Mothering Forum banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, all.... long time lurker, first time poster. My sister suggested I post this question here to you all, so here goes...<br><br>
My three-year-old son is clearly very gifted, although I don't know the degree to which he is gifted. The idea of a gifted child may fill some parents with pride, but it only fills me with dread. I was labeled as "profoundly gifted" (which I cringe to type) as a child. My childhood was miserable. Boring, lonely, isolating, and frustrating. I coasted through school without any effort on my part. The school tried to make special accommodations for me, but I was never really challenged. I think because everything came so easily, I never developed a good work ethic. I'm embarrassed to admit this. By the time I got to college, I would rarely go to class and just show up on test dates - and still graduated with highest honors in just three years. Grad school was no better, although when I reached the PhD level some actual effort (at the very least, busy work and certainly some intellectual work as well) and I dropped out. Again... embarrassing. I'm not proud of the laziness and arrogance I had as a child and young adult. These aren't things I'd ever admit or talk about to anyone in real life. (Except my sister. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">)<br><br>
It wasn't until I was in my late twenties/early thirties that I got my act together. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> I was lucky to find a career that was interesting and challenging. I really had to grow up and muster some discipline, something I should have learned by the time I was ten.<br><br>
I don't want my child go feel the loneliness and frustration I did. But, also, I don't want him to become lazy like me. This line of questioning may be a bit premature as he isn't even in school yet, but this worry is really weighing on me. I'm obviously projecting a lot of my own issues on my child, and i have to watch for that. But this laziness is something I am so deeply ashamed of, especially now, that it is something I really fear for my child.<br><br>
I don't know for sure if he is "profoundly gifted" but he is certainly at least very highly gifted by my estimation. I wish he wasn't. Don't get me wrong, I love and accept all of him... I just don't wish being profoundly gifted upon him just as I wouldn't wish any kind of hardship upon him.<br><br>
I will go back to lurking... but before I do that, I'd love to hear from anyone on this subject. I know there are a lot of mothers here who were considered 'gifted' as children, and weren't necessarily happy with the way things went. What are you all trying to do differently for your child? Does anyone else here have the concern of not developing a good work ethic because everything comes so easily? If so, what are you doing to address this concern?<br><br>
Thanks so much for your input. Back to my hiding hole.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,557 Posts
Welcome. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Why go back to lurking? I enjoyed reading your post and would enjoy reading more.<br><br>
I have attributed a lot of my own problems to being a (profoundly gifted) lazy person, but after talking to my mom about it (she was adamant that I am NOT lazy), I have a new understanding. After all, there are things I've done that do prove that I'm not lazy. There are plenty of times when I did not take the easy road. There are even times when I've worked so much that people called me a workaholic. And I've never said no when it comes to helping someone else with their work, no matter how hard it might prove to be.<br><br>
I think the real root of my problem is perfectionism. If I can't be sure that I can do something perfectly, my instinct is to refuse to try. I still feel that if I try my hardest at something challenging and fail it will prove that I'm not really smart. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"><br><br>
As far as why I have that problem, I think a lot of it is probably just my personality (and my mother's personality). Some of it, I know, comes from having to do incredibly easy work in my early schooling. (I was not in special programming until 5th grade, and even then it was pretty lackluster.) I wanted challenge. I sought challenge. And the only way I could challenge myself in school was to do the work perfectly, and anything less than that (an A instead of an A+) was unacceptable.<br><br>
As far as how I intend to parent differently to avoid/minimize that problem, there are two things. The first is to talk up and model non-perfectionism (mistakeism?). And the second is to let DD continue to challenge herself in her own way. I'm not going to allow her to sit through hours on end of phonics lessons when she's already a fluent reader. I'm not going to allow her to be forced to teach the other kids to read. I'm not going to allow her to be forced to do page after page of basic math when she's already figured out algebra. We will probably unschool, in fact. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy"><br><br>
