Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Life's big questions...

From the sublime to the serious...

What is the point of it all? For us adults, possibly mid-life crisis-ing, these mind tumbleweeds are not uncommon. Surely there has to be more to life than alarm clocks, work, paying bills, and cleaning dog fluff off the stairs. Thoughts about life's big issues - what difference will I make in the world, how should I live my life, what if I don't have any impact, what is the point of it all...these are the thoughts of serious, thoughtful adults...

..but what if a (your) 14 year old (or 8 year old) is thinking those thoughts, with little life experience to help with perspective?

If a pre-teen or teenager is wondering "Is this all there is?" they are no doubt feeling alone and isolated and wondering if they were the first person to ever feel like that. Chances are their mates are not sharing the same concern, and, being the bright spark they are, they are wise to the fact that sharing those concerns might not be accepted well. Maybe it's just easier to lose yourself in video games...

If your child or someone else's child comes to you with these thoughts (if you can get them to open up), you need to acknowledge they are real. They should not be dismissed. We need to be concerned. The child needs to know that others have felt this way and had these thoughts.

A hug, an arm around a shoulder, even a touch on the arm can say "hey - I get this too".

Discussion, reading, exploring potentialities helps. Bibliotherapy about what others have done, pursued, thought about.

Fresh air, sunlight, a walk, a bounce on the trampoline, a game with the dog - these things might help too. At least I hope so.

It's quite the business, this growing up gifted, isn't it? Kind of glad I can be here to be there for them when they need it most.


  1. So great that you are there. When I was a kid it never occurred to me that the reason I thought about these kind of issues was because I was gifted. It never would have occurred to me to talk about them with my school friends, or even my mum. Luckily I had free access to a great library, so I found my own answers (eventually!).

    1. It's so much more common in gifted kids! They have the cognitive where-with-all to ponder such stuff, but they are still just kids. I am so lucky to be there for them :-)

  2. I actually suspect that all kids think about this stuff. It's just that most kids, for some reason, learn that they're not "supposed" to talk about it (most adults don't talk about it either, for the same reason!) and so when someone tries to, they isolate that person (either by being mean or by just changing the subject). I worry as much about what those kids are doing to themselves, and what the culture has done to them by teaching them to self-censor, as I do about the way kids who can't/won't self-censor like that get treated. I suspect that for a lot of people it proves even more damaging to ignore that part of yourself than it does to be the person that gets ignored by others.

    1. That could well be the case. In that way, I am lucky that my kids feel like they can talk to me about anything - it just doesn't always feel lucky!


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