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Go get a cup of tea.  It solves a lot.

I don't give a flying patooty if someone recognizes what my kid can do.  Why should I?  I care:
-if he enjoys what he is doing at the moment when I take him to an event.
-if he conducts himself well.
-if he has things to talk about and can hold a discussion.

 It's okay that people who don't know your kid well don't see all she can do.  They're not her parent or steady teacher.  Who cares what they think?  If it bothers your dd, you can teach her how to ask for something harder OR let her show by exploring the materials she's using.  I handed twins today the same activity pieces.  What they did with them, after the initial instructions, were vastly different and challenging on different pieces. It was a beautiful thing to watch, and it let me file away some things for memory: Twin A likes to approach things in a more logical manner. Twin B sees the idea and immediately tries to build on that idea to create something different but more expansive.

My own kid blends in quite well and does so in different ways depending on what he is currently doing.  He hangs with his 8-10yo team with active stuff.  With academic strengths, he seeks out his 12-14yo group.  With creative, he often seeks out the younger group because fine motor skills are still an issue.  None of this has to be compatible with each other.  He still likes his 9/10yo book club because the books are interesting, short enough to finish in a day, and he has friends there.

If your daughter is not enjoying herself, then it's time to reassess what she's doing outside the house and find activities that are more open-ended instead of grade leveled. If she is, there's no reason to change anything.

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3 minutes ago, square_25 said:

 I don't think it's good for her to feel like people expect less from her than they would from a boy or from someone more obviously strange. 

 

Does she feel that way?  If so, how can you help her decide what to do so she advocates for herself in those situations?

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I don’t think this stuff is conscious level. I doubt she explicitly feels that way. 
 

Some of the people I mean see her all the time. Frankly, we had the same issue with her K teacher. It’s not a new problem.

Edited by square_25

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On reflection, this one’s probably going to be impossible to discuss in a good way, so I’m going to delete it. I don’t think I’m succeeding in communicating why this bothers me on here, only in coming off as a jerk. Which is pretty much what happens in real life anyway.

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7 minutes ago, square_25 said:

On reflection, this one’s probably going to be impossible to discuss in a good way, so I’m going to delete it. I don’t think I’m succeeding in communicating why this bothers me on here, only in coming off as a jerk. Which is pretty much what happens in real life anyway.


You're not coming across as a jerk.  You're coming across as a mom of one. 😄  There's a difference.
Sometimes, it's not all it's cracked up to be when others do know of a child's skills.  It bothered me a little when I walked down to the locker room and heard other members of the team popping off math questions at my kid.  They had tapped into his calculation skills one day and it became a party trick.  Our kid is sheltered quite a bit.  We've never told him 'no' when it comes to letting him explore something, but he's never been in a classroom and rarely has had a text with a grade level on it. We've stressed to him that he is X grade.  X grade looks different for all kids because each school or teacher has a role in determining what they need to work on and there's no such thing as even, steady learning.  He's sheltered.  He doesn't know some of his things are unusual and we'd like to keep it that way as much as possible. 

Regardless, I think my most important job is to help my kid advocate for his own needs.   He needs to speak up if he wants to try something, or if he's feeling uncomfortable.  I want him to feel confident enough to do that if he's in a setting without us.

On feeling comfortable, a little story.  I help a kid who is strong in a lot of skills.  However, while his younger brothers worked on multiplication today, do you know what I had him do?  Leap down number lines with a pencil.  Not because he's not capable.  Not because this was his best work.  But today?  He was tired.  He had a rough lesson earlier with me.  He needed to find the joy again.  Watching him smile and enjoy himself was just as good for him as tackling those pesky fractions again.  We'll get back to the fractions but having the brain break did him good.

