Cara’s stomach has been hurting her, intermittently, for the past few months. A couple of times she asked to go to the ER. We never made the trip since with a little distraction, she returned to normal and never ran a fever or vomited.
At first we assumed it had something to do with her reflux but as the pain persisted with no obvious trigger, we started to suspect her pain had less to do with a physical issue and more to do with an emotional issue: stress/anxiety.
There are few things more annoying and upsetting than 1. your kid being in obvious pain and not being able to help and 2. trying to explain to a seven year old that all of her worrying is making her hurt.
I had considered writing a post about “gifted” kids and how we’ve been talking about maybe petitioning (if you will) to have both kids put into the school’s G/T (Gifted/Talented) program–they call it SPACE (Special Programs for Academic and Creative Excellence) here. That’s one hell of a complicated topic that would result in a post of epic proportion and I’m not going to do that to you.
This is going to be long enough as it is. If you want to just jump right to the list, click here.
I guess we’ll just consider this #1 in a series of posts…which probably won’t ever be finished. I have a habit of not finishing series of posts. Can anyone say Word of the Day?
I tested into G/T right out of kindergarten and continued in gifted/advanced/honors/AP classes up until I dropped out of college. Tucker was also in his district’s gifted program (He has a SLIGHTLY higher IQ than me…not that I’m bitter or anything.).
Mom tells the story of going to pick me up from grade school and not being able to find me. She eventually discovered me in a corner crying because I had gotten a B. I don’t remember this. She might be lying. Who knows?
I’m joking about the lying part, Mom.
The point, I suppose, is I had a perfectionist streak.
I worried a lot more than I probably should have. I took criticism way too personally and hard. My need for approval was probably one of the most important things to me (I try not to be like that so much now. Really.) and was crushed and felt slighted if I felt someone was disappointed in me. And Grandpa routinely called me “Drama Queen.” Now that I’ve listed all this out, I’m starting to think I must have been an overly dramatic and neurotic child.
Those poor, poor people who had to put up with me…
And Cara? She’s just like I was.
Her Those poor, poor parents people who have to put up with her…
Yesterday Cara brought home her quarterly and weekly progress reports and one of the scores on her weekly report was a 1 (4 is the highest possible with a 1 essentially meaning F.). The girl was hysterical and the complaints of stomach pain started.
She had made a stupid mistake on a logic/problem solving math question so she had earned the score she got and once I helped her calm down, we went over the problem. During the course of all that craziness, this list got started.
My hope was that if I listed off things she knew, things that were constant and would never change, Cara would have less to worry about. I wrote 1-9 with her next to me giving me suggestions and then reading them off, one-by-one.
She cried a lot. My eyes might have teared up once or twice. Allegedly.
So the list might have hit a bit too close to home for all involved.
After I sent Cara off to do her homework, I continued with the list but switched to what I know. The 20 things, a few are especially targeted at “gifted” kids/adults but the vast majority will apply to everyone. I’m sure I missed something; feel free to add your own to the comments section below.
Let the list begin!
20 Things Every Gifted Child Needs To Know…and Probably Everyone Else, Too
- My parents/family will always love me.
- I will always have somewhere to live.
- I will always have food to eat.
- I will always have clothes and shoes to wear.
- I will always make mistakes but I will be loved anyway.
- Perfection is a goal and not a destination.
- Someone will always be smarter than me and that’s OK and sometimes I will be someone else’s someone.
- I will never be good at everything and that’s OK, no one else will be either.
- It’s not my job to solve everything.
- There are mean people in the world. You will get your feelings hurt by those people and by people who don’t even know they hurt you.
- There are times when you will be one of those mean people. You will hurt people’s feelings even if you don’t know it. All you can do is try, everyday, to be kinder.
- You may never know what you want to be when you grow up and that’s OK. I know more adults who DON’T know than do and most adults only ask you because they think that’s what they’re supposed to do.
- If you’ve done it, thought it, said it and/or written it down, someone else has, too. You’re not alone. You’re not as strange as you think you are.
- You will like people who don’t reciprocate. There will be people you don’t like. 1/2 the time it has nothing to do with the other person. All you can do is focus on the people who are your friends and the people who want to be your friends. Try not to spend too much time worrying about it but don’t beat yourself up too much when you sometimes fail at that last part.
- If it’s living, it will die and that sucks and there’s nothing you can do and that sucks, too. You’re going to feel a lot of different things and that’s normal.
- People are good at different things. You can not be good at everything and that will probably bug you; it bugs a lot of other people, too.
- You will make good grades. You will make bad grades. Good ones don’t mean you have nothing left to learn. Bad ones don’t mean you’re a failure.
- You won’t always get your way and you will never have everything you want. Sometimes you won’t even get everything you think you need.
- People think about things in different ways. People believe different things. You will never agree with everyone about everything. All you can do is try to find common ground and that won’t always happen either.
- Oxford commas are evil.
If you have your own “knows” I’ve left out, add them down in the comments. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!