Okay - so to out myself here - I was in gifted programs from year 6 (that's when they started way back when I was a young person). I went into another gifted program at year seven, then for all of my highschool years. Yes, I then went onto university.
So - yes, I know my IQ is over 135 (mensa level), yet I don't tell others as I don't want to be seen as boasting.
When I was a child, I was embarrassed to tell people I was in gifted programs, as I'd seen how people would sneer (yes that was my perception) for whatever reason. I sort of resented my mother for listening to other people telling her about their children's wonderful achievements academically, yet she never seemed to glower back about my achievements.
So here's my rant...
I have now encountered the same (jealousy? insecurities? or whatever) as to why people actually play down their intellectual abilities as an adult. I totally downplayed my intellectual abilities as a child.
I have had people use in arguments "well I know I'm not as intelligent as you" - when I know I've never said - "you're not very smart" or "you're not as smart as me", so as much as I never knowingly put people down for their intellectual ability, it apparently is something to come through in debates/ arguments (okay - so I'm using my mother in law in one example here, but it has come up otherwise). My rant tonight is as a result of my MIL saying to me - well I'm not as smart as you but... yet, I've never said "well I went to university so I know best" (or words to that effect)
So my rant is as a child I played down my grades (when asked by other people), I never volunteered my grades when others boasted. However, as an adult, I've still seen many instances where instead of embracing knowledge, we play it down. The same thing happens with our children. My grandmother (at her 90th birthday party (this is lady who never made secret of the fact that she has an IQ of above 140 and is still in control of all of her faculties), that she hoped I put my DD into a gifted program. I hate that we play down our gifted traits (or maybe I'm in a minority here), in order to fit in and not offend others.
Because, as I've aged and seen more of the world I fully acknowledge, intelligence is much greater than IQ, however I still find people noticing that I have a background in logic solving and other "stuff" which is used as a weapon in arguments.
My mission in life is to teach my children to accept all other people and realise that all people have gifts and the secret is realising their gifts rather than playing up their own.
Anyway - rant over - some may agree and some may disagree, but I've had a bit of a cr@p week (this is not an isolated incident - but the fact that my intellect may mean I come to answers earlier than others or that I do observe things others may not, or that I have answers as I've considered situations others may not, does not mean I feel I'm better than others.
Please read this as: "I grew up being tagged as a "gifted child" and played it down all of my life" regardless I still find some adults get their backs up when I bring up knowledge.
Please be mindful that your "gifted child" is not trying to be a "know-it-all" he/she is not trying to offend or put down others, they are just excited that they have knowledge they wish to share.
As a closing note, people like to put others down to make themselves feel better and that's where I'm at tonight, but given that I was reflecting upon where I may have said something previously that may have offended someone else, it made me aware that it was most likely not my words by unconscious actions (which include words) which happens.
I hate that gifted children feel the need (in some situations) to downplay their intelligence and wish for all children to feel accepted. Maybe it's just my experience, maybe it's changed over the years, but it saddens me that while some parents feel there is stigma attached to having a child that needs extra help at school, I wonder if others realise that there is also stigma attached to having a child who has a "gifted" tag.
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10-04-2014 01:24 #1
Rant below - beware...;)
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10-04-2014 05:42 #2
I don't know why . I think it's totally unfair . We heap praise on kids who are great at sport yet we hide our smart kids .
10-04-2014 06:32 #3Senior Member
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Maybe people downplay their gifted children incase other people think they are bragging or trying to "one up" each other? I don't think my dd is gifted (or not showing signs of being gifted) but when she is particularly good at something or more advanced than other kids her age, I don't always outwardly show how proud of her I am cos I don't want my friends to think I'm being competitive (which I know some parents can be) but inside I'm so proud and in private I don't hold back and am happy to lavish praise on her.
10-04-2014 06:44 #4
We recently had interviews for high school for my two youngest (boys). The woman doing the interviews had all their school reports etc & asked if they were in a gifted program & mentioned if they did attend the school they would be put in a gifted program.
I'm not sure I want that. I've read research & watched a few docos that suggested by assuring kids they are gifted & more talented than their peers can actually hinder them. It can lead to them burning out or not trying due to fear of failure & wasting their gifts.
I'm also a bit 'scared' from my up bringing. I was often winning accolades etc but when I'd come 2nd in the class it wasn't good enough so I just stopped trying.
10-04-2014 07:33 #5
My dd was put in the gifted program in gr5. We always praised her. While she never boasted she was taught not to hide it either. She sees it as a major part of who she is therefore let's it shine.
I think growing up in a household of dumb bums. Really helped her understand how to let it shine with out making others feel bad.
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Last edited by LoveLivesHere; 10-04-2014 at 09:38.
10-04-2014 08:29 #6
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10-04-2014 08:51 #7
Maybe it's something you're saying, or the way you phrase things?
