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Old 06-17-2010, 04:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So I decided to try and reach out to the other mothers that I know who have gifted kids to try and start a weekly or bi-weekly play group. To my surprise the other mothers were interested and so I set up a first time meeting at my house with our gifted kids. It was really refreshing to be able to openly talk about IQs and other topics which are usually taboo in other circles. One of the other mothers agreed to host the next meeting at her house so that takes some of the pressure off of me.

Well, one of the problems I'm now facing is that one of my best friends found out that I started this play group and she basically invited herself and her two kids to the meeting. Now I didn't want to make waves so I just let her come to this one meeting, but I really don't want her to come to anymore because her children are far from gifted and I really only want this to be a get together for gifted children and their parents. It was really awkward discussing gifted topics with her around, knowing full well that her kids are just average or bright. If I allow her to come to the meetings then I'm worried that the play group will just turn into a generic play group, not a gifted one. It was nice to be able to pull out advanced puzzles and books for the kids, but I had to pull out out other books which my kids outgrew years ago to accommodate her children. I really just felt sorry for them.
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Old 06-17-2010, 06:45 PM
 
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I don't really know what to suggest about the social delicacies. Did you explain to the mom that you were trying to create a support group for parents of gifted kids? Or for gifted kids, or both? I find the idea of an grass-roots playgroup just for gifted kids to be a little odd. It sounds like you're looking more for parental support, which is fine, but I think you run the risk of coming across as exclusionary. Almost all other forms of support for gifted families come from some sort of arms-length organization that has concrete qualifying criteria.

I'm not sure what it is about your post that leaves me feeling so awkward about the scenario. The impression I'm getting (and I admit that it may be not an accurate reflection, just how it comes across in your post) is that you'd rather your children didn't have to play with "average or bright" children, that giftedness is an exclusive club you're thrilled that your children are members of, and that you felt sorry for those other children for being less bright than the others. I hope that's not what is coming across in real life. As I say, it may just be the result of how you wrote the post.

At any rate, I really think that a parent attempting to create a gifted group is setting herself up for a potential awkwardness and hurt feelings. It's a bit of a minefield you've waded into. Good luck finding your way. I would guess that if your friend and her kids felt awkward and sorry for themselves they won't continue to attend. If they don't feel awkward, what's the harm?

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Old 06-17-2010, 07:35 PM
 
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I'd be cautious with the whole scenario. We were part of a playgroup when my eldest was little. We connected because we were parents of similar interests and styles. We liked to get out and hike, camp, go to museums, plan fun fieldtrips, ect. We were more focused on experiences than academics. As it turned out, almost every child ended up with the gifted label. However, the reason we were so successful for so long was because we didn't make giftedness our focus. We were still careful with eachother. Certainly, if someone was having an issue, they could share and we understood and could advise on what worked for us. However, we didn't talk IQ's or achievement as a rule. There were always things that were held back and wisely so. It didn't really matter than a couple weren't gifted. They were being raised a similar way and shared interests. That bridges a lot of gaps.

I made the mistake of being too open with one woman from the playgroup I considered my best friend in the group. Both our girls are gifted but when a few years later mine skipped a grade and hers didn't, the relationship broke. Thankfully, we managed to keep the girls connected (they are 13 now, met at 1) and we are amiable... we just understand that my children are not to discussed unless I have a typical parental complaint about clean rooms or something.

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Almost all other forms of support for gifted families come from some sort of arms-length organization that has concrete qualifying criteria.
I think there is good reason for this.

As for your situation with your friend, I guess you have to make a choice. You are either going to let her continue to participate and change your group to perhaps one that focuses on getting out and about with a fun social group of like minded children and kids or explain that it's a gifted support group that meets with the intention of discussing gifted issues in a home setting. Certainly, I wouldn't want to put a friend in the position of being in a group where people "felt sorry" for her children.

Married mom of two, DD 17 and DS 13.
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Old 06-17-2010, 07:44 PM
 
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Why are the kids doing puzzles and reading books at a playgroup? That doesn't seem like a terribly social activity. I guess I can see the value in meeting to talk about gifted issues, but if the kids are all doing their own things and not playing together, why not make it a parent group instead of a playgroup?

