Originally Posted by tiffani
I'll try to ignore the fact that you just called my statement ridiculous (I guess I'm not ignoring it very well am I?
) and clarify that external expectations that come with the term gifted (or any external expectations for that matter) can absolutely lead to perfectionism, or exacerbate a pre-existing condition.
My daughter and I both have a hard time progressing in the face of external expectations, so yes, it may be an inherent trait, but I'm glad that she doesn't have parents and teachers expecting great things from her and letting her know how she is wasting her potential. My parents never did this to me, but teachers did, and it absolutely "stunted" (meaning, in my mind, prohibited it from growing to full potential) my ability to allow myself to take chances, to TRY anything at all, for fear of not succeeding. sorry if that sounds ridiculous to you, but it's not all that uncommon!
I think your post makes my point. As you said, it is the external expectations that are the problem. In my view, they don't come from the label, but from the expectations, which, I think we all agree, are inappropriate. Perhaps your teachers would not have had the expectations if you had not been labeled gifted--but that is not something that came from the word, but from inappropriate teaching.
I guess a good deal of the problem I have with your post is the idea that a person can be stunted by thoughtful, well-intended, loving interactions. Yes, what happens to us in our lives influences how we develop. Yes, things that are well-intended can backfire, and be misinterpreted. Yes, many of us do not reach our full "potential," for a wide variety of reasons. Perhaps you could say that I was stunted by my parents' declaration that I could be anything I wanted when I grew up. If they had told me I had to be a rocket scientist and shipped me off to private school, perhaps I would be a rocket scientist. Then, my potential would have been met.
I think, except in the case of abuse or mental illness, as adults we need to accept that the world is not perfect but still take ownership of our own decisions. Yes, everyone has issues, and what issues we have is a function of what has happens in our lives. But to say that someone stunted you by telling you that you were gifted? I just really, really, really don't buy it.
Originally Posted by EXOLAX
In my opinion the big deal with the word is the same as with any label. I believe the point that many here are trying to make is that any time we apply a label to a child we then have to deal with everyone's interpretation of that label. People think gifted means different things; "everyone is gifted", "your full of crap and just think your kid is special", "my kid is gifted too", "if your kid is gifted why isn't she composing symphonies", "rolls eyes - your one of those". You can look up some threads on giftedness outside of this forum but still on MDC and read some of the baggage so many people have with this label. I prefer to avoid it because I don't desire for people to see our DC's through their filtered lens and while we can explain in detail there is still no guarantee we are going to change their view.
Hm. That's interesting, and I will think more about it. Right now my strong preference is to let DD experience other people, including others' inaccurate and sometimes hurtful attitudes. I think she will get a better sense of the world that way. And because, at least for now, there is no-one that she has to be around (besides DH & I), if someone makes her uncomfortable she knows she can avoid that person in the future.
But perhaps I do not understand what comments to expect. I will absolutely look for threads on MDC. That's a great idea.
Originally Posted by HeatherB
We do NOT allow debates over what "giftedness" means.
So, let's stay on topic!
I guess that includes no friendly discussions either? Oh well. Thanks, Heather, for pointing that out.