Gifted Children and Unfair Responses

Updated on February 27, 2013
S.J. asks from Abbyville, KS
45 answers

I don't understand why some people get so offended if a person says, "my child is gifted", or why anyone should feel like they should keep it to themselves if they are "gifted". If people have disorders or whatnot, they are told not to be embarrassed and to just do their best. So, why are gifted children not socially "allowed" to do the same thing? Why does it seem to me like being gifted is somehow offensive to others who are not? If your child has some kind of developmental delay, you will do everything you can to help your child be their best. So, if my child is gifted, why should I not be expected to do everything in my power to make sure she's stimulated enough so that she can do her best? I just feel like every time I mention something about my child being gifted, I get attitude from people, as if I'm bragging, and it's starting to get under my skin. I'm not bragging, I'm simply discussing the issues in my life, and It's not my fault that my child is gifted or that your child isn't. But, it is what it is and I want to make sure she has all the tools she needs to get the most out of her education and out of life. Why is that a problem? Why can't I talk about how proud I am of my child for doing something really advanced without someone taking offense to it, as if I'm rubbing it in their face that my child is smarter than theirs. Why can't people just be happy for us, and excited for her just as I am? I'm even talking about family here. I'm NEVER comparing my child to anyone else's or bragging. The only reason I even know my child is advanced is because everyone else comments on her, including her doctors. I don't compare children! All children are beautiful and go at their own pace. It's the other people who are doing the comparing and then getting upset about it; not I.

Now, I deal with it, but when my daughter gets to school she will be the one dealing with it. I just don't think it's fair! Why should my child ever be made to feel like she shouldn't shine as brightly as she can because it might make someone else feel bad? Or because more people will like her if she doesn't perform to her potential? It's just frustrating. How do you deal with this. and what do you think about this?

It just seems that we live in a society where slow people are praised and loved more, and gifted people are shunned and don't get as much attention. This is just what I've been noticing. My sister has a son who is 4 months older than my daughter and he isn't speaking yet. There's no question that he has developmental delays. I love my nephew, and my daughter absolutely adores him. Whenever other people make comments about how advanced my daughter is, and compare the two, I simply say that all children develop at their own pace and develop different skills at different times. I always defend him and say not to compare the children to one another. It's becoming more and more apparent though, that he's not really progressing and that she is progressing very quickly and very beyond him. I find myself feeling guilty about it and avoiding family things because it's so awkward, and I don't know what to say about it anymore, because EVERYONE is always commenting on it. My daughter just turned 3 in February. Plus, when we are around that side of the family, my nephew definitely gets favored by everyone. My daughter is the sweetest, most loving, respectful child and I just don't think she deserves to feel left out simply for being intelligent. It's not her fault! And why should I be feeling like there's some fault in my child being intelligent? It's just heartbreaking, and extremely offensive. I can't change anyone, but I don't know what to do other than keep her contact with them limited in hopes that she doesn't catch on to it.

My dad's side of the family is very impressed with her, and proud of her. They praise her and get excited about her abilities, but I was reading this article about how kids go to school and feel like something is wrong with them because they don't get the same level of acceptance or praise for their performance. They start getting rejected for being advanced!! Then they wonder what's wrong with them, when NOTHING is wrong with them at all. I just want to protect my child from this, and I never want her to feel like she should hold back from performing to her potential and shining as bright as she can. I was a bright child too, but not as bright as my daughter, and I know what it feels like. Now it makes sense to me, but I spent my childhood feling like I should pretend to be dumb too because then more people wanted to be friends with me. I don't want the same for my child!!! How do I protect her from that? And why are people like that?

Check this article out. I was reading this earlier and that's what got me thinking about this:

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Oh my goodness...nevermind. I cannot believe how many of you are continuing to say things to the effect that I am the one talking about her being gifted. I don't know how many more ways I can say that it's not me talking about it. The purpose of this was expressing my FEAR of talking about it. Clearly this is a valid fear, and I will just continue to keep it to myself that my child is bright, and I will figure out what to do with her on my own, because this is just frustrating. Reading some of these comments is just beyond frustrating because so many of you are completely misinterpreting so much, and are clearly not understanding the situation at all. I'm not sure how so many of you completely missed the essence of the situation, so I will take the blame for that and call it a day. Forget I asked.

Suz T... I don't like you, you don't like me, so please... stop replying on my threads. Also, stop assuming you know anything about me, or my child. Obviously, you were a dumb kid growing up, and you're offended that my daughter's PEDIATRICIAN used the word GIFTED for my child... I guess I should've created another word for it, despite the fact that it's the word her PEDIATRICIAN USED...since all the focus seems to be on the WORD... GIFTED. I guess on top of being the gifted mother of a gifted child, who also has a gifted father... I should be able to read minds too and know that so many dumb people are going to get tied up on the word GIFTED instead of THE POINT OF THE THREAD.

Bug, it would seem that your experiences have been different from mine, and I am happy for you that. While reading your comment, I had to ask myself if you even read the post though. To me, you seem full of hate, because otherwise I would imagine that you would use your gifted abilities to consider the fact that different life experiences have different outcomes in perspective. Unless you have educated yourself on my whole life story, there's no way that you can really think you have any legitimate basis for your hateful response.

Sandy, I do not have twins. My daughter was having these behavior problems as a result of her major surgery in January and the pain that accompanied it. Also, she was restricted from a lot of activities that were pretty routine before her surgery. According to her pediatrician, she was acting out from the traumatic experience of it all. She has since improved immensely since getting her stent out along with the healing process. She is back to being her sweet, loving, respectful self. She is very empathetic and kind. When she sees a total stranger fall down on the playground and start crying, she will stop playing and run over to comfort the child. Her behavioral problems were temporary and caused by a traumatic experience.

Apparently I wasn't clear enough. So, to clarify, I only started using the word "gifted" after her pediatrician did. I tried to make it clear that I do not go around bragging about this, and that it's other people doing the labeling. I do NOT NOT NOT EVER present my child as advanced. I SHY AWAY FROM IT. I don't have to say it; everyone notices it and comments on it, and that's when I try to say things, like "children progress at different times, and all have their talents and struggles". My pediatrician made it seem like intelligence testing would just be a formality at this point, and I have been told by neurologists at Children's Hospital that she is very advanced as well. This is the only place I use the word "gifted" or advanced". Part of my problem here is that I feel like I have to shy away from the fact that she is advanced. So what? She's advanced. Why is that a crime? So, it's not official, and maybe she isn't gifted. I'm not sure what the label has to do with anything though, because regardless, right now, she is obviously advanced to the point where everyone else comments on it and I can't pretend that she isn't; that would be even more awkward. She cannot do intelligence testing until she is a little bit older, according to her pediatrician, but her Catholic pre-school has informed me that only public schools do intelligence testing. So, I don't know what to do about that.

I do not talk about my child's intelligence, because of how uncomfortable I have been made to feel about it around my mom's side of the family. I've never talked about it around them. I talk about it around my dad's side because they bring it up and are very excited about it and proud of her. There is a lot more going on with my nephew than just his delayed speech. The doctors told my sister to prepare for the worst before giving birth to him; he almost died and barely made it. There were a lot of complications before and after his birth.