I hope it helps. But I can't expect that I will do a perfect job raising DD. Nor do I want to. And I'm sure that DD will have issues with how I raise her--but they'll be her own issues. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> After all, nobody is perfect. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,777 Posts
Yes, many of us moms and dads here had hard times growing up as gifted kids. We fear greatly that our kids will end up as academically lazy underachieving highschool dropouts too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,121 Posts
Welcome LurkyLoo! (Don't worry - we'll forgive you if you don't live up to your name! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">)<br><br>
I'm sure I'm not profoundly gifted but I can relate to the laziness you talk about. The early school years - up to grade 4-5 or so - were easy. I was reading in K but had to sit through all the 1st grade lessons to teach everyone else to read. I clearly remember laughing with my friend at the worksheets in 1st and 2nd grade and breezing through them, sheet after sheet filled with simple simple addition problems. I didn't fare as well as you in high school and college. By that time my study habits were nil and I simply didn't know how to do school. It is embarrassing and I still haven't redeemed myself with success in a job I like. I'm now a SAHM and so at least doing something of value before I go back to trying to make something of myself.<br><br>
I think just being aware that I don't want the same for my boys (they're 2 and 5 now) is the first step to not letting it happen. I feel my parents were a little too "laissez-faire" in their parenting style and more of a push from them would have done some good. Actually, more practical help with the mechanics of organization and studying and would have been appreciated. I plan to be more of an advocate for my sons, acknowledging their strengths/gifts and as no5no5 said - not letting them sit through boring months and years of skills they've already mastered. We plan to start ds1 in public K next year but if it's not coming through for him I will talk to the teachers, find out what can be done for him, and we have not ruled out homeschooling if necessary.<br><br>
I'm hoping as parents we can help our kids navigate through school. I don't remember my parents ever stepping in and talking about this sort of thing so I hope I'm ahead of the game a bit just being aware of this issue. Glad you posted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,407 Posts
Both my dh and I are very concerned about our kids learning how to work. We both coasted (dh more than me) and it really did us a huge disservice. I was lucky b/c I transfered in highschool to a very advanced private school and I stopped being able to coast. I went from being in the top without trying to being at the bottom of my class.<br><br>
And it DESTROYED my self-esteem - but it was necessary, because my self-esteem was based on a false belief that smart != work. I still struggle with it and have some serious baggage about certain subjects as a result.<br><br>
My dh had similar experience, but he didn't get his realization until he left academics and went to work.<br><br>
Our oldest is struggling in K a bit and in a way I am happy that he is struggling because I want him to learn to work through challenges and that working at stuff is important - as important as having stuff come easily. We really emphasize that talent is nothing on its own; talent combined with hard work = excellence.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,631 Posts
Yes, I think a lot of it is personality. What kind of personality do you see in your son? Do you think you can help direct him, given what you know about his personality?<br><br>
I'm sure you've thought much about his schooling options, and I think that choice right there is very important. It's also important to keep on top of where he is with whatever schooling he's doing. Being very involved and making sure he's being challenged will go a long way.<br><br>
Plus, I think it's helpful to get him involved in outside activities...music and athletics, besides the schooling. It gives him some other dimension to take his energy into and perhaps learn some discipline in.<br><br>
I think that just the fact that you're aware of this as a potential issue will make you ultra sensitive to him leaning that way. I would think you would be extra vigilant and not allow slacking to just happen. Although, you might just check yourself every so often to make sure you're not being overly pushy either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,924 Posts
I was this way, too. I enjoyed school, and uhm, showing off. I coasted through college, too.<br><br>
But, I was not lazy. Actually, I was always did more than I had to for school assignments, and was annoyed when they were too easy. I had to learn to tone it down a bit.<br><br>
