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Fighting over gifted child - Page 4

post #61 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by momsy View Post
I feel like my family gets the short end of the stick because I am frequently spread too thin.

I want my son to finish school right away so that he will be able to focus on whatever he wants for personal goals.

This isn't very coherent. If I had been FORCED to learn how to stick to something that I didn't enjoy until it was finished I would be having a much easier go now. I want these things for my children.
oh boy! i understand your perspective a little more here. it's like trying to spare your son from something that you feel really messed up your life. i know i'm trying to do this with my son and emotional issues. my mom was great but there was no space or time for emotions so when i was growing up, "get over it" was a very common phrase. this is probably the only thing i feel my mom could have done better on (i mentioned this to her and she's recently said she was trying with her new husband to acknoledge his feelings!).

my point being, that this is something we as parents do, so i don't think your motivation here is unimportant.

i've also noticed the disparity between responses from and about gifted children. for some, they feel it mattered being in gifted classes and it didn't seem to affect others.

i've seen gifted kids in the school where i substitute and one of them is about 65 pages ahead in his math book because he just keeps working. another one is about two grades below where he needs to be on his computer programs because he gets frustrated with the little animals that dance around as a *reward* and just keeps clicking the mouse until they go away, which usually makes his next answer wrong.

the bottom line is that you know your son. i think there have been several good comments here about communicating with him and retesting with an open mind.

and you know what? my brother (the one that quit high school at 14 and now has an excellent job) *never* got the point of doing work he didn't want to and he still has managed to be fairly successful. he is 24 now and working as a cable installer but he's making a little over $4,000 a month and has full benefits.

i've been amazed at his ability to survive in this world without selling out and doing anything he didn't want to do. he has a very strong sense of himself and i think as much as everyone tried to squash it (his school, our family) because he needed to "learn that you have to do things you don't want to do" it never worked. and in a way i'm kinda glad though it was very frustrating to deal with.

remember, any decision you make is reversible and fluid. try it one way, if it doesn't work, try it another. you just want to find what works for your son like any good mom!
post #62 of 96
Exactly right, momsy.

Any artist worth their salt will tell you you have to master the basics so that you can abandon them later. Learning, life, is made of building blocks, one upon another, and a 3rd grader is not the best judge of what he/she should be doing to place those buildings blocks of skill/knowledge.
post #63 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by momsy View Post
I have a son in third grade who has been in gifted since kindergarten. He is now up for retesting. He is doing very poorly in school. This is not due to it being difficult, but due to laziness. He is failing tests because he does not want to read through the entire question. Will not do writing assignments because it takes too long, speaks out of turn because he has something to say, things of that nature.
This sounds so much like me as a child. I have ADD. Many (most?) people with ADD have above-average intelligence but are unable to complete tests and tasks because of the inability to read the entire question (people with ADD in fact tend to develop the ability to rapidly synthesize and make snap inferences as a coping mechanism for the inability to hear/read complete instructions/conversations/questions). Speaking out of turn is a sign of the impulsive behaviors common to people with ADD. Inability to complete writing assignments because of an inability to keep on track (would your son be able to complete the assignment if he were to "dictate" it into a tape recorder, for example?) etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by momsy View Post
He also does not have ADD. If it is something he wants to dp, he is capable of supreme concentration for hours at a time. I guess he has "selective ADD", goals that have month long timeframes are not worth it to him.
this is not a sign that your son does not have ADD. In fact, one of the major symptoms of ADD is the ability (compulsion?) to hyperfocus - I am able to read books 1000s of pages long in a single session going a day or two without sleep, but if i put the book down i am unlikely to be able to pick it up again (i used to be an avid reader, for days on end before i had children but now i can't finish a book because it's impossible for me to have 24+ hours all to myself without interruption). Puzzles, computer games, etc. are all things that people with ADD tend to hyperfocus on (is it hard to get his attention when he's concentrating so deeply? is it difficult to get him to stop? does he lose track of time often?)

Has he vocalized to you that longterm goals are "not worth it" to him? that's a fairly intense judgement - and one that may be totally correct - i would definitely engage your son in discovering why he was acting in a way that seemed lazy and as if he found longer term projects to be not worth his energy.

An excellent resource for ADD (ADHD) is http://www.drhallowell.com/resources/index.html Edward Hallowell's books (especially Driven to Distraction) can be an excellent starting point. Even if your son does not have ADD - ADD symptoms are things EVERYBODY exhibits - and they are things you are expressing concern about here. so even if your son does not have a clinical diagnosis of ADD, you can still benefit from this book and learn some strategies for dealing with these ADD symptoms and help your son have an easier time getting through his schoolwork and life.

