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Why does giftedness or accelerated learning seem to bother some folks so much?


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#1 tabmtbc

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 07:36 AM

Well why?
Why should it bother anyone that my children are who they are? Or anyone else's children for that matter?

When my kids were preschool age we made the decision to hs long term. When other kids in my kids' Bible class at church (we're at a different church now) would ask what grade they were in, my kids would name the "grade level" of most of the content work they were doing. The other kids got confused so I had to tell my kids to say the grade level of their age when they were at church. But the parents of these kids came to me and said that I SHOULDN'T be homeschooling my kids; that I SHOULDN'T be letting them be accelerated or gifted or whatever term you want to use, that I SHOULDN'T let them be reading this, or doing this math, or whatever.

And I'm thinking "I didn't ask but ok, whatever."

I used to talk to my ex-best-friend (the ex-best-friend thing had nothing to do with acceleration but something else entirely) who was at the time a homeschooler. She would ASK what we were doing and I would tell her. She would call and say when her son or daughter did something great and I would rejoice with her. But the rejoicing wasn't a two way street. Turned out she was envious that her kids couldn't do the same things as my kids did at such early ages. And when she would ASK what we were doing and I would tell her, even if I kept it general, like we are studying world history, or some such, she would get envious and offended. She said my comments about what my kids were doing, even the general ones like "Well we are studying math and world history and blah blah blah" were hurtful to her and the specific ones like "DD read a 600 page book in 3 days" were really hurtful. I'm a pretty quiet person when it comes to talking about my children's accomplishments IRL until the person has passed the "trust test" as a result of this experience. But the whole time I'm thinking...

WELL YOU ASKED. I answered generally, you ASKED for specifics, I told you what you said you wanted to know, and YOU ASKED. I didn't volunteer. YOU ASKED.

Even in my homeschool group there is only one mom I can talk to without something like this cropping up. And her dd is accelerated also.

We've had issues with little ds (22 months tomorrow) in the cradle roll department in class at church. It's a long story but the cradle roll department head concurred with our assessment that the issues were because he was BORED to a large degree. Then the same person came to us a few weeks ago and told us that because his birthday doesn't meet the ps cutoff for Kindgergarten here, he will not be promoted to the next class with the rest of his buddies. OK so you don't think he's going to be MORE BORED then? That's what I thought but I didn't say so. I'm leaving it to dh to work this situation out. I know part of the reason that he may not be being promoted is because of classroom space in the next class and another part of the reason is because if they promote him "earlier than the K cutoff" then they've got the potential for a zillion other parents asking for exceptions for their kids.

And when I talk to other parents IRL or in cyberspace about issues of "I have this for next year. If she finishes it before next school year is over, then what?" I get advice of "Well just make sure she doesn't." Now I realize that I don't have to take everyone's advice and I also realize I asked for it BUT what if I can't make sure she doesn't? We haven't finished some stuff from last school year (working through it over the summer at dd's pace) because we got interested in other things. We're back to the things we didn't finish now. I was actually advised by 2 different people to take the stuff we hadn't finished last year and put it somewhere where dd couldn't get to it so I'd have it to stretch out next year with. And I get the "Just make sure she doesn't finish XYZ before the year is over" advice a lot, it seems.

And I'm thinking WHY SHOULD IT BOTHER YOU IF SHE DOES? But it seems to and I don't understand it.

#2 Kissy

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 08:39 AM

Deep breathes....I am sorry you are having problems..I don't know why giftedness bothers some people. I have found in my family that the elders (grandparents, aunts and uncles) will ask the public school children how they are doing and what grades they make but don't ask my son they assume he is doing great because he is gifted. I have a cousin who will not talk to me anymore and she is jealous because her son who is the same has a delay. It hurts her that they are not on the same level. I can't help it so I had to get over it myself. There are all kinds of things like that everywhere. I am not sure what to do about it. At large I think insecurities are why people are bothered by giftedness.

As for the advice to stretch things out. Sometimes that is great advice. Gifted kids need to go deeper into subjects. I know with my son we go deeper to make the material last. However, if you feel your child needs something different because not all things can go deeper and some things just simply need acceleration then you can always finish the level you are on and go to the next. You should not feel guilty about doing that either.

On the whole I say do what is best for your child and follow your gut instincts. Everything else will fall into place.

#3 HeatherInWI

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 01:28 PM

Jealousy and competitiveness in some cases, and fear that everyone will want accomodation in others.

Even though I have GT children, I've had to make hard lines on grade levels in the enrichment programs I've run, because parents want to push their too young children into classes in which they don't belong. Whether they want to do this for the bragging rights or for convenience (like to send two children to the same event), it often doesn't work, so we've had to make a hard and fast rule.

I've learned not to talk about my dc's achievements except with other GT parents and to have my children identify themselves by what would be their ps grade levels. On Sunday School, we didn't take them for several years, and now they are old enough to add to the conversation in class and push the class to more advanced thinking, rather than just being entirely bored. (My guess is that that boredom has more to do with the amount of Bible study we've done at home than their intellectual gifts, however.) For some events, they've also learned how to be polite while being bored -- it's an important skill for life!!!

#4 AngelaNYC

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 02:00 PM

I went through the whole gifted issue with dd. She was constantly getting in trouble at school for talking and fidgeting - bored out of her mind at the work she was given. When she was the only one from her school (out of 30 applicants) to make it into a nearby gifted school, we heard words like "elitist", "not accurate testing", and "I would never want my kid there" (even though it was the #1 public school in NYC). No one understood.

