I had my first child at 30. I myself was immature and physically I looked so young, at the hospital everyone thought I was 18! When I look at pics of me when I was breastfeeding my son (I breastfed him until he was 13 months old), I feel as seeing a kid ! People often thought I was the big sister with her little brother. It was all the more confusing as my son very quickly displayed his gifts and talents, in other words his high potential !
It is a child who immediately fixed the gaze. When I came home from the hospital with him he was barely 4 days old. The following week I noticed that when I called his father softly, so as not to disturb him, he laughed. He gave a small laugh as if he understood that I was trying to be quiet. He began to smile at me very early, around 2 weeks and to answer my questions with his hands or sounds around the age of 2 months.
Around 9 months he started to say his first words. Communication with him was intense. He needed to do a lot of things and showed what he wanted around 5 months like a bottle or a toy. At 5 months I made a video of him contorting himself on the sofa to grab his bottle between his elbows, lean back and put the pacifier into his mouth.
Around 9 months he handed his bottle to babies crying in the street. It was my first child and I thought they were all like that! In fact when he started to cry in the elevator because a noise had scared him, I suddenly realized that he was only 9 months old and that it was indeed a baby that I had to do with! He was so awake and intelligent that I had forgotten that detail!
At two years old he spoke very well using tenses like the subjunctive! Around the age of three, when we spoke basic French, his father and I, to go faster, he picked us up and made beautiful sentences!
The pinnacle was reached on a Sunday morning while we were in church. He was going to the Sunday school, he was three years old, when he told to the reverent: “Joseph, something is wrong with your words! You say that God created the earth okay, but if God created the earth , who created God? Was it an existing system?” The poor pastor told us about his dismay: “He’s gifted, you have to enroll him in a specialized school!”
My son had a brilliant education. Today he is 17 years old and for 2 years he has had lower grades and things are more complicated with him. He has great emotional and sensory sensitivity. We have to work on Self-Love and Self-Confidence with him.
Having a child with high potential means setting a particular system in motion and not expecting him to want to exploit all of his potential.
It is sometimes frustrating for him and for us !
I believe it is our duty to manage to make sense of things. He has a high potential but he also has free will. It is therefore up to him to begin to understand what to do with it. Does he want to be treated as he is or is it legitimate for him to enter into a form of resistance to what he has received?
I think we must above all accept that at times he decides to waste his potential or not to exploit it. It is all the more painful because we know that he can do things in an excellent way. If you have a child who has normal or limited potential, it may be easier to accept his life choices regarding his studies or his future. Here we have the feeling that he has everything but does not want to use it!
In reality, his giftedness should be free to express itself or not, and not be pressured by us. We should absolutely treat him as if we don’t know he has such potential and as if we don’t know his IQ test score…
We should consider the being and not the numbers, the desires and not the possibilities!
Today I hope that he can be passionate about a subject or a discipline that leads him to exercise his gifts !
He would also like me to be tested to find out where this high potential comes from. Having an artistic and very illogical mind, it goes without saying that I will never take such a test! My own skills have always been emotional intelligence and communication, which is why I am a therapist. However, when it is my own children who are affected by an exception to the rule, it is difficult for me to intervene and find the right tools. Too much investment, not enough hindsight…
Do you also have a high potential child? Feel free to contact me or to leave comments at the bottom of this post!