"My son is gifted."
It took me a while to build up the courage to write this post but I feel like this will help other parents that may be dealing with the same thing.
2 months ago, we decided to have my eldest son Theodore (6 years old at the time) assessed by a Psychologist for a few reasons, we felt like he wasn't being challenged at school and we also wanted to assess his behavior as well. He's always been a quiet and timid boy and more recently he started displaying signs of anxiousness and filled with constant worry. For example, he never drank water at school because he didn't want to go pee at school, he never eats cake/cupcakes at birthday parties because he doesn't want his face to get dirty (and he has such a sweet tooth!) If he asks us a question and we don't have the answer to them, he keeps asking it until we can research and find the answer. His questions range from "Who was the first human to be born? How many languages are there in this world? Where do animals comes from? How are they named? How big are atoms?"
We wanted to understand how to be better parents to support him mentally and emotionally.
After 2 long sessions of testing, the results came back and we were shocked. The results showed he was defined as a code 80 which means he is gifted and talented in the education system. We always knew Theodore was a smart boy, he has an exceptional memory, reading and solving math problems at a grade level higher but for us I think we were in denial. Being gifted comes with it's behavior problems as well.
Theodore has always struggled with interacting with his peers. He often feels lonely and it's hard for him to make friends. He has strong emotions and constant worry and being an introvert he often bottles it up inside. He's always gravitated towards older kids and adults.
Being a parent of a gifted child comes with its challenges as well. He constantly questions rules and requires a lot of information and feels strong emotions. He mentions things like "I always ask kids if they're okay but how come they never ask me if I'm okay?" As a toddler he always referred to his peers as "These kids" not identifying himself as a kid lol. He also always wants to be included in adult conversations and as a mom, I want to shelter him from some things because I know how worried he can be.
For example, his psychologist appointments were always after lunch so I would pick him up from school on his half days and grab him food. Well, he always insisted he wasn't hungry and that we should just go straight to the office for fear that we would be late for the appointment even though he was starving. When I told him we were still early, he asked if we could drive by the office at least so we know how to get there.
When I first announced to him that I was pregnant and he will be having a baby brother or sister, his initial reaction was stress. He immediately started worrying saying things like "What does a baby eat? I don't know how to take care of a baby." After I assured him that us as parents will take care of the baby and he just has to play with him/her and be a big brother then he started getting excited.
Our main goal as parents is to ensure that Theodore is getting the proper level of education without pressuring him or stressing him too much. We will be working with his school to build a program specific to his learning needs and style. As for his behavior, my main job as a mom is to maintain an open communication with him, help him talk through his emotions and worries and provide a loving home. I want him to enjoy being a kid and encourage him to live in the moment and have fun!
Being an Emotional Intelligence Consultant has really helped me understand the importance of not just focusing on your IQ but also on your EQ and I hope my husband and I can continually support our son in a well rounded way.
This has been such a great learning for me as a parent and I hope to share my continued learnings as a parent and EQ Consultant!