We eventually homeschooled, but those kinds of issues kept arising. There was no one (except my mom, lol) who wanted to hear what dd was doing, accomplishing, learning, and creating. So I started a blog to let it all out :tongue_smilie:. I have learned over the years to keep the conversations light. If someone asks what we're doing I say, "Oh, the main subjects with dd going at her own pace.". They can take that any way they want. Dd was reading and writing at age 2. IRL conversations were worse then. Thank goodness for the internet boards, LOL. It was there that I understood that gifted children should also be considered "special needs" in a school setting and differentiated accordingly. Otherwise problems arise.

I agree that lots of people have insecurities and jealousy about this sort of thing. The whole "what are you doing right that I'm not doing" comes up sometimes. Hey, the kids are what they are and no matter what anyone else thinks, it is our job as parents to foster their interests - whether it's the ABCs or quantum physics. If friends don't want to hear about it, fine.

Edited by Abkjw01, 04 July 2009 - 02:49 PM.


#5 Truscifi

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 02:10 PM

I am lucky enough to have friends who are happy for my child that he is advanced, and giftedness runs in my family (and dh's) so they are used to it. That being said, I have run into plenty of people who think they know what is best for my child and that have a huge problem with him being ahead of their own children. I avoid talking about school stuff with them, but ds5 likes to read out loud (he has since he was 3) so it is kind of hard to hide. And I am certainly not going to discourage him from reading or from talking about interesting things he's learning.

I don't understand it either, but it seems like some people take it as a personal insult that ds can do things their children can't. I usually just try to avoid them.

#6 AnitaMcC

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 02:19 PM

To be honest I don't care if they are bothered if my or anyone elses kids are accelerated/gifted. Maybe they are jealous or envious or maybe they just are scared of people who are not the "norm".

One thing I think it is... many people seem to think it is best to be the same as everyone, no one is to be different or stand out to be noticed. Well too bad if that is what they think because everyone is not the same and that is how it is. It is for our benefit that we are different. There are exceptional people (both ends of the spectrum) out there (those who are way not gifted academically and those who are, those who are talented and those who are not, etc).

I try to teach my kids to be proud of who they are... of their strengths and weaknesses. Their strengths will help them go far and their weaknesses help to humble them.

Just my opinion here....

#7 KAR120C

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 02:35 PM

I think for a lot of people it's really REALLY hard for people to see the range of possibilities. If their kids do x, y and z, then it's easy for them to assume that all kids are like that, or nearly so. And if your kid is doing something that their kids wouldn't do without a huge amount of pushing, they assume that yours is more or less like theirs and so you must be doing a huge amount of pushing.

The other thing is, even when people ask specifically about things, I think frequently they really just want to find common ground. They're hoping that they can find something you have to share. So even when they've specifically asked, they may not want to hear the answer. Generally, whoever I'm talking to and whatever the topic, I try my best to find common ground... which does mean I don't always talk about the ways in which DS is unusual, unless I'm talking to someone else who has similarly-unusual kids.

The people I can talk completely freely to tend to be friends with whom I have SO much in common already, that this one bit of difference doesn't bother us. One is the mother of DS's best friend -- it doesn't bother either one of us that our kids are doing different things academically. They have other things in common, and they each have their own strengths. What we have in common is entirely non-academic, and that's most of what we talk about, but it keeps the academic differences from being an Issue.

#8 Ravin

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 02:55 PM

I have never and probably will never understand that mentality, maybe because both DH and I fell in that "gifted/accelerated" range growing up. DD thus far doesn't seem to; she's reading, doing math, etc. at grade level as far as I can tell. Nor has she picked up a particular topic/subject in which she is especially interested in seeking depth knowledge. This doesn't mean I'm not proud of her accomplishments. I'm pretty sure she's already a better dancer than me; she loves dance and rhythm and I have two left feet.

I have a friend whose son (who I babysit regularly), on the other hand, IS an accelerated learner. He started reading before K, is reading considerably above grade level, and is a font of knowledge about all things Dinosaur, Bakugan, and Power Ranger. I almost got him a book for his birthday a couple of months ago, but didn't because I hadn't been able to pin his mom down on his reading level; she gets evasive like she's worried I'm going to think she's bragging or something. Personally, I think all parents should be able to brag on their kids. They all have strengths. They all have weaknesses, too. Friend's son whines enough for any 2 6yo's. My DD throws awful temper tantrums.

I have another friend who's oldest is gifted; he's eleven now and has been great fun to talk to since I first met him when he was just a bit older than DD is now.

I don't know why people think kids like them should have to be ground down to average. One advantage of homeschooling is that it can help you ensure your kid is never bored, or ground down, by trying to be fit into that average, from either end of the range of possibilities. I know my parents struggled to keep up with me, and ensure I stayed interested in learning and engaged when the public schools were lacking and left me bored. I know I endured my share of teasing and then some, from kids at school, from kids at church, etc. I've never asked my mom if she experienced this sort of resistance, too. Maybe I should. It could be an enlightening conversation!

Edited by Ravin, 04 July 2009 - 04:02 PM.


#9 radiobrain

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 09:48 AM

I will throw my little ol' opinion in here...

I think that people who don't have TaG kids think that everything is easy for us, parents and kids. As if being able to understand concepts or ideas easily or quickly means that we never need to work. We can put anything in front of our kids and Voila! all done, understood and some sort of amazing project appears.

They do not understand the AGONY that can go along w/ giftedness. The twice exceptional factor. The INTENSE emotional life. The lengths we must go to finding appropriate material, meeting the intellectual needs while still taking into consideration their emotional age. The fine line between perfectionism and a serious meltdown.

General society doesn't look at Tag kids as needing any special attention. They need just as much as those on the lower end of the spectrum, probably more. They are special needs kids, just in a different way.