Both my husband and I are profoundly gifted, I also have Aspergers, neither of us get these type of comments (and I frequently put my foot in it lol).
I think there are ways of acknowledging your and your kids achievements while also acknowledging the achievements of others (without them feeling defensive).
Mum used to just congratulate people when their kids achieved things, no comparison, no Amie did this or that. When I achieved something I also got congratulated, just like everyone else.
Personally I find it easier to get along with others when I don't either rub people's face in it, or underplay my intelligence.
I'm sorry you're having a bad week, I hope it gets better from here on out
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10-04-2014 08:57 #8
Well said @pegasus. Interesting topic!
I am only now realising how my childhood has shaped my abilities as an adult in that regard.
As a child I enjoyed knowledge. I loved to learn and found it easy. I was good at problem solving. I loved to read. Not something that was common in our family.
Trivial pursuit has always been a favourite. Not to show people how much I knew, but to learn more, because I was interested. Certain members of my family always managed to put me down and make me feel bad about that. Accuse me of reading all the cards because there is no way I could have known that at my age. This is just an example, but has also continued into adulthood in that no one wants to play with me because they think I'm just showing off.
I recently discussed this with my parents, who are both intelligent in their own way, perhaps not reaching their potential, having high school education, my dad leaving early to take on the family trade. They have always been very supportive, have never pushed me too hard, let me do my own thing. They agreed that when I was younger people thought I was arrogant, but we're unaware the impact family members were having on me. My grandfather didn't think I should go to university!
Why is it ok that adults can influence a child so much in such a negative way? Why is intelligence not celebrated?
So I made myself the average kid. Never came first in anything....least I offend some one. Always second or close to the top. Made myself average at all aspects, sports etc.
But even now as a professional, I doubt myself constantly. I feel like a fraud. How could I possibly be in this position? What if I'm wrong? What if my novel ideas are stupid?
And in personal situations I refrain from contributing even when I know the advice would be welcome as I don't want to be seen as a know it all. I won't enter into debate. I sit back and let others nut it out. To the point that people think I'm rude, bored, don't want to be involved. Can't win!
Ok, so there's my rant!
Please encourage intelligence and the quest for knowledge as much as you do athletic and artistic ability!
10-04-2014 08:57 #9Junior Member
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- Jan 2014
I was tagged as a gifted child as well. My IQ is over 140.
I don't necessarily agree with a lot of what you've said in your post there, OP. As a child, I was very proud of my intellect, and let all and sundry know how smart I was. I was seen as 'precocious' sometimes, but most of the time I was just known as 'that smart kid'.
I know your MIL incident isn't the only incident that you've encountered recently, but I do wonder whether her comments are more about her than about you. She sounds like a friend of mine, who will say to anyone "you're smarter than me", and put herself down constantly. She is quite bright and has achieved a lot in her career, but constantly feels on the back foot when she compares herself to others due to her belief that others are doing things 'better' than her. If I got into a debate with her, she would almost definitely back down with a comment about my intellect rather than carrying on the conversation. It's not a reflection on me, it's more on her.
Do you mean that you think that it's not as 'cool' to be bright, so it's potentially easier for children to downplay their abilities? If yes, then I wholeheartedly agree with you. The perception that academic ability is 'uncool' at school can be a real problem, depending on the school. Any school that facilitates an achievement based atmosphere in areas outside of 'just' sport is streaks ahead of the competition in my books.
I agree with dollypops, that people feel that they don't want to be seen as bragging when talking about their children, but I also think that applies for any form of talent in children, not just intellect. I'd talk anyone's ear off about my son's intellect until the cows come home, but I'm aware that it may come across as bragging, or make others compare and feel bad, so I tone it down.
I think any form of analytical work life will impact the way that you debate/argue/discuss with people, and perhaps people don't want to engage with you in that sort of conversation as they feel that they just can't 'win'? How are you at gracefully accepting another person's point of view, even if you know it's 'wrong' or 'illogical' or 'irrational'? I know it took me a long time to get there, but it makes a world of difference in the way you're accepted and perceived by others.
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10-04-2014 09:13 #10
OMG @pegasus, either we are the same person or we at least have the same MIL. I had a similar upbringing to you and I am constantly battling my MIL. She usually says things like 'I know your smarter than me' etc. I don't think she understands that I'm not trying to have an argument, I just like to learn more and therefore ask where she got certain information from, apparently this shows that I am trying to be a smartarse and prove that she is stupid. Now I don't even bother to have a conversation where I can help it, least I'm accused of something I'm not trying to do.
While DD is only 8 months, I can see some of the challenges ahead if she too is gifted. While I would hope that she is interested in the world as I am, I would hate her to cop some of the crap I did for being 'smart'. A fine balance between proud and bragging.
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