My goal in raising these two boys was to raise them to be successful orphans. Well, that was step one. Step two was to mold them into young men whose future partners wouldn’t want to smother them with pillows in the dead of night.

They can do their own laundry. I’ve made them do it for the last several years (including bedding!), and I can’t tell you what a relief it is to not have it on my to do list. They might be doing it in the middle of the night, when they wake in a cold sweat remembering that they’re out of underwear, and it’s crawl out from under the blankets at 2:00 a.m. or go commando—but they do their own laundry! Putting away is a different story, and let’s not even go into ironing, m’kay? In their defense, I think ironing is of the devil myself and only iron my concert blacks if they’re bad.

Both boys have a love/hate relationship with the dishwasher. They love that we have one, for it means that they’re not hand-washing dishes after dinner. But I swear they must think it’s possessed or is trying to capture their souls, because the act of emptying and reloading requires an act of God most days.

They understand that the toilet seat has a primary position and a secondary position, and that the primary position is the preferred. BOTH SEATS ARE DOWN UNLESS ACTUALLY IN USE. No one wants to gaze into the maw of an open crapper, so thank God they took this lesson and ran with it. Just…don’t look too closely around the base. Or the baseboards. Or the wall behind the toilet. Just whip the Clorox wipes at their heads and move on with your life. But hey, they know that you hang toilet paper with a beard, not a mullet. Win some, lose some, win some.

Jen Merrill
Jen Merrill is a writer, music educator, and gifted-family advocate. The mom of two boys, she homeschooled one twice-exceptional son through high school while happily sending the other out the door every morning. Her book, If This is a Gift, Can I Send It Back?, struck a nerve with families; her second book, on the needs of gifted parents and selfcare, is in progress. In addition to writing on her longtime blog, Laughing at Chaos, Jen has presented at SENG, NAGC, and WCGTC.

Jen brings both her acquired wisdom and her experience as a teacher and mentor to her work in the service of parents, teaching them techniques and mentoring them into their own versions of success. Her goal is to support parents of gifted and twice-exceptional kids, because they are the ones doing the heavy lifting and are too often ignored, patronized, and discredited. It is her hope that her sons never have to deal with these issues when they raise their own likely gifted children.
GHF is Proud to Support Let's Talk 2e!
The free sessions are over, but you can still purchase a yearlong all access pass.
To OWN the Let’s Talk 2e! virtual conference, purchase your ALL ACCESS PASS and receive these incredible benefits:

  • Access 24/7 forever
  • Audio files to listen to on the go
  • Free gifts from each speaker
  • Full access to the virtual Exhibitor Hall
  • Live Q/A opportunity with experts in October

I hope to see you there!
Life Skills and Our Young 2e Adults
By Celi Trépanier, MEd and
Stacie Brown McCullough

For those of us parents who dreaded the day our 2e kids flew the coop, maybe we needn’t have. My 2e young adults seemed to hang around a bit longer. Oh wait, that wasn’t exactly what you wanted to hear? Sorry. Those 2e young adults could be yours for a little while longer, as it may take a bit longer to build those life skills. Or they just love being with you. But, they do learn those necessary life skills, and they do fall, I mean fly, out of the nest.

Being gifted can be a bonus in life, but being twice-exceptional can be a beast, impacting learning, confidence, and life skills development. I would love to share with you my experience raising and getting my 2e children ready for adulthood. Trigger warning: parenting takes on an entirely new aura, in a death-defying roller coaster sort of way. You’ll thank me later.

I take my been-there-done-that experiences seriously, and I pass them down whenever I can because I was once looking for wisdom from those who had been on this bumpy ride before me. Raising a twice-exceptional child means the straight paths neurotypical kids take won’t be your path; you will learn all the go-arounds, though. Am I negative? No, just telling it to you straight, but hey, I made it through, and all three of my now-young-adults have made it through. You will, too. The secret is persistence, pluck, and patience—the three P’s.

  • Persistence: If you think they should have learned to boil water already, understand they need to be shown again.

  • Pluck: If you think you just cannot ask your 2e teen to use deodorant, gather your pluckiness and ask one more, or a thousand more, times.

  • Patience: Remember, you will all make it through. Breathe. Remember the three P’s. 

There you have it. I’m passing on to you my wisdom of raising my own 2e young adults. We all made it through, we survived, and they are pretty successful at life-ing. If I can do it, you can do it!

