Both my sister and I were tagged as "gifted" when we were kids. I remember a child psychologist (I think that's who it was) coming to our house one night and doing a series of tests on us both to test IQ and the like. My sister skipped a grade and I was placed into a gifted kids program when I was in year 2. I was always selected for the maths/English/science Olympiads and when I started in year 8 was selected for a place in an advanced maths class with about 5-6 other kids. Our downfall was definitely schooling. In primary school, my sister was bored a lot of the time and as just seen as being disruptive/naughty. Despite mum and dad complaining to the school that they weren't challenging her enough they just waved it off. When I got to high school I was friends with the "smart kids" (inc one who was the youngest person to ever join Mensa...) but was always made to feel like I wasn't smart enough. It all came to head in year 10 when a maths teacher decided to show us about 5 different ways to solve equations, but we were only allowed to use the "proper" way on exams. I kinda gave up at that point.
I had a friend whose parents were always boasting about how great she was, how smart, talented, gifted, intellectual etc etc and I think that just annoyed my parents so they stopped talking about us with them as all of that was their own opinion - she has never been tested by anyone for IQ and they made mum and dad feel like we had to "compete" for who was most gifted. The day this friend found out I had also won a half academic scholarship for yrs 11-12 was priceless (she had also won a half scholarship). It was her total disbelief that I was smart enough that made me feel good. I got sick of the comparisons from her so I just stopped trying. Even to this day (10+years after leaving school) mum and dad still see her folks socially and get told about how fantastic she is. They just don't bother, because they know that I'm actually in a better job, earning more money doing something that I love, in a stable loving relationship and actually enjoying my life.
I excel more when it comes to patterns and logical thinking. Working out/looking for patterns is numbers is something I seem to do subconsciously. I devoured logic puzzles etc when I was younger, and faced with an issue I was usually able to solve it. Once I got locked out of the house after school as dad had taken the front door key off my keyring to get it cut. I still managed to get inside by taking off the fly screen to my bedroom window, reaching in to get the window key that was on a hook on the wall, then using my window key to fit inside the lock on the garage door, then jiggling the door handle of the house. Mum couldn't believe it. I was only in yr 8 at the time. Either that or she was worried I was going to have a career as a house burglar!
I think the trouble with the "gifted" tag is there isn't really enough in the schools to test or challenge kids these days, and kids aren't allowed to reach their full potential. I babysat for a brother and sister when I was about 18/19 and the little girl was very bright and clever. When she started prep she was streaks ahead of the other kids in her class/grade. She was at a level where she was actually doing her older brothers work with/for him (he was in yr 2). There were discussions with the school about putting her up a grade, possibly even 2 and her parents were all for it, but the school in the end said no as they didn't want to inhibit the brothers learning by having his younger sister in the same grade as him. I think the following year they ended up putting her up a grade because she was just so far advanced over the other kids in her class it was so totally wrong to keep her where she was.
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10-04-2014 09:52 #11
10-04-2014 10:57 #12
I find it so interesting that you all downplayed your intellect. At my school I was given extra work, put in gifted programs and did work with older grades. I changed schools in year 5 to be in an opportunity class and then went to an academic selective high school. I was surrounded by other people who were smart and no one used it against us. Eventually I felt too much pressure and stopped trying.
I can see as a parent, people compare my children to their own. DS1 speaks really well and says things you don't expect from a 4 year old. I don't want people telling him he is smart or comparing him to others. I just want him to have fun and be himself.
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10-04-2014 16:44 #13
I think as PP mentioned the bragging/comparing thing will be with anything for some parents, sport, maths etc. I have one friend who I used to feel was trying to always say her child (same age) was doing better than DD. But I realised she is just genuinely proud of their achievements. So I don't bring into conversation the fact that DD is at level 4 swimming when she's just been raving about her child doing level 2 already. Nor that DD is venturing into chapter books when their child has just successfully read their first book.
Over the years my attitude towards my own intelligence has evolved. The point I've been at for a long time is that I don't need to prove to, or even tell, anyone that I have a high IQ. I know I'm smart, I like that I'm smart. With the in-laws though it's better just not to argue even when I know I'm talking facts.
I only share my daughters achievements with people who will be happy for her. People can easily misread pride as bragging.
When I tested my IQ my boyfriend at the time wanted to test his too. He believed he was much more intelligent than most people. Much to his surprise his IQ put him on the high side of average whereas I was in the 98th percentile. This fact was brought up in many a passive-aggressive comment along with big sooky pouts from him. My introduction into having a confirmed high IQ was not really a positive one.
This was almost 20 years ago and I couldn't even tell you the exact number of my IQ. Mostly because I think it's not that important. Experience tells me that high IQ does not automatically equal career success or lifelong happiness. My current career as a primary teacher gives me the opportunity to help students discover their unique strengths and also to have the confidence to pursue what they enjoy even if they are not the best at it.
10-04-2014 17:09 #14
I'm going to add my rant a little but its more for my son than me.
I was never allowed to be in gifted programs our go up a class.
I was over looked by my own choice but also because the gifted programs were not available in my area.
My son however had me to push the school to help him. He also doesn't have the option of a gifted program add they are not available.
But has been put up a class every semester since starting school.