My mom worked really hard to keep school in it's place. You might say I was unschooled while attending public school. She had to work, I had to go, but she says everything she felt was important she taught me herself. She didn't place an emphasis on school. So, the things that drove me were outside of formal education, and were personal/family interests. Those exist outside of the school atmosphere, and still serve me today.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,830 Posts
Welcome <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">.<br><br>
Perfectionism does often look like lazy.<br><br>
I would highly recommend reading Carol Dweck. This changed a lot of my attitudes and approaches. I'm happy to say that my gifted 10 year old, who struggles horribly with perfectionism and "laziness," recently made a huge change in pursuit of greater challenge. I was wringing my hands but now feel confident that she'll have a more productive time in high school and university than I did as she's learning work habits and attitudes, as well as to invest in herself!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy"><br><br><a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=Pff9Xzpsj4oC&printsec=frontcover&dq=dweck#v=onepage&q=&f=false" target="_blank">http://books.google.com/books?id=Pff...age&q=&f=false</a><br><br><br>
ETA: ditto to it's really also about personality, and environment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
In my family, intelligence and performance at school were pushed. My sister is highly gifted and the rest of us gifted. I also pushed for perfectionism, but more to show that I was at least as "good as" my sister. She herself struggled with a lot of issues because my parents pushed the gifted issue.<br><br>
I did attend some gifted courses and had time away from the class to do more challenging work, but there is a big difference between gifted and profoundly gifted and much easier to challenge a gifted child than a profoundly gifted one.<br><br>
As for my own daughter, the one thing I am very aware of is that knowing a lot of facts and being able to process information and make connections easily is not the only important part of life - I want her to know how to handle her emotions better than I know now and how to relate to people of all intelligences, how to make friends and how to enjoy life - that it is ok to be an individual and if she is happier on her own then that is fine, but if she needs people around her too and gets on better that way, then that is fine too. I want her to have the freedom to grow up to be who she wants to be so that I can encourage that rather than pushing my own beliefs on her (easier said than done)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
Another semi-lurker decloaking here. This is a really timely post and issue for us. My ds (16) is right in the middle of this problem. His intelligence makes it possible for him to do the minimum and get by, and he often chooses to do just that: get by. He is now in what is supposed to be a very rigorous IB Diploma program, and we just got his first report. He did fine without doing ANY of the three-hour-per-night studying that was predicted (thank goodness on the one hand -- that is WAY too much homework imo, but...) His one bad grade was physics, which was hard, so he just didn't turn things in!! I had so hoped that this program would teach him how to work. But it isn't. He has self-stated ambitions for conservatory or university, and our fear is that once the work gets challenging, he will just balk. He seems to equate 'gifted' with 'does it all easily' or 'did it much younger than others' -- so perhaps effort for him means 'maybe I am not as smart as they all say'?? Is this a lesson learned through all of the emphasis (we are guilty) on speed of learning, and early mastery of skills like reading or multiplication. Another example, which may suggest some progress: he is a very, very talented violinist (he travels to Amsterdam from where we live in Germany to study with a particular teacher) -- but now that he actually has to WORK to please the extremely demanding teacher (ie practice...), he thinks it means he isn't talented. He is having to learn HOW to practice, step by step, with focus and concentration. But first he balked and decided to quit...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,227 Posts
Thanks for starting this thread, LurkyLoo, I know it strikes a chord with those of us who had similar experiences with academics. I'm not profoundly gifted but, like you, school was always ridiculously easy until well into grad school and I also dropped out at the PhD level when it got challenging.There is a lot of shame tied up in that self-perceived laziness for me, too and I worry about how to avoid this fate for my DD.<br><br>
I agree with PP about keeping things challenging and if school is not, find outside activities that are. I would also emphasize being a strong advocate for your child at school and being aware of what goes on between your child and the teachers and stepping in where necessary, which did not happen for me. I had horrible experiences in school with teachers who disliked me because the work was easy and I got As without any effort and spent my time fooling around in class. I was basically the behaviour problem they couldn't do much about and I was very often compared unfavaourably to the kids who "made the effort" to get the grades. That destroyed my self-esteem. Obviously only one piece of the puzzle, but for me, a big one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,771 Posts