Does your friend think that she has gifted kids, or did you not tell her that it was for gifted kids?
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Old 06-17-2010, 08:16 PM
 
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Does your friend think that she has gifted kids, or did you not tell her that it was for gifted kids?
That was my question as well.
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Old 06-17-2010, 08:31 PM
 
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I'm not sure what it is about your post that leaves me feeling so awkward about the scenario. The impression I'm getting (and I admit that it may be not an accurate reflection, just how it comes across in your post) is that you'd rather your children didn't have to play with "average or bright" children, that giftedness is an exclusive club you're thrilled that your children are members of, and that you felt sorry for those other children for being less bright than the others. I hope that's not what is coming across in real life. As I say, it may just be the result of how you wrote the post.

Miranda

I agree with this. The whole thing feels 'odd'.

I encourage my kids to play with children of all kinds and we have been involved in several play groups. In some areas my children are advanced in some skills and in others not so much (one DD has mild special needs and though she can read very fluently at 4, is articulate-she is socially awkward and has some quirks). I think it is the 'exclusivity' of the group that bothers my sensibilities.

I mean some gifted kids are 'sleepers' or gifted in unusual ways or it do not overtly express it. Who is anyone else to judge this? Most kids under age 5 or so have not been tested and if they were testing may or may not be stable until kids are much older.

We have been involved with all sort of kids and I think my kids benefit from all of it. If we want to find a playgroup or new friends we look for activities that are likely to have those type of people that have like interests (local science center, library, etc) instead of declaring 'giftedness' as a criteria.

I am assuming as well that the play group would be multiage due to family structures so all sorts of kids should blend in.


I know my kids are young so most of their friends are around the same age, but I dont *know* any kids that are openly declared gifted (per testing) in our age bracket-- I suspect a few are and I also suspect a few have been tested but it never came up in casual conversation.

It is summer--shoo those kids outside with some magnifying glasses, cameras, shovels, notebooks, and dirt. Kids of all ages and abilities should enjoy themselves with these activities.
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Old 06-17-2010, 09:53 PM
 
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I think it's important to keep this
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So I decided to try and reach out to the other mothers that I know who have gifted kids
. I gather from the OP's previous posts that she is not someone who has known/suspected since toddlerhood that her little ones were unusual. Good on her for reaching out.
I don't really see the problem with calling it a playgroup if it's intended for parental support
OP - sorry about the situation with your friend. I guess you just have to be upfront with her, take a deep breath and tell her that you were looking for some support from parents with similar issues. Hope she doesn't take offence

grateful Mama to DD May '06 and DS May '09
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Old 06-17-2010, 09:54 PM
 
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I think it's important to keep this
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So I decided to try and reach out to the other mothers that I know who have gifted kids
in mind. I gather from the OP's previous posts that she is not someone who has known/suspected since toddlerhood that her little ones were unusual. Good on her for reaching out.
I don't really see the problem with calling it a playgroup if it's intended for parental support
OP - sorry about the situation with your friend. I guess you just have to be upfront with her, take a deep breath and tell her that you were looking for some support from parents with similar issues. Hope she doesn't take offence

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Old 06-17-2010, 09:58 PM
 
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I get the motivation for starting the playgroup. My son attends a full time gifted class and we have get together over the summer for the new and returning students for the new kids to get a chance to meet their future classmates before the first day of school. It is really nice to have other parents that you don't have to be quite so guarded with. We don't discuss scores but we are a bit more open with our kids achievements. It's also nice to have someone else to discuss our frustrations with things such as certain schools hesitation to test for the gifted program and other frustrations. It's also a good place to meet other parents who have been there and done that and may have tips and ideas for issues you are having or who can help you advocate for something for your kids.

It sounds like you felt like the playgroup was a success on this front.

In past posts you have shared that your son is having some struggles with finding a social group he feels he fits in well with and that part of that is a feeling of being different for being gifted. A gifted playgroup could provide a setting for him to meet and hang out with someone he may connect with in the way he's been searching for.

My confusion in your post is the same as pp. Did your friend understand the goals/focus of this playgroup and still want to attend? Does she consider her kids gifted and you may have missed it?

The only solution I can see to this group is to be very transparent and open about the goals and focus of the group then be welcoming to anyone who wants to attend no matter what your perception of their fit with your group is.

