Not All Children Are Gifted

All Children Are Gifts… but Not All Children Are Gifted

Recently I was reading through my Facebook feed. Okay, so I was procrastinating, choosing distractions rather than choosing the work I’ve been slacking on recently. But, some of the threads were interesting, a few of the memes struck me as funny, and then a mom’s request for help with her gifted daughter came through via a top homeschooling website I follow. {You know, a reader question where other readers chime in and offer help?}


Not All Children Are Gifted

And I became sick to my stomach reading through the comments.

This poor mom reached out to a popular homeschooling community asking for help from parents who have been there before her and she was degraded, shamed, and dismissed. A few of the comments were helpful and validating, but most of them were not.

Have you heard these before?

Just stop pushing her; let her be a child.

It sounds like you’re expecting too much. A 7 year old reading at a high school level? Just give her regular chapter books, and she’ll be fine.

She sounds like she’s struggling because you want too much for her. Pull back and give her more play time.

And the one that always makes me lose my temper…

All children are gifted; some just show their gifts earlier than others.

So, here’s the thing… the term gifted can raise the hackles of many people — homeschooling or not. I’ve dealt with it as both a teacher of gifted kids and as a parent of gifted kids. Heck, I dealt with it as a gifted kid growing up.

Gifted programs are seen as elitist. As exclusive. And, when parents talk about their gifted kids to other parents, they are told they are bragging or that they’re acting superior.

They’re not.

It’s the term.


It doesn’t bring up images of struggling kids, fighting to reach their academic {or artistic, musical, athletic, etc.} potential. It brings up images of shiny wrapping tied up with beautiful ribbons.

Moms, all children are gifts. They are all shiny wrapping tied up with beautiful bows. Your son is the best kid in the world. So is mine. The adorably sweet baby your sister just had? She is an amazing gift.


Not All Children Are Gifted

She may or may not be gifted.

All children are gifts, but not all children are gifted.  <Tweet This>

I’ve shared about gifted kids numerous times on this blog. Gifted kids have special needs. They are asynchronous and highly advanced in many {but not always all} areas. They think differently. They process things differently. They have specialized needs when it comes to learning. And they often must be parented with a completely different-than-the-norm approach.

Here’s a true story, though I’m not going to tell you the author’s name. If you and I ever meet in person, we can sit down for some coffee together and swap stories, because I’m sure I’m not the only one with experiences like this:

I was teaching second and third grade gifted kids in a fabulous, and fairly affluent, district. Our PTO had sponsored an author visit from a well-known and prolific children’s author. A truly gifted writer. I loved him and had several of his books.

At lunchtime, I went to the library to meet him as he was eating with some student writers and staff. We chatted about writing {as I also write for kids} while he signed my books. And then he asked me what grade I taught. So I told him.

He stopped, looked up at me, and said, “Oh. You’re the one in this school.” I looked at him and asked what he meant. “You further the elitist attitude by isolating some children from the others, while leaving the rest behind.” And he turned away from me.

I was a little nauseous, but I said to him loudly, “No, sir. I am the one who advocates for these children so that their needs are met every single day. Shouldn’t they be allowed the same right to learn something new every day, rather than be held back relearning the same things again and again?

He never looked back at me. Just ignored me.

And I gave away his books.

Moms of gifted kids, your children are gifts, too. And they have special needs that are fun, challenging, interesting, frustrating, exhausting, exhilarating, and so much more — often at the same time. They are gifted.

Don’t be discouraged.

Do not feel alone.

We are in this together, and your fears are real and justified.

It is really, really hard to find appropriate books for a seven year old who reads at a high school level and is bored to tears by The Magic Tree House type books. No matter how good a book might be for a seven year old, it’s not perfect for your seven year old.

Your {my} 11 year old really does argue way more than a typical 11 year old. And about totally different things. You cannot fight every battle with him because you will literally be fighting Lay down all but the nonnegotiables and move on.

It is not unusual for a six year old to hyper-focus on her American Girl doll, but it is different when it’s your six year old. Your six year old refuses to do any math, art, writing, or anything unless it’s related to the time period from which her doll “comes.” She’s learned everything there is to know about World War II and can converse with anyone about the war. She has sophisticated ideas about what was right and what was wrong about it, and occasionally cries herself to sleep when she remembers all of the innocent lives that were lost during that time period.

Moms, take heart. There are other children like yours. And there are other moms struggling with the same issues.

Your child is gifted.

And your child is an amazing gift.

For more information on Gifted Kids, Check Out: