Questions about family IQ dynamics, when you are a gifted wife/Mom...... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 89 Old 12-02-2010, 02:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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****EDIT---- I am going to leave my original post as I originally posted it. But I want to add a few things. First, I'd ask that you also read my two posts on page 2, and my post on page 4. They clarify some of what I didn't say in this post, that could explain a lot (my husband's ADD, the fact that I suffer from OCD and various personality disorders, etc).

 

Secondly, when I wrote this post, I was literally spilling my brain onto a page. I probably should have edited myself better. I probably shouldn't have used the phrase "dumb myself down," because I realize that it is offensive. I was PMS-ing when I wrote this, and wasn't using the best judgment, or the best editing skills. I was just eager to get my thoughts out of my head so I could vent them somewhere.

 

Even though I seem elitist and judgemental and stuck on myself, it's not as bad as this post makes it sound. I think I went overboard, because in a way, I was venting years of frustration. Have you ever vented, and it makes you sound a lot worse than you are, because you were venting the dramatic version of how it seems in your head? Anyways, years of frustration, like I said.

 

Given that, I do have some serious issues, so I understand the "bleh" reaction some people have to what I said. I will take ownership, that what I said is offensive.  Even re-reading it, I cringe. But please understand, I am trying to work through issues. Please be kind. Once I am a parent, I'm sure I won't feel this or that way about my kids, but I do still have fears, and obviously need help understanding different types of people. Most of my fears stem from the extreme differences between my husband and myself (which I still haven't adjusted to) coupled with my stubborn and anxiety-prone personality.

 

 

 

 

--------------------

This is actually my first post. I don't have children yet (happily married), but I've been reading in this community because we may start a family soon (or we may not), and I'm interested in learning about many of the issues talked about here (vaccines, eliminating toxins, other crunchy things).

 

I stumbled upon this gifted forum because I was a gifted child, and I have a lot of questions surrounding this topic. The questions are targeted towards parents who have higher IQ;'s; it seems that a lot of parents in this forum probably do.......

 

Basically, I grew up in a family where we all had high intelligence, all 4 of us (2 kids, 2 parents)  in the family, yet we weren't the type of smarties that had a hard time fitting in with our peers. Just the kind that process things on a higher level, and normally (almost always) have to dumb themselves down for others (something I've been doing all my life, to the point that it's pretty automatic). Around my family was one of the only places I DIDN'T have to dumb myself down. Yet, my parents were hard-working regular people, not really the "doctor/lawyer/professor/wine-tasting" type.

 

Just a little antecdote to give you an idea: At around 12-13 months, I was not only speaking in full sentences, but I had all my picture books memorized (pausing for page turns) and could recite them, in full sentences, not skipping a word. I was never encouraged to do this or coached, I just memorized my books because my Mom did read to me, as most parents do.

 

Anyways.....

 

I always grew up thinking I would marry someone with an IQ close to mine, and highly communicative like me. Within my family, we really enjoy a quick-moving, witty conversation, full of the kind of humor that I normally find goes right over some people's heads (the finer nuances of it). Or, leaving humor out of it, just the kind of deep philosophical discussions that others might shy away from. My husband doesn't quite fit in with my family's "highly functional" (intelligence-wise) dynamic, but we still love him, and treat him as we would anyone who isn't us, which is with respect.

 

My husband's intelligence seems to be pretty average. He seems to be above average in math (doing well in things like calculus, physics, etc, and scoring way above average in math on standardized testing), but when I'm just "conversing" with him, to me, he seems to be right about average, if not, a little below average, in how he communicates. Both his ability to communicate, and his willingness to follow my "complex/deep" tangents, and want to keep that kind of conversation going.

 

Anyways....this has left me wondering where our kids will fall. I just hate to give up the idea of that intellectually-stimulating family life in my NEW (soon to grow?) family, that I had in my old family. And I hate to admit it, but I'm a little fearful I won't be able to relate to my future kids in the ways I always expected I would (on an intellectual level). .I just think back to all the friends in high school I merely "tolerated" but was really yawning the whole time. Will I experience that same type of frustration that comes with trying to reason with someone who just "doesn't get it"? I realize children have different levels they operate on, but even as a child, my Mom and I or my Dad and I would have deep discussions about theoretical things, and it was really one of my greatest joys, to connect with them like that. I can't imagine not connecting with my future children like that, but the reality is, I can't connect with my husband like that.

 

At the least, I'd want them to be good communicators (sort of genetically, as in, they have the ability to meet me close to my level when we talk), but my hubby doesn't really fulfill that (it's just something we've kind of worked around). I know it begs the question, "how do you tolerate your hubby?" It's a long story. We just work as life partners, kind of in the way that opposite attract. But I don't know if I could handle 4 other mini-non-communicators, and then I'd feel soooo outnumbered.

 

I have this mental image of me sitting at Thanksgiving dinner with my adult children, and it feeling how I feel when I don't have anyone near my intelligence in the room/group....that kind of isolated/bored feeling (not that that is bad; I adapt to it; but I just never thought I would have to around my own family). That is how I feel when I go to Thanksgiving at my husbands' family's. Whereas with my family, I'm always finally excited to connect on a deeper level and not have to dumb myself down.

 

I realize the people in this forum DO have gifted children, so my worry is kind of moot for you, but I am assuming quite a few of you are gifted yourselves. I'm wondering if you ever thought of the prospect of what life would be like if you were the only "gifted" one in your new family?

 

I hope this isn't coming across as snobby, because that isn't me. It's just that, these are my inner-most worries, and I need someone else that understands.

 

Do you all have "gifted" spouses? Could I be wrong in assuming my husband's intelligence is quite lower than mine, since he IS good at math, but just a poor wordsmith? (by poor wordsmith, I mean, if you saw an essay he wrote, you'd assume his IQ was 100)

 

Do your children's IQ's end up being more like an average (mean) of you and your spouse's, or is it more like....some kids get the higher IQ, some get the average IQ? (It's hard to tell by looking at my parents and us, since both parents are high IQ).

 

I just need some advice........I hope I haven't offended anyone......thanks.

 

PS---I am writing this at like 3 AM, after being up way too long. It rambled a lot, so forgive me if it doesn't flow well. I went back and deleted a lot of the wordy-ness, but I realize it's still wordy.

