A large percentage of marriages end in divorce. I have heard that going through a divorce is almost like experiencing a death in the family. It is in fact the death of a union of two people and the impact it has on children can be devastating.
If you have a gifted child it can add much stress and conflict to a marriage. Gifted children can be very demanding and always seem to be one step ahead of you. No two adults will ever completely agree on how to handle every issue that arises… from how long a child plays computer games to an appropriate bed time; from how you react to an angry child slamming doors to how to handle a bullying issue. The list seems endless and exhausting!
Some books I have read say to choose your battles — and when it comes to gifted kids there can be many! You definitely don’t want a life full of battles in your home, so setting the guidelines and then sticking with them is a must. The problem is that couples will inevitably disagree on which battle is more significant. The most important thing is to try not to disagree on the issue in front of the child. If you disagree then you both need to calmly discuss it in private. But if you do argue in front of your child, try to calmly resolve it and present the child with a solution. This can actually give your child some understanding and also prepare your child on how to resolve day to day conflict in their own social interactions.
Situations inevitably come up where one parent will have made a decision in a heated moment with a child and then later find the other parent handling it differently. There is no perfect solution, no perfect science to parenting. Remember that the common goal should be the same. You are both playing on the same team. The team that is ultimately trying to create happy, successful, productive adults who can live independently in society.
Try not to get to hung up on who is wrong and who is right. Let yourself be aware that your way is not the only way. If you feel so strongly about a topic of discipline, take the time to privately explain why you feel this way to your spouse. If you can share your fears and why you expect certain behaviors, you and your spouse may be able to come up with a compromise. Also don’t blame each other for a child’s behavior because that can never be helpful.
Last, don’t forget to set aside some quality time with your spouse. I know you feel wiped out at times, but schedule time with spouse and explain to your children that this is important to you and the family. Think about why you were married and why you fell in love with each other. Try to spend time talking about things other than your child or children. The bottom line is that the true mother and true father of a gifted child have the best interest of the child and strongest connection. You know your child the best and understand the quirks that have made for some unpleasant memories and frustrating moments. If the two of you can find the strength and patience to get through the difficult moments of having a gifted child you will be rewarded as you watch your child develop the skills they need to prosper. Gifted children flourish with love, support and understanding from both parents.