I think that if your kid had downs syndrome, your friend would have no problem hearing about what they did today.... but really it is the same sort of issue. Your child was born with the intellectual capacity and wiring that they now have. Many people don't care to look at things in a critical way.


well.. I am starting to ramble and I haven't had enough coffee, so I am sure I am not making the sense I might... :D

Korin

#10 Orthodox6

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 10:18 AM

Just a different "take", but one which you all may have encountered along the way.

I do not have any "gifted" dc for academics; just for music. I, myself, was exceptionally so (both music and academics); however, such does not always pass on to the next generation.

What I have noticed IRL does NOT apply to any of you moms here at this sub-board. (Want to make that very, very clear, so no reader will misunderstand what I am going to write next ) You all have gifted children, and your posts substantiate it.

What I have seen, over-and-over again, are parents who proclaim that they have one or more "gifted" children, when they do not. "Gifted" is one of the current "snob cards" to play in social situations. Schools, too, fell into the trap. Many children now are placed into "TAG" programs who never would have qualified to enter when I was a child (I entered kindergarten in 1960). It appears a "feel good", "everybody is gifted, if you just peer long and hard enough" mentality.

Parents are loathe to describe their own children as "average" or, [gasp !] "below average." Only on special needs boards (where I post because that is where three of my kids fall) are the parents comfortable with candid assessment of "how things are."

All of which boils down to say that I wonder whether what you [OP] and others are encountering is no more than a contemporary game of "one upmanship".

Congratulations on the good jobs you all are doing with your children !

#11 elizabeth

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 11:08 AM

I often felt very lonely and certainly dd did as well. This is a great website for all aspects of being and having gifted children.
http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/
Actually we had to teach dd not to answer what grade she was in ,rather, we taught her to list and discuss her classes . Treating the inquiry as if the person was assumed to be genuinely interested in what she was learning seems to accomplish two goals . The primary goal is to shield dd from unwanted scrutiny including praise for simply being who she is . Secondly, for those who were seeking to compare and or measure her intellect for dubious reasons this technique ensures they will seek a hasty change of subject. I actually enjoy seeing them squirm like a worm on a hook when the litany of what we are studying begins. Sorry but I have no tolerance for adults who behave like children envying another child's shiny new bike.

#12 SheWhoWaits

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 11:34 AM

I believe homeschooling is all about going at the child's own pace. I have 2 gifted kids, one who is 17 and in his 3rd year of college, and one who is extremely bright but not accelerated because he is a reluctant learner. I am so sorry you have experienced the negative vibes about your kids. It's hard to have to hold back because others are intimidated, but that's the reality of our society. Give your kids what they need and just ignore the criticism as best you can. Do NOT hold back a child who is excited about learning. That's one of the things public schools do that is so damaging to children. You don't have a whole class you have to keep together, so let your children be themselves, even if no-one else in your social circle likes it. Be strong and do what's best for your children.

#13 amtmcm

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 12:56 PM


The other thing is, even when people ask specifically about things, I think frequently they really just want to find common ground. They're hoping that they can find something you have to share. So even when they've specifically asked, they may not want to hear the answer. Generally, whoever I'm talking to and whatever the topic, I try my best to find common ground... which does mean I don't always talk about the ways in which DS is unusual, unless I'm talking to someone else who has similarly-unusual kids.


I totally agree with this. Our closest friends also have a gifted son and it's actually fun to get the inside scoop on what the local TAG classes are covering. It's also nice not to feel guarded when we're talking about our kids' academics.

Often when I'm speaking to other friends I put our kids on common ground by referring to them all as bright. They don't need to know how gifted my DD is, but it makes them feel good to know I think their child is smart too. :)

They do not understand the AGONY that can go along w/ giftedness. The twice exceptional factor. The INTENSE emotional life. The lengths we must go to finding appropriate material, meeting the intellectual needs while still taking into consideration their emotional age. The fine line between perfectionism and a serious meltdown.


Amen! I have read this often in books on raising gifted children, but it's nice to be reminded I'm not alone.

For the original poster..... I let my DD go like gang busters this past year and I'm thrilled with what we accomplished. But this upcoming year my #1 goal is to get her to slow down and think more deeply as we head towards high school. You know what your DD needs. I see benefits both ways. Last year I wanted to see just how much my DD could accomplish and she blew me away. This year I want to encourage depth instead of breadth. If your DD is "champing at the bit" on a few of her subjects I'd let her keep going. But of course YOU get to decide what's best for her. :)

Edited by amtmcm, 05 July 2009 - 02:48 PM.


#14 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 02:39 PM

.

What I have noticed IRL does NOT apply to any of you moms here at this sub-board. (Want to make that very, very clear, so no reader will misunderstand what I am going to write next ) You all have gifted children, and your posts substantiate it.

What I have seen, over-and-over again, are parents who proclaim that they have one or more "gifted" children, when they do not. "Gifted" is one of the current "snob cards" to play in social situations. Schools, too, fell into the trap. Many children now are placed into "TAG" programs who never would have qualified to enter when I was a child (I entered kindergarten in 1960). It appears a "feel good", "everybody is gifted, if you just peer long and hard enough" mentality.

Parents are loathe to describe their own children as "average" or, [gasp !] "below average." Only on special needs boards (where I post because that is where three of my kids fall) are the parents comfortable with candid assessment of "how things are."

All of which boils down to say that I wonder whether what you [OP] and others are encountering is no more than a contemporary game of "one upmanship".

Congratulations on the good jobs you all are doing with your children !


I would say that this is my experience as well. I am very reluctant to talk to other homeschoolers about homeschooling in general and definitely keep it a taboo topic among my closest homeschooling friends. The only time I am really willing to discuss homeschooling IRL is when newer moms need encouragement to continue or reassurance that what they are doing is on the right track.