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15 minutes ago, HomeAgain said:


You're not coming across as a jerk.  You're coming across as a mom of one. 😄  There's a difference.
Sometimes, it's not all it's cracked up to be when others do know of a child's skills.  It bothered me a little when I walked down to the locker room and heard other members of the team popping off math questions at my kid.  They had tapped into his calculation skills one day and it became a party trick.  Our kid is sheltered quite a bit.  We've never told him 'no' when it comes to letting him explore something, but he's never been in a classroom and rarely has had a text with a grade level on it. We've stressed to him that he is X grade.  X grade looks different for all kids because each school or teacher has a role in determining what they need to work on and there's no such thing as even, steady learning.  He's sheltered.  He doesn't know some of his things are unusual and we'd like to keep it that way as much as possible. 

Regardless, I think my most important job is to help my kid advocate for his own needs.   He needs to speak up if he wants to try something, or if he's feeling uncomfortable.  I want him to feel confident enough to do that if he's in a setting without us.

On feeling comfortable, a little story.  I help a kid who is strong in a lot of skills.  However, while his younger brothers worked on multiplication today, do you know what I had him do?  Leap down number lines with a pencil.  Not because he's not capable.  Not because this was his best work.  But today?  He was tired.  He had a rough lesson earlier with me.  He needed to find the joy again.  Watching him smile and enjoy himself was just as good for him as tackling those pesky fractions again.  We'll get back to the fractions but having the brain break did him good.

 

Mom of one what? 🙂

Yeah, to be fair, when people do know what she can do, it also becomes a party trick. So that's not optimal either! I don't want her to think of her as a prodigy but I also don't want them to discount her intelligence because she's "normal." It's hard to describe what it is exactly I want. Just for them to see her as a whole person, I guess, and to neither be awed by her intelligence nor to play it down. To believe that a smart kid can look like my daughter. I think the problem is that she doesn't match people's stereotypes... 

I'd like her to speak up for herself, but I can barely get her to, like, ask for paper when she's out of paper! She can be bossy with other kids but she clams up with adults. We do practice, but she has a long way to go. In kindergarten, she didn't tell her teacher she could already add or read, and her teacher had the mistaken impression she was learning things for 6 months, even though it was all stuff she'd done a year before. I did tell the teacher eventually when I realized, but I'm not even sure she believed me. "Oh, but she does her work so happily and doesn't want to add bigger numbers like I offer to the stronger kids!" (Yeah, that's because she can do those easily, too, and it's not more fun to do 7 + 9 than 2+3 when you already know both.) She's a compliant and rule-bound kiddo...

I'm in a bad mood today (I've had a medically annoying fall and now have a wicked cough), so this was basically inchoate complaining. But I think it just made me sound like I was bragging. 

Edited by square_25

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8 hours ago, square_25 said:

 

Mom of one what? 🙂

Yeah, to be fair, when people do know what she can do, it also becomes a party trick. So that's not optimal either! I don't want her to think of her as a prodigy but I also don't want them to discount her intelligence because she's "normal." It's hard to describe what it is exactly I want. Just for them to see her as a whole person, I guess, and to neither be awed by her intelligence nor to play it down. To believe that a smart kid can look like my daughter. I think the problem is that she doesn't match people's stereotypes... 

I'd like her to speak up for herself, but I can barely get her to, like, ask for paper when she's out of paper! She can be bossy with other kids but she clams up with adults. We do practice, but she has a long way to go. In kindergarten, she didn't tell her teacher she could already add or read, and her teacher had the mistaken impression she was learning things for 6 months, even though it was all stuff she'd done a year before. I did tell the teacher eventually when I realized, but I'm not even sure she believed me. "Oh, but she does her work so happily and doesn't want to add bigger numbers like I offer to the stronger kids!" (Yeah, that's because she can do those easily, too, and it's not more fun to do 7 + 9 than 2+3 when you already know both.) She's a compliant and rule-bound kiddo...

I'm in a bad mood today (I've had a medically annoying fall and now have a wicked cough), so this was basically inchoate complaining. But I think it just made me sound like I was bragging. 

