One of the questions that Selena herself posed to me a few months ago, “Why am I not normal? I just want to be like all the other girls!” Of course as a Mama my heart sank. I had to ask myself many questions, am I pushing to hard, am I trying to make her giftedness define her, or is this a normal part of growing up?
After this question we started changing things up a lot! First of all though I wanted to boost her self confidence and self esteem that being gifted in no way made her “Not Normal.” We started with the simple facts, that not everyone knows the same things, and how we can learn from each other, it is OK to share our knowledge and talents with others. Selena began slowly to share the things she knows so much about and those she shared with really learned a lot but thankfully made no negative remarks about her knowledge base. This has been a hard area for Selena, since many times when she has bounced off with something she knows so much about people gave her strange looks, or gasped and even made huge issues out of her reading ability. You and I know they didn’t mean anything by their reaction, they truly are taken that a young girl can know so much, but Selena is an over thinker so she reads a lot into our reactions or the things we say.
We then had to move from there to re-look at our home. Did we provide enough for her to be a little girl? Were we pushing too much on the gifted side and forgetting that basically yes, she is a little girl. I concluded that she has plenty of opportunities to be a little girl, dress in fancy dress up clothes, get into my make-up and does in deed have way too many dolls, doll houses and girly toys. Introduce her best friend! The more time she has spent with J, the more the just being a girl has come out.
Many time we worry that the only children our gifted child will relate to is another gifted child or one with the same interests, when in fact sometimes they truly need to explore the imaginary side of things with a friend who will except them for who they are, quirks and all, but keep them balanced as the child they are too. These relationships are often hard to find, so I say keep trying.
Since we have started to listen to Selena, and explore with her all her uniqueness along with her weaknesses, we are seeing her begin to grow and mature into who she is. She is growing in her confidence of what she knows, and the knowledge base she has, but also is comfortable just being a little girl. After all remember even gifted children truly are little girls and boys.