Gifted & Talented Kiddos - Am I the Only Mom with a Good Ole Fashioned "Reg" Kid

Updated on April 12, 2012
H.M. asks from Boulder, CO
40 answers

It seems like everyone I know has a kid in the "gifted and talented" program at school. Now - I grew up in gifted & talented classes (3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th grade) and my hubby was in gifted & talented from K to 8th grade - and neither of us are any sort of special. LOL

I just wonder if it's really important or just something that parents (and I'm not saying this to be mean) like to brag about cause it makes them feel good?

I think my son is a smart boy but he's not gifted or talented (that I can tell - he's a pretty good swimmer lol) and I'm ok with that. Are you ok with your kids not being part of gifted & talented programs or if they are part of them - what do you see as the benefits?

help me understand this...thanks.

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answers from Detroit on

I have noticed out the corner of my eye while mom is saying how "gifted" her kid is, he is punching some kid in the stomach behind her back. Interesting.....

Lol. Really, my kids are awesome and amaze me everyday! Yeah, I will brag about them, but in the long run, I dont think the gifted classes are really going to matter.

Im pretty "special" myself. I am in a class of my own! ;) I like it here.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

I also have two fantastic "regular" boys! They have talents, but doesn't everyone have something they're good at?

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answers from Birmingham on

Gifted? Right. My kid eats her boogers and thinks it's hilarious to fart. My only expectation (as of now) is that she grows out of this eventually:) And, if she was "gifted", I don't know who in the hell is going to help her with her homework when she gets smarter than me!

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answers from Seattle on

Oy vey.

Okay, I DO have a 'gifted' kiddo (part and parcel with his being ADHD).

No. Most people don't have gifted kids. They have bright kids, who are ahead of a slow poke curriculum.

Gifted is a crappy name for a brain disorder, in my not so humble opinion. Lots of kids are bright. Most kids are smart. The term 'gifted' makes it seem like something to aspire to.

I remember a turning point when I moved here when my son was in K. Occasionally one DOES move to an area where there are a lot of gifted kids around (usually near gifted schools, people move, because gifted kids usually can't handle regular school very well... like a deaf kid, or blind kid, or autistic kid. ALL these kids CAN go to a regular school, and some schools are even phenom for them, but most schools fail them completely). I thought I'd stumbled into a little nexus on accident when all of a sudden every parent at the park was talking about their gifted kids.


Now, my son isn't a genius (thank god. I have 3 in my family and that's a true curse), and he's not profoundly gifted, nor even highly gifted (like ASD giftedness is a spectrum). He's on the lower range of gifted. But I thought to myself "Great! No more having to 'hide'!!!"


These were people, who thought giftedness is a thing to aspire to. Their perfectly normal, lovely, children were fantastic. But they weren't gifted. Yes. They knew their letters and numbers as preschoolers. They weren't reading and doing arithmatic. Yes they were building bridges with their blocks. They weren't disconnecting the power to the fridge to make their bridges move.

Gifted Parents don't ask "How did you get them to _________?"
Gifted Parents ask "How did you DEAL with them doing ________?"

Giftedness very rarely presents singularly, although it does happen. There ARE gifted kids who aren't "twice exceptional" / "2e". But the majority, come to find, are 2e. We're talking ADHD kids, Aspie kids, dyslexics, dysgraphics, SPD, etc.

Giftedness is a brain disorder where the brain processess and stores information differently than most people. When the brain processes and stores information differently, it usually doesn't JUST do it with learning/academics but with a whole host of other things as well. Even if a kid is "just" straight gifted, that processing and storing information differently affects a whole HOST of cognitive and emotional areas. Milestones are COMPLETELY off. "Asynchronistic Development" becomes a HUGE problem.

These kids struggle.

Because they're not just SMART (in fact, a lot really aren't "smart" at all), smart is GREAT. Most kids are smart, or have the ability to be smart given the proper guidence/ love/ attention.

It's a crappy name, 'gifted'.

