Below is a blog post from Erin Arnold, the gifted itinerant who serves SAHS. Knowing how this related so much to my life, I wanted to share with my families as well. I think we can all get something from Erin’s honesty and advice. Thank you for sharing Erin 🙂
Hello K-12 Gifted Families,
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I don’t know about everyone else, but this start of the school year has been tough, like softball to the face tough, tears every morning before school tough, choking anxiety at bedtime tough… you get the picture. In our case, it has been a combination of having to get 2 middle schoolers in the school by 7:30 am, over commitments of extracurriculars, and the sheer fact that self-control is a limited resource- for everyone.
As parents, we have to practice self-control in the morning when we are trying to motivate our kids to make it to school on time prepared, clean, and fed. We go to our jobs or run errands and interact with people all day- none of which we (usually) scream at for cutting us off in the car or relentlessly hitting “reply all” for every work related email they send. We smile as we carpool with other people’s kids, coach teams, or volunteer. It’s all fun and rewarding, but challenging to stay positive when things get difficult.
Eventually, unfortunately, the self-control runs out with those we love the most at home-our kid. These are the same kids that have practiced self control all day at school, sitting still, walking in lines, having to ask to use the restroom, trying to be fair on the playground, working in unwanted groups, not calling out in class, doing homework, going to sports/theater/dance/music after school, and having to fit into so many different groups that it would make your head spin.
We come together in the evenings, with our self-control banks empty. If we are not careful, it can be a recipe for disaster. If we take every rude comment, grumpy face, or complaint personally and allow every disagreement to escalate, we will not give ourselves time to rejuvenate for another day. Instead, we need to offer our loved ones grace. You can extend grace to your family by not taking the bait when someone wants to argue with you, listening without offering advice to an angry vent, and finding a moment to express gratitude together.
It can be hard for gifted people to manage their emotions and we tend to over-feel our feelings. This is one of the more troublesome side of the “gifts” we are given. I wanted to share this message with you today as a reminder that we are all human and in tough times, like the start of a new school year, we tend to lash out the most on the ones we love. Take a deep breath, create a mantra reminder when your kids (or spouses) are beasts at the end of the day: “self-control is a limited resource”, and do your best to offer grace, even if throwing plates seems like a better idea.