I have no idea if my kids are gifted or not. I think most of us would like to think that our kids are ‘smarter than the average bear,’ but specific labels aren’t really important to me: my kids are inquisitive and creative, and we’re all happy.
Being ‘bright’ has some downsides, though, even in our current geek-friendly culture. Perfectionism, asynchronous development (potty-learning and reading!), and just making sense of the things one thinks of can be darned tricky. Daddyman and I both had our ups and downs with our own ‘gifted’ educations, and I’d be lying if I said these experiences didn’t play into our decision to homeschool.
Thus, I was intrigued to read about the work of Kazimierz Dabrowski. His theory of Positive Disintegration says that the numerous crises that the ‘bright’ mind seems to fall prey to are, in fact, opportunities and even *requirements* for further development. This resonated with my personal experiences, and (if nothing else) sounded like adaptive cognitive restructuring of my responses to some of my children’s behaviours, so I sought out more information.
The book “Living with Intensity” from Great Potential Press, 1999, is my current read. It is a compilation of articles by those using Dabrowski’s theories in counseling and gifted education, perhaps more scholarly than most parenting books are these days, but for work this pithy I’m happy with it! I’m finding that I can only read a few pages at a time before I need to go away from it to digest what I’ve read, not only because the ideas are so new to me, but also because I’m running a new lens over my understanding of most of my friends and family!
I’d be very interested in talking to others about their thoughts on his work, and this book in particular. I’ve created a new category for my posts on the Theory of Positive Disintegration (TPD), Overexcitabilities (OE), and asynchronous development (which is what lead me to this work in the first place), and will post links as I have them.
In the meantime, Beara’s behaviour seems more understandable, and that is wonderful in and of itself!
Edited to correct my misspelling of Dabrowski’s name!