and for someone who may be able to help you if you are in the suburbs, for example.
Many a time, parents of gifted children feel isolated from their friends and family, unable to talk about the intensity of parenting a gifted child, filled with so much joy but also much harder than raising a neurotypical child. As our gifted children get older, they self-select to challenging activities where they are likely to meet other gifted children and where you are likely to feel the other parents understand you. However, in the early and elementary years which are so difficult for most parents, that kind of a community may be hard to find. It is important to know that you are not alone and that this community exists, or you can create it yourself. Joining a gifted support group or just going to gifted-centered events can provide your children with intellectual peers and yourself with a supportive community and that break where you feel you fit in and belong. There are many other ways to support your gifted learner, including finding the right academic opportunity and including any challenges that they may encounter. Our Resources Page can help point you in the right direction. Click here to learn about why we created Midwest Academy for Gifted Education and how we support giftedness.