I've recently started a families/parents of gifted kids group for local families. It's basically intended to be a setting that parents can brainstorm ideas for advocacy and enrichment and then find like minded parents to put together some of these advocacy and enrichment ideas. But anyone who wants to discuss these ideas is certainly welcome. For example one of our areas of enrichment is likely to be going to a language immersion camp next year. This is certainly not an opportunity that only gifted kids can enjoy. Anyone who wants to help put together a group and do fund raising and send their kids is certainly welcome. Some of our topics will be of more interest to a broader group than other but everyone is welcome to contribute in whatever manner interests them.

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Old 06-18-2010, 11:46 AM
 
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I guess I can see the value in meeting to talk about gifted issues, but if the kids are all doing their own things and not playing together, why not make it a parent group instead of a playgroup?
This is what I was thinking. Do you need a group for you or for your kid?

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Old 06-18-2010, 03:46 PM
 
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What IQ test did you administer to all these kids, to figure out which ones are gifted and which ones aren't? What was your IQ cutoff for the playgroup?

Alexandra 4.11.05 and Colin 2.9.09. Click on my name to visit my homeschooling blog.
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Old 06-19-2010, 01:22 AM
 
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I think that you just have to be really open about what the group is for and let people decide for themselves if they are comfortable coming. If your friend and her kids want to come then so be it.

I understand your desire to commisserate with other parents, but I have to say that discussing your kids' IQs when they are in any way around is a dangerous thing to do. I mean, it sounds like you are gossiping about your kids. That may well not be the INTENTION, but any child overhearing what the parents are talking about might come away from such a conversation with some really big feelings and questions or frustrations. I am one who generally does not talk about my kids if they are in the same building, and then if they are not there I am still quite careful how I talk with others about them. I find that whatever you say can come back to you in a different way than you intended, and that talking about others in general is rarely productive.

So my PERSONAL suggestion for this is to have a parents only support group if that sort of talk needs to happen, and at any playgroup parents would keep the conversation generally more on interests and projects and whatnot - not the kids themselves. I would also suppose that this sort of set-up would make it easier for you to be comfortable around your friend.

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Old 06-19-2010, 02:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you to all for your comments. I think I'll just let anyone come to the group meetings if they want to, but I will make it clear that this is a 'gifted' support group for gifted children and parent socializing at the outset. We can talk about general testing, but I will try to steer clear of talking about personal test results. I do want to talk about personal issues though, even if this is considered gossiping because I want to know these people personally and that's hard to do if you only talk about shared activities and such.

I talked to my friend and she now thinks that her child is gifted . Apparently, her oldest maxxed out 2/3 end of the year assessments at the school with 100s (math and analysis) and is reading a couple of years ahead too. Also, he made straight As all year with little effort according to her. The principle told her that her child is one of the smartest in the school based on the results of his tests and is going to have the teacher differentiate the curriculum in the fall. Out of curiosity what do you guys think about her kid? Gifted or bright?
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Old 06-19-2010, 02:30 AM
 
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Does it matter? If her child is "merely" bright he is still going to need educational challenges, and those are going actually be harder for her to get because she won't have a test score to back up what she is asking for.
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Old 06-19-2010, 03:00 AM
 
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I think that a support group for gifted families is a worthwhile endeavor. I do think it would be very hard to tell someone their child is or isn't gifted. You really can't know, and even statistics show that a parent is usually the best judge of that. I believe the best you can do to ensure everyone is on the same page is to write up a piece (brief) about the intent and purpose/focus of the group. You may want to include information about giftedness, or not. If someone chooses the group, then they know what they're getting into.

And, honestly, if someone is coming and is finding they don't have much in common, they may simply stop attending. I agree that it's not a good idea to tell someone whether or not you think their child is gifted and therefore if they belong in the group. Let the group work itself out naturally as people are either drawn in or out.

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Old 06-19-2010, 03:30 AM
 
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Support of people sharing similar concerns can certainly be helpful. Any benefit from support is totally canceled out in my book when you start to engage in these sorts of evaluations of the worthiness of other children to attend. Or, even worse when you ask random people on the Internet to evaluate it. It is disconcerting to me that you seem to find the opinions of people you don't know about a child we've never met, to carry more weight than the opinion of your "friend" who is his mother.

I would run from this sort of group as fast as I could.
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Old 06-19-2010, 03:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by connieculkins View Post
I talked to my friend and she now thinks that her child is gifted .
Why are you rolling your eyes?

Between this and "feeling sorry" for her kids, I think your friendship with her will die a natural death. Your attitude will come across, and she won't want to be around you.

