For starters, you really don't know that he's not gifted. My two look totally different. My DD 14 is the obviously gifted one. She's also super organized, competitive and driven to perfection. She succeeds at everything. DS 10 is just different. He is intensely social. He sees no point in singular activities like reading (though happy to read WITH someone.) He is terribly disorganized and not competitive. He is dyslexic and physically akward. He'd rather do "good enough" and work less than be heralded for something he had to sacrifice to accomplish. And yet, when tested... he scored in the exact same percentile as DD which is considered highly gifted in our county.
Anxiety can mask giftedness. My DH has 3 older siblings. All were tested. 3 in the HG range. One SIL was labeled "high average" but she didn't even complete the test due to anxiety. My little brother had a higher IQ than I did but so many emotional issues that he was never successful in school.
Personally, we've really tried to give DD and DS very different educations and experiences. My DS had the opportunity to go to an immersion school and so speaks 3 languages where DD is just starting to learn her 2nd. They have theatre in common but all their other activities have been different. He takes pride in long-term successes like the fact that he'll make black-belt this year after being in Tae Kwon Do since age 4 (he's in a program that only meets weekly so moves slower than those concentrated gym programs.) We just saw early that DS was constantly comparing himself to DD and so making his experiences uncomparable keeps him from doing that. It's worked pretty well in that reguard.
It's important not to patronize. DS is a smart kid and he knows when someone is "throwing him a bone." He doesn't need to go to DD's concerts and have some well meaning aunt say "Oh, isn't DD marvelous" and then turn to him and say "you are wonderful too" when all he did was sit in the audience lol.
I suspect you DS will grow into his own. Just be honest. Be verbal about the qualities you value in him. Give him the chance do discover his own talents even if they are different from his siblings. Don't assume he's not gifted.
Originally Posted by sweeetpea
My older two kids are all kinds of gifted - academically, artistically, musically, athletically. My youngest is wonderful - smart, creative, artistic, etc, but doesn't appear to be gifted enough to be "gifted". He also has some significant anxiety issues, likely stemming from a horrible home environment (dad and mom do not get along and it is very tense. Working to make some changes).
Does anyone have any suggestions on how, as he grows older (he is 7 now), I can help him not feel inferior to his "gifted" siblings and be proud of who he is and what he can do?