It's hard to get motivated when people are thinking you are lazy and unwilling to work hard. Believe me, I know firsthand. But engaging your son in improving his life might be just the stimulation he needs to start turning things around.
post #64 of 96
This thread is really interesting.

I can't get behind the idea that children should get used to unpleasant things in order to be able to cope with them better later in life. That seems to fly in the face of a lot of the other philosophies of this board: responding to infants' cries, breastfeeding infants on demand, gentle discipline (teaching rather than forcing) and so on and so forth.

Further, it seems that expecting a nine year old to be motivated by a vision of his future as an adult is not age-appropriate. I wouldn't expect even a profoundly gifted child to have such insight.

Since those two principles underlie so many of our parenting philosophies here, I'm not surprised that your original post was met with vehement disagreement.

I don't think there is anything wrong with retesting the little boy or changing his classroom to better suit his needs.I don't think that learning to do menial tasks is a worthy educational goal, though. I wouldn't bother if that's the reason to do it.

Learning basic skills is a worthy goal, or even gaining mastery of an enriched curriculum--but I wouldn't be attached to the process of that learning. He has to learn to read and write and do arithmetic and a lot of other basic skills, and who cares whether he dots every i? Future employers don't care if you sit up straight at your desk, as long as your work gets done.

I guess I agree with your focus on giving your son some kinds of life skills that go beyond his ability to learn things quickly and easily. I am not sure that there is any reason to send him to school to learn to work through boring drill to get to the good stuff. It seems like a way to kill his appetite for formal school, which as you have noted above is something people need for certain kinds of jobs. Better to learn how to excel in school than to learn how to suck up the boredom--and I think there is a difference.

I suppose if I had a child in this situation (and I'm trying to figure out how to AVOID this situation!) I would give him outcome-based goals for his schoolwork and monitor what he does closely. For example, "I would like to see you complete this paper a day early so we can go over it" and "I would like to see your teacher's feedback on this work" and all of that. I don't think I'd want to pull him out of the gifted program, though. Maybe you can discuss your goals with his teacher and get some teamwork going between the three of you?
post #65 of 96
I was in the gifted program from 7th grade on (I was in it in the 4th grade too, but my parents were in the military so with all the moves at random times I didn't get to the schools in time for their yearly testing and was stuck until the next year.) I was diagnosed with ADHD at age 5 and was put on ritalin. I had a really hard time sitting still and focusing on my work, but I still got good grades. I'm sure it's hard for parents to understand what it's like for a child like that, I would request extra work from the teachers (with the undestanding they didn't even have to grade it!) and in 4th grade my teacher told me I could go to the library once a week and get a few books, they had to stay in my desk and I could only read them when I was finished with my work and did a good job. I was a big enough nerd that it was a big enough incentive for me to sit still, get my work done, and do a good job.

Taking him out of the gifted program will just make the problems worse. I was in regular English for 9th and 10th grade and was sooooooo bored. I swore to my mom that if I had to hear someone teach what a noun was AGAIN, I would scream. One teacher thought it was fun to do mad libs on Friday, I thought it was torture because none of the kids could remember what a noun, verb, adjective, adverb, and pronoun were! She'd actually have to write them on the board, every single week! I tested for the APH English class at the end of my 10th grade year and I just squeaked by, but the teacher wasn't sure about putting me in the class because I didn't have the "foundation" for her class. I insisted that I be in the class and ended up doing well, learning a lot, and feeling challenged, whereas I probably would have blown up at all the kids that I thought were stupid in the regulars class.

Ask if his teacher thinks he might have ADHD or ADD, see if she can recommend getting him tested. There is NOTHING wrong with having a child with this problem, it can help him get the help he needs to do better!
post #66 of 96
Thread Starter 
I joined this community because I believe in a lot of the philosiphies. That being said, I don't believe in them all. I do not practice gentle discipline nor do I practice elimination communication. Do I need to agree 100% with every philosphy on the board to participate? I thought there was room here for dessenting opinions.
post #67 of 96
Momsy, am I correct that your son is just in a pull-out, twice-a-week "gifted" program? I'm assuming that in this case, that means your son is still expected to be doing most if not all of the regular classroom's work. If this is the case, I don't see how pulling him out of the program will help his work skills. It doesn't sound like he's having trouble keeping up with a self-contained gifted program's requirements, but instead he is not doing his regular classroom work, correct?