 

I also want to wrap up by saying that I certainly don't think I am in any way superior to others. I am just trying to find others who can relate to where I'm coming from....i.e., what it is to be "gifted" in a world where you aren't "average" or "the norm." But the problem is, it's YOUR norm, and like all humans, we want the luxury of being understood on our level.

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#2 of 89 Old 12-02-2010, 04:43 AM
 
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I have to wonder if my father thought the same thing before having me.  My parents both come from intelligent families but with two VERY different types of intelligence.  My mom's side is very math orientated and pretty visual-spatial.  Last time I was visiting my uncle he pulled up the family genealogy and I was just shocked about how far back my family was filled with engineers, mathematicians, etc.  We did have some judges/lawyers too but I guess there's a lot of logic in that also.  Many of my family members seem to be good artists, though, but I know they struggle with stuff like reading.  While my mom will have some crazy philosophical conversations with me I can't get her to read any of the millions of books I go through.  

On the other hand, my father's side is definitely literature and music orientated (and much more auditory-sequential).  Just to give you an idea my grandma and him used to send back and forth newspaper typos that they had found for fun.  That's a pretty big contrast to my mom who can barely spell her own name!  I don't know as much about their genealogy BUT my dad has a lot of brothers and sisters and they ALL are excellent musicians and very, very well-read.  

I'm their only child (they divorced shortly after I was born) but I'm pretty well-balanced between the two.  I would say I'm more on the visual-spatial side of things (and ended up in a math related field) BUT I'm a voracious reader and love to write and play music even if I can't spell very well. I get along with both sides of my family fairly well, although I do think I click more with my mom's side.  My dad's side is great but I was never the cheerleader/football player type and for some reason all my cousins are.  

Genetics is such a funny thing.  You really don't know what to expect.  While DD initially looked the spitting image of DH, she now is more of a mix between us (but still strongly resembles him).  I thought when it came to her milestones and early personality she was more like DH too but then my mom found an old letter from my dad when I was 18 months old and she was basically exactly like I was at that age (even down to the spitting massive amounts of half chewed food out, yuck!).  Even the parts of her that are not at all like me I have absolutely grown to love (doesn't mean our days are all roses and sunshine but we get through them).  I think it's also worth mentioning that a child's personality is NOT entirely ingrained at birth.  DH barely ever reads fiction but he was never, ever read to as a child so he doesn't have a basis for it.  DD loves all types of books (as do I) but she's been read to non-stop from birth.  These things do play a role.  

I should say, I'm not a fan of hot-housing or pushing kids to learn a certain thing, especially at a young age (it doesn't sound like you are either) but I DO think that the environment plays a role and that a loving, interesting environment will help a child to reach their full potential (whatever that might be).  I'm also sure that other moms with more than one child will come on here and tell you that every kid is different so the chance of you having four clones of your DH is pretty unlikely!  I know my half-sister and I are extremely different (although we get along well) and my mom had completely different challenges in raising the two of us.

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#3 of 89 Old 12-02-2010, 04:53 AM
 
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I have two sons. They both look very similar, but my older son is mentally me to a T and my younger son is a carbon copy of my DH. But, unlike my DH, my younger son is a voracious reader as am I(and always have been). But with my older son... holy cow, it's uncanny the extent to which he is manifesting the same behaviors and mental/emotional strengths of mine. There's not been any coaching or steering or anything else, it's just what it is. And other people who are around us pick up on it quite quickly.... that DS1 is like me, and DS2 is like DH. 

 

I can't really speak to much on the "non-gifted" spouse thing. My DH is hard to figure out. He IS absolutely intelligent, but he is, IMO, very hampered by certain philosophical beliefs he's adopted and refuses to budge from. It's like he refuses to think past these "beliefs" he's created, and it can be frustrating to converse with him. His parents also did not encourage him in ANY way academically, and he was a very poor student. But again, while it's hard to be sure, I don't think it was because of lower intelligence or not being smart enough, it was that no one even attempted to relay to him the importance of learning and being successful, so instead he goofed around and made trouble. And that problem just festers. 

 

He is now a very quick learner, and he has been very successful in several careers he's had. But we're not on the same level in some things, and it just is what it is. I pursue my strengths on my own, he on his. 

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#4 of 89 Old 12-02-2010, 04:58 AM
 
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I would suggest some therapy for you before you have kids.

 

It sounds like your family of origin has really self-defined along one of the (several) axes of intelligence and that your history as a gifted child is leading you down a road that could be really detrimental to your own family. As someone who had a daughter who, had she survived, would have been profoundly brain-damaged I have to tell you that not only are genetics no guarantee, there are many other factors that can result in kids who do not fit a norm in either sense (general population, or the norm for your family).

 

Kids come out different from us as well as the same and part of being a parent is creating an environment where that is okay. It's not that you have to give up your preferred mode of living to raise kids, but you will need to be flexible to their needs - not out of tolerance or obligation but because you see the human beings they are.  It's not as hard as it sounds theoretically, but getting rid of some of your baggage now will help.

 

As a PP said, how your family works will impact on how your children grow, but it's not a guarantee - both my sister and I were read to and raised in a very book-rich environment from an early age (I actually started reading before age 3) and I'm a reader and she's not. That said, she is the more traditionally successful of the two of us and has much higher social intelligence, perhaps partly because she was not as defined by 'giftedness' as I was.

 

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#5 of 89 Old 12-02-2010, 06:53 AM
 
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Welcome to MDC.

 

I agree with the suggestion of therapy. It would be a good idea to sort some of this out and get to a place where you can approach parenthood from a more mature place. While some of that can only happen through experience, there is a value in working through some of your stuff first.

 

While this is on the surface a gifted issue, really what you are describing is similar to what a lot of new parents have trouble sorting out. It is the same stuff that causes parents to be crushed when they have a clumsy kid when they'd been planning to raise a sports star. Or, when they have a spirited boundary pushing kid when they'd told themselves for years in the grocery store "my kid will never act like that." Or, to be crushed when they wanted a popular kid and get a quiet bookish nerd. These thought patterns can be really destructive. These expectations can hurt your kid and they can deny your family happiness. There are no guarantees in childhood. You get what you get and it can all change overnight.

