Quote of the Week
“The Gifted Child. No individual can be more exhilarating, or more frustrating. The parents and teachers who deal with these wonderful children can often be described in a single word: Exhausted. The gifted child can speak as an adult one minute, comparing the emotional relationships in Les Mis with relationships in her own life, or discussing potential conflicts between evolution and the bible, and in the next minute throw an impressive tantrum because she didn’t get what she wanted… right now! She can have you in awe of her theories on accelerated space travel, or pulling your hair out in frustration over her argumentative refusal to do her part in everyday chores.” – from the Hoagies Gifted Website
Hi, this is the GenWise team– we bring out this newsletter to help parents and educators to complement the work of formal schools and associated systems. We can help our children thrive in these complex times only by exchanging ideas and insights and working together. We are also a founder-member of the Gifted India Network– if you are interested in issues related to gifted education and talent development, an easy way to keep updated about talks, programs and resources is to join the Gifted India Network telegram channel (https://t.me/GiftedIndia).
In this week’s main post ‘The exhaustion and joy of parenting a gifted child’, we share the recording of the panel discussion on this topic, as part of a Gifted India Network series. We also share some extracts from the panel discussion.
Join this conversation on learning, by commenting on our posts or writing to us.
The exhaustion and joy of parenting a gifted child
The exhaustion and joy of parenting a gifted child
On Feb 18, 2022, Shivani, the parent of a gifted 13 year-old boy, Sangeeta, the parent of a gifted 17 year-old boy, and Charu, a gifted 18 year-old student, had a conversation as part of the panel ‘Giftedness- Parent Perspectives). This session was moderated by GenWise co-founder, Vishnu Agnihotri.
The recording of the full session can be viewed here, and some soundbites from the session are shared below.
‘Enriching but Exhausting’ intellectual clarity
Till he was 6 or 7, I thought I am a super mom…. I can answer all his questions. And it was all about Google. It was Google Zindabad for me. But after he turned 7, he kind of started asking questions shaking the fundamentals….and that was the time when I felt like oh my god I can’t do much about it.
He needed logic in everything- like when you go to school and you take a subject like science… they give you a basic knowledge about things but later on when you start studying deeper and deeper you will find lot of contradictions. And this boy was asking about contradictions. And he wasn’t afraid of asking questions He never was. And he would contradict everything if he felt it didn’t make sense to him. So, our journey on the intellectual front has been has been profound and enriching, but also exhausting….
Another exhausting experience was this….. when my son was about 6 years old, we were taking out the weeds from the garden And he stopped us. He said these weeds are thriving, so you are not the only important entity in this world that whatever is of use to you, that should stay, and the other should go. So in these kinds of discussions, I was never able to convince myself at times, and convincing him was a very far-fetched thing. …….. I tried to convince him in every possible way. I myself was very convinced that weedsare not of any use and why to allow them to thrive at the cost of the other plants.. I tried to teach economics to him, I tried to teach everything…. survival of the fittest…every theory I could think of. And he was not convinced.
Challenges with being understood and fitting in socially
He was 2.5-3 when we started sending him to play school… and he would cry every single day…. every single day till the day we pulled him out. He was a very happy go lucky kid. He was always looking at the positive side of the world. But later on he started becoming a little bit aggressive- that’s when we felt like things are not going fine with him emotionally.. he would not share anything with us. That was one thing which we were really worried about. Many a times he would come…. with marks on the body and I would really coax him and ask him how did he get this? And then after a lot of poking he would say someone has hit me or something like that. Once he was in 1st grade, he came with fevicol on his head…
He was doing exceedingly well in different subject olympiads…. and he had this very peculiar habit of actually putting those medals around his neck, throughout the school day. He would just wear those three, four and stay with that burden. And his teachers used to actually comment on that and some people used to also make fun of him. Another problem with him was that he never shared anything with me Ah and during those days he used to stay in a day-care after school. So like Shivani was sharing, he sometimes had some bruises and sometimes he would break down after coming back from school. I know he had a tough time there. And now I realise that there was a lot of bullying going on which was unreported or which we actually did not respond to… we thought perhaps he needs to adjust…
The need for mentors and finding ‘their tribe’
He was an unhappy child, I wanted him to be happy… and when I sent him to the ASSET school for 15 days, he went twice actually… to GenWise the second time. Then I asked him about the feedback. How was it? Because I wanted him to have some like-minded people there.
And he said, mama, these were the best 15 days of my life. So, I thought that means he did find some good things, some good company there…because his problem is that people don’t understand him generally but there was something good that happened to him there.
Perspectives in Math and Art is part of the Kaapi with Kuriosity series from the ICTS outreach team. and is scheduled on Sun, Apr 24, from 4 to 530 PM IST. Supurna Sinha, Professor of Theoretical Physics at the Raman Research Institute will be speaking on the topic. Her work in the area of Quantum Brownian motion has led to predictions testable in ultra cold atom labs. In the session blurb, she says-
The European renaissance saw the merging of mathematics and art in the context of representation of a three dimensional perspective on a canvas. Artists like Leonardo da Vinci, D¨urer, Botticelli, Raphael and others and mathematicians like Pascal, Poncelet, Desargues, and others contributed to this development. The mathematics that emerged from such a convergence is Projective Geometry. In fact, there were precursors to some of the developments in Projective Geometry which I will discuss. I will introduce the basic notions that appear in this geometry. This geometry is in fact more fundamental compared to other geometries like Euclidean Geometry and Riemannian Geometry which are more widely known. The mathematical notions will be concretised in the context of art. To summarise, this talk will shed light on the merging of these two disparate streams – math and art, which happened during the European renaissance.
You can register for the session here.
Summer Programs from GenWise (Residential)- May 8- May 29 (Paid)
If your child is currently in grade 7, 8 or 9, check out the Genesis Summer Program from May 8-29, 2022, at Manipal University, Manipal. While most students will attend the entire 3-week program, there also exist 1 or 2 week options. View the program brochure here. Students from 50+schools and over 20 cities have already registered for our summer camps at Manipal this May.
The academic enrichment component of the program features 3 courses- one in each week.
May 8-15: Reason like Sherlock Holmes– Become familiar with the reasoning process employed not just by detectives, but also by doctors, lawyers, historians, archaeologists, and virtually every domain where one is trying to piece together the full picture, from available clues. Unpack short stories from Sherlock Holmes (and potentially others, based on student interest) to appreciate the process of reasoning better.
May 15-22: Molecular Gastronomy- Intro to Culinary Science– This course at the intersection of Chemistry and Cooking is a great way to experience the power of science in our daily life experiences. The course emphasizes the role of sciences in cooking and how the world over, it has started to make a difference if the chefs understand the science that goes into it. Sessions at the world-class kitchen of the Welcomgroup School of Hotel Administration will involve working with materials like liquid nitrogen, dry ice and agar gels to create some exceptional dishes through the application of science.
May 22-29: Experiment Design for Critical Thinkers– Appreciate the importance of Experiment Design in exploring answers to relevant questions, whatever the domain (Economics, Engineering, Psychology, Marketing, Materials Science, Medicine, etc.). Often not taught formally at school (or even at College level), learn the vital skills necessary for understanding the role of variables, apples-to-apples comparisons, the role of bias, and how to attempt to overcome bias.
The program is much more than the academic enrichment component represented by the courses listed above and the goal of the program is to help with the development of the whole child- read more about the program experience in this post.
Students of both programs will be participating in common activities together, outside of the academic hours.
Feel free to reach out to our leadership team at the numbers below.
Rajesh @98409 70514; Vishnu @93422 47734; Shrikant @98600 33502; Sowmya @75985 66949