To whomever said that it's the family's problem with me and not with my daughter, maybe that's true, but it's the same issue. I was always the smart one with the rich dad and my sister was always the dumb one and the poor one. I do not at all feel bad about saying that anymore, because her jealousy is so ugly and she has done so many insanely hurtful things to me and behind my back over the years, because she feels like she is entitled to since I have been so "lucky" my whole life. I have always, until recently, considered her my sister and loved her and defended her. Most importantly, I gave her the loyalty a sister should give, and I have not gotten the same in return; not even close. I have always been the nice sweet respectful one and she has always been the rude mean obnoxious one...and she's the favorite, so I'm over it, and I'm finished with being nice to any of them. And I am not ok with the same thing happening to my daughter now. I will not let her feel like she should dim her light just to make the people around her more comfortable, because those people should be encouraging her to let her light shine and they should be loving her just the same. So in essence, they're doing the same thing to my daughter that they did to me my whole life, and I'm not ok with it. Do I go around saying that to everyone? NO. It's just how I feel, but I am still respectful and considerate. That's why I'm so frustrated. All of these years, I have been trying to dumb myself down just to dance around the feelings of others; I'm not doing it with my daughter anymore, and I don't know why society expects anyone with a bright child to do so.

The sad thing is that it's not just my family, it seems like it's the whole world. I'm not asking anyone to feel sorry for me, I'm pointing out an injustice for my child and for all other affected by this. Yes, she has GIFTS, but she shouldn't be persecuted for having them! Jealousy is so ugly. Be happy with what you have, and be happy for those around you. Why can't anyone just be objective about these things? My child still has feelings, and is a human being who wants and needs love, acceptance, and kindness just like everyone else.

Featured Answers


answers from San Francisco on

No real mystery here: It's because people get jealous when someone has it better then themselves. It would be the same if you were wealthy.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

I think the issue is that most "gifted children" minus maybe 1% of them are not really gifted or special, they just have an easier time at school busy work.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Seattle on

Your daughter is 3.
She is not gifted.
She is 3.
When she is 15, writing her own music, publishing in medical journals, and doing advanced math, THEN I will think she is advanced.
Until then.....she is 3.
(THAT is why people look down on you. Because you think your daughter is something magnificent. We ALL think our children are amazing. At 3 she is not gifted. She must be your first.)
I'm sorry, one more addition. Have you EVER heard a parent say to another parent, "oh my god. Your child is so dumb!" Of course not. Most parents/family/drs. will say, "oh she's so smart!" even if all she is doing is babbling.

23 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

This is not meant to be harsh,

We are surrounded by all sorts of gifted people in our lives. I am not exaggerating.

I wish the word gifted, did not make parents think they need everyone to know.. It is like saying, "we are rich".. and then finding out they inherited the money.. (think Donald Trump).

It is just not something that needs to be said, instead it is more impressive to be grateful and work with what you have. Be humble that the child will have certain things come naturally, because this child ill not have the struggles of a child born, with physical, mental or emotional things to overcome, that will may never be able to be changed.

It can also be a trap.. "gifted" does not mean perfect or exceptional.. Some "gifted" children do not grow up to live charmed or special lives.. Many can have their own emotional, or physical problems that you have not discovered at this point..

Our daughter has always been very bright. We are in awe of her talents, her abilities, and accomplishments. but even more proud of her as a person. She is a naturally caring person. She has a natural instinct on reading people. She is hilarious and very quick.. She "uses her for good" not evil.. Hee, hee..

But, she is incredibly mature and so it is hard for her to have friends her age. She is also extremely shy, almost painful and so she does not have confidence and is timid. She has never been athletic or coordinated.. We work on this all of the time, because she really struggles with this.

Yes, the school district offers to test and label them, but this was not necessary in her public schools, because in elementary school, EVERY teacher on campus taught in the Gifted Style. If they were new and did not have this teaching certificate, we as a PTA provided the monetary coverage for the new teacher to attend this training..

This made our campus all exceptional. Every child was encouraged to do THEIR best. We found that every child was gifted in some way.

. It will become obvious in time how "Gifted" your child is, but do not be let down, when your child is not gifted at all things.. and some things no matter how much practice, will be very deficient. It is called being human.

You can be book smart, but no common sense or empathy.

You can do trigonometry, but cannot walk and chew gum..

You can paint the Cysteine Chapel, but cannot have interpersonal relationships..

You can be an gifted musician, but cannot feed yourself.

You can be a gifted athlete, but no empathy or no ability to read other people.

And so these Blessings, should be enhanced with opportunities and with a humble attitude. Because as I always say, We never know what may come..

The high and mighty fall a lot further than the grateful humble people.

22 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I was "gifted" Jo is right, it totally comes at a price. And it's NOT because the "whole world" treats me a certain way, or is jealous. (Melodramatic much.) It's because, my mind was just really quirky. I had to learn how to deal with that, and adjust to a world that doesn't like to (or can't always) think quirky. In fact, in all my years of schooling, I NEVER saw a "gifted" child get treated differently, or be persecuted. (Again, melodramatic?) No one EVER made me feel like i had to play dumb, to be their friends. No one acted intimidated. Because, I didn't need it. I didn't need to be treated like I was smart. Neither does your daughter.

What I'm saying, is this comes down to YOU. YOU are the common denominator. You are making a deal out of this. You are convincing yourself of these things. Sorry to be hash, but people don't like to be around YOU. Perhaps, because of you...not your intelligence. maybe, people are just sick of you, and how you OBVIOUSLY put way too much concern into your child's intelligence. It doesn't matter if you don't say anything. Certain people have an air about them, an attitude, a pretentiousness. Your post is ripe with it. I wouldn't want to be around it, either. I was very bright, but my parents didn't treat me differently then a normal child. My school didn't, either. My friends didn't, either. The kids that were fawned over. That were recognized for their brightness all the time, the ones who parents thought that if it wasn't recognized what made Suzy soooo very special...meant their daughter was persecuted...those kids didn't do well in the real world.

Your daughter is smart. So what? Why SHOULD the whole world have to act impressed by it? I have a feeling your family and lots of other people are just really sick of your attitude, and the expectation of your attitude.

Eta: Hatfeul? Really? LOL. WOW. Just wow...

18 moms found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

To assume your nephew has "developmental delays" because he isn't talking yet and your daughter is... For one, that's assinine.

Einstein didn't talk until he was 4. Yes, 4! And no one is disputing his right to be called a genius.

We all love our children. And our children are more important to us than our friends or anyone else's child. So it makes sense that you want to deem your little darling "gifted". Is she? Well honestly the only people who will care are you and her teachers. As someone else pointed out, it won't mean squat outside of school.

Parents of children with "issues" (whatever they are) are just fighting for the right of normalcy in their child's life. However, you seem to want recognition for your child's "giftedness". Why can't she just be treated like everyone else?

I've always been smart. Not at math, admittedly. But I love to read. I even write. I've done poetry. I've written stories. I was in advanced English. And I tell you what, I'm tired of people asking me how to spell things!

Honestly, your whole attitude is snotty! How on earth is a 3 year old "gifted" anyway? If she was in school already then perhaps I would understand. Otherwise, it sounds like you're just wanting your child to be "special". Children are smart. ALL of them. Even the "delayed" ones. It's been studied and proven that given the right circumstances children can learn just about anything. Stop making a mountain out of this.

14 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Have you ever seen those obnoxious bumper stickers that say something like "My kid can beat up your honor student"? It's that kind of mentality.

It's also that people like to be competitive and if your child is gifted and their's isn't, they've already lost the edge for that.

They also don't care to hear people brag about smart kids when they know that their own kid isn't.

