Hiddengifted’s Blog

Archive for February 2010

A huge key to making contact with any gifted girl is the “c” word- COMMUNICATION. That doesn’t mean just talking to them. Any mom can tell you that every now and then, something she says to her child goes in one ear and out the other. That doesn’t mean they didn’t want to hear it, it just means they didn’t really register that anyone’s talking to them. It’s the same way with gifted girls.

One of the first steps to communicating is to simply listen. I know I’ve said this before, but it REALLY IS IMPORTANT! I cannot stress how important it is. Even if you don’t offer any advice, and you are all ears, it matters. Gifted girls notice. They’re NOT STUPID. Now, that sounds a little like a “duh”, but a lot of people don’t realize that children of all ages, especially gifted ones, can tell whether or not you’re actually listening to them. They know when you’re only giving them half your brain to talk to. So put away what you’re working on. Do it later, and focus on the child in front of you right now.

I remember doing this with my mom. When she was on the computer, it took her a little longer to answer anything I’d said to her. So, when I asked her a question, I started counting the seconds. By the time I got to five, she’d start to reply. I knew I didn’t have her full attention. But I figured out that she wasn’t ignoring me. She just had a process time of about five seconds.

Another thing I’ve noticed- when gifted girls are heard, and you respond to them, they tend to take whatever you’ve said into account and remember it. Again, I’ve said this before, but since you listened, they see that you care. Very few of the numerous people known by gifted girls will actually receive calls or visits from them asking advice. People who listen will be asked things again and again.
But I will warn you! -if you have listened, and then you blow her off the next time she ask a question and it keeps happening, she will write you off. She probably won’t ask anything of you again. She’ll find someone new to ask.

Part of communication is also figuring out what girls really mean when they say things. For instance: when gifted girls pass into pre-teen and teenage years, they might start pushing their parents away or seem that they’re starting to ignore them. The age-old plea, “Leave me alone!” isn’t actually asking for separation, because in separation you lose communication with that person completely. It’s merely a cry from someone who is trying to figure out who they are apart from their parents. In the mind of a gifted girl, if she takes too much from their parents, or relies on them in too many ways, how is she supposed to survive by herself out in the “big, bad world”? When she has to stand on her own two feet, she doesn’t want to be hindered by some crutches. She wants to just do it.

In other words, when a gifted girl knows what she wants, she’ll do anything to get it. But first, she has to be prepared. In order to be prepared, she has to learn to do things on her own. To do things on her own, she can’t rely on anyone else.
The unconscious logic has come back to haunt her.
If she relies on her parents or teachers, in her mind, she runs the risk of being laughed at by people she respects and holds dear. There’s nothing more humiliating and angering than being laughed at, to a gifted girl. When people laugh at you, they obviously don’t take you seriously. So in the girl’s eyes, if she holds on to her parents and teachers and peers in such a way that they will “hinder her”, then she has to let them go. If she wants to do her own thing, and not listen to what anyone tells her, she has to cut everyone off so she doesn’t hear a word. That sometimes includes people that she loves, and the ones who would support her. That even means that she’ll stop listening to encouragement! In her mind, there’s a chance that the encourager will start telling her what to do. And after she’s been told time and time again that thinking is better left to the boys, and nobody needs her to do anything but sit still and look pretty, she’s not about to take the chance it might start again. Would you?

Communicating is important to a gifted girl. It’s important for a parent or teacher or friend to understand also that communicating to a gifted girl is hard. It’s a dance of sorts. If you say the right thing, in the wrong way, then she’ll take it the wrong way. If you’re sarcastic, and you say something that hurts, you have to tell her you’re joking.
I knew an adult who confused me terribly. He used sarcasm a lot, and in such a way that I could never tell when he was kidding and when he wasn’t. So when he would tell me things, I tested them in my head. Was it nice? Was it meant to be? Usually it was. Did it make sense? Had I heard of it before? Once he told me that people usually went swimming instead of showering. This was a new idea. Was he serious? It took somebody else to tell me that he wasn’t. But I kept running into this problem. Was he joking or was he not?
TIP: try accompanying a joking statement with a short laugh. If she gets it, she’ll laugh, too. But keep an eye on her eyes. Her eyes will say more about her feelings than her mouth ever will.

Communication is also important for encouragement. In a world where being dumb is cool, being smart is so passé. To a gifted girl, again, THIS IS A BAD THING. Take time to compliment her, but don’t overdo it. If that happens, she’ll loose all respect she ever had for you.
Tough luck.
But anyway, use your mouth instead. Tell her to reach for the stars. Give her tips and show her how to make an impact in the world. If she wants to be an author, give her a list of places to start and how to begin publishing. If she wants to be a star, explain auditions. Help her be prepared so when the time comes, she’ll open her wings and fly.

But like all other things, communication with a gifted girl can be hard. If she’s in a bad mood, she won’t want to hear any kind of help you want to give. When I’m in a bad mood, it doesn’t end with snapping at people. It continues on in the manner of “Leave me alone; I can do it myself”. Make sure she’s really into it and listening before offering any advice or getting your mouth started.



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  • cherokeebydesign: I suppose I was the smart one in high school and then again in college......it's not all that fun being labeled as "the smart one" in school. Raven
  • cherokeebydesign: There's nothing wrong with having a life that is planned, and there's nothing wrong with wanting perfection. I use to be that way....until I started