or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Parenting the Gifted Child › giftedness -- how do you feel about it
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

giftedness -- how do you feel about it

post #1 of 67
Thread Starter 
Some of the threads about gifted children sound like giftedness is a problem. Is that how most feel about it? What are the problems/challenges with having a gifted child?
post #2 of 67
This might get different responses in that forum, but I think in general there can be challenges finding educational resources that meet the interests and needs of gifted students, and there can be some social and emotional challenges to being on a different path than others in their peer group.
post #3 of 67

I have had a lot of problems with the term, mostly not knowing what it really signifies, and having feelings based on that.  Generally when I hear the term gifted, I tend to think of children who are genius level, way beyond what is typical of even smart children.  From reading about gifted here on MDC and the debates over who can justifiably be called gifted and who can't, and what appears to be people who have a vested interest in the superiority of the superior intellect, it's hard to unravel the notions and feelings around the word.

 

I've had to deal with the whole gifted thing in my children's school with my daughter not being tested even though I requested it, people telling me I have to push it and get her tested.  And I've dealt with teachers who seem to support gifted testing and have it done, and teachers who don't really seem to worry about it, and fewer of their students are tested.  At the magnet program in middle school, the majority of the children in the program come from one elementary school that tests a lot more of their kids.  So I can't figure out if gifted here just means smart kids with parents who are willing to push for testing because there are better educational opportunities that way.

 

So my younger daughter did get tested and is eligible for the school with a school program for gifted kids, so she'll be in that this year.  Because she is socially a little different from most of her peers in her grade, and seemed to have some fitting in problems, and because she hated school and would write things on her homework like, "I'm not learning anything, sorry to say" I am putting her in this program. She tested into it, and I'm hoping she'll find it more rewarding.  Otherwise I'm not sure what I'm going to do with her, because she can have such a negative attitude sometimes, but she can be motivated and willing to learn in some situations.

post #4 of 67

This is a fantastic topic.  So over the course of my life, I have discovered that there are many different definitions for giftedness.  Even schools can not agree on what constitutes giftedness, which is why there are a million programs and tests for it.  I break it into 3 categories, intellectual giftedness, academic giftedness, and artistic giftedness.

 

Artistic giftedness is the easiest to define, these are the people who are "naturals," you know it when you see/ear their work.  It transports you, and looks effortless.

 

Academic giftedness are children that perform above grade level in one or more areas.  You usually see it in either math/science or reading/writing.  These kids often are bored in early elementary, because they already know things.  However, they also might be "gifted" in Kinder because they came in reading, but "normal" by 3rd grade when everyone else has caught up.

 

Intellectual Giftedness - These are the kids with the high IQs (mensa level), they may or may not do well in school. These kids think differently.  They will learn everything they can about a subject if it interests them.  These kids are at high risk for academic failure if they are bored.  They typically do not work well with others who are not gifted, because they don't understand the way they think.  Some have difficulty picking up on social cues.

 

Now most schools either target academic or intellectual giftedness, and tailor their programs toward those students.  However, IME the 2 groups do not mesh well together.  For IG kids, learning comes easy, they do not need repetition and tend to hate to do things they do not find interesting.  They need a different approach - i.e. you have to write a research paper, these are the requirements, you pick a topic or you have to do a science experiment involving eggs, pick one or develop your own.  The goal is to get them into the process so you do not lose them when they become bored.

 

Now is it hard, well that depends.  My mom did not have a problem with me, but I had difficulties in academia.  My mom had to balance my intellectual needs with my social ones.  Now my DH and I have a different approach with our DS.  (DH and I are IG).  We have not tested him.  He does what he has to in school, and we supplement what he wants to learn at school.  My main goal for him is to fit in and learn to function in a social & academic environment.  Our district is geared to AG kids, and DS is too lazy about school work at this point.  I do not need the label, so we just do what we need to do outside of school, and when needed I contact the teacher to make a change or ask a question.  They have been very understanding.

post #5 of 67

This is an interesting thread. 