I think laziness gets a bad rap. I almost think it doesn't exist. It is often a code word for something else.....a symptom, but not an innate thing in itself.<br><br>
let's look at the person who sits around and watches TV all day. In all probability they are:<br>
-depressed<br>
-addicted to screens<br>
-need a down period after a time of intense mental or physical business.<br><br>
I do not think people sit on the couch all day because they are "lazy".<br><br>
As a youth, and even now, some people may judge me as lazy - but I am not.<br><br>
- I emphasis priorities in my life. Sometimes this looks like laziness to an outsider. Yes - my house is messy - but perhaps I do not value housecleaning like you? Yes, I sleeep in till 9:00 a.m regulalry - but do you know when I go to bed?<br><br>
-Like many here I coasted in school. I remember being in grade 11 and my economic teacher called me out in front of class. He stated he was annoyed with so and so and I because we got "A's" and he knows darn well we did not have to work to get it. He was right. It was only in adulthood (and after having children) that I realised the fault did not lay with me but with the school system (and a little bit with my parents). <i>I was not challenged - so why didn't people attempt to challenge me???</i> I didn't spend time studying because I did not have to. Once you know the capitols of provinces you know them, and there really isn't much point in going over them again and again. This coasting may look like laziness - but it isn't. It stems from inappropriate work.<br><br>
In order to develop strong work habits, children need work that is genuinely challenging (they also need scaffolding to help them deal with the challenges...<i>but the challenge comes first</i>) Places to look for challenge:<br><br>
-schools<br>
-extra-curriculur activies<br>
-mentors<br>
-self guided work<br><br>
All of the above have pitfulls and require careful monitorring, but would be things that may help a student achieve good work habits.<br><br>
I think love of leanring and the desire to be productive are things we are born with...but I think good work habits is something learned.<br><br>
Good luck!<br><br>
Kathy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,187 Posts
Good points above. I have a dhwho I am CERTAIN is pg. His parents emphasized "a high IQ and a quarter get you the same cup of coffee" but they also seriously supplemented his love of learning at home and aided him in researching his projects IN DEPTH; i.e., afterschooled him (to give it a name) and helped him follow his interests. The encouraged him in music, which is lateral learning at your own pace, they provided a computer, which was a learning tool that helped him learn about 4 computer languages by the time he finished high school. He did skip 1 year; some classes were moronic but he had a few good teachers who challenged the children wherever they were at.<br><br>
My parents did the same thing, although I'm not PG (for certain), school was always easy for me (didn't learn how to work hard to study until organic chemistry).<br><br>
Music is very, very important as a lateral learning opportunity for our kids to learn at their own pace. DD's 1 and 2 both are in the midst of learning that it's not easy the first time (ages 11 and 9) and they have to put the work in to learn it, and to memorize it. It takes consistency on the parent's part to encourage/work with the practice, especially if you do something like Suzuki pedagogy, but dd1 needed a direction to go at 3, and this gave her something like that! I think this is huge, huge, huge! Hopefully it will transfer.<br><br>
So my thoughts are: foster a learning atmosphere at home separate from grades, even if your kids do "school" (mine do), provide something "extra" like music or computer or art classes or something that will engage them, and give them opportunities to problem-solve themselves. Of course, also dialogue with the school as much as possible to provide as much academic challenge as possible. DD1 is in pre-algebra in 6th grade, so she's doing OK.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,105 Posts
Thanks for starting this thread right now. Well, I didn't turn out so bad <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">, but I certainly haven't lived up to my own internal potential, and I want my children to get more out of life than I have. I think ALL PARENTS want this, in one way or another, regardless if their child is gifted or not.<br><br>
I get what you mean about not wanting a hardship, and yes, I would consider never having to learn to study a hardship. It is a basic life skill. Luckily I am not so intelligent, and I went to a challenging high school, which made me learn to study.<br><br>