I agree with the many other posters who've said that worrying that because a child won't try his hardest at age nine that he's doomed to a life of failure. I would share your worries, however, that if he continues to not apply himself, he'll end up limiting some of his own opportunities by failing to get adequate grades for programs he might really enjoy.

What happens with your son if you or a teacher sits down with him and gives him material that he doesn't know? Will he work on it or does he exhibit the same behaviors as he does when confronted with regular class work? If he shows the faintest flicker of interest in more advanced work, I'd suggest figuring out a way to give him opportunities to do this during school time. If you ask for advice on how to make this happen, there are lots of folks here who can give some great advice.

I've got to say that as a former teacher, I really can't imagine a good outcome from pulling him out of the gifted program. How will that help motivate him to do more of the work in his regular classroom? If he's not working "up to his potential" (oh, how I hate that phrase!) because he's bored, then giving him a few more hours of regular-classroom time really won't help. If he's not doing well because of underlying issues (ADD, learning disabilities), then those issues won't have changed by taking him out of the program.

I've never seen a student make a significant long-term change when they had something they enjoyed taken away. Most kids will continue along just as they were or slide even further down and away from where we want them to be.

Most kids really need to feel like someone understands them and is on their side. Your son may have a little bit of that with his teacher who discussed An Inconvenient Truth with him, and it sounds like he really thrives when he does get that. To me that implies he needs a whole lot more of that kind of stimulation, not less.
post #68 of 96
This is an interesting discussion. I see what you are saying Momsy, about teaching your child that some tasks, given whatever profession we end up in seem insigmificant and boring and that we have to get through them in order to succeed at larger goals. Even mountain climbers need to spend the time to check their equipment and perform rote tasks, etc...

Also, the sorts of tasks he is avoiding are the tasks neccessary to do excell at schooling (as opposed to learning). if you want him to get straight As and know the system of schooling, I'd take Captain Optimism's advice and provide support for that.

But I think, based on my own exeperience (and the experiences that many have mentioned here), that taking him out of the gifted program will not help him in this goal and will probably work against what you want for him. I am a big fan of supplimented learning. If you really want to keep him in this kind of schooling environment, work with him (and his teachers) to engage his learning, while supporting him in managing the process of schooling.
post #69 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by momsy View Post
I joined this community because I believe in a lot of the philosiphies. That being said, I don't believe in them all. I do not practice gentle discipline nor do I practice elimination communication. Do I need to agree 100% with every philosphy on the board to participate? I thought there was room here for dessenting opinions.
I don't know what this is in response to, but here's my response anyway!There are a lot of people here, and most of them do not believe all of the philosophies that might make up NFL. Some people here can have a hard time seeing the virtue in another way of living, but that's true of people everywhere. Personally, I take what I like and leave the rest.
post #70 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by momsy View Post
I joined this community because I believe in a lot of the philosiphies. That being said, I don't believe in them all. I do not practice gentle discipline nor do I practice elimination communication. Do I need to agree 100% with every philosphy on the board to participate? I thought there was room here for dessenting opinions.
You do not need to agree 100%, but there are discussions and philosophies that are not hosted here.

-Angela
post #71 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainyday View Post
I've never seen a student make a significant long-term change when they had something they enjoyed taken away. Most kids will continue along just as they were or slide even further down and away from where we want them to be.
This is better expressed and what I was saying yesterday in the other thread. I have been thinking about this a lot! Momsy the more I think about it the harder it seems as something to deal with.

I was mostly hard working all through elementary and secondary school. In university I had a harder time because I was bored (I went to a very challenging secondary school). But once I got into the workforce my work ethic was strong and has served me well. I don't personally believe any adult could /make/ me that way. I think you are modelling that well for your son though.

But I just don't see that making it all about the one re-assessment test is really going to help with your son's long-term ability to focus on tasks he doesn't see as important. It will just make that one test important. I think this will be something where it will be a matter of small changes as he goes along.

But I hope you will keep us posted because it's such a difficult thing.
post #72 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by momsy View Post
I joined this community because I believe in a lot of the philosiphies. That being said, I don't believe in them all. I do not practice gentle discipline nor do I practice elimination communication. Do I need to agree 100% with every philosphy on the board to participate? I thought there was room here for dessenting opinions.
I think it's fine to take what you need where you find it. I didn't mean to reproach you for having another viewpoint, only to say why I think you are finding disagreement with your approach to this problem.