 

For me personally some of the greatest parts of parenting have been the unexpected as it is through those experiences I have grown and deepened as a person. It has allowed me to develop beyond just that quick witted person you are describing and to grow in many ways including emotionally. The child I'm parenting is NOTHING like what I would have described ahead of time that I wanted. In pretty much every way he's different. If you'd asked me ahead of time I would have said I'd like a highly verbal, spirited, sassy, nonconformist extrovert, jock of a daughter who loved politics. Instead I got a sweet, uncoordinated, introverted boy who loves math. And, you know what, he's exactly the right kid for me.

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#6 of 89 Old 12-02-2010, 06:54 AM
 
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I have a few thoughts. 

 

My first thought is that your kids may be way smarter than you...but they're still not going to be able to converse with you at your level for years & years.  You may have a year or more in which they hold up their end of the conversation exclusively in cries and giggles.  And, in fact, they may end up being so much smarter than you that they don't have the patience to talk to you

 

The attitude that you have, that only gifted people are fun for you to talk to (and that people will always "get" you if they're gifted), does not mesh well with my experience.  And though I can identify with the frustration you felt being in school, surrounded by ND people and being forced to do schoolwork at their level, that is not something I have felt since then.  I don't feel it at the dinner table, even when I am dining with my ND friends or relatives or in-laws, and I certainly don't feel it when I am dining with a child, gifted or not.  I have also met many gifted people I find to be extremely annoying and who I'd hate to have to eat a meal with.

 

So will you have a good dynamic with your own children?  That's up to you and up to them.  IMO, intelligence has nothing to do with it.

 

Now, all that said, I can understand wanting to have children who share your traits.  I'm glad my DD is gifted, and she does fit in better with my family because of it (since DH & I are both gifted).  On the other hand, we are also both tall and so far it seems like DD won't be.  Before she was born, perhaps that would have bothered me, but after she was born nothing about her could have bothered me.  I know you don't get this yet, because you're not yet a mother, but when DD was born she could have been profoundly mentally and physically disabled, and it would not have changed one bit the love I have for her.

 

Finally, I have to say that unless you know your own IQ score and that of your husband, I don't think you know your relative intelligence.  And I don't think that it matters.  If you get each other and it works, why wouldn't you assume that you could make it work with your own children? 

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#7 of 89 Old 12-02-2010, 08:14 AM
 
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How well you do with another person has more to do with personality than anything. My brother and I are both gifted and we NEVER meshed. Most of my many cousins had the label but we barely tolerate each other as we were all raised so differently. My DH is gifted and has 3 gifted sisters and he only really connects with two of them. My kids are both gifted but they don't fill my need for connection and conversation. My eldest is incredibly private and shares little. My youngest is my little buddy but his thought processes are so different from mine that we aren't often on the same page on things. Plus, they are kids (10 and 13.) They don't have the life experience to really connect with me as an equal. DH and I are magic though and yes, we are both gifted but more than that, we are truely compatible personalities and I adore him. I have, over the years, collected a wonderful group of friends, some gifted, some not and I look to them as well as DH for the different sorts of intellectual and emotional stimulation I need. It really isn't the job of our children to provide that. 

 

Do I ever feel out of place intellectually? Sometimes, but only when I'm with a group of people who have willfully remained ignorant... not with people who may be of average intelligence but have a healthy curiousity in the world around them.

 

It is normal to fear that your kids will be too much for you to handle. I had scads of dreams that my eldest would be smarter than me and I'd be unable to keep up with her. While she's certainly more accomplished than I ever was at her age, my fear that I'd be unable to parent her was totally unfounded. My youngest was different because he had several markers for a genetic disorder. My only fear was that he wouldn't survive... the fact that he might be mentally impaired was the least of my fears. He turned out to be a healthy little boy thankfully.

 

 

 


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#8 of 89 Old 12-02-2010, 09:39 AM
 
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What I see from your post, isn't that your Dh is less intelligent than you, but that you only see one way of being intelligent.  Intelligence isn't a one dimensional thing, it is complex.  That's why IQ tests have a bunch of subsections.  

 

Even if intelligence were a simple thing that could be easily quantified, it also isn't 100% genetic.  Environment plays a roll also.  Environment is especially influential when it come to verbal ability (one of the reasons many admissions tests to gifted kindergartens put little or no wait to verbal ability, since it selects mostly based on socio-economic level.)

 

My mom spent her entire marriage claiming to be much smarter than my dad, but trust me she wasn't.  Don't get me wrong, my mom was smart and all, but really my dad's very smart too.  The thing is, my mom wasn't very good at getting other people (I suspect she may have been aspie, but was done with school before such things were looked for.)  She just was unable to understand the things dad was good at and therefore wrote them off as unimportant.

 

You kids will be what they will be.  Two super intelligent people, with perfect genes and provide the perfect stimulating environment, can end up with a child with an IQ below 70.  Two pretty dim people, who just park the kid in front of the TV can end up with a brilliant child.  What actually matters, is if they love, value and meet the needs of that child.


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#9 of 89 Old 12-02-2010, 09:47 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobcat View Post
 My husband doesn't quite fit in with my family's "highly functional" (intelligence-wise) dynamic, but we still love him, and treat him as we would anyone who isn't us, which is with respect.

 

Please read this comment and imagine what you'd think if someone said it to you. It sounds so awful that I don't even have anything constructive to say other than I actually feel sorry for your husband if he knows you feel this way. He's not your pet or the paper boy. He's your life partner.

 

You need to do some serious soul-searching about why you 1) feel you're so much better than every single person around you save your parents and sibling and 2) why you married someone you clearly feel is beneath you. I don't think this concern is about your future children at all but rather about how you've been set up by your parents (and maybe educators as well?) to think you're just so damned smart that no one you've ever met compares. You say that you don't feel superior, but your post certainly comes across that way.

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#10 of 89 Old 12-02-2010, 09:57 AM
 
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It sounds like you think of your husband as someone who's slow but that you have decided to take into your 'gifted' fold as a charity case. I can't say I have any advice other than to really think about how this attitude could affect your husband. I can't imagine that you want him to feel unintelligent or for your future children to see him as intellectually inferior to them. That could make for a difficult family dynamic. My husband and I both have high IQs with mine being just a couple points higher than his. Our children's intelligence varies, a couple are better at math and another is better at word, but we treat them all the same and try to never make one feel different. My advice would be to forget about IQ points and relax, does it really matter if your husband isn't able to join you at your next mensa meeting?

