Being a parent is hard. At least, it looks hard. But if you’re the parent of a gifted teenager, people don’t always understand just how hard it is; to a lot of people, “gifted” is synonymous with “easy”. But as you know, that’s not necessarily the case.
Being a successful parent takes a strong community of people who understand exactly what you’re going through and can help you through the tough moments. Here are some places where you can find that community as a parent of a gifted teenager.
Full disclosure: I can’t join these groups since I’m not a parent, and some of them are closed. I chose these three pages because they come highly recommended or they are attached to resources that I use and love. I promise they are the best. 🙂
“Pull up a chair, grab some coffee or tea, and let’s talk about our gifted kids…”
That’s the bottom line of this Facebook group, which has over 3,000 members and thrives on community. Its founder, Carolyn K., is a seasoned gifted educator who also runs the Hoagies’ website. If you’re looking for a strong, experienced, and large gifted community, you’ve got to try falling in with the Hoagies’ group.
The Hoagies’ website also has additional resources for both parents and their children. While the website is geared towards younger kids, you’re free to talk about kids of any age in the Facebook group.
“Everyone parents differently and each child is unique; this group is for support, not shaming.”
This page prides itself on being a supportive place where newbies and veterans alike can ask questions and get reasonable answers. If you’re looking for somewhere to ask your most embarrassing questions about parenting, punishment, or even acronyms, this is the place to go.
One of the best features of this group is their no-spam policy. If one of their 1,000+ members posts for their own financial gain, they are banned from posting in the group. This keeps the interface clear of spammy comments, “hidden” advertisements, or anything else a profiteer could cook up.
“This group is for parents, loved ones, educators, and advocates of 2e children.”
This page isn’t specifically for teens, but with over 7,000 members, there are plenty of parents there with older kids and young adults. Their target audience is parents of Twice Exceptional kids, called “2E” for short, who have both giftedness and a disability. This category often includes gifted kids with Asperger’s, autism, or dyslexia.
This can be one of the hardest category of children to parent because each 2E child is so unique. That’s why it’s a great idea to get involved in this Facebook group and get in touch with other parents in your situation–no two 2E parents go through the same thing, and that’s what makes the community so rich.
If you want to join this group, make sure that you have Facebook Messenger enabled. Otherwise, they won’t be able to send you the newcomer information and you won’t be allowed to join. They also have pretty strict rules about what you can post, so be sure to follow those meticulously.
To me, community is a lot like putting on your oxygen mask before someone else’s. While your instinct is to help your child first, you won’t be able to do much for them if you don’t save yourself.
In a much less stressful way, community for parents of the gifted is exactly the same. When you invest in yourself and learn more about what it takes to be a successful, it’s an investment in your child and their future.
So try out the group that looks like the best fit for you. Or, try them all! You never know when you’ll really need a word of advice.
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