Parenting a Gifted Child After Divorce


If you are the parent of a gifted child, there are more issues to consider after your Pasadena divorce than simply child custody, child support, and visitation. Gifted children have special needs both in and out of the classroom. When faced with a stressful life situation like the divorce of their parents, there are significant differences in how they cope compared to a typical child.

The biggest issue to be concerned with is how to avoid treating your gifted child like an adult. Parents of gifted children often view their sons or daughters as "little adults" because of their advanced abilities. But even gifted children experience emotional trauma when the two most important people in their lives are no longer together. You must resist the urge to lean on your child for emotional support or vent your frustrations to him or her.

It is also important to remember that questions should be answered in an age appropriate way. Even if your child is gifted, he or she does not need to know detailed information concerning your finances or serious issues like whether or not adultery contributed to your divorce.

Sometimes gifted children will try to insert themselves into adult situations to diffuse tension between their parents. Although this is done with the best of intentions, it's not a healthy coping mechanism for your child. It's hard to discourage this behavior in a gifted child, so do your best to keep your relationship with your ex as low-conflict as possible.

If your child is participating in a program for gifted and talented children at his or her school, take some time to privately discuss your concerns with the supervising teacher. Your child's teacher can help alert you to any behavioral changes at school that you should be concerned about.

Parenting after a divorce in Pasadena is never easy, but if you are attentive to the special concerns of gifted children, you can help make this transition for your child as smooth as possible.