You can't protect your daughter, but you CAN teach her not to lord her brains over others. You can teach her respect and a bit of humility. After all, no matter how smart and talented she is, there is ALWAYS someone smarter than she is. Teach her empathy as well as self-confidence. They will both serve her well throughout her life. No one likes a snob and a know-it-all.

I have to tell you that you got it ALL WRONG when you say that "slow people are praised and loved more, and gifted people are shunned and don't get as much attention." You are blinded by the family dynamic. When your child grows up and goes off to college, gets a wonderful degree and a fabulous job that pays her well, and your delayed nephew struggles through school and makes 10 bucks an hour working after barely finishing 2 years of community college, you'll see how wrong you are. You can't see the forest for the trees, SJ.

Stop avoiding family gatherings. Love your nephew and accept him for what he is. Don't take what people say about HIM personally. You don't have to point out to people that your child is gifted. There's no point in it. Her world is her oyster with her brains. It will bear itself out - you don't have to announce it.

By the way, I say this as a mother of a gifted college kid.

14 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Hmm, I don't know. I personally enjoy being around intelligent people. Of course intelligent people with good social skills and common sense don't generally talk about how smart and accomplished they are. I would just teach THAT to my child, humility, and how to appreciate what God gave you. It's no different than being wealthy, or attractive or talented. People can see it, they recognize and reward it so it really doesn't need to be pointed out, does it? My kids are of average intelligence, and my youngest has ADHD but I certainly don't go out of my way to make her feel any more special or different, I just treat it as a matter of fact: you have this particular challenge and this is how we need to treat it.
The gifted children I have known have never tended to be "popular" because they ARE thinking at a higher level than the masses, but they all find their own way and their own group of friends. I think finding like minded people is a whole lot more important for your daughter than worrying about how many people "get" her.
Ooh, I just reread your question, your daughter is three!!?? WAY too soon to tell if she's gifted or not, WAY too soon. So yes, if you are talking about how "advanced" your daughter is then it probably DOES get on peoples' nerves.

14 moms found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

I have a feeling that it's not what you say, but HOW you say it. I can almost guarantee it. I have a special needs child that requires services at school, and I have a gifted child that requires a plan and is in accelerated classes at school. I don't have any real issues with either of them in how anyone at school relates to their intelligence. They're treated the same way their typical sister is treated.

Maybe because all three of my daughters are equally celebrated and equally made to feel special. When it comes to academic achievements, the children are rewarded with awards at assemblies and are proud of their accomplishments. All of my daughters associate with friends that are very similar, and their parents' approaches are the same as mine.

So what I'm saying is that I don't see what you're talking about at all, or hardly ever do but I don't associate with snobs, and when I was in school I didn't see it then either. The most popular children? Yeah, straight A's with honors and high honors.

Don't make your issues your daughter's issues. Just make sure her academic program at school is suited to her needs.

EDIT: By the way, if your daughter is ONLY THREE YEARS OLD she's far too young to know if she's gifted or not. At three years old my eldest daughter had taught herself to read. This was prior to her preschool year, and over a summer. Without help. She learned to read WITH COMPREHENSION to a 2nd grade reading level. She had the verbal capabilities and comprehension of at least a 5th grader. At a year old, she was speaking in complete sentences already, sounding like a tiny adult in a baby body.

At 12 years old, she hasn't stopped since. She's taking pre-college classes. She's brilliant. BRILLIANT. But do I talk about it in a way that offends others or makes them uncomfortable? No. Do I bring it up as often as you seem to want to? Do I need RECOGNITION for my daughter's intelligence? Hell no. It's not about me. Just like it's not about you.

With my autistic daughter, she's going to have a far more difficult road. I worry about her the most of all of my children. When school is over, the world will be cruelest to her because she won't be as cute as she is now. It's hard to find continuing support services, if they exist. People's patience doesn't exist. People's knowledge about Autism is pitiable. People's ignorance about Autism is worse.

So you tell me who is celebrated more in the world. I guarantee it will be my brilliant daughter and my typical daughter. I'll be the only one prodding my special needs daughter along to make her feel like the most special and intelligent girl in the world.

EDIT AGAIN: I would suggest that your family on both sides has given you a complex over this, and that you're over-thinking it. I would also suggest that when your toddler's doctor said "gifted" she meant "mature" or "advanced for her age."

By the time your daughter is in first grade all things will be equal between her and her classmates. Every other mother in her classroom believes their child is as gifted, if not more so, than your child. I guarantee it. And as intelligent and brilliant as my daughter is I know that there are children in her class that are more intelligent and gifted than she is. It's not a competition.

So this all comes down to you. You and your family. I still say after your SWH that you can't put your issues onto your daughter.

14 moms found this helpful


answers from Reading on

I have to wonder why this is even an issue for you. Both of my children are in gifted and talented and my daughter was accepted into a special class only for the highest g/t kids in the school. The topic of my kids being g/t never comes up with my friends. Discussions about their skills and needs involve only the people who need to know - their teachers, g/t specialists, guidance staff, and testing staff. I've never had anyone take offense at their abilities perhaps because I don't see much need for it to come up in casual conversation. I do have a former friend who has pissed off everyone in our circle because she is constantly bragging about her child and all her accomplishments. My child has just as many accomplishments but I don't go running off to Facebook to announce each one. When my daughter broke a board in tae kwon do, she said - oh, I remember when my daughter broke her first board. When our math team went to competition, she said oh my daughter really enjoyed it last year. She can't compliment without pointing out her own child did it first and/or better than yours. She thinks she's bonding- we all think she's horribly self-centered and obnoxious. Could it be that you are doing the same?

13 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Most people I know in gifted-land consider giftedness a spectrum disorder. Just like autism.

The lowest level (straight gifted) has the fewest accompanying problems associated with it, and the highest (profoundly gifted) has the most. A lot pertaining to asynchronistic development & accompanying health problems.

Giftedness is NOT about being smart or intelligent.
Millions of the best & brightest are NOT gifted. They're smart. They're intelligent. They work hard. They have passion & energy. They use that passion & energy & hard work to get to the top of their fields v

That's VERY different from giftedness.

Giftedness (gifted / highly gifted / profoundly gifted) is, quite simply:

1) Its a different way of processing & storing information.
2) Often accompanied by other neurological disorders
- High Functioning Autism
- Sensory Processing Didorder
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Attachment Disorder
- Bipolar Disprder
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Sociopathy
- Dyslexia
- Dysgraphia
- Audial / Visual Disorders
- Hypotonia (neurological weakening of skeletalmusculosysten)

((There ARE purely G/HG/PG kids without accompanying neurological disorders, but its an ongoing debate whether 2e -twice exceptional- is the norm, and 1e is the real exception.))

But even purely gifted-only children suffer from a lot of challenges
- Asynchronistic development
- Hypersensitivity to stimuli
- Emotional issues
- etc.

Honestly... Giftedness ISNT a gift for most who have it. There are FAR more downsides than upsides... And the higher in the spectrum one goes, the worse it gets.

Most Profoundly Gifted kids/adults will have the same kinds of lives that LFA kids & adults do. Because they are incapable of taking care if themselves, and need caretakers their whole lives. Its the asynchronistic development thing. It manifests in different ways, but PG adults often die if starvation, step out in front of traffic, wander off, die of exposure, burn down their homes, etc.

It irks me no END when people start going on about giftedness like its a WANTED thing.