It makes it seem like something want (hey, who doesn't want a gift?), instead of just something that IS.

There are GREAT things about being gifted. There are also GREAT things about being; ADHD, Dyslexic, Dysgraphic, Autistic, Bipolar... pick a brain disorder, any brain disorder.

BUT each brain disorder comes with an equal if not greater set of challenges, struggles, and problems.

If people with bright kids knew even half of the struggles that come along with being 'gifted' it's nothing they would ever want for their child.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

To me, the label means nothing. All kids are gifted and talented in their own way. And all kids are gifts. No one child is more special than the next.

My nephew always has his nose in the air and is always talking himself up while talking others down. He considers himself the total package. I had to point out to him that success is subjective. Everyone's idea is different. He thinks he's successful because he brings home a good salary. I had to point out that there are some people who measure success differently. For example, someone who volunteers and devotes their time to helping others is, IMO, a successful person in terms of humanity. He might not consider them successful because they are volunteering and not pulling down a salary, but they are successful as human beings. He has a stepdaughter that he has yet to put any effort into bonding with. So in my book, he's not a succesful in terms of being human being and all the money in the world is not going to change that.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Augusta on

I have one in the G&T program and one that tested this year waiting for the results. My oldest in the G&T program is also ADHD. The G&T extras are a God send for us. It keeps her challanged. It helps her explore subjects she is interested in , in her way and helps to know how to harness her different way of thinking to her advantage.
And when my son decided suddenly in kindergarten that he has to know everything he can about black holes I know there's something different about him as well. He thinks differently than most people , even differently than his sister.
I do think there is a great advantage to putting these kids that have these brains that work differently in a different class . They can be taught to their biggest strengths.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

My school district doesn't have G&T. In fact, I think my state cut G&T funding almost 20 years ago. It's not a "thing" here. That said, I think there is a HUGE difference between "gifted" and just smart. Most kids in G&T programs are just smart. A bit above average, but they're not going to set the world on fire with their "giftedness." I, for example, would have been considered smart. I was a good student and got A grades with very little effort. There is nothing extraordinary about my brain - I learn quickly and remember things easily. I store and retrieve information in a way that works very well with traditional education. That's really it.

To me, true "giftedness" is when you have students whose brains are wired so differently that they can't function in a regular classroom. "Smart" kids who get bored with classwork can find other ways to amuse themselves and not drive themselves and everyone else crazy. I know many people who, like me, got through the school day by drawing, practicing something in their heads (I would run through dance routines or songs I was playing on piano), or reading. In high school, there were some classes where I was allowed to work on art projects while listening to a lecture. While it's nice to be able to offer the fast learners something else productive to do, I don't think that using scarce education dollars to do that is a good use of resources. All it takes is some flexibility on the part of the teachers when kids are younger, and adequate honors and AP programs when kids are older.

Where those G&T dollars really need to go are to the kids whose brains work so differently that you lose them if you're not working at their speed. The kids who are disruptive if bored. The kids who are really out of balance in their abilities. It's really interesting to see - two of my kids are "simply smart" - learn quickly and easily, participate in class, earn good grades without a struggle. It's a joy to watch them go through their education, and I wish all of my kids were blessed with being "simply smart." Another child has ADHD and learning disabilities. The amount of effort it takes him to get Cs or Bs is half of what it takes the other two to get As. It's pretty unfair. Then there's my boy who seems like a fast learner, but can't control his voice or his mouth in school, is always in trouble, fights doing homework, but excels on his tests. Gets everything right with literally no effort, but hates school. He also draws every waking moment. So with him, I'm starting to see why even high scorers who get good grades need the same kind of educational support that we would give to a student with LDs - he cannot function in a traditional classroom setting and if this continues, he will become more of a problem child in school the older he gets. But with no G&T funding, I can only get him help within school if he qualifies for an IEP, which requires an LD, which he obviously doesn't have. Even if I get him an ADHD diagnosis, that's a health impairment and would only get him a 504 accommodation plan. So in my school district, there really are no resources for kids who may be "gifted" and can't handle a normal classroom.