 

I didn't catch the original post before it got edited, but I can commiserate. One of mine excels at tricking adults into thinking she's normal. Even trained, professional psychologists and psychiatrists. When asked why she answered a certain thing a certain way last year, she actually said, "Well, talking about ((insert real issue here)) is just weird and uncomfortable. So I just told ((the psych)) what I knew would make her happy." I have to actually document every issue/concern that pops up (good and bad!) and go seek out a specialist if I want to get anywhere. She must have pulled a really good one on the neuropsych, who actually wrote in his report, "The patient was pleasant and cooperative. Mood was dysphoric, restricted and tense." Our pediatrician couldn't stop scratching his head as to how she could come across pleasant and cooperative and also dysphoric and tense, and how this didn't ring any bells... 

Funny story: When she was in preschool, she came home one day and told me her teacher had been teaching them to add, but that she hadn't told her teacher she already knew how. I asked her why, and she responded, "Because then she'll know my secret identity!!" And that's the only answer she ever gave... lol.

 

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Hahaha, now this is a mystery thread! @4KookieKids, I was lamenting that my very normal-seeming kiddo winds up being... underestimated, maybe, in our homeschooling community. She likes pink dresses and climbing and playing with her friends, and one of the disquieting results is that people tend to assume she's a lot less smart than she is (and she's very, very smart.) 

But I realized that the thread just wound up obnoxious, because "Pooor meeeeee, my brilliant child isn't getting the adulation she should be!!" isn't really going to inspire a lot of sympathy ;-). For me, this stuff ties into all sorts of unsavory societal stuff about gender roles, but I think it's hard to talk about productively. 

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8 hours ago, square_25 said:

For me, this stuff ties into all sorts of unsavory societal stuff about gender roles, but I think it's hard to talk about productively. 

 

I feel like so much of our issues with my tricky dd tie into gender roles. lol. Even as their mom, it is relatively irritating that my ds gets so much more praise for his smarts than my dd's. I live with them. I don't care what the IQ tests show - she is at least as smart as he is. Even our pediatrician, at our well-check appointments, would brag to his student interns about how my ds is fluent in German -- without even mentioning that, duh, my girls are as well because we're a bilingual family... I have a girl (not my super tricky girl) who was scoring 170 in certain verbal areas of her dyslexia testing, but I'll be darned if folks don't like to focus on my son. It just feels so ridiculous at times, but I also don't feel like I can correct it without sounding... something. Not sure what exactly I'd sound like, but I know it would be uncomfortable. lol.

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On 11/21/2019 at 5:46 AM, 4KookieKids said:

 

I feel like so much of our issues with my tricky dd tie into gender roles. lol. Even as their mom, it is relatively irritating that my ds gets so much more praise for his smarts than my dd's. I live with them. I don't care what the IQ tests show - she is at least as smart as he is. Even our pediatrician, at our well-check appointments, would brag to his student interns about how my ds is fluent in German -- without even mentioning that, duh, my girls are as well because we're a bilingual family... I have a girl (not my super tricky girl) who was scoring 170 in certain verbal areas of her dyslexia testing, but I'll be darned if folks don't like to focus on my son. It just feels so ridiculous at times, but I also don't feel like I can correct it without sounding... something. Not sure what exactly I'd sound like, but I know it would be uncomfortable. lol.

 

I only have my two girls (one is 3 and in preschool, so I don't mention her on here as much), so I haven't gotten to watch the direct comparison, but that's exactly the kind of thing I mean. And it's pretty much impossible to correct, too, because talking about how smart your kid is both makes you come off as obnoxious and doesn't convince anyone in the least ("Oh, EVERYONE thinks their kid is super special!") And what's worse, having started to teach math classes around here recently... it's absolutely true, some people do have a spectacularly inflated view of what their kids can do, and I don't blame anyone one whit for not taking my word on older girl's abilities. 

