The Importance of Making Connections and Networking

NPGC Week 2014.jpgI joined NAGC and the Parent and Community Network (then called “Division”) when my son was three years old. As a first-time parent of a highly gifted preschooler, I was searching for information to better understand his asynchronous development and guide my role as a parent. It was through this Network that I found a home within NAGC and connected with other parents who had “been there” and “done that.” Reflecting on my journey with my son who is now a rising high school junior, I realize how important those early connections were to our family. As parents of gifted children, we often have to actively seek out other parents of gifted learners in order to find a support group. The challenges that we face are unique, and often misunderstood.

Reading articles in Parenting for High Potential and meeting NAGC members in the Parent and Community Network helped me face those challenges, and share the resources with family and friends who supported my son. The mission of the Parent and Community Network is to enhance parent effectiveness and to network community resources. To this end, our Network leadership has recently collaborated with the Parent Editorial and Content Advisory Board (PECAB) to review and suggest content for the parent section of the updated NAGC website. Here you will find a variety of tools to help you guide your gifted child. Also included is a link to information about National Parenting Gifted Children Week (July 20-26, 2014). During this National Parenting Gifted Children Week, I encourage you to explore some of the free resources that are available:

•    NAGC webinars
•    SENGinar and NPGC Week Blog Tour
•    Download a Parent Guide from SENG
•    Learn how to start and sustain a Parent Support Group from NAGC (a free e-book)

Fortunately, today a strong network of gifted advocates and parents can be found online. If you have not participated in #gtchat on Twitter, visit the Texas Association of the Gifted and Talented website to learn more about how to join in on this weekly global forum. There you can share ideas, resources, and connect with others who share a passion for gifted education. Other ways to grow your own network include connecting with NAGC groups on Facebook, by following GT parent and teacher boards on Pinterest (check out the Pinterest boards from the Illinois Association for Gifted Children and NAGC), by attending Parent Day at the annual NAGC convention, and participating in your state affiliate conference.

The Parent and Community Network hopes that NPGC Week inspires you to make new connections and add to your personal gifted support network.