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#11 of 89 Old 12-02-2010, 10:12 AM
 
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Wow gifted bobcat. After reading your post I sat mentally composing an incredibly witty and snarky response and then remembered this is not the place for snarky, but for women and mothers to provide support and understanding for each other.  Please spend some time in reflection either on your own or with a competent professional before you embark on the journey to motherhood. Believe me, once you become a mother, it is no longer all about you and how to meet your intellectual needs. It just breaks my heart to think of a child growing up in an environment where he or she is considered not good enough.

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#12 of 89 Old 12-02-2010, 10:29 AM
 
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Don't have time for a detailed response, but wanted to throw out a couple of things that jumped out at me from your post.

 

You didn't state your IQ, but I suspect that maybe you and your family of origin are all profoundly gifted.  There is a big difference between profoundly gifted and moderately gifted, so if that is the case, then I can understand how you could have a harder time relating to people with average IQs.  While I can have wonderful and intellectually stimulating conversations with people of average intelligence, I do feel a disconnect with people who are below average sometimes, so perhaps that is what you feel with people who are of average intelligence if you are PG. 

 

You mention several times that you have to "dumb yourself down" around other people outside of your family.  You are not comfortable being yourself around anyone outside of your own family.  If you stop attempting to dumb yourself down to fit in, then you have a better chance of finding people with whom you really will fit in.  It sounds like maybe you learned to do that as a survival technique when growing up, and maybe you should try unlearning it to see how it works out?

 

It sounds like the biggest issue is that you have a need in your life that is unfulfilled.  You need intellectually stimulating conversation, and you are hoping that eventually your children will fulfill that need.  They may, but not for awhile, and as others have said, there are no guarantees.  I think you should work on finding a way of meeting this need in your life because unless your own needs are met, it will be much more difficult for you to meet the needs of your children.  For myself, I have a wonderful group of friends that I primarily chat online, as well as a handful of local friends that I can see in person.

 

Sorry so choppy--on my way out the door.  Welcome!

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#13 of 89 Old 12-02-2010, 10:57 AM
 
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Here's another perspective. Instead of thinking of other people as gifted or not, I tend to view people through the lens of personality theory, specifically Myers Briggs (MBTI).   That being said, my daughter is a perfect combination of my type and my husbands type.  She has a little bit of me and a little bit of him, and there's a wildcard in there that is completely HER.  I am INTP, he is ISTJ, dd is INFJ (what I think now, of course children grow and change and over time this opinion of mine may change).  We are both introverts, she is undeniably an introvert.  I am intuitive, he is sensing, I'm not exactly too sure of this component just yet but I'm leaning towards N.  She's a feeler and we are not.  That's the part of her that is unique to her.  She is an individual separate from us even though she came from us.  She is Judging like her father, unlike me.  So I wanted to offer this explanation about people because simply viewing people as gifted or not gives a weak and incomplete picture.  MBTI theory certainly isn't perfect either but it is a more complete snapshot of someone's personality IMO.  What you are describing is personality and not IQ level.  I've met people with IQ's the same as mine but found them to be complete asses or they were interested in different things.  Interpersonal dynamics is about personalities.  Bottom line.


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#14 of 89 Old 12-02-2010, 11:17 AM
 
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I type this with my 4yo running in and out of the kitchen and my 6mo rolling on the floor.  BOTH of them might be more intelligent than me (i am not a genius, IQ 146, so kind of borderline with "bright").  DP is brighter than me, and in all the ways i lack (maths mainly! LOL).  XP is IQ-higher than normal, but not as high as me and he is very gifted musically (i've got receptive amusia so he's way way beyond me in that regard) and DD1 has inherited his musical abilities.  

 

Honestly, i would think carefully before having kids.  My DD1 is DEFINITELY as bright as me (examples, age 28months the guy came to read the electricity meter and when he told her what he was there for she fetched him a measuring tape, she is linguistically sophisticated, yesterday her step-dad told her he felt it was too dark to go out and she replied "be that as it may, i am going out to play" with a smile).  But she is NOT interesting, intellectually, to raise.  She is hard work.  She asks me questions i know the answers to.  She asks me them 300 times until she has the answer EXACTLY how she wants it, in her store of knowledge.  It is boring.  It is frustrating.  It is sometimes infuriating.  One day, when she's 20, we might be conversing on an intellectual level which would fulfill me, but if i'd had her for that reason or even with that as a consideration i would be VERY unhappy with my task of raising her and potentially setting myself up for a huge fall.  Ditto the baby.  I love my kids, truly, i would do anything for them, but they aren't stimulating or worthy intellectual peers at the moment, and i can see when they are of an age that they might be they may well be SO far beyond me that they won't have time to waste entertaining their boring mother.

 

PP's are correct, there is no point in having kids for you.  My intellectual needs are met across a broad number and type of people.  My partner meets some, friends meet many more, some are met on here!  And some of my friends now are very average, IQ wise, and honestly, it took parenthood for ME to mature enough to appreciate those people as they deserve.  I used to think less intellectual people were dull, but i now realise i was so busy racing off with my tangential convoluted thoughts i failed to see them for what they were - fascinating, wonderful, interesting but DIFFERENT TO ME in a way that it took me a long time to be mature enough to appreciate.

 

I kind of think parenthood is a great leveller, for this reason.  The tasks of parenting are mostly boring, repetitive, hard work and thankless.  It doesn't matter how many books one read (or wrote) in coming to decisions on HOW to parent, the actual task is still often a grind.  

 

Also, i kind of felt about XP like you do about your DH.  I realise now that a) we were a bad match because i was unwilling to accept i had intellectual needs from a partner he couldn't/wasn't meeting (my mother was less intellectual than my father and i - very intelligent, astute, practical and courageous, but not intellectual, and the weird dynamic this created made ME feel like i should be able to treat everyone as an intellectual equal and it was snobbery not to, i now realise i SHOULD be able to appreciate everyone on their individual merits, but also that if i have needs within a relationship i do myself no favours by trying to deny them), and b) because of that "he's not as smart" attitude i had i was actually unable to appreciate his many other qualities.  Don't get me wrong, we were NEVER going to be a good match, but it was no-one's fault and i tried to make it (in my head) his fault for not being smart enough, or my fault for being so demanding on that level - in fact both of those are true, but neither were anyone's fault and it got VERY messy and hurtful for us both when we behaved like they were.  I think relationship therapy might be a good step for you.

