Are you excited for the summer, or dreading the impending battles of trying to keep your child engaged and off the computer during summer break? Why is it that your curious, excited, and passionate child prefers to be hypnotized by the screen or chooses to become the uninspired critic of summertime activities?
The secret to transforming your summer is to know the 3 Pillars of Gifted Kids on Vacation: Passion, Communion, and Complexity. If you master these three pillars, you will create beautiful lifelong memories for you and your child, as well as a deep connection and understanding that extends beyond the summer.
From an early age, gifted and 2e kids crave significance and meaning. They instinctively evaluate everything they do for this quality. For many people, this may not arise until they are older or in a life transition, but for the gifted/2e child it is an every moment phenomena. They also have unique and often specific passions that drive them. To find your child’s passion, observe what she does in her free time and take special note of her favorite hobbies, books, and online interests. You’ll know you’re onto something when you ask her questions and she gushes with excitement and curiosity. She’ll be an amateur (or not so amateur) expert on the topic and will love nothing more than to share what she knows. Listen to what she is saying in the car, at the dinner table, and with their friends. She is talking about her passion.
Keep in mind that gifted/2e kids tend to go further and deeper, sometimes to the exclusion of all else. Don’t be scared of this, embrace the passion and join their team
Gifted/2e kids are outliers by definition. They represent a very small group and they know they are different. This creates many stresses and challenges they yearn to assuage. To meet a true peer with a shared interest is the greatest gift they can receive. True peers are transformative to the gifted child’s emotional life and come in all ages and from all paths. You are not necessarily looking for the girl/boy next door. Keep your heart and mind open.
When you’re out in the world with your child, notice who is able to speak his language. Who excites him or adds dimension to his interests? Who matches your child’s intensity, enthusiasm, or depth of knowledge about a subject or hobby? Who does your child voice concern about or longing to see? Those people are true peers. Communion is fostered by creating time together to share mutual interests. As the actor Wil Wheaton once said, “Being a nerd is not about what you love; it’s about how you love it.” Find the people who love and engage in their interests with the same fervor as your child.
The third pillar, complexity brings excitement and fire into gifted lives. Gifted and 2e children will naturally seek to expand themselves intellectually, delving deeper for a richer experience. When undertaking an activity related to their passions, a cycle of creative inquiry needs to be maintained in order to go beyond simply knowing something on the surface level to embracing all the depth, subtleties, and understanding possible at an expert level. A mentor is able to foster development of the gifted child by leading her through a series of evolving next steps as the child builds complexity in her pursuits.
Now that you have the three pillars of Passion, Communion, and Complexity, you are ready to begin your quest for a successful and meaningful summer together. No “point and click” here. You and your child have the opportunity to co-create your very own best summer plans and enjoy the benefits of your new understandings throughout the year.
Some great links:
Digital Media Academy
Druidawn Summer Fantasy Camp
Heifer International Farm
GHF Bloggers: Virtual Field Trips
GHF Favorite Things: Field Trips and Travel Tips
Rain City Rock Camp for Girls
San Diego Sea Camp
The Maker Faire