FWIW......I encourage my children to not talk about school around other people either. They are who they are and they are kids first and foremost.

I have found simply not discussing what my kids are doing the best way to preserve friendships (b/c the majority of homeschoolers I know have completely different views on education than I do.)

#15 Jewel

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 03:29 PM

There is a lot of discussion of children's giftedness, how much they are gifted and testing questions on this site. I am often disappointed that there is not more discussion about what will our children do with their giftedness. I know that for my dd6 things come easy, she is accelarated maybe even slightly gifted but the question keeps coming back to me as her parent/teacher -what can she do with this? How can I help her strive to do something noble? Something good for humanity? All the curriculum in the world can't help me with this question. I really would like to hear more from everyone about how their children shape the world......how are they changing it?

#16 JenneinAZ

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 04:16 PM

I choose not to place the extra burden of "making the world a better place" on my kids.

My kids are profoundly gifted. But first they are children. They need support and encouragement. They need to find their place in the world. They are NOT required because of an extreme ability to DO more than anyone else. They did NOT ask to be this way. There was no choice involved. At least my oldest would hand back all the giftedness to have a friend that understood. Or to fit in with agemates. Or to just not be different even for a little while. There is no way on this planet I am going to take a child who is so badly hurting for acceptance and demand more of her. It isn't going to happen here.

I don't think they should be expected to do something good for humanity. Humanity isn't doing a very good job of being good to them! If they do something good for humanity fine, but there should be no more expectation of greatness from these kids than there is any other child.

As to how are these children going to shape the world, I have no idea. How does any child shape the world? In all honesty, I truly believe that my oldest might shape the world in a new way, by writing some novel that touches the heart of the profound loneliness she feels now or she may break down in this loneliness and never come back out. My older son might design some building or engineering thing or he may turn on the kids who mock his ideas. And my younger son is too little to tell, he hasn't hit the wall, yet.

There are huge burdens that come with giftedness. Ones that are not easily seen by those that don't have an up front view. I do not not want my children to change the world. I want the world to accept my children. Maybe they can meet partway.

#17 MissKNG

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 04:47 PM

Um yeah...I get the "oh, you are pushing her right along" bit if I make mention that my dd is going to do Prek/K work this coming Sept since she will only be almost 3.5. I am very new to this and find the term "gifted" gets you the THAT PARENT look from people, so I don't use it. I find it saddening that I can't talk to even closer friends and family about my dd's advancements. And I believe my dd is moderately gifted, so I can't imagine folks with kids with super high IQs!

#18 HeatherInWI

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 05:33 PM

Um yeah...I get the "oh, you are pushing her right along" bit if I make mention that my dd is going to do Prek/K work this coming Sept since she will only be almost 3.5.


It gets easier. At least it did for me. When my ds was two, he decided that he was ready for kindergarten and wanted to start school right away. He was persistent, so at 2.75, he started with Sonlight K. The differences from other little kids were immediately apparent when he was with them -- he could read, write, do basic math, etc. However, once the other children were in school, whether the dc were literate was no longer an issue and I suspect that some of their peers in Sunday School and homeschool group don't even know that my dc are likely ahead of them academically. It rarely comes up, and my dc are careful not to say anything about it unless asked. Therefore, it's not an issue with the other moms. I only share with selected people -- and since I'm blessed to come from a family with a lot of sharp people, the relatives are all o.k. with it. Even some of them thought I was pushing it to start K so early, but ds was the one insisting -- and he did very well! No real regrets.

#19 amsunshine

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 06:20 PM

I wanted to thank everyone for their posts and insight. Also, to the OP: :grouphug:

I don't even think my dc are actually gifted, but they are both definitely somewhat accelerated at this point in time. It's not my choice -- I just try to meet them where they are, while at the same time slowing them down a little (if that makes sense).

Like some previous posters, I find that it's best to keep any academic stuff to myself, unless I'm talking with close family members (who are discreet), or friends with similarly situated children (usually homeschooled -- and usually even more advanced than mine).

#20 Mommy22alyns

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 06:32 PM

I will throw my little ol' opinion in here...

I think that people who don't have TaG kids think that everything is easy for us, parents and kids. As if being able to understand concepts or ideas easily or quickly means that we never need to work. We can put anything in front of our kids and Voila! all done, understood and some sort of amazing project appears.

They do not understand the AGONY that can go along w/ giftedness. The twice exceptional factor. The INTENSE emotional life. The lengths we must go to finding appropriate material, meeting the intellectual needs while still taking into consideration their emotional age. The fine line between perfectionism and a serious meltdown.

General society doesn't look at Tag kids as needing any special attention. They need just as much as those on the lower end of the spectrum, probably more. They are special needs kids, just in a different way.

I think that if your kid had downs syndrome, your friend would have no problem hearing about what they did today.... but really it is the same sort of issue. Your child was born with the intellectual capacity and wiring that they now have. Many people don't care to look at things in a critical way.


well.. I am starting to ramble and I haven't had enough coffee, so I am sure I am not making the sense I might... :D

Korin




:iagree: Ding ding ding ding DING!

Thank you a million times over for that post, and if that's you with no coffee you must be just brilliant after your morning cup! ;)

I don't even have anything else to add. I should print this out. It's just what I've been turning over in my own mind recently.

#21 skaterbabs

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 08:22 PM

I don't even think my dc are actually gifted, but they are both definitely somewhat accelerated at this point in time. It's not my choice -- I just try to meet them where they are, while at the same time slowing them down a little (if that makes sense).