But it doesn't sound like you want to be around her anyway, just other parents whose kids you considered gifted.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 06-19-2010, 03:55 AM
 
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Wow. I can see having a group for parents who feel they are dealing with similar parenting issues. I can't see having a play group for only "gifted" kids (or for kids who have any one trait in common - can you imagine trying to put together a play group for "not so bright" kids for instance?!?). Kids can have fun with other kids, and in fact need to learn to get along with all kinds of people, regardless of "giftedness". My 5 year old had a great time playing with a 3 year old recently and an 8 year old with Down's Syndrome a while back and kids his own age of varying "brightness" just today, etc. There are often toys that appeal to various levels at our home and the homes of the kids we play with - it doesn't seem to hinder anyone's play and no one feels sorry for kids if they choose toys that other kids have outgrown.

Evaluating some other person's kid and that kid's intelligence doesn't seem fair or to serve any purpose, really. I have to say, though, as a former teacher, I only had 1 kid in my three years of teaching who I would have considered "gifted" - but many parents who thought their kids were gifted. When setting up play time for kids, it doesn't matter if the other parents think their own kid is gifted or not. It really doesn't matter to the kids if their parents think they are gifted or not.
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Old 06-19-2010, 04:44 AM
 
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Why would you want to nurture this exclusion so early? If your child is gifted, social differences will come too soon, naturally, for him. I say, let him play for the sake of playing, until it becomes a real problem. Right now, the problem seems to reside within you & fear, not your kid & his desires. You seem pressured by the idea that you have to do certain things for your kid to remain gifted, or even stimulated properly by other kids, b'c he's gifted - NOT so. He will be gifted even if he hangs out with average people. He may even be inspired by some of us/them.

We are a world of average, why not let him think the absolute best of average people? You can teach him that. And let him know that he can help the world too, and that, b'c he's highly intelligent, that he could help in a way that maybe no one else has thought of yet! Thru his uniqueness. Not b'c "no one else" is capable, but rather to give him an avenue to express his unique ideas... does that make sense? His attitude toward other kids doesn't have to be exclusive or superior (which is what you're sowing, whether you're aware of that or not), and he can still be VERY special, while being a super cool, inclusive, social kid.

I think its dangerous territory to teach your kid that he's better than other kids, which is what you describe your desired playgroup to be. Your kid will be pretentious if you raise him in a pretentious environment. Its healthier to let your kid experience a full platter as opposed to a select plate, given the world he will eventually LIVE in... he's gonna have to live with every level of people at some point, yk?

"When the external begins to define the internal, instead of the internal defining the external, one begins living as a mortal rather than as a universal being." ~ unknown
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Old 06-19-2010, 08:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Evaluating some other person's kid and that kid's intelligence doesn't seem fair or to serve any purpose, really. I have to say, though, as a former teacher, I only had 1 kid in my three years of teaching who I would have considered "gifted" - but many parents who thought their kids were gifted. When setting up play time for kids, it doesn't matter if the other parents think their own kid is gifted or not. It really doesn't matter to the kids if their parents think they are gifted or not.
Not to derail my own thread, but why does this comment not surprise me? Why do teachers (especially of public schools) seem to think that parents overestimate their child's giftedness? Everything I've read indicates that teachers are actually very poor judgers of giftedness and that parents tend to be the most accurate in their assessments. Oddly, I think that it should be teachers who should notice giftedness, but something seems to hold them back from labeling a child something more than 'bright'. My son's teachers never mentioned anything to me about a possibility of giftedness and assuming they would know, I didn't investigate further. It was only when he started telling me how he stood out as smart and different and started having social issues as a result that I began to wonder. It was the counselor and principle together who told me his scores were exceptional and that he needed to be put in the pull out program, but I'm still left wondering why his teacher still never said anything to me. She never even gave me the scores for the school tests...Oddly, she only volunteered to tell me his one lowest score, neglecting to tell me that he scored in the gifted range for all the others. Maybe I'm being paranoid, but it seemed like she wanted to find proof that he wasn't gifted and to make sure I knew it.

Also, it seems that teachers don't find their students gifted, but it does seem like a disproportionate number of teachers find their own children to be gifted. I find that also kind of strange.
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Old 06-19-2010, 12:06 PM
 
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It was only when he started telling me how he stood out as smart and different and started having social issues as a result that I began to wonder.