Anyway...I don't know if he is truly gifted in some way. Honestly, I hope not. I hope he just needs to mature a bit and will eventually settle down and work to his potential. I do often wonder if areas that have a lot of kids in G&T programs just have a lousy curriculum and low standards that they need to work on. The quality of education in my state is pretty high - perhaps instead of siphoning off every above-average kid into a G&T program, other areas may benefit from improving the quality of education and working on differentiated instruction at all levels. Because clearly, not that many kids can be gifted and or talented.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I have two kids in the "GT" program and I think it's an unfortunate misnomer. As many of the other posters have said, all kids are gifted and talented in different and a variety of ways. Also, although my boys are both very intelligent and do well in school, they aren't necessarily future MENSA material. All of that said, I do see benefits to the program. It provides them enrichment opportunities they might not get in the regular classroom and it provides them an opportunity to be challenged by their peers. Sometimes kids for whom things have always come easy get bored in the classroom or get frustrated when faced with a challenge for a change. The GT enrichment activities can address these issues. I wish they would change the names of these programs though. My oldest son takes it in stride, but it has gone to the head of my younger one and I have to remind him that all of his classmates have talents and that working hard and getting along with others is just as important to his future success as his intelligence.

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answers from San Francisco on

Riley makes some very good points.

My kids are both smart. My older one is bright, works hard, and is very disciplined. She averaged 98% across all subjects last semester. I don't know about "gifted and talented" because our school doesn't have that. But I do know that the curriculum she is working on now isn't challenging her enough (hence she has near-perfect scores). It would be great to put her in a classroom with other very bright, hard working kids so they could all challenge each other, and possibly move more quickly through the curriculum, or investigate things they find interesting.

My younger child has genius-level intelligence. She skipped a grade and gets the same grades as her big sister, but puts forth almost no effort to do so. She finishes her work almost immediately in class, and then spends the rest of the time bugging all the other kids and getting in trouble. It's not that I feel like a great parent because she is like this. This is how she was born - she could do 100-piece jigsaw puzzles at a year old. She can add fairly large sums in her head. I have no idea what goes on in that brain of hers, but she is ALWAYS thinking wild and crazy thoughts, and never sits still. It's not easy to be a parent of a kid like that. She doesn't react to things like my older child does so I'm often at a loss to really understand her.

Anyway, as Riley said, truly gifted children are often gifted in several ways, not all of them academic, and they NEED special instruction. Sadly for us, our gifted little one isn't getting the kind of instruction that she could really use.

I would imagine that most "gifted and talented" children in classes are simply brighter than average academically, and so have moved beyond the basic curriculum. I don't think most of them are truly "gifted" in the sense of having an IQ over 150.

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answers from Jacksonville on

For some kids, yes, it is really important. If your child is academically gifted/talented (I'm sure in some areas they probably use different criteria) then it would be akin to having a struggling student with a lower end IQ stuck in AP classes. There are challenges these kids deal with that "regular" kids don't. Yeah, all kids are special and have issues. I get that and agree. But there is a bell curve, generally speaking. There are some kids who under perform and those that over perform (or are capable of it) and there are often very typical traits that accompany both ends of that. The kids in the middle (the vast majority of kids--because that is what MAKES average) are the 'mainstream' classrooms/teaching methods. The kids who are "gifted" often struggle with issues that many adults push aside because the kids are smart enough to still function at an acceptable level of performance academically. It doesn't mean their issues don't exist.

I have one child who qualifies and is in the G/T program. And one who is not. My G/T child learns things extremely easily/quickly and gets bored and is ready to move on. She also is extremely competitive. And very strong willed. And has a high degree of awareness of "justice". The kind of awareness that can ruin a week of school if she is treated unfairly in some way that she discerns, but recognizes that is "just the way it is". She would never speak up or complain, but she will shut down and sulk. G/T TEACHERS are aware of these kinds of quirks and know better how to deal with them. IF the school uses teachers with specialized training in this area.