Smart? Sure
Gifted? Not so much.

There's movement that the next DSM (VI) may have enough statistical data to fully classify Giftedness as the spectrum disorder that most (in the field) believe it to be.

I hope, for both your sakes, that your daughter is bright as a penny, and NOT gifted.

3 is PLENTY early to know:


Gifted: Reading Chapterbooks at 1st-6th grade level, having taught themselves
Highly gifted : Reading at highschool level
Profoundly gifted : Translating from the original Greek into English

13 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Couple of thoughts. 1) Your daughter is 3, and already has a gifted label?? Seriously? That's ridiculous. For so many reasons. 2) I think your family (and friends and whoever) are just sick of you talking about it. Let your daughter be who she is, and let everyone see it. You don't need to say a word.

I have a "gifted" 11 year old daughter. I told my family she was accepted to a special gifted school at age 8. I don't think I've talked about it since. Why would I? I don't think I've ever "mentioned that my daughter is gifted", as you say. Again, why would I? Sure I might talk about it to her teachers, or somewhere where it might matter (so she gets the stimuli she needs or whatever). But to my friends? They don't care that she's gifted. Just like they don't care that my other daughter wins a bunch of swimming races. I personally think she's fantastic, but I'll let her swimming speak for itself. Just like I let my other daughter's intelligence speak for itself. Does that make sense? So maybe if you quit talking about it and worrying about it then everyone will be happy.

And why would your family leave your daughter out because she's intelligent? Nothing about that makes any sense. I think there might be a greater issue here.

EDIT - I just read your SWH. You are frustrated that we are not getting it. That you are NOT NOT NOT telling people your daughter is gifted. But in your original post your first sentence is "I don't understand why some people get so offended if a person says, "my child is gifted".... Then later on you say, "I just feel like every time I mention something about my child being gifted...." So which is it? I'm confused.

13 moms found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

From what I see, your daughter is 3. Is she in preschool? Has she been tested to be determined to be gifted? Kids can be smart and learn all kinds of things, but that does not necessarily mean they are gifted. It could just mean that you had more time to teach your child things than other parents. If you are just assigning this label of gifted to your child without any basis, I can see how people would be annoyed.

Socially, gifted and intelligent children will sometimes have trouble. They always know the answer and other children may see this as being a teacher's pet or a suck up. Other kids don't like those who are know-it-alls. It's just one of the things your daughter will have to learn as she navigates through school. If she is gifted and your school district has special classes for her, by all means, put her in them. It will be great for her.

Let me tell you about me. I was walking when I was six months old. I was reading by the time I was three. Chapter books, the newspaper, whatever I could get my hands on. I went to preschool and they gave me 3rd and 4th grade work to do. When I started kindergarten, they tested me for the gifted program and I was put in the program. We moved a lot, so the programs differed by school district. Some had separate classes. Others had one day a week programs. Others were one day a semester. I took AP and college classes in high school. Now that I am out of college and in a job, do you know what any of that means? Absolutely nothing. My boss doesn't care that I'm "gifted." She cares that I can get my work done. Of course, being smart has helped me learn skills more quickly, understand the job faster, and helped me advance in my job, but my resume does not include gifted anywhere on it.

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answers from Washington DC on

I know you say you only use the terms gifted or advanced on a forum like this and that's fine. Since your daughter is so young, you may not realize that those terms are often very sensitive ones with parents and even teachers because "gifted" or "advanced" are often associated with children's having passed specific tests, at specific times, for entry into specific academic programs at school. So in a few years, if someone should hear you referring to your gifted child, you could well get a comment like, "Oh? Did she take the XYZ test early or something? What did she score?" Sadly, that is what "gifted" means in some school systems. I'm just mentioning this as a way to let you know that these terms are so often closely associated with specific schooling programs that you might want to keep avoiding them when talking to parents in your school system. (I say this as a parent with a child in a public school system that has a highly competitive advanced academics program, and some parents become obsessive about test scores and "getting into the pool" to qualify etc.)

As for the rest of the post -- Whatever you daughter's intelligence, and it does seem to be high from what you describe, I wonder if you, yourself, have tried the objectivity you say you want so much from others.

Have you ever explored, preferably with a counselor or therapist, why your own life experiences seem to be making you so defensive and angry about how your child is treated? You felt you were obliged as a child and teen to put your own light under a bushel and act dumb in order to have friends. Now you are aggressively saying that others are tamping down your child's bright light, and you are foreseeing a lifetime of prejudice agaiinst her based on her intelligence. But she is only three -- so how much of this might be your own experience transferred to her? Yes, you fear for her, based on your experiences. But can you see how your fears might just set her up for feeling the same fears? Or for feeling she always, always must be perfect and the smartest kid around, or she's letting mommy down?

Now you likely are sayiing: "No, that's wrong, I don't expect perfection, I tell folks all the time that kids must go at their own pace!" And you do tell folks that. But children are VERY sharp about picking up on adult emotions,and this is about emotion, not about what you tell other adults. She knows how it thrills you when she does something or says something "smart." She knows that you are pleased with her performance when she does and says certain things. So even if you truly do not expect her to be the smartest child in every situation -- she's going to FEEL that that you do, based on what comes across in your post and SWH.

So, just a reality check: Can you be objective enough to back off a bit? Or will you be pushiing her into K at age four, like another mom who posted recently, and who is now angry that the school doesn't want a five-year-old first grader next year? Can you take the focus off her long enough to put it on yourself and assess, objectively, whether some of your own frustrations and anger from the past are making you so defensive about her now?

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answers from Columbus on

I wish you could hear how absolutely foolish you sound. Why would we be jealous? Almost every person here has children who have actually been identified as "gifted." What exactly would we be jealous of? Your three year old? Really? We have experience, more experience than you, with gifted kids. We have given you honest answers and impressions based on what YOU wrote, on YOUR words. You don't like what we've written -- even though we're all saying the same thing to you -- so you attack us and call us jealous? You are a joke, my dear. Perhaps with time you'll reread these responses and see how foolish you sound. Good luck -- shouldn't have wasted our time trying to help you...
ETA: maybe people THINK you talk about it because you SAID you do! And maybe we know you do because a lot of us have older kids who have actually been tested and identified as gifted and talented and know for a fact that our kids aren't discriminated against. You said you feel uncomfortable because your child is progressing faster than her cousin. That's you - not others. I think you're deluded about a number of things here, but your poor child is already carrying a label that is very loaded and is barely 3. You need to start researching giftedness and learn what it is, how it is actually diagnosed, and how to parent a gifted child. And stop imagining what everyone else thinks and feels.

ETA: I believe the problem lies in your very first sentence. "My child is gifted." I have NEVER told anyone that.

First, I would be really curious to know how your child was identified as "gifted" at three years of age. Second, most kids who are advanced as toddlers are caught up with by third-grade. Third, why is there even a discussion about your child's skills? My kids are "gifted" and "talented," as are most of their friends. Very few people feel the need to point out how special their kids are to everyone else. I don't feel the need to hide it, either, but it just never comes up in conversation. The only people I know who discuss it are the ones who are new to it -- their child is an only and really young and they just think their child is so impressive that it comes into discussion constantly. The bottom line is there are very few children who are truly impressively gifted. My daughter started reading when she was 2, was reading books by 3, and chapter books by kindergarten. So what? I talked with her teacher and made sure she got what she needed, but no one ever cared or commented on it or said anything snide just because she was advanced. You don't think you're bragging, but I'd bet dollars to donuts you don't see yourself as others do...