Like some previous posters, I find that it's best to keep any academic stuff to myself, unless I'm talking with close family members (who are discreet), or friends with similarly situated children (usually homeschooled -- and usually even more advanced than mine).



Ditto. Dot may well be gifted (the signs are certainly there), but she has a very competitive personality and two older brothers. The boys were going to school and having homework, so she wanted it too. For years (from the fall she turned two) we had tantrums the first couple of weeks of the school year because she wanted to go to school as well.

She's at the age now where we can't go to the grocery store without someone asking her about kindergarten. She "skipped" kindy, and will happily tell you so. When we began purchasing curriculum for her this past spring, we discovered that she was way ahead of the kindergarten materials and needed first grade just to make it worth it to us to buy anything.

#22 Jewel

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 09:00 PM

Sorry if you were upset with my thoughts on this subject. I did make the assumption that most parents want their children to strive towards bettering the world in some way. I was looking for ideas of how other parents have helped their children with community service projects. I recently read an article about two gifted brothers (7&8yrs) who helped organize packaged food items for children of Tanzania. This website may be the wrong place for such discussions. Is anyone aware of a website for gifted children who want to serve humanity?

#23 KristenS

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 09:28 PM

Hey Tabitha!

You can brag/vent to me anytime you want ... I love hearing about the other bright kids out there. It's nice to be able to chat about the craziness of acceleration and asynchronicity with people who get it.

(And I just recogized you because you posted the planet homeschoolia anecdote to the local yahoo group... great to see you here too! So ... whenever you need IRL support, feel free to come hang out with us!)

Kristen
(Ted and Maddy's mom)

#24 Donna

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 09:34 PM

I will throw my little ol' opinion in here...

I think that people who don't have TaG kids think that everything is easy for us, parents and kids. As if being able to understand concepts or ideas easily or quickly means that we never need to work. We can put anything in front of our kids and Voila! all done, understood and some sort of amazing project appears.

They do not understand the AGONY that can go along w/ giftedness. The twice exceptional factor. The INTENSE emotional life. The lengths we must go to finding appropriate material, meeting the intellectual needs while still taking into consideration their emotional age. The fine line between perfectionism and a serious meltdown.

General society doesn't look at Tag kids as needing any special attention. They need just as much as those on the lower end of the spectrum, probably more. They are special needs kids, just in a different way.

I think that if your kid had downs syndrome, your friend would have no problem hearing about what they did today.... but really it is the same sort of issue. Your child was born with the intellectual capacity and wiring that they now have. Many people don't care to look at things in a critical way.


well.. I am starting to ramble and I haven't had enough coffee, so I am sure I am not making the sense I might... :D

Korin



:iagree: I have been thinking along these lines for awhile. I work with developmentally delayed children. I would not take anything from them at all and I can only imagine what it might be like to be the child's parent based on my experiences knowing them. I do know that there are lots of resources available if your child falls on that end of the spectrum (school assistance, insurance for therapies, etc...as a side note... I know it often isn't enough)whereas "gifted" children in general are not getting their needs met by society. There is no funding in my state for gifted education, leaving our best and brightest minds lost in a quagmire of dumbed down education and bureacracy.

It is difficult to parent a gifted child. It is difficult to parent a child who leaves you in awe. As a parent you worry constantly about meeting needs, having the resources to afford to meet needs, and finding the right people to help. You worry about people taking advantage of your child.

People who you used to call friends do not want to hear how difficult it is. They can't relate and really don't want to hear you complain of the long drives, money output, feelings of inadequacy to deal with it all.

It would even sound bad to my own ears if I "complained" that I have to drive 2.5 hours to find a teacher capable of improving my fiddler or that she learned her latest classical song in one lesson leaving me gaping and wondering how I am going to be able to help her as the music gets more and more difficult...oh, poor me, to have a child so gifted.

All the same, it is exhausting. She is exhausting. Thank goodness for internet friends who provide an ear.

Also, to answer the post about changing the world. I don't expect my children to do something amazing just because they are gifted but I am bringing them up to think about others and to think about what they can do to help others in their community (if they decide to take it beyond their community I would support them as well). They have an Adopt a Spot in our neighborhood where they clean up the lake we live on. They play their music in nursing homes and visit with residents. They have also accompanied me to work occassionally to assist in providing therapies to developmentally delayed children. None of those things requires giftedness and I would encourage them to be responsible members of their community no matter who they were.

#25 patchfire

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 09:52 PM

The problem with discussing how gifted children can serve humanity or make the world a better place is that it can lead quickly to someone's life being perceived as "wasted."

Ask me how I know about this. It's not a happy story. I struggle with people's assumptions about what I "should" have done versus what I have done and how those assumptions and their attitudes have led me to feel. I want my kids to value making the world a better place, but I want them to decide on their own how that looks, and first and foremost, I want my kids to do what makes them happy, whether or not all the busybodies think it's an appropriate use of their talents. :rant:

#26 Jewel

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 10:22 PM

You are all right, a child does not have to be gifted to serve their community/humanity/world but I am curious how gifted children serve...looking for unique ideas here. Is there a platform/forum for kids like there is for adults, i.e,TED? I am not suggesting a discussion on what kids should or should not be doing with their gifts but rather what has been celebrated or accomplished. Looking for a website/group of parents with children who are accomplishing outstanding, innovative, global minded service projects who are willing to share their gifts and talents.

#27 elizabeth

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 10:46 PM

We are serious crocheters and are definitely going to answer the call when this organization is ready for all of us to pick up our hooks and or needles and ship off some warm hats and blankets for those in need. http://www.afghansfo...rg/blanket.html We are very excited to have an opportunity to send something we have made to those who have so very little. We are just waiting to hear that they are ready for more garments to be created.