So, no it isn't just bragging. I do brag on both my kids, although not much. Usually I am just accepting compliments about them, and I say that with humility. They are both good kids. Kind, helpful, and well-behaved, for the most part.
For some kids, it is more important than others. Just like some kids with "special needs" (the type that mean they can't function well in society without a lot of remediation) NEED the remediated help or the specialized teacher, so too do many of the truly G/T kids. Ever seen a weirdo guy so smart that he can't function normally b/c he has no awareness of how he is perceived? That can be one end of the bell curve. My daughter isn't that far out there... but she does benefit from being made to WORK and not being able to coast through every single subject and assignment given to her. She does benefit from not being praised for doing HALF of what she is capable of. She does benefit from not ALWAYS being the best in her class. And when she is in her G/T class, she is "one of the crowd" and NOT always the smartest/fastest/whateverest.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Some one at school told me that the gifted and talented program was invented when the schools dumbed down the tests and cirriculum to enable all races to pass the academic tests equally.

Today's gifted and talented programs appear to be the classes I took when I was a kid in school. I don't think my schools were "advanced". I just think they were the norm when parents that were interested in their children succeeding in school because that meant a better job after school. It also meant getting in college when getting in college was unusual.

Good luck to you and yours.

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answers from San Francisco on

K, so I have a 14 yo who was identified as "gifted" in 3rd grade. She was able to participate in a few classes/programs not available to all the kids. But other than that her only real "gift" is that she can roll her eyes at me like nobody's business! Oh and she's made the word no into a two syllable word... "KNOWAH!" as in "I KNOWAH!" LOL! She's my strong C+ or B- student. My 10 year old is a "regular" kid, ha ha, and she is my super smart A student. I really don't understand the whole "gifted" thing and think it's totally overrated.

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answers from Boca Raton on

I was labeled "GT" too as a kid . . . when I think I was actually hyperlexic with a very good memory.

Meanwhile my husband hated every moment of school and left college early.

Want to guess who makes WAY more $$$, even when you factor in my professional degree?

Loved your post . . .

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answers from Washington DC on

My oldest is bright, has been tested for all that and could have been a part of it all, had he given a darn about any of his homework. He was kicked out in 5th grade.
My 2nd is part of the G&T. She belongs there.
My third has anxiety issues, but tested into it. She does not neccessarily belong in a gifted program.
My fourth. Oh how I love my fourth. In kindergarten he had an issue with W's and V's. He wrote numbers backwards and was all gross motor. The teacher said to us " He is just a normal little boy. " I had her repeat that to me. I love normal!!!
A profoundly gifted child is harder to handle than most people think. THeir brains are working a mile a minute and they get things with half explanations, or no explanations at all.
Most of the schools label children as gifted when they are brighter than the average population, but not necessarily "gifted". I think it is a misnomer.
It also blows a lot of steam into peoples' egos thinking their kids are "gifted".
Schools want to label the kids. The more labels they give out the more money they get. Ours gets a Governor's School Grant. So you bet they try to fill all 30 slots every year.
THis is a real sore spot with me. So far "gifted" has meant more work and more projects, not better or higher level work. We've dealt with the "gifted " programs in IL, CA, NC (2 districts), and VA (3 districts).

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answers from Minneapolis on

I keep thinking of Garrison Keillor's opening line for the Lake Woebegon tales on the NPR radio show "A Prairie Home Companion."

"....the little town that time forgot, and the decades cannot improve...where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average...."

With that said, I think we have some Lake Wobegon happening ...everywhere. I think parents, kids, the community at large, AND the schools benefit from bragging about such things. If the school can tout a large number of "stellar and above average" students, then the reasoning is the school must be good, and everyone who teaches and attends and lives in the surrounding neighborhood community are good too, right? Perhaps there is even funding or perks for the schools with the higher percentage of high performance kids.