And I've also watched subtler things, which I remember from my own childhood: weirder girls are somehow "allowed" to be smart in a way that less weird girls are not. I was a pretty strange kid, and I didn't dress right, and I wasn't girly at all, and as a result people actually took my intelligence more seriously. I guess with a weirder girl, you have a harder time pigeonholing them. Whereas my older girl immediately gets stereotyped: she likes pink, she's socially pretty normal, she doesn't go on and on about any obsessions... the only way you'd know how sharp she is is if you had an in-depth conversation about something complicated with her, or realized that she has an absurd working memory (she can do something like 5/11 + 6/7 in her head, which taxes my working memory, and I'm not 7), or frankly if you just took her seriously as a person and got to know her. Which apparently most people don't bother to do with little kids... it boggles my mind that a veteran kindergarten teacher wouldn't start off the year by figuring out who could already add in the class (give some of the kids worksheets and work one on one with each kid for a bit), or that a teacher who's known DD for a whole year would think she's slightly above average, but here we are... 

 

Edited by square_25
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I basically began homeschooling because my oldest ds "hid" his skills in preschool. He was reading novels while the preschool teacher was teaching letter sounds and reading books like Frog and Toad Are Friends  to the class. The teacher constantly complained ds was disruptive in class. He would dance on tables and run out of the room just so she would send him to the principal's office (it was a PreK to 8th private grade school) because he liked sitting and talking to the principal more than sitting in class. I told the teacher multiple times he could read and was probably bored in class. I don't think she ever believed me because his final report card said he "knew his letter sounds well and should pick up reading easily."  He told me he didn't read in class because no one else did. Rather than spend the $$ for the private school, I figured he learned to read with me so I'd give homeschooling a try. 

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I can give you some sympathy. My kid doesn’t go out of her way to present as anything other than what she is, but that rarely looks exceptional in a classroom setting. I had one enrichment teacher who really focused on DD being occasionally disruptive because she was frustrated with the work. Well, yes, she was frustrated with the work; it was super duper simple for her, and she was being required to work in small groups and not allowed to move on until everyone in her group understood each individual problem. When my kid finally asked to drop the class, she was allowed a trial of working independently, and peacefully flew through years worth of material in a few days.

DD is ADHD, and socially this is what comes out most for her. She makes friends with the kids who are active and take physical risks on the playground and are whacking each other with sticks. Sure, she could use free time to play chess or discuss books or try tricky contest math problems, but she’s never going to do those things if there’s the option of talking with friends or roughhousing. 

After having enough adults underestimate her, she’s chosen to mostly stop talking to adults. This then hurts her because when she could advocate for herself, she won’t, and she comes off as shy or uncooperative or immature. 

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On 11/22/2019 at 7:53 AM, Jackie said:

I can give you some sympathy. My kid doesn’t go out of her way to present as anything other than what she is, but that rarely looks exceptional in a classroom setting. I had one enrichment teacher who really focused on DD being occasionally disruptive because she was frustrated with the work. Well, yes, she was frustrated with the work; it was super duper simple for her, and she was being required to work in small groups and not allowed to move on until everyone in her group understood each individual problem. When my kid finally asked to drop the class, she was allowed a trial of working independently, and peacefully flew through years worth of material in a few days.

DD is ADHD, and socially this is what comes out most for her. She makes friends with the kids who are active and take physical risks on the playground and are whacking each other with sticks. Sure, she could use free time to play chess or discuss books or try tricky contest math problems, but she’s never going to do those things if there’s the option of talking with friends or roughhousing. 

After having enough adults underestimate her, she’s chosen to mostly stop talking to adults. This then hurts her because when she could advocate for herself, she won’t, and she comes off as shy or uncooperative or immature. 

 

That sounds really familiar. I don't think DD has ADHD, but she's also a very physical child, and I think that's what the less observant adults notice about her most of all. She's the daredevil child who's always hanging upside down in the playground and who's climbing everything around. People who don't bother to ask don't realize how much she loves reading or her ability to reason abstractly or what we're working on in math. 

That's sad about your daughter not talking to adults anymore :-(. DD has never really advocated for herself, either: she's very rule-bound and wants to do what she's told in class. In kindergarten, she dutifully drew little pictures for every single addition problem, because she had been told to, even though she already had most of her addition facts down (and for the ones she didn't have memorized, she'd use an addition strategy like counting on or making 10: she'd never count from 1.) When I asked her if she absolutely had to do that, she said her friend didn't do that one time and then had to do it over. I figure her friend just got the answer wrong or something, but I don't know: I wasn't there. All I know is that she was very unwilling to do things that might get her in trouble...