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#15 of 89 Old 12-02-2010, 11:40 AM
 
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I think you probably should not try guessing your husband's intelligence based on his communication style.

 

Personality plays a part in that too, as well as upbringing.  I've known some highly intelligent people who were extremely curmudgeonly with their words.  There's also the matter of different types of intelligence.  Perhaps social intelligence is not a forte for either you or your husband, but he's got a head for numbers and you've got an overall academic ability above most of the rest of us.

 

As for your kids, you'll probably get some sort of mix.  Either they'll all fall somewhere in between you and your husband, or you'll get a couple like you, and a couple like him.  If you provide a highly communicative atmosphere and model that type of communicative relationship, more than likely they'll lean more towards your style.  However, if you are looking for intellectual peers, it would be terribly unfair to burden your children with that expectation. That's not a child's job, to fulfill their parents intellectual (or emotional, or physical) needs.  Rather, it is the *parents* job to make sure the needs of a child are met so that he or she has the opportunity to develop into a functional adult who can eventually meet their own needs. 

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#16 of 89 Old 12-02-2010, 11:55 AM
 
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Just have a second but wanted to say quickly that educational background or extensive knowledge in an area of interest does not equal IQ. My DH and I studied very different things and have totally different careers...he doesn't have too much knowledge about what I studied; I don't have any knowledge about what he studied. If I predicted his IQ based only on what he knows about my areas of interest, it wouldn't be an accurate assessment of his IQ. Likewise, if he based my IQ on what I  know about math/engineering, I would definitely fall short. In reality, I'd be willing to bet that we have a pretty similar IQ. We've both thought for a while now that our ds is way smarter than we are...

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#17 of 89 Old 12-02-2010, 12:05 PM
 
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Could I be wrong in assuming my husband's intelligence is quite lower than mine, since he IS good at math, but just a poor wordsmith? (by poor wordsmith, I mean, if you saw an essay he wrote, you'd assume his IQ was 100)

 

Yes. Your husband could have strong gifts in visual/spatial/math and be gifted. Some people who are strongly visual/spatially oriented prefer that method of thinking and communicating, so that they don't rely on verbal skills as much. You sound like you're highly verbal, but that's only one aspect of IQ. Y ou might want to read up on visual spatial thinkers so that you can understand him a little better.

 

Do your children's IQ's end up being more like an average (mean) of you and your spouse's, or is it more like....some kids get the higher IQ,

some get the average IQ? (It's hard to tell by looking at my parents and us, since both parents are high IQ).

 

Children tend to be within 10 IQ points of their parents.

 

If you're lucky, your children will have both their father's visual/spatial/math gifts and your family's verbal gifts.

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Don't have time for a detailed response, but wanted to throw out a couple of things that jumped out at me from your post.

 

You didn't state your IQ, but I suspect that maybe you and your family of origin are all profoundly gifted.  There is a big difference between profoundly gifted and moderately gifted, so if that is the case, then I can understand how you could have a harder time relating to people with average IQs.  While I can have wonderful and intellectually stimulating conversations with people of average intelligence, I do feel a disconnect with people who are below average sometimes, so perhaps that is what you feel with people who are of average intelligence if you are PG. 

 

You mention several times that you have to "dumb yourself down" around other people outside of your family.  You are not comfortable being yourself around anyone outside of your own family.  If you stop attempting to dumb yourself down to fit in, then you have a better chance of finding people with whom you really will fit in.  It sounds like maybe you learned to do that as a survival technique when growing up, and maybe you should try unlearning it to see how it works out?

 

It sounds like the biggest issue is that you have a need in your life that is unfulfilled.  You need intellectually stimulating conversation, and you are hoping that eventually your children will fulfill that need.  They may, but not for awhile, and as others have said, there are no guarantees.  I think you should work on finding a way of meeting this need in your life because unless your own needs are met, it will be much more difficult for you to meet the needs of your children.  For myself, I have a wonderful group of friends that I primarily chat online, as well as a handful of local friends that I can see in person.

 

Sorry so choppy--on my way out the door.  Welcome!

 

Puddle, thank you posting with an assumption of the best of the OP. Regardless of whether or not one agrees with her, there is really no rational reason to respond to her with vitriol and feigned pity, veiled in aggressive rebukes, and it is really lovely that you didn't do that.

 

Bobcat, I do understand your concerns about your unknown future children, but I want to reiterate what pps wrote: when you birth your baby, your whole world will look different. If your baby ended up unable to speak at all, you would resent your family for not doing everything necessary to welcome her and include her in their real discussions and real life (of course it is unlikely that they wouldn't do so, given your description). Loving people will go to the proverbial ends of the earth to make the situation work. This is why we have sign language and myriad other non-typical (but truly awesome) ways to communicate with one another.

 

You seem like a genuine person to me from your post, so I highly doubt you would be heart-broken with NT children. They will be so important to you, that you will work the world around them if they can't work the world themselves.

 

Also, if you do spend some time at this forum, you will find that there are certain topics that evoke ire in disproportion to the intention of the person truly, sincerely seeking answers and experiences. Also, this forum goes through cycles it seems, and there are times when posting sensitive topics is best left until a later time. Posting really personal, difficult questions with myriad nuances and obvious need for a comprehensive discussion, rather than rash reactions, during typical higher-stress times for families, such as now, is likely to bring a mixed set of responses leaning generally in a not-so-friendly way.

 

It can be very difficult to express accurately what you have here, no matter how many caveats and how intricate your prefacing. I know what you are referring to, but I also think you can truly relax, unless you are expressing an underlying regret that you chose your partner, and that's okay too. If it's not truly working, then you have work to do to sort that out in whatever way is rationally best for you.