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answers from Denver on

okay right? Thank you!! It does seem like everybodys kid is very bright! I thought I was the only one without! In fact I have a kid on an IEP and will probably need an aide in kindergarten next year! He is okay academically but def needs help in the classroom as he become overwhelmed with all the hub-bub the classroom comes with. Thank you sooo much!!
BTW: I drove through Boulder yesterday, just a beautiful city!

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answers from Minneapolis on

My daughter has been in a 3x/week, just one class period length, G&T program this year, in 4th grade. She has had the opportunity to do projects and go on field trips that she wouldn't have otherwise been part of. The class has challenged her and made her think. It also has taught her what it is like to not easily "succeed".

If she weren't in the G&T class, she would spend that time reading, which she also very much enjoys these days. Two years ago, she was significantly behind her grade level in reading. She qualified for Title 1 daily mentoring. Her teacher was about to submit forms to have her labeled "learning disabled". Then in 3rd grade, she tested at 99th percentile in reading. I've learned that this inconsistent development is actually quite common in G&T kids.

I don't brag about the fact that she attends G&T class. (I brag about her because she's a cool kid in many ways... :-) She has strengths and weaknesses like everyone does, she's just got a mind that benefits from extra stimulation. I wish I'd had that opportunity as a kid.

Each school district uses different qualifying factors to put kids in their special programs. Some are based on recent science and some aren't. I would hope that as more research is being done, that all kids will benefit from improvements in meeting individual needs in education.

I found the book "Nurtureshock" to be very interesting in that it covered some of the most recent research in child development in an engaging way.

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answers from Washington DC on

I was in GT for other things, but not math. I stink horrible nasty rotten eggs at math. My sister was never in GT and is awesome at math and is taking accounting classes to further her career.

I think that GT has a place for kids, like any sort of special education, but it's not the end all be all, nor is it the end of the world to be in college prep classes instead. The guy who was #3 in my HS graduating class dropped out of college.

Each of my sks has had their ups and downs and challenges. When SD was not in advanced classes, she was bored and bored = getting into trouble. SD chose not to take as many AP classes as SS did. She took a cooking class this year, something she loves. Each kid is different, even within a generic label.

I would just encourage him to be the best HIM he can be, take the classes that interest and challenge him, and not worry if they are GT or not. Many schools now allow students who were never in Honors to be in AP, for example, should he so choose down the road.

I also know people who would love to just have an average kid who will graduate vs a smart kid who dropped out or a kid who struggles because the school can't or won't get her IEP right.

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answers from Anchorage on

Most the kids in those classes are just regular kids, but with parents that need their kids to be "special" so they can feel special through them.

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answers from Washington DC on

Our school has a GT program...I'm not a big fan of it. My dd was tested for it and did excellent on one test but only above average on the other. I'm actually happy she's not in that isolates out kids from the general population and they miss out on many social opportunities since they are in with the same kids every year rather than having different kids in their class.

Unfortunately, sometimes kids get "branded" when they're in that program..i.e. geeks, nerds, the "smart kids" etc. I'm not saying that there isn't a place for this type of thing, but when I was a kid, everyone learned together. Teachers can give the gifted kids extra or more advanced assignments without isolating them.

In my observation, GT kids don't really need to be separated. I think much of it is an ego trip for the parents.

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answers from Dallas on

I'm quite happy with my average kids. They each have stand out qualitities and stand out in certain subjects, but then again, don't we all have our own gifts & talents. I was in the Honors program all through school and I liked it. If they show the ability in jr high and high school, I will encourage it. But for now, I just want them to be average kids playing on the playground.

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answers from Albany on

Nah, I've got three 'regular' kids, 19, 17, and 15, meeting with 'regular' success in life and school.

In HS, they've all taken AP/UHS classes, but they had no 'gifted' program prior to that.

So, I'm not REALLY sure either, what 'gifted' means! Here our 'gifted' tends to mean special ed, programs catered towards kids who are academically advanced, but who have social/emotional/behavioral problems, which my kids do not.


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answers from Chicago on

It's a label to make parents feel better. Most truly gifted children would never be in a "normal" school, they would go mad there.