Have you found ways to get your daughter to advocate for herself more or no? I'm worried about this one myself. 

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My oldest sounds similar in many ways. Some people meet her and think she's amazing because whatever question they asked her was actually interesting to her, so she gave an in depth answer. Others probably think she's soft in the head because they asked something she thought was dumb so she just stared at them, turned, and walked away. When she was in public Kindergarten she just went with the flow, and since she want causing problems, the teachers ignored her. It made me mad that her English teacher, months into the school year, didn't know she could read. She was probably reading at a solid third grade level at the time, if not higher. 

Bringing her home to home school has helped meet her needs, but it's also provided opportunities to teach her to self advocate. I actually started with sending her to exchange her toy for ice cream at Chick fil a, and then got her to talk to the children's librarian to ask for things. Having early automatic "yesses" has helped a lot with her being comfortable with asking for things. At a conference we went to where she was in the kids program with strangers leading it, I got a glowing report back from another mom who over heard her self-advocating politely but firmly. Its not perfect, but it's currently an area of strength. The thing we are working on more now is getting her to stay engaged during longer term commitments, like choir and piano. They stop being exciting because they move slower than she does, and she gets uncooperative and surly. I think I've convinced her that it will be of long term benefit to make adults like her. 

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I have a female friend who is very pretty, fashionable, and 4'11". When she was slight, she was not taken seriously.  She told me that it was when she gained 40lbs that she started getting promotions and people would listen to her opinions. So female is ok, but that plus pretty, fashionable, and small in combination are not. I wonder if female, pretty, small, and frumpy would be ok. We should run all the combinations. haha. 

 

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On 11/24/2019 at 7:12 PM, square_25 said:

 

Have you found ways to get your daughter to advocate for herself more or no? I'm worried about this one myself. 

 

The direct approach works for us here. “Kiddo, when you went up and barely said anything, looked to me to make this request, and then barely responded to the answer, you really did not do yourself any favors. This looks like a 9 year old who still needs her parent to talk for her, not like a 9 year old with the maturity to sit in a class with middle schoolers, as you were requesting. It reinforces them saying no, because they think you would not be able to handle yourself in the classroom. Next time, before we do this again, let’s think together on how you can present like a kid who is ready for what you are asking for.”

But I have to remember to remind her about such things. If left to her own devices, she’ll revert to silence.

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My DS is a chameleon, as well. He is active, silly, & attention-seeking. He’s always homeschooled, so he doesn’t really grasp that his skills are different & without the forced work display / comparison of a group classroom, academics generally don’t come up. I vacillate between being frustrated & relieved. On the rare occasion that he’s displayed his abilities, most people’s reactions have been irking enough for me to be at peace with him flying under the radar. It doesn’t impact his access to appropriate learning environments, so 🤷🏻‍♀️. Unfortunately it’s a rare person who can “see” a child (or an adult, for that matter) the way you seem to be hoping for.

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I was talking to my younger son about this thread, and he said that this was the premise that Legally Blond was based off of. If you like pink and enjoy fashion and have a pretty pompom on your pen, then no one takes you seriously. The movie is hilarious because it definitely plays off of this preconceived notion. 

My ds has been fascinated by gender issues because my sister has raised a girly girl.  To the point that she pitches her voice higher and is more helpless when talking to adults.  She point blank told him that she gets what she wants from her mom when she uses that voice. He even had me listen outside the tent they had made in the living room when she didn't realize I could hear her. She was a totally different person when she thought no adults were listening. More mature, more capable, more interesting. 

So this experience with his cousin has led my ds to start looking at gender issues. He finds it fascinating to think that girls learn early on that they are cared for and given more when they act in a meek, need help, quiet sort of way. That we as a society encourage this type of unassuming behaviour by rewarding it with compassion and empathy. I should get him to do a research paper on it.  🙂 

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