 

I have mixed feelings about giftedness. My DS is very bright and consistently tests at the top of his class, so a couple of his teachers have mentioned having him tested for the gifted program. So far, DH and I have declined, because while he is a very smart boy, he's not bored in class and I feel that his needs are being met by the regular curriculum. Also, he's the youngest kid in his class and I would rather have him feel confident and excel in the regular class rather than struggle in the gifted class.

 

One friend of mine in particular just can't comprehend our stance, and she pushes me to have DS tested. She had both of her girls placed in the gifted program (one of them had to take the test a few times, first through the school and then through a private testing agency, to get in -- the mom was persistent) and feels that they received a superior education as a result, and she just can't imagine anyone turning that down. But DS goes to a terrific school with terrific teachers, and I feel that his needs are being met, and I don't see placement in the gifted program as a status symbol that should be snapped up no matter what. 

post #6 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mosaic View Post

This might get different responses in that forum, but I think in general there can be challenges finding educational resources that meet the interests and needs of gifted students, and there can be some social and emotional challenges to being on a different path than others in their peer group.

 

  Yep.  This.  

post #7 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post

 Also, he's the youngest kid in his class and I would rather have him feel confident and excel in the regular class rather than struggle in the gifted class.

 

 

 You may be interested in this article, which is mainly about not delaying kindergarten, but also talks about the concept of acceleration (or "struggling in the gifted class," and why that's not necessarily a bad thing.)

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/25/opinion/sunday/dont-delay-your-kindergartners-start.html

 

 

"Learning is maximized not by getting all the answers right, but by making errors and correcting them quickly. In this respect, children benefit from being close to the limits of their ability."

post #8 of 67
Thread Starter 
Thank you to those who responded. I am curious how many think it is necessary to identify giftedness and what problems there may be for an adult who was a gifted child that was not identified.
post #9 of 67
From what anr_j said (sorry if thats incorrect, I'm typing on my kindle while nursing smile.gif, my husband is intellectually gifted and is a mensa member, insanely high IQ. His teachers wanted to skip him 3 grades in elementary school, but his mom didn't want to in fear that he wouldn't gained social skills. DH really regrets that because he feels like he could have had a doctorates at a young age and would have gone the medical research route. Instead he went into the Navy to pay for school and is now working as an sr. Producer for a video game (which he loves but he feels like like he owes more to society because of his intellectual abilities.) I would call him gifted.

DHs younger brother is artistically gifted almost to a savant ability. His fine art from when he took classes is so perfect that's its mind blowing.

As far as my opinion on what was described as academically 'gifted', I would just call that smart and put them in advance placement classes. My step daughter was in a ton of AP classes in high school but I wouldn't call her gifted.

Sent from my Kindle Fire using Tapatalk 2
post #10 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post

 

 You may be interested in this article, which is mainly about not delaying kindergarten, but also talks about the concept of acceleration (or "struggling in the gifted class," and why that's not necessarily a bad thing.)

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/25/opinion/sunday/dont-delay-your-kindergartners-start.html

 

 

"Learning is maximized not by getting all the answers right, but by making errors and correcting them quickly. In this respect, children benefit from being close to the limits of their ability."

 

That was kind of my point when I mentioned him being the youngest in his class though. His birthday is late October and we didn't redshirt, so he's already over a year younger than some kids in his class, and I feel that putting him in the gifted program would be a "double whammy" of sorts. He's doing great, but he's not breezing along with no challenge. He's right where he should be. thumb.gif

post #11 of 67

I found out I was gifted a few years ago and it set my entire life in an entirely new light.  I mean, I always knew I was smart - classes were easy to me and boring so I didn't bother trying and still got B averages or so... but struggled socially and was picked on for being "smart" and "dorky" and would ask questions my teachers couldn't answer and thus was often blown off by them... blah blah blah.

 

Anyway, I knew my husband was gifted and my kids were very smart, so I started looking into parenting gifted children and what it would all mean and stumbled onto a page about gifted adults.  It explained so much about my life and my existential angst and really all these things (perfectionism, etc) about myself that I had thought had just been personality quirks.  It was a bit of a shock, to be honest.  I guess I'm discussing "intellectual giftedness" if going by previous posts.

