I am a 'dumb' parent of a gifted child!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-21-2013
I am a 'dumb' parent of a gifted child!
12
Thu, 01-24-2013 - 12:21am

I only have an Associate's Degree and that is in nursing and I'm an RN but currently not working.  My hubs only had one semester of college and then truck driving school and has been a driver instructor and OTR trucker for almost 12 years.  My older bio son is very smart, but not quite to the gifted level.  He is very book smart and gets all A's and is in the top 5 in his class of 130 kids, but here is my problem:  how does an intelligence-challenged woman parent a gifted child?  Josh asked me to explain electricity to him.  I had to google "how to explain electricity to a child" and didn't find anything that I thought he would understand.  He was waiting patiently, so finally, I just read it to him off of a science website.  He asked me to describe what an electron or ion was, I finally told him he would just have to ask a science teacher or his own teacher at school.  Yes, I passed the buck!

How do you all deal with being asked questions where the answers are difficult to explain?  If I had the money, I would put a Harvard professor on stand-by on-call for me!  I am so afraid too, since my IQ is only 100, that I am going to tell Josh a wrong answer about something or that I am going to hold him back in some way by not challenging him academically since he is even at 5, smarter than I am on a lot of things.

Anyone feel my pain here?  Advice, tips?

Blessings, Michelle

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998

You have gifts that no professor can give your child. One of these is humility, a very rare and, I think, precious trait. You can instill this in him by making it clear that even if he is smarter (than you or his peers or anyone else he knows), he is not better, and that every person has sacred worth. You can teach him to respect his teachers and his peers, and to seek out answers on his own when the adults he asks don't know. You can also teach him that it's perfectly okay not to know, and that there are some things (why some people get cancer and others, in the same environment, do not, for example) that really can't be known, at least not yet.

One of the mistakes I see some parents make when they realize their child is gifted is to assume that they themselves need to be more or do more. You don't. You are your son's mother, and you give to him out of the riches you have. Take advantage of the resources around you, but reassure yourself that your child will not suffer or lose out in any way just because you don't live in some urban area with tons of cultural advantages.

I think by teaching our kids to ask a respectful, open-minded "why" we are helping them to grow into the people they were meant to be.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2005

The internet is handy for many questions, but it helps to have a few good books on hand in areas your child asks about often.  The One Million Things series of books can be a good jumping off point.  We also have a few books on dc's level about things like earth science and human anatomy.  And delegate!  We do a lot of, "that's a great question to ask (science teacher, cousin who's an MD, grandpa who's an expert on airplanes, etc.)!"

Gwen

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