My DD turned 3 last monday, and today she came home with a letter to me and DH, with our names on it - completely mirrored, but completely legible. I should be overjoyed. But I feel bittersweet. I'm in a society that does not skip, does not accelerate, and I'm just dreading the never ending days she will be given fluff work, until she is so bored she disappears in daydream. Somewhere along the line she may totally loose her desire and passion to learn. So, I am with you, and frankly, I'm scared.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
929 Posts
I have my kids in sports (karate and swim lessons) because I think sports teach good work habits. One of the things that helped me develop good work habits as a kid was swim team. I was on a summer swim team and a (winter) YMCA team from age 8 until I turned 18. I'm not a natural jock, so I had to learn to work hard at something to get better. I also learned some humility because it was something that I couldn't just immediately DO.<br><br>
Music or art or dance would do the same thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
675 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LurkyLoo</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14708910"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It wasn't until I was in my late twenties/early thirties that I got my act together. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> I was lucky to find a career that was interesting and challenging. I really had to grow up and muster some discipline, something I should have learned by the time I was ten.<br><br>
I will go back to lurking... but before I do that, I'd love to hear from anyone on this subject. I know there are a lot of mothers here who were considered 'gifted' as children, and weren't necessarily happy with the way things went. What are you all trying to do differently for your child? Does anyone else here have the concern of not developing a good work ethic because everything comes so easily? If so, what are you doing to address this concern?<br><br>
Thanks so much for your input. Back to my hiding hole.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
Hi there, nice to hear from you. Yes, your story really struck a chord with me - how similar and also similar to my DH's story. I also have a three year old, who may or may not be "gifted" but is certainly very advanced. What we will do differently is home/unschool. Probably more correct to say "neverschool" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kathymuggle</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14711643"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think laziness gets a bad rap. I almost think it doesn't exist. It is often a code word for something else.....a symptom, but not an innate thing in itself.<br><br>
let's look at the person who sits around and watches TV all day. In all probability they are:<br>
-depressed<br>
-addicted to screens<br>
-need a down period after a time of intense mental or physical business.<br><br>
I do not think people sit on the couch all day because they are "lazy".<br><br>
As a youth, and even now, some people may judge me as lazy - but I am not.<br><br>
- I emphasis priorities in my life. Sometimes this looks like laziness to an outsider. Yes - my house is messy - but perhaps I do not value housecleaning like you? Yes, I sleeep in till 9:00 a.m regulalry - but do you know when I go to bed?<br><br>
-Like many here I coasted in school. I remember being in grade 11 and my economic teacher called me out in front of class. He stated he was annoyed with so and so and I because we got "A's" and he knows darn well we did not have to work to get it. He was right. It was only in adulthood (and after having children) that I realised the fault did not lay with me but with the school system (and a little bit with my parents). <i>I was not challenged - so why didn't people attempt to challenge me???</i> I didn't spend time studying because I did not have to. Once you know the capitols of provinces you know them, and there really isn't much point in going over them again and again. This coasting may look like laziness - but it isn't. It stems from inappropriate work.<br><br>
In order to develop strong work habits, children need work that is genuinely challenging (they also need scaffolding to help them deal with the challenges...<i>but the challenge comes first</i>) Places to look for challenge:<br><br>
-schools<br>
-extra-curriculur activies<br>
-mentors<br>
-self guided work<br><br>
All of the above have pitfulls and require careful monitorring, but would be things that may help a student achieve good work habits.<br><br>
I think love of leanring and the desire to be productive are things we are born with...but I think good work habits is something learned.<br><br>
Good luck!<br><br>
Kathy</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
ITA with all of this <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,468 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kathymuggle</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14711643"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">In order to develop strong work habits, children need work that is genuinely challenging (they also need scaffolding to help them deal with the challenges...<i>but the challenge comes first</i>) Places to look for challenge:<br><br>