I think that your playgroup, and the attitude surrounding it, is excellent reinforcement for your child or children to experience themselves as different, and a good set up for social difficulties.
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Old 06-19-2010, 12:36 PM
 
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I can see both sides of this. My dd11 has, to some extent, found herself to feel more rapport with other rather bright kids b/c she can be herself more around them. She does, however, have friends who are gifted and friends who are not. She may interact a tad differently with different kids, but I imagine that we all do some of that with our different groups.

The only area where she has run into real difficulty is with parents who spend too much time comparing her to their children. That has made for a really uncomfortable situation and it does tend to happen really only with the kids who aren't gifted perhaps b/c the parents notice the difference and it makes them uncomfortable or insecure (?).

Some of these parents do think that their kids are gifted and I, honestly, don't buy the notion that all parents who think they have gifted kids do (maybe b/c half of the parents around here state that they have gifted kids and a huge # are labeled as such since our local schools call a lot of things gifted that aren't high intelligence).

Honestly, it doesn't matter if a parent thinks that his kid is gifted and the kid isn't. Like others have noted, the parents who aren't feeling the "fit" in your group may self-select out over time. It is only a problem when, like I mentioned, the parents are getting into a pissing contest and the kids are getting caught in the cross fire. Then you get situations like others have mentioned where the kids are being taught exclusion and snobbery.

I can understand, though, the benefit for some gifted children of having a playgroup or social setting like this. My dd9 has virtually no gifted friends. That would be totally fine except for the fact that she is really feeling profoundly lonely. She trims herself to feel like she fits in with everyone else b/c fitting in is very, very important for her. She, thus, is being untrue to who she is and spends her time being someone she isn't. She knows that some of her friends resent her being in some of the classes she is, so she lies, plays slow, and modifies her speech to include grammatical errors, etc.

For her, I want community. I want her to feel free to be herself and feel like who she is is okay. We're actually having pretty good luck right now with that in a musical theatre production she is doing - not b/c it honors her intelligence but b/c it honors other aspects of her personality (extraversion, attention loving). Perhaps she finds that community with other intelligent people; perhaps she finds it with other performers who may or may not be very intelligent. What is important is that she find community somewhere.
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Old 06-19-2010, 12:47 PM
 
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Out of curiosity what do you guys think about her kid? Gifted or bright?
Gifted kids come in all shapes and sizes. Many are very social and do well with kids of all ability. Many have little interest in traditional academics and choose to focus their abilities on their own interest and phone it in at school. This child certainly could be gifted based on what you said. Fact is though, neither you our myself are qualified to say he's not.

YOU likely wouldn't see my DS as gifted even though he tested in the 99.9th percentile. He's intensely social. When he's with friends, he certainly doesn't want to do puzzles. He wants to play basketball and talk about Star Wars. He doesn't want his school work to be too challenging because he wants to finish fast and jump on the computers. Yes, he's a very advanced reader in 2 languages but he rarely reads for pleasure. He does love math but he's not going to come home and do extra math curriculum for fun lol.

Even if the child is a bright high-achiever, high-achievers can be fantastic friends for gifted children! My eldest actually prefers to be in high-achiever classes because the kids are focused, responsible for their part in any group assignments, work independantly and don't drag the class down with pointless debate and argument and have less of the "I'm too good for this work" mentality (as opposed to bringing the work up to level, asking for more challenge, ect.) Her best friends are high-achievers and gifted high-achievers.

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Old 06-19-2010, 01:15 PM
 
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Everything I've read indicates that teachers are actually very poor judgers of giftedness and that parents tend to be the most accurate in their assessments.
With all due respect, mama, this sentiment doesn't seem to mesh with your reaction to your friend thinking her child is gifted. Maybe her child is gifted, maybe he isn't. But that's their journey, not anyone else's, is it not? Being part of your group may help this parent to figure out the best resources for her bright child.

It's soooo hard to read intent and emotion on internet posts, so I may be way off base here, but it almost seems that having "proof" of giftedness is required to be a part of this group. If that's how you and the other parents want it, that's fine, that's your choice, but I think it needs to be expressed up front at the onset of participating.

As the parent of a gifted child, I would love, love, love to have a network of parents to talk to about issues and concerns. But I don't know if this sort of playgroup is the best venue. Do the kids know that they have been specially chosen to be in this group? If so, they might subliminally learning that they should be surrounding themselves only with people like them instead of learning to interact with children of differing abilities and interests.