 

The thing is that giftedness often comes with "overexcitability" and sensitivity and intensity and all these things that tend to require parents to shift their viewpoint a bit when parenting these children.  You're more likely to get huge blow out tantrums over stupid things and more likely to have to deal with young children being shocked by what they see in movies (my kids are terrified of every new movie we see.  I seriously have to talk them through, every freaking disney movie), etc, etc, etc.  I also find myself being much more reflective than most people.  This is not something I realized until I was in counseling (for existential angst) and he pointed out how I was "very reflective"... to which I responded "huh?  Don't most people think about this stuff?" and he told me that no, actually most people don't contemplate the meaning of life that much. 

 

I'm not saying that "non gifted" people don't have some or all of these traits, too, just that it's more common amongst gifted folks.  It puts a different lens over it all, I guess.

 

This link has some decent info: http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/Papers/GiftedProblems.pdf

post #12 of 67

My husband was never tested as a child but I was. I was academically gifted and intellectually gifted. As an adult I have gotten very into painting murals in my house and it makes me wonder if I would have been artistically gifted if I had been allowed to try. I digress. My husband's IQ is much higher than mine. I feel fairly intimidated by how smart he is and I way above average. He usually was above grade level because he is from a small east Texas town.

 

I can admit the truth and say I am kind of an elitist bastard. Pretty much all of my friends are also high IQ, probably "gifted". It's because it is hard to follow me in conversation. I jump around between a lot of different topics. Not many people find me worth puzzling out. I don't do it to be a jerk. I spent a lot of years alone in a room with a lot of books. I'm weird and I have a prodigious vocabulary.

 

My oldest daughter is extremely verbally gifted. I don't know that this will mean anything later in life. So far I'm assuming no because other than being able to speak freakishly well she's not all that uncommon for a four year old. She has the language structure, grammar, and syntax of a twelve year old.... but she's talking about four year old stuff. I've always been highly asynchronous so I'm prepared for that with home schooling.

 

My kids are fairly unlikely to attend "normal" schools. I will not send them to public elementary schools unless my husband dies (cross your fingers he doesn't--I like him a lot) and I have no choice. I've already been talking to them about potential options for boarding school high schools if they want to or they can home school and go to junior college like many people I know. (My friend's daughter just got back from a year at an IB high school in India. Life changing experience.)

 

Given how bright my husband and I are I expect that our kids will have the potential to be freakishly above level in some areas but probably not more than one or two areas. I have no idea in advance what that will be. I am prepared to ride it out. I have decided that I want to make a life out of giving my kids the space to grow in whatever direction they want. It's a job for 20 years. :) I'm having fun. (Not that I'm implying that other people don't care. But I freed up a *lot* of time for dealing with this topic.)

post #13 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by rightkindofme View Post

 

I can admit the truth and say I am kind of an elitist bastard. Pretty much all of my friends are also high IQ, probably "gifted". It's because it is hard to follow me in conversation. I jump around between a lot of different topics. Not many people find me worth puzzling out. I don't do it to be a jerk. I spent a lot of years alone in a room with a lot of books. I'm weird and I have a prodigious vocabulary.

 

Re: elitist bastard... yeah, me too, it seems.  However, I've had people (I worked at a daycare for a while) say straight out to my face "You must be really smart because I have no idea what you're talking about" when I didn't really think I was being overly obnoxious with my speech, but not really dumbing it down...  My higher IQ friends just "get me" better.  It's not worth it most of the time to try too hard when there's too much IQ gap.  I've BTDT.  That's not saying that I *ONLY* interact with people with high IQ, they just tend to be the people who stick around in my life for longer.

post #14 of 67
Thread Starter 
OK. I think I've gotten the picture.
post #15 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juvysen View Post

Re: elitist bastard... yeah, me too, it seems.  However, I've had people (I worked at a daycare for a while) say straight out to my face "You must be really smart because I have no idea what you're talking about" when I didn't really think I was being overly obnoxious with my speech, but not really dumbing it down...  My higher IQ friends just "get me" better.  It's not worth it most of the time to try too hard when there's too much IQ gap.  I've BTDT.  That's not saying that I *ONLY* interact with people with high IQ, they just tend to be the people who stick around in my life for longer.