 

Both dp and I are PG, and our children are all immensely communicative from before birth even, but they all communicate differently. Our fourth child didn't speak until he was 18 months old, but he was absolutely understood, even by friends and strangers before that. He is so companionable, that it was unnoticeable that he wasn't speaking all that time. He turned three, three weeks ago, and yesterday, he picked up a book and said, "Do not engage this spider!!!" I replied, "No? Why not?" His response, "Because he's very dangerous and he could bite you and then you would be dead." My point is that you will already have learned how to communicate with each child long before s/he speaks, and there is no rush! And, children will live in their environment in the way that most benefits them. We like to talk here, too, and while ds4 took longer to join with spoken language, he certainly didn't lose time. But besides this, you will have so much to communicate already, that wordsmithing together would just be an incidental activity you do. My other children have all spoken understandable words beginning at two months old. It didn't make the difference though; they didn't have to speak in English because I already know what they need through far more intricate communication than language affords. Being properly attached and bonded with your babies will allow you to not only not notice if they are not wordsmiths, but if at some point you do notice that, it just won't matter.

 

I think if you are conscientious and self-aware, as you seem to be, you are not going to have trouble figuring this all out in real-time. Stop dumbing down socially, too. Doing so naturally prevents you from meeting people you would otherwise delight in befriending. And don't be frightened away from this forum either, but do make sure you have a very thick skin when asking for advice, and focus on the constructive parts: ignore the others because people come with all sorts of baggage. Most people do not have access to what you are describing in yourself, so they will find you and your admissions offensive. If that's not helpful to you, just ignore it, even if it hurts just a little at first. I have taken long breaks from this forum at various points, and between the end of August and January, it's not as open and friendly overall, as at other times, in my experience. That seems to be the same for the whole board with some exceptions.

 

Welcome. :)

 

ETA: I second Marimara's recommendation to look into MBTI.
 


Well, I've been absent for 8 months, and during that time, it turns out that I have completely transformed. You are all precious. Thank you for being here and sharing your lives. You are truly a gift. namaste.gif Jan. 23, 2012

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#19 of 89 Old 12-02-2010, 12:32 PM
 
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Puddle, thank you posting with an assumption of the best of the OP. Regardless of whether or not one agrees with her, there is really no rational reason to respond to her with vitriol and feigned pity, veiled in aggressive rebukes, and it is really lovely that you didn't do that.

 

Bobcat

Also, if you do spend some time at this forum, you will find that there are certain topics that evoke ire in disproportion to the intention of the person truly, sincerely seeking answers and experiences. Also, this forum goes through cycles it seems, and there are times when posting sensitive topics is best left until a later time. Posting really personal, difficult questions with myriad nuances and obvious need for a comprehensive discussion, rather than rash reactions, during typical higher-stress times for families, such as now, is likely to bring a mixed set of responses leaning generally in a not-so-friendly way.

 

 

I was not feigning pity in my comment that I felt for her husband. I sincerely feel sorry for someone who is with a partner who thinks he's stupid. That's exactly how her post came across. She and her family kindly put up with him. I would be devastated if I knew my husband and his family felt that way about me.

 

I also don't think it's fair to blame the posters for disliking what the OP said. I can admit that one of my greatest fears before my children were born was that one of them would not be above average in intellectual ability because I wasn't sure how I would handle that or alter my expectations for my children. It is something that concerned me in the way that I suppose other people worry about physical malformations. The problem that I have with the OP's world view, and the reason that I believe she should spend some serious time in thought is that she clearly believes her husband isn't her equal. That's not a good starting point for a marriage, but it certainly isn't a place from which one should want to raise children together. The second concern is that she expects her children to be her intellectual companions. As others have said, even if they're profoundly gifted, they're not going to have the depth of knowledge she has for many years, which could leave them feeling deficient because Mom is looking for some family-table conversation to fill her intellectual cup. 
 

I've never understood the dumbing myself down thing. I've opted not to have many friends rather than spend time being bored by people. I went to college at 12. No one wanted to be my friend. I was the freak. That was okay with me, but obviously the OP has social needs she hasn't be able to meet throughout her life. Hoping that her children will be able to meet them isn't a good solution. That's what I would say anytime of the year. 


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#20 of 89 Old 12-02-2010, 01:20 PM
 
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I have this mental image of me sitting at Thanksgiving dinner with my adult children, and it feeling how I feel when I don't have anyone near my intelligence in the room/group....that kind of isolated/bored feeling (not that that is bad; I adapt to it; but I just never thought I would have to around my own family). That is how I feel when I go to Thanksgiving at my husbands' family's. Whereas with my family, I'm always finally excited to connect on a deeper level and not have to dumb myself down.

 

People can be very smart but that doesn't make them fun or exciting to be around. People can be of average intelligence and be a blast to hang out with. You seem to be unaware of that. If I were you I think I would focus more on developing my own social skills rather than trying to "dumb" myself down. Enormous intelligence isn't a useful factor in starting a family if the corresponding emotional abilities are lacking.

 

Your feelings for your husband come across as cold and remote and that is not a place to start a family from. And as others have said more eloquently then I could-expecting your children to meet an unmet need of your own is a recipe for disaster. It is no different then the unfulfilled athlete expecting and driving his son to be a football star. Your children need to be who they are, not who you want them to be.

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#21 of 89 Old 12-02-2010, 01:49 PM
 
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The issue seems to be that you don't feel comfortable and at ease around your husband’s family but you do around your own and fear a future of that at your own table. I understand that. But I think that you are mistaking some of the reasons why you feel that way.

 

I will always be more at ease around my own family than I will around my husband’s family. Sometimes it does feel like it stems from a difference of intellect. Though I have no doubt when I think about it that my husband’s family is very bright. He is a very intelligent man and I sincerely doubt the apple fell to far from the tree. The issue is really differing values, traditions, expectations, and priorities in his family than in my own. They just aren’t what I know and am comfortable and familiar with.

 

Honestly it would be easy to see my family dynamics coming from the fact that we are all of above average intelligence. But, that would fail to acknowledge that we really do all have vastly differing intelligence. I am very bright but childhood IQ scores did not label me as gifted. My younger brother is moderately gifted, while my older brother is profoundly gifted. But the siblings with the most ease and comfort are my older brother and I, the two with the most differing intelligence.

 

My brother loves me because I accept him quirks and all and up until he met his wife I would be the person in this world he would say understood him the best. It can be hard to be profoundly gifted and find peers in other children who are okay with the fact that you are a bit different. But our siblings do. They are there and part of our lives and they see the good and the bad allowing us to be ourselves. They are who we put our guard down with and that bond is unique.

