Her son is incredibly bright but, she wishes he wasn’t.
A few years ago, I was told that my son was gifted.
For any parent this is exciting news, and it was.
But now, a few years down the track, I sometimes catch myself wishing he wasn’t so bright.
Don’t get me wrong, I have an amazing, talented, special little man (actually I have several) who I couldn’t be without. He and his brothers are my world. But sometimes I do wish that my eldest was just a bit more… “normal” (whatever that is).
Before I get crucified for saying this, let me tell you my reasons.
First and foremost, I continually feel as though I am letting him down.
He needs constant stimulation and entertainment, and I feel I don’t deserve such a gift because I simply don’t know if I’m nurturing it properly, and doing him justice in his upbringing.
Like any parent, I just want to do the best by him (and my other children) and often, I feel as though I’m failing miserably.
I lie in bed at night wondering how I can encourage his learning and support his curiosity, while at the same time give my other children the attention and support that they too deserve. Often I just feel a huge amount of pressure and I'm left wondering if I'm really good enough to be his mother.
He loses interest in games and activities easily and constantly needs me to be involved with what ever he is doing.
When he is bored, he can get naughty. And it's hard because I know the reasons for his behaviour, but at the same time I'm still only human, and stuff needs to get done.
However, it does make me concerned for his future in school. I don't want him labelled as the "naughty kid" because he acts up in class due to boredom.
His potential is huge, but so too is the risk of him going off the rails.
Then there are times where I feel I need to conceal information about my child, because other mothers especially, can be so cruel.
Every parent thinks their child is special, and they all are, but saying out loud that your child is gifted comes with a whole heap of judgement that you just can't escape.
I remember telling my Mother's Group about my son's assessment. And I distinctly remember most people being supportive to my face, but later forgetting that I was included on a Facebook group message.
Comments such as, "As if they can tell how smart a child is now?" and "I know he is bright but I don't reckon he is that smart" showed me that to a lot of mothers, intelligence, just like so many other areas of parenting are a competition, a debate. Clearly one that they felt they needed to weigh in on.
It's also hard because at the end of the day, he is still just a young child who shares a lot of the same characteristics of other boys his age.
Once you tell someone that your child has been classified as highly intelligent, you can see them judging and assessing every aspect of him to determine whether they (in their less than professional opinion) agree or disagree with the diagnosis.