Our gifted children may end up being socially segregated anyway because of their abilities; I don't want to do it for them.
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Old 06-19-2010, 01:28 PM
 
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For her, I want community. I want her to feel free to be herself and feel like who she is is okay. We're actually having pretty good luck right now with that in a musical theatre production she is doing - not b/c it honors her intelligence but b/c it honors other aspects of her personality (extraversion, attention loving). Perhaps she finds that community with other intelligent people; perhaps she finds it with other performers who may or may not be very intelligent. What is important is that she find community somewhere.
I just wanted to comment that you'll find unusually large amounts of gifted individuals in theatre at all levels. It was my own home as a child and much of my adult life. My own children love it... for my DD, it's her passion, my DS, a fun social outlet. Instructors, designers, directors and adult actors tend to treat children more as equals and hold them to high standards of performance and behavior. This is pretty addicting to the gifted child. Theatre welcomes and takes pleasure in eccentricity. In theatre, you can be a vegetarian atheist and your best friend a meat-eating Catholic and it will never, ever matter. Certainly, it's not going to be "home" to everyone. I can't say you'll never run into a jerk but in my 30 years involved (my own youth theatre experiences, educational theatre, professional theatre and now being a parent of kids in youth and professional theatre) but in a quality program, I can say that they have far less power than jerks do in school, sports, ect.

Community is incredibly important. Good luck to your little ones in finding the perfect one!

Married mom of two, DD 17 and DS 13.
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Old 06-19-2010, 02:05 PM
 
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I've been invited to attend face-to-face gatherings for families of gifted students that have grown out of on-line discussion boards like this one. I've never attended, but I understand that they have been quite successful. The parents enjoyed an opportunity to discuss gifted issues and the children enjoyed finding like-minded "quirky" peers who share, or at least understand, unusual academic interests. So I see the value in trying to create this kind of community gathering. It fulfills a need.

For these meetings, people self-identified themselves and showed up because they shared a common interest in giftedness. No one appointed themselves as a judge to decide who should/could attend. AFAIK, people at the meetings weren't comparing their children or judging whether any child was worthy of a gifted label. I think the parents were rather tired of having to deal with those sorts of attitudes in the school system and in the community. The whole point of the gathering was to find a safe place with sympathetic people who understood the issues and where the children might find some new friends.

Further, no one policed the children's activities to decide whether they were "gifted-worthy". If some kids were engaged in building sophisticated engineering marvels and others wanted to make mud pies - it was all good.

There are groups that have entry requirements - Mensa is an obvious one. I think you have to decide what kind of group you would like to create and how rigid it will be. If you want a group that maintains admission criteria, you will have to accept the responsibility of enforcing those criteria. That won't be easy or comfortable in what is otherwise a fairly casual social situation.

If, OTOH, you just want to create a gifted-interest group, I'm not sure why you would want to exclude your friend who appears to have an interest in gifted issues.


ETA: I should clarify that most of the discussion of issues happened on-line, and the F2Fs provided a chance for people to meet up and socialize with their children. On the whole, though, I think they filled a similar role to the kind of group you've tried to start.
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Old 06-19-2010, 02:26 PM
 
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Thank you to all for your comments. I think I'll just let anyone come to the group meetings if they want to, but I will make it clear that this is a 'gifted' support group for gifted children and parent socializing at the outset. We can talk about general testing, but I will try to steer clear of talking about personal test results. I do want to talk about personal issues though, even if this is considered gossiping because I want to know these people personally and that's hard to do if you only talk about shared activities and such.

I talked to my friend and she now thinks that her child is gifted . Apparently, her oldest maxxed out 2/3 end of the year assessments at the school with 100s (math and analysis) and is reading a couple of years ahead too. Also, he made straight As all year with little effort according to her. The principle told her that her child is one of the smartest in the school based on the results of his tests and is going to have the teacher differentiate the curriculum in the fall. Out of curiosity what do you guys think about her kid? Gifted or bright?
i'm surprised by your tone in this post. you come across as though you don't believe your friend. i would think the school and your friend would be a better judge as to the level of intelligence of her child than you. as others mentioned gifted children are all different. just b/c a child isn't doing puzzles or reading 2 or 3 grades above level doesn't mean they're not gifted. how are you going to decide who can be in this playgroup? how will they have to prove their children are gifted? test scores? report cards? maybe they're gifted emotionally, or socially? who knows what their gifts are. i agree with a pp's response of perhaps just making it a playgroup about excursions to museums, maybe gardening, science projects, and fun stuff that any kid would enjoy. and maybe during those meetings you can discuss issues related to parenting and gifted children.
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Old 06-19-2010, 03:14 PM
 
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Maybe I'm confused about the terminology being used here. What are the ages of the children in the OP's "playgroup"? I think of a playgroup for being pre-school (literally, before school aged) children. WIth the testing/ school performance issues you are discussing, though, it seems like the children are older?