 

I’d simply work on building a loving and accepting home and your children will learn to support each other just like you support them no matter what their IQ level is. It’s about being family not about being of equivalent intelligence.

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#22 of 89 Old 12-02-2010, 01:56 PM
 
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Welcome, Bobcat.

 

I'm glad you're thinking about these things before kids, as I think it's good to work stuff through before taking on the enormous job of child rearing and in order to live a fuller, more realized life.  What I hear in your post is concern about your husband.  It sounds like you need to work through the complexities of your marriage.  It doesn't really matter if your IQs are similar if you get along and enjoy each others company.

 

Are you familiar with theories on personality types (ie Myers-Briggs)?   IMO and IME, personality, inclinations, interests, areas of strength etc play as much a role in how people are as does IQ.

 

No one can tell you where your child's IQ may end up.  When you choose to have children, you are choosing to accept the unknown and accepting things which are outside of your control.  Children are so much more than IQ, and you may be compatible or incompatible with your child with respect to learning style, interests, preferences, abilities of all kinds.  I'm well past the hard-work-completely-dependent-minor stage, but my kids still have interests, passions and styles which are very different from what I would select for myself. Bt as their parent I support, engage with and listen to their areas of interests and their individual styles of expression.  I actually find the ways in which they are different from me as engaging as the ways in which we are similar, because I value them as individuals independent of me.  This isn't so different in some ways from the mom who hates sports but has the hockey-crazed child who spends off-season preparing for the season.  It's part of the mom gig. 

 

Your family of origin is a unique grouping, and likely wouldn't be replicated given that it will be a different grouping of people with their own unique spin on things.

 

I like the term code-switching, rather than this notion of "dumbing down."  Code-switching is where you adapt your language to meet the context you're in, and opens one up to more meaningful discussion with others when it's not set up heirarchically.  I really enjoy talking to people from all kinds of backgrounds and don't assume I'm smarter than, wiser than or have nothing to learn from someone who approaches the world differently than I do.  This approach has made my relationships richer and my experiences in the world more robust.

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#23 of 89 Old 12-02-2010, 02:23 PM
 
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I like the term code-switching, rather than this notion of "dumbing down."  Code-switching is where you adapt your language to meet the context you're in, and opens one up to more meaningful discussion with others when it's not set up heirarchically.  I really enjoy talking to people from all kinds of backgrounds and don't assume I'm smarter than, wiser than or have nothing to learn from someone who approaches the world differently than I do.  This approach has made my relationships richer and my experiences in the world more robust. 

 

This is great!

 

Just because there is a different dynamic doesn't mean that the other people are unintelligent, boring, or anything else negative.  They're *different*.  It is a very useful skill to be able to engage with people who are not the same as you, without feeling that they are of lesser intellect (or lesser anything) than you.  I made this mistake with my husband, and wounded him deeply.  He is incredibly intelligent, but he struggles with reading, both in English and his native languages.  I was so arrogant to assume that his difficulties with reading and with English fluency translated into a lesser intellect.  Not only is he plenty smart, there are many areas in which he is far, far more skilled than I.  Business management being one of them, as I have discovered while trying to fill his shoes in our business while he's away.

 

I have a very unique family of origin too.  Highly intellectual, extremely literary.  We kids basically got a very rich and full parallel education all through our school years...through our dinner-time and evening conversations with our parents.  We got the foundation for learning new languages, a little bit of Latin, great teaching and practice in rhetoric, logic, and philosophy, even a good bit of medical knowledge (my folks are doctors).  Just because other people can't make puns in Latin and don't discuss intestinal parasites over their spaghetti doesn't make them unintelligent or uninteresting.  There will always be something special about the relationships I have in my family of origin, but if I cannot connect with people who are different from me and my family, the problem is not with other people.  It's something I need to work on myself.

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#24 of 89 Old 12-02-2010, 02:25 PM
 
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One thing nobody has mentioned is Gardner's 8 types of intelligence. Bobcat, you seem to really value linguistic intelligence and other more academic intelligences, which are great in some ways, and totally useless in others. Consider that even if you don't have somebody who provides dinner-table repartee and can't spell his way out of a paper bag, perhaps he will be able to dance so well that it brings tears to your eyes, or he has excellent intuition about interpersonal relationships and is a natural leader. Your husband must have some good things going for him or you would not have married him, right? If he's handy, kind, and cracks a good joke, would it be the worst thing in the world if your kids end up a combo. of you and him, or even if they end up as chips off the old block?

 

You don't have kids yet, and one of the scary and exciting aspects of becoming a parent is that you are taking a gamble - you don't know if you'll end up with a Mozart or an Average Joe, but part of the joy of parenting is getting to find out who this kid is and figuring out how to nurture them so that they can make the most of their individual strengths and talents. One of the things I reminded myself of (because I was very anxious about having a mentally disabled child) is that one fall out of a tree at age 8, one car crash at age 16, one IED explosion at age 21 could damage your child's brain and alter their personality; there are no guarantees. The second that you conceive, you are taking a gamble and embracing whatever manifests itself. Having a child will make you grow and stretch and accomodate another person's needs and temperament in ways you can hardly imagine. Honestly, I would assume that if you are a smart parent, you will have a pretty smart kid. Moreover, you will rear your children in a home where conversation is valued and critical thinking is encouraged, so you are likely to have children who grow up to be articulate, thoughtful adults.


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#25 of 89 Old 12-02-2010, 02:26 PM
 
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Double post. D'oh!


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#26 of 89 Old 12-02-2010, 02:28 PM
 
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Triple post. Double D'oh! What is going on here?


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#27 of 89 Old 12-02-2010, 02:47 PM
 
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Interesting, interesting. 

 

I love the term "code-switching" ... thanks for bringing that up, joensally!

I'm a published author of nine books, and also a paramedic, and a mama.  The ways that I communicate (with my editor, versus a patient, versus mamas at the park or their children, versus with my partner) are many and varied.  If I communicated the way that I do with my editor in all aspects of my life, I would sound ridiculous!

 

 

To the OP ... It is so wise to be doing the hard thinking now, before you become a mama.  Thank you for you candor and your frankness.  It is refreshing.  I have a couple of questions for you.