 

Oh Dear, this has happened to me. People have either said that to me or given me a blank look like huh? The blank look drives me bat sheet crazy enough that my kids even know never to do that to anyone. Does this make me an elitist or not patient with others? FWIW, I have a normal IQ as does DH.

post #16 of 67
Thread Starter 
No. It does not make you anything. Their behavior is a reflection of them, not you. It simply shows how gullible *they* are.
post #17 of 67

As a child, standardized tests identified me as gifted, followed by an educational evaluation. I participated in differentiated gifted education and activities. I hated it. The work remained unchallenging and uninteresting, but even in elementary school, the amount of at-home work expected increased dramatically when I entered differentiated education. I wish instead of heaping more school work during those years, I had remained in non-differentiated education with more time to pursue my own interests. I never finished college. My husband, who also received differentiated gifted education, never finished high school. Throughout my time in differentiated education, I felt like an imposter and struggled to identify any talent or intelligence in myself. Before we decided to homeschool, I had my eldest (5) tested to qualify for a public gifted school, since I don't like the neighborhood school. She tested as gifted. With my experiences, though, I felt too ambivalent to subject her to differentiated gifted education, especially at such a young age and given the reputation of the school for subjecting very young students to long days and large amounts of at-home work. Informally, as her mother, I suspect that she simply developed pretty asynchronous thus far and that her skills may fall more in step with her peers as she ages, but who knows?

post #18 of 67

i grew up in a country where the level of education was the gifted level. if you couldnt keep up get extra tutoring help and just do it. we started simple calculus at 9th grade. or was it 8.

 

so i did not grow up with the concept of giftedness. we knew some were smarter than others- they didnt need any tutoring. then i came here and met the rest of my then dh's family all of whom were identified gifted. and their children too. they were all all over the place within the gifted range. those who were successful were the two in the moderate range. the higher ones still struggle - even with good jobs happiness is hard to find. 

 

so really i had no opinion till i started seeing things in dd. 

 

and then her school identified her and put her in the gifted class and my dd changed. her apathy and being down went away. main thing that dreadful homework. unfortunately compared to her non gifted classes, she does get a better education for her. she gets more project work than typical hw. that is hugely helpful. even before she went into her class on the playfield she mostly hung out with the gifted kids. she found it easier to relate to them. while the other classes only had two or three field trips a year, dd's class got a field trip every month and more. 

 

her teachers in every class are so overworked with a bigger class size that its v. v. difficult to find time to differentiate in class for a gifted student.

 

however if dd had been in a class where she was happy and felt challenged i would have been happy. the first month of start of school is a challenge for her anyways as the teacher reviews the last years work.  

 

however i will say i have found so many different gifted people. dd's dad is an all round gifted person. he is not high as some of his brothers but he knows v. well how to function in society and how to  plan his life. he just doesnt get it why people cant see the way he does. on the other hand, his brother who is highly gifted struggles to live a regular life. he tries and has to but for him even making toast is not as simple as it seems. 

 

so to me gifted has two definitions. the everyone has a gift which is how i looked at giftedness before i had dd. but my problems and issues were so much different than other moms. especially the emotional parts where dd questioned stuff but didnt have the emotional ability to handle it. 

 

however i will add there is a different depth to the conversation with my gifted friends or family. just the questions they ask, the fallacies they can see through. just talking to them about present political campaign i see the difference in their line of thinking. 