-schools<br>
-extra-curriculur activies<br>
-mentors<br>
-self guided work<br><br>
All of the above have pitfulls and require careful monitorring, but would be things that may help a student achieve good work habits.<br><br>
I think love of leanring and the desire to be productive are things we are born with...but I think good work habits is something learned.<br><br>
Good luck!<br><br>
Kathy</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
I also think I'd add to this list, given the fact that while I don't know about other people, I know I can't afford a lot of extra curricular activities.<br><br>
I do after schooling with my kids. We do science experiments together, we go on nature walks, I look for free interactive websites on the internet like the ones I listed here:<br><br><a href="http://theexplorationstation.wordpress.com/interactive-science-links/" target="_blank">Interactive Science Links</a><br><br>
There is no reason why I can't as their mom and a former scientist, that I can't be a part of their enrichment program.<br><br>
For so long I was worried about hothousing my kids...but in reality, I am really no different than the teachers I sent my oldest daughter to for science summer camp. In fact I have more real life experience than the two teachers that teach the class.<br><br>
I'm going to be doing more to expand my efforts with them, to the point of starting up an after school or Saturday science club starting after the holidays.<br><br>
I'm also going to start a newsletter for my science blog, maybe even to the point of printing it out for my daughter's class. I'd like my daughters to participate in making it too.<br><br>
I think there is lots we can do as parents that don't cost a lot of money, that are fun and make the kids think a little bit. I'm actually really enthusiastic about these new possibilities.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
399 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kathymuggle</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14711643"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">-Like many here I coasted in school. I remember being in grade 11 and my economic teacher called me out in front of class. He stated he was annoyed with so and so and I because we got "A's" and he knows darn well we did not have to work to get it. He was right. It was only in adulthood (and after having children) that I realised the fault did not lay with me but with the school system (and a little bit with my parents). I was not challenged - so why didn't people attempt to challenge me???</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
Same experience here, though at a younger age. In early elementary school, one of my teachers made a big deal about telling the class that the letter grade on our report cards (for effort) was much more important than the number grade (for mastery of the material). She said that she was much happier with the students who got a "3A" than those who got a "1B" or a "1C," because a B or a C meant you weren't giving your best effort.<br><br>
As one of the students who was given many "1B's," I remember feeling really sad, confused, and bad about myself. I knew that somehow my work wasn't good enough to satisfy the teachers, but I couldn't figure out why, or how I could fix the situation. At the time, I was far too young and naive to realize how DUMB and BACKWARDS their whole approach was. If they knew the work they were giving me wasn't challenging enough, THEY should have been the ones made to feel bad about it, not me!<br><br>
At least I didn't get tarred with a "1C." I guess that penalty was reserved for the truly profoundly gifted types, who had to try even less hard than I did. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br><br>
On a different note, thank you to everyone who's mentioned the Carol Dweck book. I have it around here, but keep forgetting to read it. I think it will help my interactions with my 5 year old, who was complaining about being bored at her Montessori school, but then admitted that she's deliberately been choosing work that's "too easy."<br><br>
Me: "Why don't you want to choose the harder work?"<br><br>
DD: "Because sometimes I don't know how to do it."<br><br>
Me: "How does it feel when you don't know how to do something?"<br><br>
DD (wide eyed, throwing her hands in the air dramatically) : "Like I just can't BELIEVE it!"<br><br>
Ah, the honesty of childhood. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
392 Posts
I second the recommendation of Carol Dweck's book. It's practical and gives fast results with a child who is both perfectionistic and smart.<br><br>
Would just like to add that challenges can be found in other areas too - a sport, music, etc. If school work is too easy, you can help the child find challenges in another area. Sometimes finding the work easy means the child has the gift of time to pursue other interests, which may or may not be academic-related.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top