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answers from Washington DC on

a gifted 3 year old.
like having a smart 3 year old's not enough.
and if at THREE you are garnering enough material for all this outrage, i'd say you are way too invested in your daughter's 'giftedness.'
it interests me that parents who are so personally wrapped up in their kids' gifts don't ever specify what about their kids is so enhanced. very few kids are just plain 'gifted', even among those who can be classified as gifted. some are gifted readers, others gifted math whizzes, others gifted at sports.
and most intellectually gifted grade schoolers i've known (many) have significant social and emotional challenges.
i hope you learn to relax and just let your little girl be who she is without all this labeling and angsting and expectations and need to 'protect' her.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

She's a three year old. While she MAY end up being "gifted", its too early to tell. Talking about your toddler's "giftedness" at three yrs old sounds arrogant. All children reach milestones at different rates. My daughter didn't talk until around fourteen months, but then busted out full sentences using adult words. She's not gifted, although she's very intelligent, creative, and has an adult sense of humor. Wait until she's old enough to test-usually second grade. Then worry about gifted.

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answers from Chicago on

Your child is 3. She's a little girl who probably likes to play and sing and dance, etc., just like other little kids. Let her be a kid and forget she is "gifted" for awhile. Gifted people truly don't need much at that age. They need to be little kids like other 3-year-olds, and learn how to manage life socially.

So many "gifted" kids I know are very socially awkward because their parents started pushing them harder when they found out they were geniuses. (Or they started bragging up their kid in front of him/her so they always felt better than others or set apart because of it.) Consequently they missed all that important socialization because they were viewed as mini adults, which they are not. Especially at 3!

If you don't like how people treat you when you talk about her being "gifted," then stop talking about it. There is no need to tell people. They will be able to see that when she is valedictorian at her high school graduation, or when she skips a grade, or when she composes a song for an orchestra at age 13 (yes, I know a kid who did just that).

Let her be a kid and don't tell anyone anything about her other than you love her just the way she is.


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answers from New York on

I think the term gifted has changed. First, she is three. She probably is smart, but she is 3. Let her be three. Let her play, let her socialize, etc.
To me and to everyone years ago, gifted meant your child can sit at a piano and create instantly at four or could u crest and medical books AT&T 8. I think you get the picture. Gifted kids today are just smarter. That's all.
Think of her as a normal kid (I am sure she is) and she will do fine. It seems this problem is yours. If you put her on a pedestal and tell her how much smarter she is than every other kids, you will have a real problem and she will be friendless. She will take her cues from you. So let her be three and quit referring to her as gifted. My friends granddaughter was going to be placed in the gifted program. Then she moved to a different district and guess what. Not in a gifted program. Just please let her be who she is.

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answers from Philadelphia on

My oldest daughter is "gifted" and I have never experienced the negativity surrounding it that you have. Although I have to say her "giftedness" rarely comes up in conversation. I am thinking it maybe the way you speak of her giftedness that people find off putting. I am sure your daughter is very bright and may in fact be gifted but you can't possibly know this until she is evaluated by a psychologist. She is only 3, did you actually have her tested?

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answers from New York on

honey, she is 3. i think you are going overboard with this. give it a chance. give it a few years, see how she does in school, see how her peers are. who knows? your child may be a genius or maybe be average. would that be so bad?
btw, one of my kids is gifted. i just never think about it. it's who she is. she may do great in life, or she may make mistakes that take her off that path. enjoy her.

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answers from Tampa on

So you think it's just "gifted" children/parents who are made to feel embarrassed? Try having a bipolar child. Try having to hear people tell you "your son shouldn't be in school, I don't feel my kids are safe" try explaining to a 6 year old why they feel the way they do inside. I'm sorry but being "gifted" doesn't come with social stigma like your making it out. My son deals with social stigma EVERYDAY. I don't teach him to hide who he is, and yes he does tell people he's bipolar because he wants to educate people that you can have mental illness and still be a good person. And that makes me proud of him. A 6 year old shouldn't have to feel like its his responsibility to educate the masses on mental illnesses. My son is considered gifted by the way, I don't have him in any special classes because he has enough pressure in his life. Step back and embrace your daughters gift and stop worrying if it offends people. She will always feel like she has a place in society, smart people are valued higher then mentally ill. Talk about "unfair" huh?
ADDED: if i could give Jessica 1,000 flowers i would!!!
added2 after your SWH i wouldnt change a thng about my son, how you sound right now is "oh god my daughter is soooooo smart how will she survive!" sorry but i give NO sympathy, like i said my son has been formally tested and is considered gifted, people NEVER say anything bad about that. Unless its "oh its to bad he's bipolar otherwise he'd make it far in life." that my friend is SOCIAL STIGMAS

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answers from Augusta on

Having a gifted child isn't a big deal. I have two. woo hoo for me that just means they will be smarter than I am VERY VERY soon. I've never had any negative experiences with this. I also don't talk about them being gifted. People can tell. And it never comes up. Only time it ever comes up is if the conversation is about that, or I'm talking to teachers , their drs, my oldest is twice exceptional, which means she's also ADHD. So she's brilliant AND a wild child. woopie ! Never had them have to dumb down. They play with kids of all kids never have they had to dumb down.

nope not your fault she's that intelligent , but how you treat her and how you deal with others is .

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answers from Los Angeles on

For me, I think it is just that there are so many parents who call their kids "gifted" when they are really just very smart or bright. Gifted, in my mind, refers to those who have actually tested into a gifted placement in school OR those who have shown truly extraordinary talent in a specific area (maybe academic, maybe musical, maybe artistic, etc).

I see a lot of people on here who label their 3-6 year olds gifted when, really, there are A LOT of kids out there who are just as smart as the parents asking the questions. At such a young age, there is no need to label them gifted and already be asking for ways to challenge and encourage them. You are obviously doing the right thing and should just keep going about your business as usual. Older children (8+) may truly have earned the "gifted" label.

Speaking to you specifically, I think that your daughter, at 3 sounds like a wonderful, bright, and caring little girl. She talks well, but nothing from what you say makes me think of her as gifted. Smart, yes. Gifted, no. Unless she's reading and writing fluently, or composing songs, or drawing detailed pictures that look just like the real thing, I'd hesitate to say she's gifted at this point in time. Might she prove to be later - of course. But now, I don't think so.

My own son is a very smart boy. He was reading fluently at age 4, taught himself to add and subtract, and can add double digit numbers in his head. He's teaching himself to multiply and understands the concept of division. He's five and in kindergarten. I think he's very smart, but I've never called him gifted.

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answers from New York on

Every parent in some way thinks of their own child in a positive way. (And rightfully so and we should; every child is special and unique.)

I have a really hard time with parents saying "My child is gifted." I am not trying to be offensive, this is just my opinion. Hear me out...

I teach kindergarten. So often I have parents throw this line out "My child is gifted." In all of my students over the years, I can honestly say I have had 2 or 3 children who I feel were truly gifted, and oddly enough their parents are not the ones who were telling me their child is gifted.

Often a child is "stronger" or more advanced in one or two areas. Whether it be a subject area, fine motor, gross motor, the Arts, etc. This does not make your child gifted.

Another concern I have with this is parents will say "My child is gifted (basically saying they are bored) and this is why their behavior is the way it is." (If behavior is an issue.) My opinion, "No, your child is not gifted. You are using that term as an excuse for inappropriate behavior."