Its the only way to keep up with him. He is having trouble with attitude as his teachers don't believe in a child his age being gifted. He never gets awards as the teachers don't think its fair.
I very much hide his gifted status as in this town he would get beaten up.
I'm sick of hearing mil and other family telling me to stop pushing him. Mil knows I'm not but she never helped get son to Achieve anything and is taking it out on me.
Ok rant over.
How can we help it kids to be their best in this kind of environment.
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10-04-2014 19:08 #15
I have been in uncomfortable situations at school. My son has just started school and is WAY ahead of the other kids in his class. He's got awards and us proud of his achievements because we are proud of him and encourage him. But I do find other mothers seem to take my child's success as an insult to their child somehow? So I find myself telling him not to talk about his reading level or what sight word level kids are on because it won't help him make friends. Am
I doing the wrong thing? I was aiming to teach him to be quietly proud and humble rather than boasting. He's so goal oriented he's genuinely interested in where other kids are up to.
11-04-2014 00:17 #16
Thanks for your responses. I do find it interesting regarding our own perceptions vs others perceptions.
I know my MIL issues are more hers. She has on many occasions cited the fact that my siblings and I have all gone to uni and it seems to be her own insecurities as it's never been said aloud by me (it doesn't need to be - it's fact).
What Stretched said - does resonate with me. Stating facts seems to be something that I do which I think some people think is me trying to "one up" them. It's never my intention, it is just that I like to deal with stating facts.
@tadpoles it's been moreso in public situations that I ever downplayed my intellect. I was in gifted classes and had heaps of extension work, but certainly never volunteered the information unless asked.
As for IQ - I like the idea of EQ (emotional quotient) as being a good idea of how far people will go in life, as I try to teach my children to care about other people and feel well and secure emotionally. I hope my slant on this area will help them find their own place in the world better.
@Acadaca I wonder if that's where my mother was coming from.
It's always great to hear/read other people's perspectives.
11-04-2014 00:36 #17
My daughter is seen as gifted and has been tested and we have been offered to have her moved up 2 grades. We will tell people how well she does and won't hide the fact the we are proud of her but we won't go into detail or boast either. We worry more about the pressure she would feel by everyone expecting her to ace everything more then hurting others feelings though because she puts an enormous amount of pressure on herself as it is and can and has had a breakdown over just the thought of not getting 100% on a test even though we have told her many times it is ok to not get perfect scores for everything. She recently told me sometimes she gets lonely because she talks more at an adult level she struggles to enjoy conversations with her friends and she never has the same interests as them but because she like everyone else wants friends hides that side of herself and tries to force herself to fit in with others.
11-04-2014 05:20 #18
I think some of the problem in regards to people downplaying theirs or their kids intelligence is a fear of being seen as a competitive parent. In real life and on bub hub, there is always talk of people trying to one up one another or compare their children to others and I think for those whose children are genuinely bright it becomes something that you worry about being judged for "oh she's just showing off" My son was an early talker and by 2 was having full conversations and using words that I would expect out of a much older child or adult. As an Early Childhood teacher I knew that his language skills were very advanced (still are at 4) but every time I said something to my friend whose son was a few months younger and didn't talk at all, I felt like I had to preface it with, oh but your child is so much better at riding their bike/physical skills etc, for fear of bragging. She still to this day tells me "you boy is gifted" but I often just write it off as that he has advanced language skills but we all develop different things at different rates.
19-04-2014 07:18 #19
It's hard isn't it? I suppose parents of kids who are very gifted in sports have issues about talking about it too, especially when the kids are young (eg. under 10).
I was gifted, but my school offered very little support apart from 2 levels of maths for year 7/8 and then eventually I got to do Year 12 Maths in Year 11. I was so bored academically most of the time. I had a few teachers (Grade 5 and Year 10 History) that allowed me to do extra extension work in class, but most of the time I found the work easy and spent a lot of time doing nothing. We had very few out of class extension things of any kind. I got a scholarship at Year 10 for my academic abilities, but the school never publicly acknowledged the scholarship recipients in case we were bullied ... yeah right! As if they didn't announce winners of sports awards/etc! grrr!
In contrast my dh was also gifted and he had a gifted program from around Grade 5 and he really enjoyed that. Sure, it didn't change class time stuff, but it gave him an outlet with similar minded kids to do open ended intellectually stimulating stuff. I think it helped him feel more accepted.
We've sent my ds to a school that values gifted education. Eventhough he's only in Grade 1 he can go to a lunchtime Science club or Drawing club and in class he has quite a few openended tasks that allow him to take them to what ever level suits him.
I was quite insecure about my IQ growing up, but never got any criticism from my family which I now realise is a little unusual. In the last year or so I've come to realise that most of my cousins (I have 20) have high IQ's (a few have VERY high IQ's) and so in our family it was sort of seen as normal.
I find it hard to talk about my ds as I don't want to sound like I'm boasting, especially to parents of children who are struggling to read. Part of it is being conscious of their insecurities about their son/daughter and their perceived lack of ability from an intellectual point of view. So if it comes up in conversation I do mention it but I sometimes then also make sure I mention his issues (social issues, slow processing speed, etc).
For my dd (age 2.5) it's still cute for people to hear her advanced language, so I don't feel such a need to play her abilities down. She also is the height of an average 4yo, so random people just think she's older than she is.
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