where wildly different is perfectly normal
CONSTANT VIGILANCE! aka Raising #gifted sons
CONSTANT VIGILANCE! aka Raising #gifted sons

CONSTANT VIGILANCE! aka Raising #gifted sons


Many thanks to Mad Eye Moody for the dead-on description of what it’s like to live with and raise gifted sons. People will watch them and comment, “Oh my, they keep you on your toes, don’t they?” Duh, random person making small talk, this is nothin’. I’ve been trying to stay one step ahead for the last nine years and failing miserably, so truly your comments are a paean to the High Priestess of Obviousness. Yes, it is terribly windy out. Have a nice day yourself. 🙂


At home it’s ensuring they have not built a intricate fort of epic proportions, blocking the long-suffering dog from her crate. It’s putting double and triple security measures on the computer, so we don’t suddenly have an expensive paperweight. It’s preparing for a meltdown anywhere, anytime, because something has triggered the wiring in the gifted kid’s over-excitabilities sector. It’s being ready for a philosophical question at a moment’s notice, similar to the story Robyn shared at A 2E (Twice-Exceptional) Journey. I haven’t had that exact question, but I’ve had some doozies.


At school it’s staying on top of everything. Everything. To the casual observer, I am a helicopter parent. That drives me to the brink of insanity, just daring me to jump in and get it over with. I’m not a helicopter parent, I laugh that I parent with benign neglect, but at 9 A still needs help remembering ABC and no amount of natural consequences work. Trust me, I’ve been to more parenting seminars that you can imagine. He just needs more guidance, and me emailing teachers so that we’re all on the same page.


Part of CONSTANT VIGILANCE! is reviewing graded work that returns home because the boys sure aren’t running in the door with papers in hand, begging for them to be displayed on the fridge. A got his book report on Albert Einstein back the other day and he knocked it out of the park (helped that he saw a lot of himself in Einstein). His multiplication page was awesome; got all but four completed, but every single one was correct. Got a Theme Progress Test back and only missed one, but…what the hell? Ohhhhh…further proof that gifted kids think differently. Hm. How would you answer this question?

What does it mean to draw conclusions when you read?

  1. decide the main point of the reading
  2. use what you know and what you read to make a decision about the text
  3. relate the text to other texts, your life, and the world
  4. ask questions to determine the author’s purpose for writing

I see three arguably correct answers. A’s answer (#3) was marked incorrect. Tom and I can’t figure out which answer is the “correct” one. Now, it’s 3rd grade and it’s one answer on a test and I’m not going in to the teacher to argue it. That would be helicopter parenting. But I would like to know, for my own brain, which it is. Because I think #3 could be correct and because I can’t see an obviously correct answer. Unfortunately, because of the way public education is set up, where there are “right answers” and “wrong answers,” shades of grey (thinking) aren’t valued.


I’ll be so glad when the school year ends in a few weeks. For the first time ever, I am glad that school is ending. For the CONSTANT VIGILANCE! will then be home-based for a few months.


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  2. I can’t figure out the right answer to that question, and neither can my English prof husband. I guess we’d flunk 3rd grade.

    Seriously, though, it’s probably some direct quote out of the textbook so that kids can prove that they can regurgitate facts verbatim. No wonder my college students don’t know how to put ideas into their OWN words.

  3. CONSTANT VIGILANCE! Might be the best visually descriptive term to refer to our jobs of gited parents I’ve EVER HEARD. I think Harry Potter’s more about gifted kids than anything – I have found Albus Dumbledore to have many quotes that are 100% applicable to gifted life.

    I think the answer’s #2. Come on . . . find out the answer for us grown gifteds and post it! 🙂

  4. Coco

    I think she wanted #2 – the “make a decision” is probably the tell. I think the wrong verb is used on #3 & it clouds the issue a bit, but #2 is sort of #1 + #3…

  5. JenC

    I’m putting my money on #2 also.

    And computer security? Biometrics, hon. My husband’s a network security geek, and it’s what we’re using to keep The Boy from logging on without us (it requires both a fingerprint scan and a password). And for physical security- if it’s a non-laptop model, you can buy clear acrylic (bulletproof!) cases that padlock shut to keep the boys from dismantling the poor thing!

  6. Ugh. God. Ugh.

    I hate what is called “teaching reading” nowadays because it’s all about learning formulas about how to read instead of ACTUALLY READING. Teaching meta-cognition instead of actually practicing the skills. And put them on a multiple choice test! God!

    By the way, I imagine #2 was the “correct” answer.

    God, this stuff makes me psychotic.

    Also, I will contact you via your email regarding meeting for lunch when I’m in Colorado. I hope it works out. I’m leaving on Friday and I will be there through Thursday.

  7. Sarah

    Huh… I’d say #3… huh…

    So would part of constant vigalence include stoping the newly pull-up free child from writing his name on the wall with… Well you get the picture…?

    I am so thankful to know you and read your info…. It has been so helpful with M!

  8. Pingback: What I wish others knew about parenting twice-exceptional kids

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Whaddya think?

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