My kids will not be entering the public schools because I refuse to play this game. Each kid is unique and different, and each is talented in their own right. They should not be compared and normalized. By doing so, we normalize, and penalize difference. Difference is the stuff of life, what is creativity if not a different or new way of doing something?

I am OK with my kids being whatever they are, and I wish we'd throw out the labels and all the comparisons.

We really need to throw out curriculum by age and just do curriculum by interest and talent.

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answers from Cleveland on

THere was a great NYT article awhile ago about how no parents will admit their kids are average nowadays. It seems like every child, even on here, is gifted or maybe just extremely bright or has ADD, ADHD, or is autistic. Every toddler is "advanced". Hardly anyone says their child seems average. I was accelerated a year and apparently my usband tested as gifted but I just hope our kids do ok and are normal. I get so incredibly tired of all the gifted talk. It seems like now the top 10 percent of iq is gifted versus what used to be the top 1 percent. But I tell myself whatever. There doesn't seem to be a 1:1 correlation with either wealth or happiness to being "gifted". And I do think many times it's parents needing to perhaps prove something they themselves haven't been able to accomplish. I've been way more successful professionally than I ever expected and would have been predicted by my HS gpa so i dont feel like i have something to prove. Sometimes it seems that these parents are trying to say "see how smart i am to have produced such a smart kid. It's genetics. I just was unlucky and that's why I'm not CEO of google."

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answers from Austin on

The reason I did not have our daughter tested for GT, is because ALL of the teachers in her elementary school were trained GT teachers and already taught all subjects as GT..

If a new teacher was hired and not trained, they were sent for training.
Yes, this is a public school. The campus is always rated as one of the top in the city, The parents/PTA made this a priority years ago and it has paid off.

Once the students moved onto middle and High school, they were placed in the accelerated classes if they qualified based on their scores and their needs.

I still think this is the reason the majority of the students tended to continue to be some of the most bright students through out their school careers.

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answers from Kansas City on

I too have 2 boys that are just great kids, not gifted, but nice well rounded kiddos that we push to get decent grades but don't expect them to solve world hunger before the age of 10!!

Some parents take everything a little too far.


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answers from Portland on

My kid is who he is. I'm fine with him being happy to learn and explore on his own. If it eventually takes him into a TAG program because that's what's best for his learning, awesome. If not, awesome too!

Not everyone can be the golden child. I think it's better to prepare ourselves and our kids to be 'average', to work hard and enjoy the moments of excellence and achievement because of the effort and work done. We just need to appreciate our kids for who they genuinely are.

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answers from Detroit on

One of my friends has twin boys and one of them has been evaluated and is, apparently, "gifted". He is 5 years old but can read at a 5th grade level, and can do math at a 2nd or 3rd grade level. But they also have their hands seriously full with him. Emotionally and socially he lags behind, and they were told this is common with kids like him. So he is bored in his pre-K class, because of what he is capable of, and apt to act up and throw tantrums like a 2 year old because he can't understand why there are certain rules in place or why he has to follow them.

Seeing what my friend is going through, I am happy that most likely, my daughter is probably very bright, without necessarily being "gifted." I would rather have a child who is probably smarter than average, but still overall a well-rounded kid, who enjoys a variety of activities, and can still fit in socially and make friends with other kids her own age. At this age, being curious, and wanting to partake in whatever is going on, and working hard and trying her best, will probably take her farther in life than being labeled "gifted" ever will. Like others have said, if it gives some kids more of the challenge that they are needing, that's fine, but it may not be in their best interest to label them "gifted." I would not want my child thinking that she didn't have to study or work hard or put forth her best effort just because at some point she got labeled "gifted" and now there are all these lofty expectations of her and her abilities. Sometimes it ends up backfiring and having the opposite effect - if something does not come easy to them, they don't want to try at all.

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answers from Houston on

lol I love your question! I have a regular kid. He doesn't excel in anything like sports or piano or math BUT he's a good kid and other people - adults and kids alike - enjoy being around him, so to me, he is exceptional.