#28 Jewel

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 10:57 PM

Afghans to Afghans- love your service project! Doing a little research tonight and found out more about the President's Volunteer Service Award, given to youth who have done 100 or more hrs of volunteer work in a year. Please pass along to those youth who could be celebrated for their service.

#29 zaichiki

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 11:38 PM

Well why?
Why should it bother anyone that my children are who they are?


In American culture, people really fixate on equality. We believe that achievement should be the reward of hard work... that it isn't "fair" for skill or talent to come without that hard work. It certainly isn't "fair" to those who work very hard, and yet don't get the same result. When I was a child this lesson was given to me very clearly by my mother, who worked very hard in school and only got mediocre grades. She didn't like that academics came easily to me. I think she was bitter.

Many people see kids who learn more quickly, with less repetition, as having "gotten off easy." Perhaps they feel the children don't *deserve* to be where they are academically. They've got to cut them down and point out why it's not a good thing (hence those who try to talk parents out of accelerating AKA meeting child's needs). Sometimes they just get offended by it.

I don't know that we can do anything about it. It's just the culture. Maybe it's just easier to keep our heads down in public (once we've found that supportive community with similar experiences for emotional support, of course).

And I want to add that, of course, difficult things come with the easy. We, their parents, know that. In their respective areas of strength my kids amaze me nearly every day (if I'm honest about it and I'm their mom so this is really "normal" for me and yet it still amazes me). But if I hadn't gotten my oldest two tested, I'd probably feel very "unworthy" of using the gifted label because of the areas in which they struggle. One has massive subtest scatter and some serious overexcitabilities. The other has stealth dyslexia. Talk about asynchrony! And I can't discuss ANY of this with most moms (homeschooling, public/private schooling, or relatives). Some who have gotten wind of bits and pieces surely see me as an INSANE mother who thinks too highly of her children. (Of course I do feel a touch INSANE at least several days a week, so they're probably right!)

#30 wendzu

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 01:33 AM

I do not understand the difficulty others have with supporting what we as gifted parents are going through. My eldest daughter just completed 1st grade at a public school this year. She is the youngest in her class and therefore is pegged as "immature". However, she is reading at a 6th grade level and will be starting 3rd grade math this fall.

My friends all say how wonderful it is that I don't have to worry about her academically, but then I explain that she is just as special needs as the students that are below grade level, but worse, does not have any legal rights to receive specialized services. She does not receive special tutoring, a resource or speech teacher and is not eligible for an Individualized Educational Program. She has a mind that must sit idle until everyone else catches up. I must fight for EVERYTHING. Thus, this year we will be homeschooling.

#31 rlowetx

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 02:37 AM

I do not understand the difficulty others have with supporting what we as gifted parents are going through. My eldest daughter just completed 1st grade at a public school this year. She is the youngest in her class and therefore is pegged as "immature". However, she is reading at a 6th grade level and will be starting 3rd grade math this fall.

My friends all say how wonderful it is that I don't have to worry about her academically, but then I explain that she is just as special needs as the students that are below grade level, but worse, does not have any legal rights to receive specialized services. She does not receive special tutoring, a resource or speech teacher and is not eligible for an Individualized Educational Program. She has a mind that must sit idle until everyone else catches up. I must fight for EVERYTHING. Thus, this year we will be homeschooling.


Wow this is the exact situation we were in..we're homeschooling this year first time as well. We found out he was "gifted" b/c the school tested him for everything trying to find the "cause" for his problems...turns out his IQ was a bit high...now we're doing all the research on how to help him and realized the same thing - the schools don't identify gifted children as special needs, though his behavioral problems directly are a result of this.. anyway, regarding the original comment, we have been hesitant to say the word "gifted" to anyone, including our close friends for fear of the comments...it seems so lonely in this position.

#32 radiobrain

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 07:30 AM

Now, I have my coffee in my hand, but I can't gaurantee (sp?)that will help!

First off, just a side comment.... I do wish that there was a different word to describe us and/or our children that isn't so, um... condescending. I also get irritated when I hear some parents saying that they don't believe in Giftedness as "all children are gifts". Ugh. way to miss the point....

I happen to be involved in a gifted enrichment program in our town, and I hear school horror stories all the time. I also meet more taglets and parents of taglets than most people :D. When I hear a lot of these "my kids aren't being served" types of comments, I always make myself available to discuss HSing. I know that I have made the right decision for my kids, no matter how hard it gets sometimes... I only need remind myself about all the crap these "schoolies" go through with their kids. I also suspect that a teacher would suggest that there was something wrong with my older kid, and that my younger one needed to be on medication. My older one has a very low "work ethic" and doesn't like to do any busywork so I am sure that a teacher would think he was um, flat out dumb. Luckily, he doesn't care what people think about him, but I would never put him in that situation. My kids would be too much of a handful for a classroom. :)

I don't know why I started writing this... must go get more coffee....

#33 kpupg

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 09:44 AM

:grouphug:

We went through a similar thing, even in a well-regarded Catholic school. Now, after 4 years of home schooling, I can say home schooling was the best choice we could have made. Best wishes for your family this coming year :)
Karen

#34 kpupg

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 09:47 AM

Sorry, unintentional double post.

Edited by kpupg, 06 July 2009 - 10:04 AM.


#35 lionfamily1999

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 09:53 AM

I'm reading this and I'm thinking....... I'm not the only one?!?

I asked, begged and pleaded for ds to be put into special ed. Not because he was slow, but because he was frustrated with the slow pace in the classroom. I got laughed at.

I've had people say I'm doing him a disservice by pushing him forward, onward, upward at an excellerated pace. He's flourishing, but what I should be doing, apparently, is forcing him to stagnate at grade level.

