Originally Posted by mijumom
Britishmum- I was trying to stay out of this but how in the world does "gifted" even come close to comprehensively describing your child?
I have a friend who's child is developmentally delayed that exhibits almost identical behavior to what you've described.
I think you have stunningly and surprisingly illustrated how completely insufficient any one label would be in relaying your child's particular quirks and attributes.
Do you really think that other parents of "gifted" children would typically describe their children in this fashion? I highly doubt it. I certainly would never have made those assumptions based solely on someone telling me their child had been formally determined to be gifted.
Originally Posted by Britishmum
Of course just the word 'gifted' does not give a whole picture of a gifted child like mine. But it comes closest to a one-word explanation of my child's needs out of all the 'labels' that I might need to use.
The truth is that many, many gifted children exhibit similar behaviours to mine. It took me a long time to realise that it was giftedness that was the root of most of my child's unusual development.
There are times when the label 'gifted' is extremely useful to me. If I am talking with someone who is familiar with the challenges of giftedness, often all I need to say is 'my child is gifted and comes with many of the quirks of giftedness.'
That's it. If you really have experience with gifted children, you will understand what those quirks might be. If I visit a gifted forum, I know that people there will have experience of similar challenges to mine.
So, my child is not that unusual, in the gifted world, anyway. Which was my point - it might sound extreme to you, but it would not sound extreme to many parents of gifted children.
The word 'gifted' does come close to describing my child - if I am talking with someone who really understands giftedness. It would not, however, come close if I were talking with someone who simply holds the stereotypical pushy-parent in mind when they hear the word 'gifted'.
As for 'academically driven', that doesnt really describe my children. They love to hang out and play, but their play is not often compatible with the play of average children. They learn simply by existing. I honestly don't know how they have a lot of the knowledge and understanding that they have. I have no idea how my dd knew at the age of two how her pack of magic markers was arranged, but she did. She wasn't driven in any way to learn the order of colours, she just knew them. Like my toddler doesnt seem driven to understand the twoness of two or the threeness of three. He just knows. (I only discovered that today when he gave me 'three fish mama'. )
I guess that for many parents of gifted kids, the label works. It gives us a common ground for understanding the issues that each of us face. For example, until the gifted forum started on mdc, I hadnt met another parent whose toddler had grasped the concept of death in the way that mine had. I hadnt realised that this was a fairly common issue for gifted children, who often grasp facts before having the emotional maturity to deal with them.
Oooh, see this is exactly what I've been trying to get across. These exact two posts.
Mijumom, on the part in pink, yes, these characteristics that Britishmum describes, comes as absolultely NO surprise to me. These sort of characteristics do come up commonly with kids that have been identified as gifted. The description on death that Britishmum gave... I mean it's hard not to be in tears when your 3 year old is running around with her favorite puppies yelling, mommy when I die I want to be holding my favorite puppies, and HAS to have the acknowledgement several times that YES, when you die, I'll be sure that you are holding your favorite puppies.
The marker thing... while dd doesn't exhibit that, I've heard about that many times with kids that are gifted.
So... would I make the 'exact' assumptions about Britishmum's dc that she described? No... BUT at the same time, these items are all quite familiar to me b/c of 'gifted' boards, and b/c some I have experienced.
Of course, there are plenty of other kids that exhibit some of the characteristics that Britishmum describes that aren't academically gifted, but I do know that when I find a group of people that are familiar with giftedness they also understand some of these quirks that are prevalent, and wouldn't bat an eye at what was described, b/c they have heard the similar stories numerous times.
Yes, the term is absolutely
inadequete to describe what Britishmum did... but at the same time for me, it's the one reason I 'use' the label. I know if someone truly understand the term, I can find advice/support and answers on some of those common 'gifted' quirks that I've been encountering.... b/c many of the parents have already had to deal with it.
It's also why the term 'gifted' is annoying. B/c of the debates it causes like this thread... where there are those that think parents are implying that others that aren't 'gifted', aren't gifted/talented.... just call the term oogle-schmuggle or something.
The whole idea of pushy parent, my kid did x,y,z at age 1 and is better than everyone else.... and MY kid is oooooh 'gifted' and your child is oh, just average.... that to me is ludicrous, and is not why many used this label.... in fact, my most likely 'academically gifted' child has NO interest in academics. Her passions are completely pretend, stories, building complex structures.... learning via living. The idea of a parent simply using the label as a 'status' symbol, or as a one-upmanship thing, is annoying.
Goodness, my 'mom' is 'average', and I find that term ridiculous when describing her. She isn't average, she is my mom. She has an amazing gift of caring for others, which is far more important in life than who cares what IQ.
It's why in a way the whole idea of a thread on an 'average' child almost feels silly.... just as I'm sure that there are those that feel the whole concept of 'gifted' is silly b/c of the idea of 'setting apart a specific item'.... but when I go with what Britishmum expressed, and I've been trying to, it's why it isn't 'silly' for me.... I know there is a far, far higher chance I'll find the answer on how to deal with some of these 'quirks' than I would elsewhere.
And, yah I know there are those that disagree with the whole concept of any label, or even the belief that there are 'quirks', 'characterisitics' associated with kids that are academically gifted... but it's what I've experienced...
Each of us have our own experiences, and there is nothing wrong with that.