I haven't met a parent who doesn't think their kid is g or t in one area or another though. Reality will hit them one day if their child indeed isn't g or t.

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answers from Santa Fe on

We have one kid in Gifted and Talented and one kid who is "normal". Honestly, I have never told another friend here with kids his same age about our son being in GATE because it seems like bragging or like it might make someone feel bad. I just don't mention's no big deal. I was ahead of the curve academically when I was young and was in all the advanced placement classes...but I don't consider myself to be smarter than others. As for benefits - our son has always been very verbal and good at reading and the benefit is he is slightly less bored in his classroom. He really really looks forward to his GATE days because he gets an hour of doing something more stimulating. I wish he could be extra stimulated all day at school...but we will take what we can get :). And just so you know, he's a very smart boy, but he's also totally impossible in many ways - crazy stubborn, very reactive, very sensitive. Our "normal" child is soooo much more enjoyable to hang around for long periods of time...she's more pleasant and easy going. Our son really tires us out with all the drama/stubbornness/battles.

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answers from Washington DC on

The kids in the GT classes are bright... they are NOT gifted. Truly gifted children are few and far between and most truly gifted children are gifted in one thing, not every academic subject. If an educator has one truly gifted student in his or her career, it's a miracle.
I have two very bright children -- neither is gifted and I did not even allow then to be tested for the GT program. My oldest got a college scholarship. My youngest is now tutoring the GT kids in Calculus...
So -- it's a waste.
Keep your kids in their regular classroom.
If they are bored, make the teacher challenge them.

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answers from Salt Lake City on

I think we all have something we can and do brag about with our kids. We're so amazingly proud of what we as parents have created, and we should be! I have one boy that struggles to keep up in school, but like yours is an amazing swimmer, and is super sweet, and very easy going. My other has skipped a grade because he needs to be challenged to keep out of trouble. It's working (going on 6 months). He's still top 5% in his class. We chose not to do the GT program, mainly because it's at a different, farther school. Jen's comment irked me at first, but then I realized I CONSTANTLY feel good through my kids, everytime they do something good, and frankly I don't see a darn thing wrong with that.



answers from Denver on

"GT" is way overused. And I say that with 2 in GT program. If a kid is truly GT in academics, they need something way beyond what will happen in a normal classroom. They think differently, they think at a different speed (not always faster), and they see the world in a truly different way (I've had discussions on chemistry, physics and biology before 7 in the morning - all three in the same morning from my two GT kids. I hear other parents get to discuss Phineas and Ferb or some such thing on the way to school. It'd be great not to be on A game all the time!)

That said, yes, there are a lot of parents that push for GT designation because it makes them feel better. we almost didn't even test for GT because we were concerned about "those" parents and we felt our oldest was bright, but normal. Well, turns out "those" parents typically don't get into GT in Jeffco. And turns out that our "bright" kid was not normal. What did I know? I thought a two year old reading 20 books at one sitting was normal. I thought teaching yourself to read before kindergarten was just a consequence of being read to every night. and, because I love museums, I didn't think anything about staying at the science museum from 9 am until 4 pm.

so, your kid may be gifted, may not. to us it's not something to be proud of, its simply a way to get their needs met. It's simply different. It's a way for them to not be the odd child if they're with a whole bunch of other kids that want to spend an entire day at a museum and can't remember ever not knowing how to read.

We've taught our kids that they are not better than other kids because of their academic gifts, they are simply different and that's why they're in a different class. just like we give special help to those that have struggles learning to read, we give special help to those that think differently and grasp concepts quickly. actually, my daughter might struggle to grasp some concepts in a regular classroom because of the way she thinks, but catches on quickly with the different presentation in GT.


answers from Kalamazoo on

Our school has an Academically Talented program that both my kids tested for and were approved for. I like the name too, because as Christy said, everyone is gifted at something - this is just for academics!! This class meets all day every Wed and provides them with a bit more challenging critical thinking work. If my kids excelled extra at art, I would want that further developed, if they were extra athletic, I would want that utilized for them etc.
That being said - I NEVER tell other moms about it in conversation. I would never want it to be like I was bragging. Every person is "gifted" at something.