I think part of the problem is that it makes average kids appear slower or less than. My nephews are INCREDIBLE kids, but my sister sees them next to my dc and wonders why they aren't where my dc are. Maybe it's because giftedness is based on comparison, it makes it hard for some parents to stomach the comparison. You don't feel like you have to compare your kiddos to Einstein or Edison, but if it's the dc next door... that's a different ball game.

#36 kpupg

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 10:00 AM

The problem with discussing how gifted children can serve humanity or make the world a better place is that it can lead quickly to someone's life being perceived as "wasted."



Yeah ... wasted ...

By whose standard? ... sigh ...

On this subject, I console myself with our faith's teaching that a person's life path is between that person and God. I try to teach my children to be open-minded about their life paths, and to pray about it, and to do their best at whatever they're doing now in preparation for whatever opportunity might be coming down the road next.

As for "making the world a better place," well, we look on that as everyone's responsibility -- not just the gifted people. We are all supposed to be serving the poor, the sick, the widows and orphans, the stranger, etc. Why do the gifted get singled out for this? That's something I don't understand.

Karen

#37 kpupg

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 10:11 AM

I think that people who don't have TaG kids think that everything is easy for us, parents and kids. As if being able to understand concepts or ideas easily or quickly means that we never need to work. We can put anything in front of our kids and Voila! all done, understood and some sort of amazing project appears.


:iagree:


I experienced this when I was young, and see it now affecting my children.

Gifted kids aren't easy. They make more work. Ordinary teachers often don't respond to gifted kids' needs because ... it's more work for the teacher. Home schooling parents don't get a free ride with gifted kids -- we have to work harder to keep up with them.

But all this is invisible to parents of ordinary children.

When I'm tempted to be resentful, I keep reminding myself that I am so glad to have this problem rather than some other kind of problem. As life's crosses go, this one is pretty cool.

FWIW,
Karen

#38 Truscifi

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 11:46 AM

She does not receive special tutoring, a resource or speech teacher and is not eligible for an Individualized Educational Program.


Are you sure? Most states don't make the distinction between high end and low end special ed in the state laws. Florida doesn't, although I have had to take the state statute book with the relevant section highlighted to the school board to prove it to a few people! My point is, make sure you check for yourself before taking someone's word that your dd is not eligible for extra services.

I am not saying this to discourage you from homeschooling, just so you can consider all your options. We are homeschooling even though ds is eligible for those programs, because gifted education in our area consists of once a week enrichment, with the rest of the time in a regular classroom, and the school won't even consider bumping him up a level for at least half the year, by which time my dear boy would doubtless be labeled a troublemaker - which is exactly what he is when he is bored. (He is also testing for the gifted program this year because I want him to have the extra stimulation of doing projects with kids like himself, and because there are some programs available to public schools that we might not be aware of as homeschoolers. Fortunately the school in our area is working with us on this.)

#39 skaterbabs

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 06:07 PM

As for "making the world a better place," well, we look on that as everyone's responsibility -- not just the gifted people. We are all supposed to be serving the poor, the sick, the widows and orphans, the stranger, etc. Why do the gifted get singled out for this? That's something I don't understand.

Karen



To quote "Spiderman", we believe that those who have great power (or ability) have great responsibility, in other words, you use the gifts you have to serve your fellow man, regardless of what those gifts happen to be. Yacko is really, really great with young children. Therefor we expect him to make use of that talent in some way to help humanity as a whole, or an individual of his choosing in specific.

Dot has a talent for making people smile and to bring joy to those around her. Wacko is good with animals.

We don't expect any of the children to serve others to the point of sacrificing health or life-happiness. We don't believe they should be forced into any career path based on their ability to "make a difference."



I experienced this when I was young, and see it now affecting my children.

Gifted kids aren't easy. They make more work. Ordinary teachers often don't respond to gifted kids' needs because ... it's more work for the teacher. Home schooling parents don't get a free ride with gifted kids -- we have to work harder to keep up with them.

But all this is invisible to parents of ordinary children.

When I'm tempted to be resentful, I keep reminding myself that I am so glad to have this problem rather than some other kind of problem. As life's crosses go, this one is pretty cool.

FWIW,
Karen


:iagree::iagree::iagree::iagree::iagree:

#40 Jewel

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 07:49 PM

I was looking for a place to discuss opportunities for gifted children who are participating in service projects that better the world in some way. I found examples from the academic competitions listed on the Duke University website. I believe every child gifted or not, has a responsibility to better the world in their own way, of course! Many people on this particular site refer to their children as gifted, so I thought I could safely ask the question. I didnot realize that others could take this concept so in the wrong direction either stating that gifted children shouldn't be expected to better the world or that in some way parents are pushing them to better the world when it would not be good for them.

#41 Reya

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 03:14 AM

I've never really experienced this, thankfully, outside of school settings.

It may be a personality thing. People criticize me for being uptight, a perfectionist, hypercritical, etc. But I've never been criticized by anyone I've met for my parenting/schooling/etc. choices or for my kids' abilities or lack thereof.

Maybe I'm just scary. :-P

#42 Truscifi

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 03:29 PM

I've never really experienced this, thankfully, outside of school settings.

It may be a personality thing. People criticize me for being uptight, a perfectionist, hypercritical, etc. But I've never been criticized by anyone I've met for my parenting/schooling/etc. choices or for my kids' abilities or lack thereof.

Maybe I'm just scary. :-P


:lol::lol::lol::lol:

#43 Mommy22alyns

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 03:55 PM


Maybe I'm just scary. :-P



LOL - sometimes I think I have a shirt on that says, "Don't ask me dumb stuff." :D

#44 zaichiki

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 04:41 PM

LOL - sometimes I think I have a shirt on that says, "Don't ask me dumb stuff." :D


Can I borrow that shirt???