All children learn, grow and develop at different rates. Unfortunately, we live in a society where parents feel the need to compare and then put their children under enormous pressure. I just wish people would let their children be kids, sit back and enjoy the ride of watching them develop at their own pace. Bottom line, they will all get it in their own time.

These opinions are not neccessary related to your situation, but more general in terms of what I consider to be a very delicate word that should NOT be used as freely as it is- gifted.

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answers from Chicago on

People can't be objective about this because "giftedness" isn't objective, it isn't some " fact" like the law of gravity, it is the direct result of comparing and contrasting.

When I think of gifted, I think of true child protégés, kids writing and playing full on operas and things by age 5. I do not think of advanced children. All the evidence shows a leveling effect by age 7. Because of such evidence, any language game around a 3 or 4 year olds being gifted is silly unless the kid is a true protege. Kids advance at different rates, with each working uniquely on different aspects of development at different times.

Before thinking I am saying this because I am jealous, my daughter started reading at 3. At 4, she became fluent, and now, just before her 5th bday, she reads some chapter books. Her math and science skills are at least a 1st grade level, etc. i have friends that believe my child is gifted. I don't like this language game, and instead just say she is an early developer. She is far too young to classify as anything, and by doing so, you will do more damage than good. So when people comment, you just say, "ya, she has always been a bit precocious. " my daughter was only 18 months the first time I said this, and I still think it is the only good response.

I do think this has more to do with your relationship and issues than it has to do with your daughter. Please think hard before you use her as a way to bandaid your own issues.

Being smart is hard, any smart person will tell you this, but so what? Life is equally hard for everyone, and smart people shouldn't need any special treatment, they should know enough to just respect difference.

If you truly want to protect your daughter, then homeschool her. Free her from labels and silly tests and silly comparisons, let her learn and grow as she wishes.

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answers from Phoenix on

Well, how exactly does the topic come up in conversation? Do you talk about it too much? Or just say "thank you!" when someone compliments her? I can only imagine that people getting sick of hearing about it and that you are coming across as a braggart.

Why is it more acceptable for parents of kids with illnesses, disorders, conditions, etc. to discuss it? Because it makes their life harder, more stressful, and it consumes their every moment. Being extra smart is a positive thing, so there's a huge difference, in my opinion.

Also, the term "gifted" if doled out just as frequently as are "participation" ribbons - I think that's a lot of the issue. It's sort of eye roll inducing. Everyone seems to think their child is gifted nowadays. It's become a generic term for any child who does something sooner, faster, or better than what the "norm" is. I'm not sure why kids need to be labeled, honestly. Labels do no one any good.

I am sure your child is smarter & quicker than the average 3 year old, but that's the thing... she's 3. She may be advanced now, but that doesn't mean a damn thing. The reality is that she'll most likely plateau at some point, and then what? She's been convinced that she's smarter than everyone and then one day she evens out... how does that work?

Not to mention, a lot of truly "gifted" people are socially awkward, or they skip a grade and never quite connect socially because of it. So, please remove the "gifted" label and make sure that her whole being is acknowledged and nourished.

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answers from Denver on

Well, part of it may be that every other parent says that their child is "gifted" or "very bright". Little people are like sponges so many appear very smart. It gets old to hear that every kid is very bright! I am not saying that your child isnt, she may very well be.
I have a son that has developmental delays and I can guarantee that he is going to have a tougher time in school than your daughter. He is 5, and other kids are definitely starting to notice his differences. I would not say he is praised or loved extra when he accomlishes something. Instead it is me constantly advocating for his needs and constantly working with him so he can "keep up" with his classmates.
On the flip side I have a daughter that knew all her shapes around the age of 1 including trapezoid and octogon and a few that I couldnt even really remember. She picks up on everything, and probably has better reading comprehension than my son despite the 3 year age difference. (she is 2). I wouldnt call her gifted though...I would imagine that kids will catch up to her.

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answers from Portland on

First, I do appreciate the sentiment of your post.

Just because I am very interested in words... the word "gifted" is charged for many people, and I do understand why. Your child got the 'gift'; many kids don't.

I will say that when I taught preschool, I did see that some kids did have advanced abilities/interests in certain areas. Sometimes, the parent was pretty grounded in how they discussed it, and they made an effort to focus their conversations with parents more on what the children had *in common*; I have met other parents whose pride in discussing their child's achievements was overbearing and-- even without intention-- made other parents feel very, very badly about their own *average* kids. The dad who loudly expressed that his four year old son was reading to him at night, and that he'd been identifying letters since two y.o.. reading since three. Honestly, he had NO consideration for the feelings of those parents whose four year olds were just beginning to become interested in letters and words. Those parents felt badly about their own parenting, their kids, and needed reassurance so that they would not worry that their child wasn't behind in some way.

I've also gotten a lot of flak for my own son, who has some eye function issues which manifested socially. (i.e.--Doesn't look people in the eye, close up, and has some trouble with sports because he has to work very hard to coordinate his body to track a ball and hit/kick/catch it.) People do not love on him more for being challenged by this, I can assure you. Instead, I had people telling me it was a parenting issue and if I only did XYZ, he'd be fixed. Now I deal with an eye therapist (who doesn't have a five year old with eye issues himself, btw) who sometimes gets on my case for not doing enough exercises with Kiddo. He doesn't understand any of our daily challenges, just chastizes me for not doing what *he* feels is optimal for my son's eyes, yet doesn't understand that I am trying to care for my son as a whole person.

The point of all of this is that we all are going to feel that our kids are getting an unfair shake at some time or another. How YOU manage this and share your perceptions of this to your daughter while she is growing will really set the tone for how *she* deals with it later on. I have a nephew who is bright-off-the-charts, but he has a tremendous propensity to alienate other kids. His mother has mentioned to him that being smart is only one part of who we are, and that intelligence never trumps kindness; that he shouldn't use his intelligence to make other kids feel badly.

I would encourage you to talk to someone about this, or maybe find a support group for parents of bright kids. There are a lot of challenges that go with raising any 'sort' of kiddo, and even parents of very typical kids need some support from time to time. Honestly, my guess is that perhaps your family is maybe overcompensating to ensure that your sister isn't feeling badly. That said, I have to be honest-- even if my son were showing that he has advanced abilities, I would shy away from using a word such as 'gifted', as it does carry a lot of weight for many people AND because I wouldn't want my son to discover his advanced intelligence until HE was aware of it. This isn't to criticize, but just to provide another point of view.

All kids have their strengths and areas for improvement; this is really how I try to perceive all children, no matter how bright they are or what they are good at. A more balanced approach is always better received (I learned this through many parent conferences, by the way, and was always heartened by the parents who, after being told of what their child excelled in, would ask "so, what are his/her challenges? What can we be doing to help?" Balance is everything.

Also, one last thing to think about: sometimes praising intelligence can backfire. Here's a great article on helping smart kids want to keep trying at hard things:

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answers from Jacksonville on

For the most part, you really just need to ignore whatever is going on with your inlaws side. And you need to maybe (you didn't give much in the way of details) talk with your side of the family, and be sure they are not over-praising your daughter for things in the wrong way. If they are telling your daughter "great job" for something, fine, if it was a challenge to her and she worked hard to accomplish whatever it was. But if it is something that is easy for her, she knows she didn't work hard and the "great job" becomes praise for nothing. And if the comments are along the lines of "wow! You are so smart!" they just need to stop that right now. Don't praise her intelligence. She didn't do anything to have that. Praise her effort, her results she worked for, her attitude, etc... but do not label her and praise her for the label.