 

1.  Do you find any solace or relief in not having to be intellectually 'on' all the time with your husband?  My ex and I were always having deep, philosophical or academic discussions with each other that would go on for hours, or days, or months, and to be honest, it was often more exhausting than stimulating.  I love my partner now for being so present and in the moment and not needing to process or intellectualize everything.  It is refreshing and much more sustainable to my sanity.  I find her approach to life inspiring and want more of that for myself.

 

2.  What would you do, or how would you manage, if your child is not only not gifted, but delayed, either somewhat or profoundly?   Or if your child or husband had a head injury that left them with deficits?


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#28 of 89 Old 12-02-2010, 02:50 PM
 
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Your family of origin is a unique grouping, and likely wouldn't be replicated given that it will be a different grouping of people with their own unique spin on things.



I think this is a really good point.  Coming from a great family background, my ideal before children was to do just what my parents did and have what they had.  Life doesn't work out like that, but I wouldn't change a thing.  smile.gif

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#29 of 89 Old 12-02-2010, 03:44 PM
 
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Ok, let's see if I'm actually able to post this since it'll be my 3rd attempt (strike that 4th attempt, DD just woke up AGAIN).  Apparently MDC and the new beta version of Firefox are NOT compatible in the least bit.  Add in a toddler who is getting her molars and it's been hard to post!

No5No5- I had to laugh at your comment about not being able to get along with some other smart people.  ITA!  There's actually two that I can think of off the top of my head that I just shudder to think that I might have a conversation with again in this lifetime (one I KNOW I will have to...).  While I do count quite a few other gifted adults amongst my friends that's far from an exclusive list and my friends are all at different levels and have different interests.  Honestly, none of my friends are quite as vocarious readers like myself so I just never have anybody to talk to about all the books that I read.  To add to this DH rarely reads fiction so it's not a need that I get met.  Although whenever I do find someone who has actually read some of the books I tend to try and milk it for all that it's worth. :D

I'm also a somewhat surprised at some of the harsher reactions to the OP's post.  Honestly, before we all become mothers we sometimes had very, very different ideas about how the world was and I try to consider that when I read her post.  FIL has a pretty severe mental illness and this was something that was definitely at the top of my mind when DH and I started to think about having kids.  It certainly didn't change my mind but I did worry that DD could develop this (honestly, sometimes I still do worry about it).  I really don't think it made me a bad mom to worry about this and, honestly, the second I held DD I knew that even if she did get it I'd still love her like crazy.  We also often got the question from people if we'd be disappointed if our kids didn't turn out like us (DH and I are in the same field and it's one very much known for catering to smart people so a lot of assumptions are made when people hear what we do).  So it's certainly something that I've thought about but in some ways I think it'd be more interesting if DD had other interests because then I have someone close to me in a new field and I can pick their brain. :)

I also very much agree with PP's saying that sometimes mothering can be mind-numbingly boring!  DD's constantly asking about the relationship between the sun/moon/daytime/nighttime.  It was cool at first but now I'm just tired of explaining it over and over and over again!  However, I put a smile on my face and do it because I love her but not because it's particularily stimulating conversation. 

As for the comment about the OP being cold towards her husband... I think that's projecting more feelings than what she said.  I do think the OP isn't as aware of visual-spatial giftedness  and having math abilties while lacking verbal ones as she could be  so I'm glad to see others pointed that out also.  That being said DH and myself discuss everything under the sun and we discuss our strengths/weaknesses with each other.  We would both achknowledge that there are some areas where I'm "smarter" than him and others where he's "smarter" than me.  For instance, DH doesn't read nearly to the same extent as me and just wouldn't be able to talk about books like I can.  I'm sure if I was speaking without thinking carefully about my words I could say something that could possibly sound condescending towards him because of this but that would certainly NOT be my intention.  Ditto for him since he's certainly more successful than I am at work. I prefer to give the OP the benefit of the doubt since it sounded like she was really speaking from her heart and trying to get these thoughts off of her chest.  I'd also agree with PreggieUBA2C that it looks like the OP was unfortunate enough to stumble on a hot topic for her first post and might not of been aware of the "correct" way to express herself on this board since she's entirely new.  What I mean by that is that I think there are different ways to say the same thing but one could provoke harsh reactions on here whereas the other might provoke sympathy if it's more in-tune with the MDC lingo. 

As to meshing better with your own family.... eh, not so much here.  I actually get along amazingly well with DH's parents (especially MIL).  Sure, some things drive me nuts but many times I feel more at home than my own parents (and I do have a good relationship with them but somehow it is also distant). Some people you just really click with and others not.  I do have some people (more extended family) on DH's side that drive me a bit bonkers and I wouldn't exactly want as roommates but I do try and appreciate what they contribute to the family still (although it can be harder at some times than others!).

Oh, and I definitely agree.  DON'T dumb yourself down for others because you really might be missing out on some great friendships there! 

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#30 of 89 Old 12-02-2010, 03:48 PM
 
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I agree that you've mistaken intelligence for communication style and personality.  My husband and I are of similar intelligence (I'd guess his IQ is slightly above mine) but are very different in our interests and communication preferences.  In personality we are similar in some ways and vastly different in others.  With my husband, I watch TV.  If I want to experience witty and insightful conversation, I hang out with my writing buddies. 

 

You also appear to be under the assumption that your children might be intellectually interesting and great conversationalists.  A 1-year-old who can speak in sentences might be amazing, but she still isn't intellectually satisfying.  My daughter's verbal abilities were in the 99th% by 18 months but her first complex sentence was "Inside o da box has raisins in it."  She is nearly 5 and can still talk circles around other kids and reads like she's a 2nd or 3rd grader, but intellectual discussion is a loooong way off.  Heck, I just spent 20 minutes laying in the hallway being the jungle gym because at least they were both entertained and nobody was whining at me...

 

(Just wanted to add -- reading this over again I sound a bit snippy.  Sorry!  I feel for you.  It's hard to envision parenthood before you get there, and I know I had some weird worries about giftedness before my kids were born -- particularly that #2 would not be as bright as #1... seems silly in hindsight, but you know what they say about hindsight... :) )


Erin, mom to DD (1/06) and DS (10/09)
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