I’m passing on another of my responsibilities now. After developing and “raising” the GHF Journey, I’m passing it on to GHF’s Director of Periodicals, Stacie Brown McCullough, to continue its growth. And Stacie, I promise the GHF Journey is more straightforward than raising 2e kids. Remember the three P’s—it works for humans and periodicals.
Thank you for your wise words, Celi! You and all of GHF’s writers and authors, including featured writer Jen Merrill, have been shining beacons to those of us on similar paths. While it is true that, no, I do not want to hear it will likely take many repeated attempts to teach certain life skills, and the shortest distance between two points will be traversed in a jerky, zig-zaggy, loop-the-loop, I do need to hear from you who have gone before and made it through with (*twitch*) intact faculties.

It helps to know that my family and I are not alone, and that, yes, breathing does help—and smacking the significant other with a pillow may work even better. Rest assured, I plan to get “Beard, Not Mullet” signs and hang them in each bathroom. Gotta get ahead of the problem. Perhaps I will make my own “Persistence, Pluck, and Patience” sign and hang that on my wall, too. Visuals are helpful, I’ve read.

In the GHF Forum, support and resources abound. In addition to the GHF Writers' Showcase and the Crowdsourcing Project, the new GHF Choices: DIY Education program has been built from the ground up to support parents like you and me who could use gentle reassurance or a helping hand as we navigate educating our gifted children at home. Best of all the DIY Education program is included in your GHF Membership for under $5.00/month!
Most of us have watched DIY shows on TV. Handy people invite us to watch their creative approach to their current project. Have you noticed that the bigger the project, the more help they need? These folks consult experts, source materials, explore options, and enlist help.

Your project is your child's education, with the goal of helping them learn what they need to become independent adults. Our kids may engage in higher education, trade school, careers, volunteer work, or go down a host of other paths, but our job is to help them be as prepared as possible to reach for their goals.

Homeschoolers do not DIY with only their own wits and limited materials. Homeschool parents are some of the most resourceful people in the world. They consult experts, source materials, explore options, and enlist help. Sound familiar?
#MyGiftedStory is visual storytelling project that focuses on our nation’s gifted and talented population at every stage of life, from urban, suburban, and rural settings, representing zip codes from all fifty states. ​

Exploring the question, "Who gets to be gifted in America and why?" the project spotlights stories of giftedness that represent cultural and gender diversity from a variety of perspectives including discovery, neurodiversity, trauma, advocacy, education, equity, disability, and more. ​

​Become part of an unprecedented visual tapestry, visit https://TheGWordFilm.com/my-gifted-story to participate!

When I started homeschooling my younger child, I wasn’t looking for a gifted community.

I was looking for any community at all.

We started homeschooling in crisis when it became clear that we could not continue trying to pound our multifaceted child into the round hole that had been provided for him.

When I learned the term 2e, my first thought was, “Wait, that doesn’t quite get it right. How about 13e?”

In retrospect, my difficult child gave us a gift. We were thankful for any sort of support we could find after a few harrowing years searching for an institution that would work. So when we went out into our homeschooling community, it didn’t even occur to me to try to find local gifted homeschoolers. Beggars can’t be choosers; we took what we could find.

We Hope You Enjoy This GHF Press Latest Release!
Is Giftedness a myth? What is a Gifted Child? Why is Giftedness such a hot-button issue? Where does the fear and dislike of ‘gifted’ come from?

Come on an adventure about how Mrs Einstein, newspaper articles from the 1920s, and the San people of the Kalahari Desert can help us understand what gifted is – and is not.

In an easy-to-read style, Gifted Myths explores these and other stories on the history, science, and lived experience of gifted and twice-exceptional families.

Gifted Myths is a must-read for parents, educators, and professionals who work with gifted and twice-exceptional children.
A Supportive Community for Gifted Learners
Come join us in the GHF Forum, our new online community where GHF will be sharing all of our services and resources.
  • Crowdsourced resource library (join the project)
  • Discussions groups
  • Parenting
  • Professionals
  • Gifted Adults
  • Empty Nesters
  • Regular Coffee Chats to take a break and share

INCLUDED in GHF Family Membership:
  • GHF Choices: DIY Education
  • GHF Expert Series
  • GHF Member Discounts
GHF connects all sorts of people who love gifted learners. We offer both family and professional memberships to support and encourage adults working to create new ways of educating gifted learners. Our members homeschool gifted and twice-exceptional kids, run homeschool co-ops and microschools, write to foster understanding of gifted and twice-exceptional learners, mentor students one-on-one, teach online classes, provide services specifically designed to meet the social and emotional needs of gifted and twice-exceptional learners, and more. We'd love for you to join us.

GHF is a 501c3 organization. Please consider supporting our community with your most generous gift today. For more information on our organization, please feel free to contact us at info@ghflearners.org. Thank you!