 

to me what blows my mind about gifted people are their way of thinking, their points of view. to me its not about their IQ but how they think. it isnt their knowledge that impresses me - but that they can look at a beaten horse and always find something different. something new. . 

post #19 of 67
I supposed I was 'gifted' (though for some reason I hate hate hate that term, it makes me cringe). I did well in school, as in never ever studied and got straight A's, and I was in a really good school district. There was also a pull-out gifted program that I participated in, on top of differentiated math, English, etc. However, I was so bored!! Even the pull-out program just did not challenge me. The gap only got wider as I got older. Some things I was asked to do in school completely baffled me, especially in math when I was asked to show my work. Show my work?! What work?? I looked at the equation and knew the answer -- especially when it came to subtraction, division, algebra... No one seemed to understand the way my brain worked and I was forever frustrated with the lack of challenging work and the inability to relate. I was incredibly self-conscious of being 'smart' too, and I was constantly trying to dumb down my language (I still do this subconsciously); I'd lie about my grades to my friends ("I did NOT get an A, I got a C!!") and I was shamed by the teachers for correcting them. I was (am!) terrified of making mistakes. I also had absolutely no patience for anything that didn't interest me, which frustrated my parents and teachers.

Several times a grade skip or a skip in several subjects was considered, but for some reason it never happened (I think due to social concerns?) and by high school I was just done with school. I missed tons of school, including most of my junior year. I did end up skipping my senior year of high school & starting college earlier, and after seeing how well that went I think I really would have benefited from skipping a couple of grades earlier on. My self-confidence & self-esteem suffered the most, and I never fit in socially, and eventually I had some full-blown mental illnesses (not that being 'gifted' & unchallenged caused the mental illnesses, but I am 100% positive it contributed to some degree.)

Working has been interesting for me. I learn so fast and work so fast that my coworkers are often annoyed or competitive or just don't understand me (my bosses love me though, since I can do the work of 6 people lol, and with virtually no instruction.) I have not in my life had to work hard at anything and I now see that as a major obstacle because whenever life gets tough, I just shut down, give up... I wish I had been challenged so I could learn how to push myself in the small, inconsequential ways before having to do so with major life issues. I wish I had figured out how to fit in socially... maybe I have, all of my best friends are about 10 years older than me, and this seems more comfortable for me, though there are still struggles and a long-standing perception of myself that I need to adjust. Wow, as I write this it is hitting me just how much 'giftedness' has affected me -- even more than I've mentioned here -- I'm not sure I ever really fully thought this out... I'm always over-analyzing myself though!

My DS is 3.5 so I feel like he's too young to label 'gifted'... but he is incredibly (and noticeably) advanced in some areas, plus seems to have a eidetic memory or something. He really struggles socially & emotionally, though he is starting to catch up and we've found a few amazing friends with whom he can be himself and be understood. He has a lot of anxiety, and he asks many existential and philosophical questions (plus lots of questions that he's just plain too young to ask). It's a real struggle to answer him in an age-appropriate way, and without increasing his anxiety, because cognitively he is probably around a 6-year-old level or beyond in some areas, but emotionally he is barely 3. He knows things he shouldn't know at his age, and picks up on things (both good & bad) after only one single exposure. The asynchronicity is probably the hardest thing to deal as his mom. I do not plan to put him in school and hope that homeschooling will allow him to learn at his own pace and that he won't have some of the struggles I faced, but I suspect we will still have plenty of our own challenges. Plus sometimes I already feel like he knows more than me!
post #20 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by anj_rn View Post

 

Intellectual Giftedness - These are the kids with the high IQs (mensa level), they may or may not do well in school. These kids think differently.  They will learn everything they can about a subject if it interests them.  These kids are at high risk for academic failure if they are bored.  They typically do not work well with others who are not gifted, because they don't understand the way they think.  Some have difficulty picking up on social cues.

I so have this problem, and I'm so excited to see it written here.  Wow!  It's actually been noted by someone else about other people!!!!  I always feel so alone!!!  There have been so many times in my life when I know people think I am really, really stupid because I don't understand some simple little thing.  But it's because my thoughts are completely on a different level, a hundred times more complex than their thoughts.  So when someone tries to talk to me about some dumb little thing, I can't even wrap my mind around how they got there, and usually it is they who have a flaw in their thinking, but they are so sure that they are right, that they think I am an idiot because I can't grasp their twisted thinking. 

 

I wish I could meet people on my own level.  Life sucks for me really bad.  :( 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting the Gifted Child
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Parenting the Gifted Child › giftedness -- how do you feel about it