If they are older, I would consider having something more like this:
http://lwsdgeac.org/default.aspx

A *parent* support group. Then, if you wanted to have activities for the kids, they could be seperate. Didn't you (OP) also say that your child is in a gifted program? Is he not finding peers there?

 

 

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Old 06-19-2010, 03:21 PM
 
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It was the counselor and principle together who told me his scores were exceptional and that he needed to be put in the pull out program, but I'm still left wondering why his teacher still never said anything to me.
,

I guess I'm a little sad that it sounds like YOU received the same confirmation about your son's giftedness as you friend did (the principal confirmed it, and suggested a course of action--for your child, a pull out program, for hers differentiation--which is a BIG DEAL given the attitudes of most administrators towards differentiation!)...and yet you still reject her and her child. Aren't you perpetrating the same sort of thing that you criticize teachers and others for? People didn't want to treat your kid as gifted. They pooh poohed his scores. And you turn around and are doing the same thing to this lady and her kid.

That being said, I do think that this sort of thing (subconsciously treating others like they were treated) is responsible for the worst behavior in gifted circles. Thankfully MOST people are not like that...or they have good friends that call them hard on it.

If you only want reading and puzzle oriented kids at the playgroup, since that is how your child expresses their giftedness, then turn it into a Games/Book club. I'm serious. That's better than sniffing at someone else's kid and assuming they're not gifted because they don't gravitate towards the same things that yours does. And if that's the only kind of giftedness you can understand or relate to, and the only people you want around, then it seems to be the least cruel practice that you center around those activities so that people won't get the wrong idea about who is really welcome. And that way, you stand better chances of retaining your friendships, because you're not consantly rejecting this person in your head about them not being up to your standards for the playgroup, which is really about a very specific expression of giftedness and not open to the broad spectrum of gifted kids.

If you want to be exclusive (and to be honest, I don't really care about exclusivity) then you also probably should develop guidelines ahead of time, and watch how you release information. Surely your friend didn't psychically find out about the playgroup. It would have been easy to say that it was just for kids in your pull out group or within the gifted program and that it was primarily focused on the adults as they discussed navigating through that particular system.

There really isn't a good way to say, "Yeah, it's for gifted kids and their parents to talk about their kids' giftedness but....sorry, I don't think you'd get it, after all your kid isn't gifted enough by my standards." If you're hoping to minimize hurt and blowback, it's probably a good idea to decide now what the parameters of membership are.
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Old 06-19-2010, 03:43 PM
 
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I have to say, though, as a former teacher, I only had 1 kid in my three years of teaching who I would have considered "gifted" - but many parents who thought their kids were gifted. .
I think this is totally subjective.

I have also taught for 3 years and worked with LD kids (and other special needs). I have several kids that would fly 'under' the radar in the classroom, but were gifted and learning disabled. They may read a few grade levels behind average, or struggle with written language----that DOES not change their intelligence one bit. Usually many have figured out 'adaptations' to make up for the areas they are weak in....in fact, I think many people with LDs go undiagnosed due to their ability to find ways to work around difficulties they may have.


As PP stated-- the definition of 'giftedness' may be interpreted differently here. A child may be gifted musically, socially, in math, in reading, in language....etc. Not all gifted/bright kids show up as globally gifted, in fact gifted kids often have asynchronous development. Some also just cruise through school with little interest in academia.

As for the OP,another PP also had a good point, you should not be talking about 'specific' testing scores in front of kids (even if they seem to not be listening, they are). It can set up a whole host of negative concequences and I see very little positive to it. If you , as a parent, want to discuss such things it should be done in a parent only group away from little ears. Although very specific scores, etc should be a family/school etc matter not really a topic for anything but close friends.

I think that if your friends son is doing that well in school and is advanced he is very bright or gifted. But does it matter? You seem to have already judged him and his mom as not worthy of your playgroup. That is sad to me personally and I would not want to be part of such a group.
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