#45 Aurelia

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 07:39 PM

LOL - sometimes I think I have a shirt on that says, "Don't ask me dumb stuff." :D


:lol: Maybe I can get that embroidered on a polo so I can wear it to work.

#46 angela in ohio

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 10:13 PM

I believe every child gifted or not, has a responsibility to better the world in their own way, of course!


Perhaps that is why. There are places to talk about helping dc find service projects, I'm sure, but this is a board for accelerated learners within the context of classical education. Parents who struggle with accelerated or gifted dc need a place they can go to talk about the specific issues that occur with accelerated or gifted dc. The main board would be a great place to ask about service opportunities, as that is a more general question.

#47 ScoutermominIL

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 07:12 AM


What I have seen, over-and-over again, are parents who proclaim that they have one or more "gifted" children, when they do not. "Gifted" is one of the current "snob cards" to play in social situations. Schools, too, fell into the trap. Many children now are placed into "TAG" programs who never would have qualified to enter when I was a child (I entered kindergarten in 1960). It appears a "feel good", "everybody is gifted, if you just peer long and hard enough" mentality.

Parents are loathe to describe their own children as "average" or, [gasp !] "below average." Only on special needs boards (where I post because that is where three of my kids fall) are the parents comfortable with candid assessment of "how things are."

All of which boils down to say that I wonder whether what you [OP] and others are encountering is no more than a contemporary game of "one upmanship".


I noticed this as well with the ladies in my church's Mom2Mom group. We were encouraged to share our mothering stumbling blocks and I mentioned how difficult it was to keep up with DS and how he struggled in ps because the work was too easy. Every woman in that room claimed a TaG child (some more than one) and similar experiences. Yet they would look at me like I had grown a second head when I mentioned DS's abilities/issues.

SO much for understanding and comradeship.

#48 ScoutermominIL

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 07:18 AM

There is a lot of discussion of children's giftedness, how much they are gifted and testing questions on this site. I am often disappointed that there is not more discussion about what will our children do with their giftedness. I know that for my dd6 things come easy, she is accelarated maybe even slightly gifted but the question keeps coming back to me as her parent/teacher -what can she do with this? How can I help her strive to do something noble? Something good for humanity? All the curriculum in the world can't help me with this question. I really would like to hear more from everyone about how their children shape the world......how are they changing it?


DS uses his talents in 4H and Boy Scouts. He is currently working on the BSA Hornaday Award which is an intense conservation program. DS is required to complete 4 indepth, long term conservation projects as well as numerous badges. It may not seem like a noble deed but he is only 12 and not mature enough for politics or meeting some deep social need. In 4H he is working on his leadership and public speaking skills.

He has dreams, goals and desires to save the planet's animals from extinction and is working toward achieving those goals.

#49 KirstenH

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 08:24 AM

I choose not to place the extra burden of "making the world a better place" on my kids.

My kids are profoundly gifted. But first they are children. They need support and encouragement. They need to find their place in the world. They are NOT required because of an extreme ability to DO more than anyone else. They did NOT ask to be this way. There was no choice involved. At least my oldest would hand back all the giftedness to have a friend that understood. Or to fit in with agemates. Or to just not be different even for a little while. There is no way on this planet I am going to take a child who is so badly hurting for acceptance and demand more of her. It isn't going to happen here.

I don't think they should be expected to do something good for humanity. Humanity isn't doing a very good job of being good to them! If they do something good for humanity fine, but there should be no more expectation of greatness from these kids than there is any other child.

As to how are these children going to shape the world, I have no idea. How does any child shape the world? In all honesty, I truly believe that my oldest might shape the world in a new way, by writing some novel that touches the heart of the profound loneliness she feels now or she may break down in this loneliness and never come back out. My older son might design some building or engineering thing or he may turn on the kids who mock his ideas. And my younger son is too little to tell, he hasn't hit the wall, yet.

There are huge burdens that come with giftedness. Ones that are not easily seen by those that don't have an up front view. I do not not want my children to change the world. I want the world to accept my children. Maybe they can meet partway.


THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for this post. :grouphug:

I was a profoundly gifted kid and I am still working through the burdens well-meaning adults unknowingly placed on me because of it. Please, if you have gifted children, think before you speak. It may well be true that your child will do something incredibly important someday. However, constantly stating this as a prediction and/or expectation is very, very limiting and damaging. I was always told I'd change the world someday, and at 28 I feel like I'm letting down everyone who ever believed in me by just raising my kids. In my mind, I can rationalize that I'm doing just fine, but the emotional side of it is difficult to shake.

I'm not saying any of you are doing this -- just that it's what happened to me as a gifted child, and I see it happen a lot today, too.

#50 kiana

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 08:47 AM

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for this post. :grouphug:

I was a profoundly gifted kid and I am still working through the burdens well-meaning adults unknowingly placed on me because of it. Please, if you have gifted children, think before you speak. It may well be true that your child will do something incredibly important someday. However, constantly stating this as a prediction and/or expectation is very, very limiting and damaging. I was always told I'd change the world someday, and at 28 I feel like I'm letting down everyone who ever believed in me by just raising my kids. In my mind, I can rationalize that I'm doing just fine, but the emotional side of it is difficult to shake.

I'm not saying any of you are doing this -- just that it's what happened to me as a gifted child, and I see it happen a lot today, too.



:iagree::iagree::iagree::iagree:

I have my goals, and yet every time a well-meaning older person who knew me when I was a child says 'I thought you'd be curing cancer or something', it's like a knife to the heart.


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