I have a confession. I used to apologize for my daughter being gifted.
Maybe apologize isn’t exactly the right word but when other parents would comment on how bright she was I’d say something like:
Yeah, but she can’t tie her own shoes
If only she wasn’t afraid of every ball in every sport
You’d think she could figure out how to hang up a towel!
Ok, that last one really bugged me. Seriously, how tough can it be? I admit to telling her to stay in the bathroom until she figured out how to put the towel on the towel bar. It was either my worst parenting moment or my finest. The jury’s still out.
Now, I don’t mean that I said these things with earshot of my daughter or even that I said them very often. But I did say them. It happened most frequently when we were early in our gifted kid journey and someone, usually another mom, would comment about how well she was doing in school or the grade skip and I would immediately downplay things by pointing out something she wasn’t so good at.
Ugh. What was I thinking?
What I should have said was:
It reminds me of the Maya Angelou quote: “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”
Who knows why I said those things. Or why any of us do – because I know I’m not the only parent of a gifted child who’s done this.
Probably a combination of wanting her to fit in, me wanting to fit in, a bit of imposter syndrome (on my part) and simply not really understanding what the heck we were really dealing with.
I also think it was the adjusting of expectations. We knew she was an exceptionally bright little kid but didn’t really know until she got to school how exceptional she was. We had no clue of what being on the far right of the bell curve meant.
She did learn how to tie her shoes, but sometimes it takes a couple of tries so that the tightness is equal on each foot. Don’t laugh. I know you know what I mean.
Still not big on basketball but she’ll shoot baskets with her dad. Only once in a while – but he has to ask nicely and there are bribes involved.
I know she can hang towels up but she sometimes chooses not to. We’re working on it.
Sure, there are plenty of things she’s not good at. But I’ve stopped focusing on them and I’m choosing to focus on the positive because the positive things FAR outweigh the negative.
My daughter is gifted and I’m done apologizing for it.
What about you? Any regrets or things you wish you had done differently on your journey?