My Parent Radar
My parent-on-alert-radar was grounded in reality and reasonableness. Or so I thought. I understand now the extent to which it was ungrounded. My radar ran on fear generated by my imagination’s clarity about negative possibilities. It was protecting me as much or more than it was about whether my children truly needed protection. In fact, my fear itself was dangerous because it was undermining my relationships with my children.
On the upside, having and being such a finely tuned radar led me to look for and uncover sources of behaviors. When our three children were young, I thought I was enlightened, seeing and “getting” them. I thought I was giving them what they needed – including trying to enlighten my husband. It turns out that my high sensitivity to each moment of everyone’s emotions was no gift to them since it was wrapped in the package of fear.
I am very sad that none of the resources we found back then understood or knew what to do with the underlying complexities that complicated our parenting journey. Specifically, our resources did not fully understand and know how to address the relationship between our children’s behaviors and their giftedness and twice-exceptionalities.
My husband and I did finally wake up to what each child truly and uniquely needed. Had we understood then what we understand now about each one of our children, and about ourselves, we could have spared all of us the extremes of the anguish we experienced.
It’s a hard truth. Parents have the job of seeing and adjusting to the unique complex being that is their child. That job is a gift because it requires that we see and accept ourselves clearly and fully, moment by moment. We are then able to clear our own internal landscape of our fears and projections. That’s when we can see our children clearly and fully, as they are, as they are evolving. Taking on that “gift”, we create the environment in which they will have the courage to see, accept, and grow themselves clearly and fully, too.
Getting our fears out of the way does not mean danger will be ignored. When we see clearly what our children need from us, they will have reason, inclination, and the chance to follow our wise lead. Honoring the essence of who they are while providing only as much containment as absolutely necessary, we equip them and set them up to soar.
You are key to enabling your children to evolve into becoming the ongoing fullest expression of themselves*.
Our three intense, twice exceptional, thriving, young adult children support my being a parent coach to parents of gifted/GLD because they believe their father and I needed help in managing the fears that blinded us to truly seeing and supporting them the way they needed. They are complex, and we needed supporters who knew how to guide us through that complexity. That kind of support was and is hard to come by. It is a gift that equips you for leading your incredible family in well being.
*Apologies to Oprah for appropriating her line. Thanks to my many teachers, whose giving of themselves informs my work – including but not limited to Andrew Mahoney, Gloria DeGaetano, Dr. Shefali Tsabary, Dr. Daniel Siegel, Dr. Ross Greene, Dr. Janis Johnston. Most profoundly, thanks to our most impactful and cherished teachers, our children.