Being gifted is an all day, every day sort of thing lacking predictability. The key to understanding your gifted child is to appreciate his or her unique personality and parent the child you have in front of you in the moment. They can be many ages at once which forces us to stay aware of the differences between biological, social-emotional, physical and intellectual ages. There is no list of things that you can do to raise a gifted child perfectly. They can be overwhelming and you will likely make some mistakes along the way. Gifted children are wonderfully humorous, wildly abstract and staunchly unique but easy, they are not. Prepare yourself for a long, bumpy journey on the path to self-actualization for both you and your offspring. The road is windy and can take you somewhere you never thought you would be.
Raising gifted children is a mentally exhausting endeavor with several
asynchronous confusing moments amidst the brilliance. Intensity, asynchronicity and overexcitabilities affect all aspects of our life and require patience and compassion. Some gifted children tend to be quite argumentative, passionate to the point of contention, excruciatingly sensitive, subversive and fairly high maintenance. These attributes are part of healthy development when looked at through an unconditional radical unschooling lens; however, for gifted children being raised with mainstream education and parenting, these strong personality traits may be shamed, surpressed or punished in an effort to create more palatable, compliant children.
Non-conforming gifted children need the freedom to live a life that is meaningful and connects with their ideals. The cognitive dissonance created when one cannot live authentically may contribute to behavioral issues, anxiety and existential depression which can be a side-effect of giftedness. Our parenting, lifestyle and environment should support our children and nurture their authentic development. We have chosen to cultivate a life that fosters creativity, intellectual freedom and mindfulness.
Freedom and authenticity are crucial for the complex mind.
Extremely divergent children do not need to be reigned in to fit into the social or academic norm. They do not fit in and social conformity should not be an aspirational goal for a profoundly gifted child. Trying to stuff gifted children into a restricted learning environment will thwart organic development and can cause regression, disequilibrium and psychological damage. The mind is a terrible thing to shove into an outdated little box.
Our days our meaningful, inspired and focused. Radical unschooling invites freedom from the limitations of mainstream thinking. All you need is an open mind. When you allow new thoughts to influence how you approach parenting and education from a respecftul, non-authoritarian approach, you will see the benefits unfold seamlessly. When we are free to follow our passions and live purposeful lives, we enjoy the calm and contentment that goes along with it. Freedom, once realized, is particularly satisfying.
We lead passionate lives free from externally imposed structure enabling us to engage in our interests and linger in a state of flow.
While you may not be there yet, there could come a day when you begin to evaluate everything you were led to believe about parenting and education. If you are new to unschooling a profoundly gifted child, learn to relish the process of deschooling your mind. Slowly, a new way of thinking will emerge as you free yourself from a conventional, one-size-fits the middle mindset. As we learn to stay in the moment and trust the deschooling to unschooling process, we begin to enjoy a life without externally imposed constraints. We open ourselves up to possibility without arbitrary limits.
How much time it takes for someone to adopt an unschooling philosophy depends on past experience, environment, temperament and family dynamic. A schooling mindset and parenting indoctrination permeate our culture and can be hard to eradicate. The familiar can be so comforting to some that changing our thinking ignites fear of the unknown. Freedom shouldn’t be such a hard concept to embody but we live in a society that emphasizes conformity. The more we focus on letting go of ideas that don’t serve us well, the sooner we will live authentically and enjoy intellectual and creative freedom.
Gifted, divergent children require a different approach to parenting and education which forces us to shift our views and augment our lifestyle to support our children’s unique needs. As one heads down an alternative path, letting go of traditional thinking becomes easier and more natural. Happiness, emotional balance and voracious learning begin to trump social convention. The need for external approval begins to fade away, organic learning predominates and authentic living becomes the new “normal.”
Joyful, passionate living becomes a natural expression of who we are.
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