answers from Redding on

The GATE program is there so kids moving at a faster pace than others can still be challenged at their speed. It doesnt guaranty geniuses.



answers from Tulsa on

My child was labeled GT but we put her in the regular program. She is not Mensa either. I do sometimes think maybe she would have been better off since they moved way ahead and grades K-3 repeated everything until every last student got a 70. I think I have met two future MENSA members and they are not in the same grade. It is rare.



answers from Denver on

When I was a kid, I was in G&T. It meant we got to do some projects and classwork a couple grades ahead one day per week. It didn't mean we were genius-level or that we were special needs. I don't know if it's different now. It started in 5th grade and was over by 7th or 8th grade.

There is no G&T in our local elementary school and my oldest is challenged well enough in first grade. If there is a program like that when he or his brothers are older and the teachers want them in it, I'll appreciate it, because it will help keep them engaged in school. But if there is a program and they're not in it, that's okay too.

The bragging is a bit odd to me. It should be about getting each child what he or she needs. Period. I'd be proud of my schools and my community for making sure that happened. I'll be proud of my kids for working to their abilities, no matter what those are. I will make sure they know I am proud of anything they work to accomplish. But BRAGGING about them is my Mom's job! : )

I have an aquantaince who recently went out of his way to tell me his kids were in "HGT" in their elementary school (we're talking 1st and 3rd grade) - he wanted to know if MY kid's were. I said, well, one son is GHD - I don't know what HGT is. He said "HIGHLY gifted and talented." I wondered how many *levels* of G&T they had! I didn't ask anything more, but I'll admit I thought a few questions he would not have taken well. Instead, I smiled and said "good for them!" No way am I getting sucked into *that* dynamic!


answers from San Francisco on

Is it really "everyone" you know? Makes me wonder what the standards for G&T in your school system are. Just a though....



answers from San Francisco on

First of all, gifted and talented is not a myth perpetrated by parents eager to set their children apart from the herd. However, many parents do gravitate to these terms, erroneously (I feel), because they want to feel their kids are the best, brightest, etc. Let's face it, we all think our kids are special and getting external confirmation of that fact can be really rewarding. But back to my original point...

There is absolutely such a thing as a gifted child. And, depending on where you live, you can run into a lot of them or hardly any at all in your lifetime. Think of it this way...there are parts of the country and world where gifted and talented adults tend to gravitate...places where the arts and/or technology industries are very prevalent. When those folks get together and have babies...well, genetics dictates that the kids will often have the same or similar smarts as the parents.

A gifted kid isn't just a kid who performs well academically. In fact, nine times out of ten, a TRULY gifted child doesn't do well in a normal school environment. Hence the growing number of parents with gifted kids who choose (or are forced to choose) homeschooling as an alternative. Gifted kids are almost always asynchronous in they might excel at, say, math...but be at the social level of a child a few years their junior. My point is, gifted isn't "all that" and for a parent to title their kid gifted just to have bragging rights is rather misinformed. Gifted kids often have sensory issues as well...and other learning disabilities that make it tough for them to function amongst their peers.

Anyway, I think there is definitely legitimacy to being gifted...but I do think the term is overused by folks who don't really get what it means. I prefer the term "intense" because it is a much better descriptor for these kids. And, by the way, high academic performance is only one way a gifted kid MIGHT show his/her talents...and it's not always the case.



answers from Chicago on

I think it is a mix of bragging and pride. I am happy that my neice is in the gifted program in her school, this means she will not be bored and possibly fall into a bad crowd or poor behavior as a result. I share, but I do not brag and I feel my sister is a little on the braggy side sometimes, but she does not always see that she is that way. My son needs help in school so far and I do not hide that fact, again I share when it seems appropriate to do so. I did not like the kids in GATE (gifted program) in my school, they were quite snotty about it growing up - I do not wish my son to be this way, nor my neice.

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