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Nov 16 2015

No such thing as balance in gifted parenting

No such thing as balance in gifted parentingI’m on an eternal quest for balance. How hard can it be, right? I’m an intelligent, reasonably functional woman who is above average in adulting, you’d think I’d have a handle on balancing this whole gifted parenting thing.

Surprise!

I so want my life to behave like a perfectly balanced teeter totter. Both sides equidistant from the hard ground, while I hold court in the precise center, the calm in the eye of the storm, juggling my flaming batons with ease. There’s a smile on my suddenly unlined face, a gentle breeze ruffles my hair, and all is right with the world. Ahhhh….

Right. No one has that life.

In reality, my teeter totter tilts wildly and without warning. I dash from end to end, barely keeping up with the flaming batons and often coming close to singeing my eyebrows. WHAM! The teeter totter slams back down into the ground and it’s no longer a fun piece of playground equipment but a catapult, heaving me into the sky, off-balance, limbs flailing wildly, entertaining the world. If I were wearing a skirt y’all would get to see my oh-so-sexay undergarments. This is why I rarely wear skirts. Well, that and the complete lack of Spanx in my life.

And that right there is what it’s like parenting twice-exceptional boys.

Over the top pun-tastic humor that sends me into hysterics. A breathtaking maturing of empathy.

Overwhelming anxiety when presented with the unfamiliar. Asynchronous development that gives me ulcers.

Executive function disasters all over the place.

Things are going great. Things have plunged deep into the shitter.
Everything is awesome! Everything is crap.

Very high highs and very low lows. Brilliance in some areas and devastating struggles in others. Always scaldingly hot or blisteringly cold; never, ever just toasty warm.

Up. Down. Up. Down. Flaming batons singeing eyebrows left and right. Funny how I still have to pluck the damned things.

Twice-exceptionality can sometimes present as an average kid; the highs and lows mask each other. No such luck with this; the highs and lows of gifted parenting don’t average out, they just give me whiplash.

I take refuge in the fact that the highs are starting to edge out the lows. For so long the lows had the upper hand. But now, as the boys get older and we all have better coping and management skills, the teeter totter is leaning a little more to the positive. I’ll take it; for far too long it was pinned to the low side.

We have some seven years left on this 2e parenting seesaw. Perhaps I’ll find my way to the center of the teeter totter once before we’re done.

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Today’s post was part of the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum blog hop on the Highs and Lows of Gifted Parenting. We all have stories to share; go check out some other participants.

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  1. Lisa

    Uh … sorry, but there is no end to parenting until ‘the end’. It was recently suggested to me at a conference that I may have lost touch about what it’s like to parent gifted kids because I’m no longer in the trenches (my ‘kids’ are in their early 20s). Well, dang … I’m still breathing and so are they. Aside from the fact that I was attending a gifted conference and still advocating for gifted children … I seem to have retained a few memories (like a million) of what the trenchers feel like. So, even though things may ease up a bit … you’ll still be needed, still experience those pangs of anguish from time to time. It’s a never-ending story …

  2. Amy

    I am naturally one who lingers in extremes. I have found a lot more balance through my yoga practice and accepting that our life is chaotic but finding equanimity in it.
    Amy recently posted…Living IntenselyMy Profile

  3. Paula Prober

    I’m glad you’re heading more often into the positive zone. It sounds so very challenging. I imagine that your sense of humor has saved you from disaster many-a-time. Thank you for your honest sharing of your experience.
    Paula Prober recently posted…If I’m So Smart, Why Do I Feel So Much Guilt?My Profile

  4. Celi Trepanier

    Jen, I know the center of that teeter totter will be glorious and a well-balanced spot so as not to spill that celebratory cocktail you’ll have when you get there!

    Here’s to the center of the teeter totter!
    Celi Trepanier recently posted…Understanding Gifted ParentingMy Profile

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