"Typical" child after gifted ones - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 06-30-2011, 07:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My older two kids are all kinds of gifted - academically, artistically, musically, athletically.  My youngest is wonderful - smart, creative, artistic, etc, but doesn't appear to be gifted enough to be "gifted".  He also has some significant anxiety issues, likely stemming from a horrible home environment (dad and mom do not get along and it is very tense.  Working to make some changes).

 

Does anyone have any suggestions on how, as he grows older (he is 7 now), I can help him not feel inferior to his "gifted" siblings and be proud of who he is and what he can do?

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#2 of 6 Old 06-30-2011, 07:34 AM
 
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For starters, you really don't know that he's not gifted. My two look totally different. My DD 14 is the obviously gifted one. She's also super organized, competitive and driven to perfection. She succeeds at everything. DS 10 is just different. He is intensely social. He sees no point in singular activities like reading (though happy to read WITH someone.) He is terribly disorganized and not competitive. He is dyslexic and physically akward. He'd rather do "good enough" and work less than be heralded for something he had to sacrifice to accomplish. And yet, when tested... he scored in the exact same percentile as DD which is considered highly gifted in our county.

 

Anxiety can mask giftedness. My DH has 3 older siblings. All were tested. 3 in the HG range. One SIL was labeled "high average" but she didn't even complete the test due to anxiety. My little brother had a higher IQ than I did but so many emotional issues that he was never successful in school.

 

Personally, we've really tried to give DD and DS very different educations and experiences. My DS had the opportunity to go to an immersion school and so speaks 3 languages where DD is just starting to learn her 2nd. They have theatre in common but all their other activities have been different. He takes pride in long-term successes like the fact that he'll make black-belt this year after being in Tae Kwon Do since age 4 (he's in a program that only meets weekly so moves slower than those concentrated gym programs.) We just saw early that DS was constantly comparing himself to DD and so making his experiences uncomparable keeps him from doing that. It's worked pretty well in that reguard.

 

It's important not to patronize. DS is a smart kid and he knows when someone is "throwing him a bone." He doesn't need to go to DD's concerts and have some well meaning aunt say "Oh, isn't DD marvelous" and then turn to him and say "you are wonderful too" when all he did was sit in the audience lol.

 

I suspect you DS will grow into his own. Just be honest. Be verbal about the qualities you value in him. Give him the chance do discover his own talents even if they are different from his siblings. Don't assume he's not gifted.

 

 

 

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Originally Posted by sweeetpea View Post

My older two kids are all kinds of gifted - academically, artistically, musically, athletically.  My youngest is wonderful - smart, creative, artistic, etc, but doesn't appear to be gifted enough to be "gifted".  He also has some significant anxiety issues, likely stemming from a horrible home environment (dad and mom do not get along and it is very tense.  Working to make some changes).

 

Does anyone have any suggestions on how, as he grows older (he is 7 now), I can help him not feel inferior to his "gifted" siblings and be proud of who he is and what he can do?



 


Married mom of two, DD 17 and DS 13.
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#3 of 6 Old 06-30-2011, 08:13 AM
 
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For starters, you really don't know that he's not gifted. My two look totally different. 

 

....

I suspect you DS will grow into his own. Just be honest. Be verbal about the qualities you value in him. Give him the chance do discover his own talents even if they are different from his siblings. Don't assume he's not gifted.

 

 

 


Agree. Also, as they get older, you may be surprised at how they perform academically. 

 

At age 7, I might have written something similar about DD. As it turns out, she was assessed as gifted, but DS is more globally gifted on all scales and tended to demonstrate it more obviously as a child. DD always knew she had different interests than DS, but we didn't ever express it as having less ability. Now as teens, she tends to perform better than he does on school assignments and tests. Overall, her grades are better than his. She's developed stellar work habits and is naturally a little more determined than he is. 

 

It may help to think about them in terms other than gifted/not gifted. Each of them will have different strengths and interests and challenges. Let them know that you value their individuality and they will learn to value themselves. 

 

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#4 of 6 Old 07-09-2011, 05:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweeetpea View Post

 

Does anyone have any suggestions on how, as he grows older (he is 7 now), I can help him not feel inferior to his "gifted" siblings and be proud of who he is and what he can do?


We struggle with this in our family too. My 9 yo daughter who is just as gifted intellectually is not gifted musically like her older brother, and this bothers her to no end. We have tried to encourage her to take part in completely orthogonal activities and shine there, but it is work in progress... especially now that her 5 yo brother seems like he will be in her eyes competition also. I keep praising and cheering and forbidding her to compare herself. It is tough if the child is not as determined and much more anxious than my others...

 

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#5 of 6 Old 07-10-2011, 07:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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 It is tough if the child is not as determined and much more anxious than my others...

 


This.  His anxiety is a big piece of the challenge.  When he sees himself as "failing" at something, he just wants to give up and not even try anymore.  I do totally get it as I had the same issue as a kid - the superstar older sister who could do anything.  At least in my eyes.  

 

It doesn't help that, between his older siblings, it seems as if every interest has been explored and succeeded.  I try to get him interested in sports & activities that the olders have not done, like soccer or basketball, or theater, but he seems to want only to do what they have done, and get down on himself when he can't reach their level of ability (and does not give himself credit that he is much younger than they are).  He is in martial arts, and loves it, but even in that, his older brother earned his black belt a year ago (after 6 years of classes, work & competitions).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#6 of 6 Old 07-11-2011, 04:13 PM
 
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Could it just be his personality and him want to be like big brother or sister?

 

I think it's more of a younger brother/sister problem overall than a younger brother/sister of a gifted child problem. 

 

I'd just really focus on both of them that we all have strengths and weaknesses and when he starts getting upset that he's not as good as them, point out something he exceeds at that others struggle (maybe not the older siblings, but someone else you know or even yourself).

 

DS1 is only 4, but I doubt he'll ever know that DD is gifted, unless there comes a time that I think her experience with being so advanced can benefit him.  It's just not something that we discuss or focus on.  But, that doesn't stop him from getting upset or crying that he's not doing something as good as she does.

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