What is your priority in seeking advice in how to deal with this question? Do you want to hear mainly from moms who have been there, done that with other gifted children the same age? Has it been helpful to hear from adults who were gifted who had to deal with this situation in school themselves? (I'm in the latter category, as my child is too young for school.) No one has offered you any educational research citations--and since you are in school to learn to be a teacher, you probably don't need them anyway--but is that something you were thinking you might get here?

Even though you don't believe in gentle discipline (and I'm not sure what that means to you) I am committed to non-punitive approaches to solving behavioral problems because I believe they work better. It's not only because I don't like punishing my kid. I think that whole punishment approach is way off base. I'm never going to be supportive of it, because I think it won't work for you.

I support you, as a person, and your kid, and therefore I'm hardly going to support you doing something I think is going to backfire on you.
post #73 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain optimism View Post
Even though you don't believe in gentle discipline (and I'm not sure what that means to you) I am committed to non-punitive approaches to solving behavioral problems because I believe they work better. It's not only because I don't like punishing my kid. I think that whole punishment approach is way off base. I'm never going to be supportive of it, because I think it won't work for you.

I support you, as a person, and your kid, and therefore I'm hardly going to support you doing something I think is going to backfire on you.
:

Well said.

-Angela
post #74 of 96
I believe it is a myth that we "have to do things we don't want to do". I certainly don't desire to force my child to believe it. My parents attempted to force me to believe it. But, I guess I was "too smart" for that.


Pat
post #75 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by WuWei View Post
I believe it is a myth that we "have to do things we don't want to do". I certainly don't desire to force my child to believe it. My parents attempted to force me to believe it. But, I guess I was "too smart" for that.


Pat
:

-Angela
post #76 of 96
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WuWei View Post
I believe it is a myth that we "have to do things we don't want to do". I certainly don't desire to force my child to believe it. My parents attempted to force me to believe it. But, I guess I was "too smart" for that.


Pat

You never have to do something that you don't want to do? Do you have a job? What about family obligations? A party you don't feel like attending? You want to cook dinner every time you do it? Always in the mood for household chores? All fired about about sitting at the DMV? I would love to have a life free of unwanted obligations.
post #77 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by momsy View Post
You never have to do something that you don't want to do? Do you have a job? What about family obligations? A party you don't feel like attending? You want to cook dinner every time you do it? Always in the mood for household chores? All fired about about sitting at the DMV? I would love to have a life free of unwanted obligations.
I never do things I have no motivation to do- no.

Job- now I'm a full time mom, but when I had a "job" I usually took jobs that I felt called to or enjoyed. Other times it was just for the money. But I did it for a REASON even if that reason was just money.

Family obligations- I do them if I feel a need- it is important to someone I care about etc. Otherwise, nope.

Party- again- if it's important to someone I care about, sure I've gone to parties I wasn't all fired up about.

I want to eat every time I cook dinner. Or I at least want my family to.

Cleaning? Either I want the mess gone or I want someone to see my house cleaned up, not messy.

DMV? I don't want a ticket

The problem is that the "motivation" for school should be learning. Gifted kids often don't need to do the work assigned to learn the material. The other motivation for school is grades- and I (and many other gifted kids) learned early on that I didn't give a flying rat about grades.

-Angela
post #78 of 96
Thread Starter 
Caring about grades or no, you have to have decent ones to pass.
post #79 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by momsy View Post
You never have to do something that you don't want to do? Do you have a job? What about family obligations? A party you don't feel like attending? You want to cook dinner every time you do it? Always in the mood for household chores? All fired about about sitting at the DMV? I would love to have a life free of unwanted obligations.
Well yes I believe we all have things we don't want to do. But like a pp mentioned, these things all have an end we want. They are not randomly assigned.

Also the logic doesn't sit well with me - because we all have things we don't want to do I will pile on more things he doesn't want to do? Sort of like, "Well life isn't fair!" Followed by: So I won't be fair with you!

Makes no sense. Just makes for less fairness and more things we don't want to do.
post #80 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by momsy View Post
Caring about grades or no, you have to have decent ones to pass.
If you care enough to pass. Some don't. I wanted to pass. So I got good enough grades to pass.

Eventually it will be his deal. The sooner you realize that you can't FORCE him to do things he doesn't want to do, the better for both of you.

-Angela
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