3 Great Reasons to Organize Gifted Parent Groups
The advantages of gifted parent groups are numerous and significant. There are many pluses to belonging to a kindred group. Some of these are listed here.
With summer at hand, now is a good time to start thinking about organizing a group for parents of gifted, talented, and creative children, if one does not already exist in your local community. By organizing in the summer, such groups can be ready to roll into action in the fall when gifted education issues may arise with the start of a new school year. Such gifted parent groups are usually organized by parents, but educators can also form parent groups as leaders or participants.
- Being informed: A parent group is a great place to learn about issues that are important to its constituents. Whether you want to learn more about the research on acceleration or learn more about twice exceptional concerns, or become informed about socio-emotional characteristics, to name a few topics, you can share your common knowledge, gather recent research, and share personal experiences that back up or contradict what you have read or heard.
- Advocating: As a group, parents hold more power than as an individual. You can take group concerns to appropriate parties when important decisions are needed. You can make your voices heard in the media or in meetings, or in social platforms in a way that shows solidarity, in a way that receives more attention than a single individual would. You can educate the community at large, dispelling myths and bringing important issues to the public’s attention. Groups also provide a great forum to thank those leaders who have advocated for differentiated education for your children or within your community.
- Making social connections: It is important and reassuring to know that other parents experience similar concerns and events in raising and educating gifted and talented students as you do. A parent group that meets regularly can also set up meet-ups and social connections for their children, who might have more in common with each other than with their classmates. In general, these social connections can provide positive outcomes in terms of problem-solving, personal connections, and validation.
If you are a parent and wish to start up such a group, you might be able to work with your school or school district to get it going. Otherwise, you can use social media platforms and word of mouth to garner interest. I hope all educators who read this article will also help and support their gifted students’ parents in whatever ways are needed to help them get organized. Gifted parent groups can be powerful and helpful. Join one or start one this summer!