I am in the camp with Bug, in that the general vibe I got from your post was one where the problem lies more with your projections that anything your daughter has experienced. And, right up until you said she just turned 3, I was giving you a fair shake. She just turned 3. You are way overboard worrying about this. Really, you are. Ignore the in-law stuff. Just ignore it. It isn't uncomfortable for anyone but you. You said yourself your daughter adores her cousin. So what's the problem? I really think you are making a bigger deal out of it, worrying about the future, than what you face right now.

You do have to raise the whole child. Not just her advanced-ness. I say that as someone who was in a gifted program way back when (ohhh... 30 years ago), as was my eldest brother, and as my younger child is now. My daughter showed signs very early. But you know what? It wasn't that big of a deal. Sure, we encouraged her to enjoy learning (she already did) and provided her with lots of opportunities to learn and try things out. We also have a "typical" older child. He is bright also. He is 3 years older. And there is a lot of competitiveness where she is trying to keep up with him... always has been. Which is typical of siblings. The thing is, she is quite close to matching him in many things, which can seem a bit awkward at times. So I get that. But it is what you make of it and how you handle it.
We never compare our children to each other. We praise them for their effort and their attitudes. We talk about their activities and what they enjoy. We give them opportunities and responsibilities commensurate with their abilities (which sometimes means they have the same opportunities and responsibilities!).
Who has it easier at school? She does. Always has. My son is ALWAYS complimented on his attitude and kindness, though. He is kind and sweet, and takes Honors and AP classes (though he doesn't earn straight As). I think the lowest grade daughter has ever had on a report card, was a 93 (last semester in Science). Most are in the 97-99 range. Including math. But we treat our children the same as far as their personhood.

You seem to have a lot of baggage. Maybe b/c I wasn't treated 'special' for being gifted, I didn't think much of it. Of course, my older brother was gifted, too, so it really wasn't that special in our house... I wonder sometimes how it made our middle brother feel. He was "typical". A lot like my son. Pretty laid back. And he got the biggest dose of common sense out of the three of us....

We had a short time where I really had to stay on top of our daughter about her feelings of superiority. It wasn't that she felt superior, per se, but she was aware that her age peers were not academically on par with her. And it made her want to associate with older kids. She didn't see herself as a 6 or 7 year old... b/c she was advanced beyond those kids. Socially, she had several friends she was close to, but they were either older than her, or also advanced. She spent her toddler years playing with someone 3 years older as her primary playmate (and his friends, also). She was more comfortable around older kids. She felt insulted (or acted like she did) when she was expected to be in a "little kids group" at certain things. We had to work on that.
She learned quickly how to be polite and kind. And that it didn't matter what group she was in, she could still have fun... it was HER attitude that made the difference... not who she was with.
She has a computer class now, that her teacher told me she is helping tutor the other students who haven't finished some of the assignments... Her friends don't hate her for this. They like her helping them. She isn't full of herself about it. She is always challenging herself, and in her mind, helping others can be another way to challenge herself.
But, none of her well-roundedness and social acuity would be what it is, if we had put her on a pedestal and expected "special" treatment of her when she was a toddler.

When she would read books watching her brother's martial arts classes (by herself, but out loud, b/c she was still working on the reading silently thing) a few moms whispered to me, with the whole "wow" thing. But I just nodded, said that she wanted to learn, so we taught her, and left it at that. They were amazed. But we didn't make a big deal about it. All that does is make the child feel awkward. We just made everything matter-of-fact.

You sound like you want to do that, but yet, your post sounds pretty hung up on why can't she get special treatment. So it seems a little confused.
Maybe you are just worried about something prematurely, and you are overthinking the whole thing. Please don't give into labels and call your child anything (at least where she can hear you). And always praise her effort, or excellence at something she worked hard at. But don't tell her her picture is beautiful, when it isn't. Kids know better. And don't even tell her your opinion of it... praise her effort at drawing it and ask her what she was thinking about when she did it. Or why she chose the colors or shapes she did or whatever.

Ok... rambling now... my "gifted" child wants me to help her with the glue gun to finish her birdhouse for math class.

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answers from Denver on

Like so many things, it's all in how it's presented. I volunteer at my daughter's school and have conversations with many different mothers. One time a bunch of us were talking about how much homework there has been and how time-consuming it was for our kids. She says "I wish X had that homework, he would breeze though it, he's in the advanced math class, so just picture how much harder that is!!". Now compare this to another mom who I know has a child in the advanced English class, and never says a word about it. Other than similar things- gosh, they have a lot of homework, wow this school keeps them on their toes, etc. She finds things to have in common with all kids and all moms, not to keep singling her kid out. The result? Everyone is so much more likely to be impressed with her kid's brain than the other one. That's just human nature.

I don't think it has much to do with gifted versus not. It's my kid is better than your's type talk that gets under people's skin. Maybe I think my child is more sensitive to other people's feelings. I think she tends kinder to others than most kids her age. Do I say this other people? Nope. Why? Because what purpose does it serve? See what I mean. I don't think you need to hide a gifted label, but there are very few instances where it needs to come up. Focus on what your child has in common with others, not what makes her different. If she is truly gifted, she may have other social difficulties later on, so emphasizing the differences is not doing her any favors. As others mentioned, I have friends who have gifted children and opted to keep them out of the gifted program as they felt some of those children were odd, and they wanted a more well-rounded child. They needed to find ways to keep their child challenged, of course, but did not need to bow to the label of gifted.

I guess I'm just saying that if you feel judged and that people are offended, look at how you present your daughter. It is possible that you are expecting to be attacked and therefore view it through that lens, and that you may be neglecting to find positives about all children and are coming across that your child is superior.

Of course you should be proud of your child. We are ALL proud of our children.

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answers from Cleveland on

I don't get the problem. If everyone else is saying she's gifted and you never do, from whom do you get bad reactions? Same time you say "every time I mention"... So you are saying it to people? Which is it? She's 3. That's why people don't want to hear about it all the time. Tons of kids at age 3 seem gifted. The only people who will have valuable input on how to help your gifted child are other parents of gifted children or teachers etc. No need to discuss with other people bc what can they tell you? So why are you bringing it up with non professionals etc? Think of it this way - people can talk about how broke they are. They can't talk about how rich they are except maybe to other rich people. Just how things are. If you're rich and need investment advice and you bring it up to a professional, then that's ok. Talking to your neighbor who is clearly less well off than you are financially about how mich money you have and you dont know what to do with it is pointless and rude.

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answers from St. Louis on

I guess it comes down to you have what everyone else wishes they had so no one feels sorry for you, for anything. Human nature I suppose, everyone sees what others have that they want and fail to see what they have that others don't. Sort of like looking at your lucky neighbors and their hot tub from your pool.

A lot of people think if I were that smart I would have the world by the tail and they fail to see everything has its drawbacks. Well at least in my world intelligence comes at a price. I am very smart because I have ADHD so although brilliant I am a social train wreck.

So to answer your question there is no way you can protect your child from this. The best you can do is make sure they don't feel bad about it.

