Gifted Children, Parental Conflicts

Alice Miller, The Drama of the Gifted Child, 1981, 101

Often a child’s very gifts (his great intensity of feeling, depth of experience, curiosity, intelligence, quickness–and his ability to be critical) will confront his parents with conflicts that they have long sought to keep at bay by means of rules and regulations.  These regulations must then be rescued at the cost of the child’s development.  All this can lead to an apparently paradoxical situation when parents who are proud of their gifted child and who even admire him are forced by their own repression to reject, suppress, or even destroy what is best, because truest, in that child.


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