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answers from Cleveland on

for what it's worth, i worked in a preschool before staying home to raise mykids. From my experience there are a lot of children that read early or know obsessive amounts about specific subjects. they end up actually having aspergers. so just saying a lable is a label is a lable it only helps if it allows your child to get what they need.

as for your family not being happy about your dd's advancement, my guess is that it has less to do with your dd and more with how they feel about you.

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answers from New York on

There may be a bias against gifted little children because a) many parents do confuse gifted with a bright child who has been taught a lot, (doesn't sound like your daughter)
b) many parents are so hyper focused on academics that they ignore behavior and social Problems and give their children no support in those areas. It's normal for kids to develop more rapidly in one area or another but it is our job as parents to support children's weaknesses as well as strengths.
Ask your family why they seem to favor one child over the other. It sounds like they may feel worried about even pity for this little boy. They may feel he needs more attention than your daughter because your daughter has better parents.
I'm confused by the fact that on Feb 6th you wrote about what a behavior problem your daughter is and now she describe her as the sweetest, most loving, most respectful child. Do you have twins?

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answers from Raleigh on

As a gifted person/child that was labeled this in third grade, I can tell you that being truly gifted is all not rainbows and unicorns. Gifted people feel extreme pressures, mostly place on them by themselves, and sometimes others.They are perfectionists. Because of this, they are typically very emotional and easily hurt or disappointed. They don't take criticism well at all. I remember feeling this way my whole life, and very insecure that I would disappoint or that I'm letting someone, including myself, down. I was always different than everyone else. And I knew it.
My son exhibits a lot of these same traits. While he won't be formally tested for another couple of years, I see the signs now. The same things I struggled with. It's my job as his mom to make sure that he learns to lighten up, be kind to himself and others, and realize that we are all human beings. That each one of us are different and better at some things, but not everything. That it's ok to fail just as it's ok to succeed. That the world won't end because we get disappointed or because we are criticized. My mantra is "it's all going to be ok".
If your child is gifted, instead of fearing talking about it to others, learn what you can do as a parent to help your child become confident in their abilities, and also help them through the other not-so-glorious traits that go along with being gifted. Gifted children sometimes have a very narrow scope of their world. You're there to broaden that scope.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Ok, I'll admit I couldn't get through your entire post but I'll share this.
I have a friend with a gifted child--he's super intelligent--clearly a genius.
Does she have him in the gifted program at school ?
She has decided (she comes from a family of educators) that a "gifted" label is still....a label.
It seems like maybe that's what you're experiencing.
Good luck to you!

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answers from Norfolk on

The term 'gifted' means many different things and is often misrepresented.
A lot of the time when a parent says these things it sounds like bragging and if there's one thing other parents will turn on, it's anyone bragging that their kid is any better than anyone else s.
On top of that - gifted and talented programs are often a crock of manure.
Their budgets are cut to ribbons and quite often they merely try a few different ways to keep gifted kids in the same lock step learning stage as the rest of the student body - because gifted kids get bored easily at going at a pace that's as fast as the slowest kid in the room.
Many feel gifted kids don't need any help or special consideration.
After all, if they are that bright, they'll figure things out for themselves.
Everyone is clamoring for dwindling resources - everyone else s problems
are more important - it's a whole other brand of bragging.
No Child Left Behind really has meant No Child Can Get Ahead and it's insane to think all children have the same educational capabilities, and needs.
I know exactly what you mean, but you won't find many here who will agree with you or even sympathize.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I think part of the issue is knowing how to respond when someone compliments your child. I have a little guy who is very bright in school and very talented at certain sports and just today I had a hard time knowing how to react to all the comments about his performance in his game today. I tend to be modest and just thank them and say that he really enjoys it. I don't really feel comfortable agreeing with them, since I feel like that is bragging. At the same time I want to be able to agree with them and say how fantastic he did!

I understand how you feel and do think you are right. We have a family friend who is extremely off the charts intelligent and I have had discussions with his mom about how challenging it is for them. A special needs child is just as challenging as a highly intelligent child, for very similar reasons, ie. you have to make sure they are in the correct academic programs and you have to be very creative with your parenting to keep up with them. It takes a special parent to manage it well. There actually is a social stigma surrounding advanced students, especially if they are behind socially, which can be the case. I remember from growing up that the very smart kids were a tad "off". Not that I didn't like them, but they were different. Of course they didn't fit in with their peers as well as the average kid. I'm not saying your daughter is this way socially at all, but just agreeing that there are daily struggles for those who have a higher IQ.

As far as the special treatment for your nephew, I would guess it comes down to a level of maturity on the part of the kids. Some kids just seem more mature and might not get as much attention from adults because of it. It's not anything the kids are doing wrong, but adults dote on the littler ones. After reading your "so what happened" I'm realizing that the issues with your mom's side of the family are their baggage and nothing you can really control.

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answers from Fort Myers on

I think it depends how you present it. For instance, saying my child is in the gifted program at school, rather than saying my child is gifted. If you don't want her to be unfairly compared to other children at school you should look into private schools for gifted children. Of course, that usually entails big $$$$, but it's worth investigating. Maybe there are scholarships available. Also, look into your own attitude. It does seem that you feel as if your daughter is superior to other children. Just because a child has speech delays doesn't mean they are less intelligent. There are many reasons for speech delays and there are many different types of intelligence. Be careful you don't make your daughter feel different by pointing out that other children are not as "gifted " as her. It's great to encourage her gifts and be a proud mama, but there is a fine line between proud and bragging. I'm sure you'll have a happy well adjusted daughter. :)

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answers from Santa Fe on

Hello. Well, I do not know you...maybe my response will be helpful and maybe it will not. First, it seems like you think about this way too much! It seems like you have some issues about it. I am not sure what to say to you about that. I have a very bright son...he had amazing verbal skills by the time he was 1.5 and spoke as an adult very young. He read at a very young age, could do math, puzzles, all kinds of amazing things as a toddler. I could tell he was extremely different than his peers, but I also thought it would seem like bragging if I spoke about it to people. I just encouraged his interests and tried to help that little brain soak up as much as possible. Yes, people noticed but I tried to just say something humble back to them. He is 8 now and is in the gifted program at school...yes he is still a very smart child. He also is quite a handful and is a very hard child. I am happy for him that he is a bright kid, but I worry so much about him too....I won't get into that here. There is another mom in our neighborhood who has a son in Kindergarten and she is constantly talking about how he is gifted. ALWAYS. She always brings it up. She is so annoying! I tried several times to befriend her bc we have kids who are both smart and who both have sensory processing issues, etc. I thought since we have some issues in common it would be beneficial to talk about it and be friends. But I can't do it. Her constantly talking about her son's intelligence comes across as bragging and I just find it hard to be around. No, I am not jealous! It's just that she is always sneaking that topic into the conversation and it's really not that interesting. Perhaps you could be doing something like this as well? The way I handle my son being gifted is I don't mention it. Some friends and family know our son is in GATE at school but it just does not come up in conversation. Actually, thinking about his cousins that are close in age to him...I am not sure that their parents (my sisters) even know my son is in GATE. There really is no reason to bring it up. My son's 2 best friends are not in GATE...I don't think I have ever mentioned it to their parents when we chat. My daughter is only 3 but already I can see she is not at all like her brother. I still think she is one smart cookie though and I can see that she is a much sweeter, gentler, and empathetic child than he was at this age. I love her exactly the way she is and I would not be jealous if her cousin was gifted and she was not. I think everyone loves their children the way they are, but if you bring up the fact that your child is gifted in conversation it will get annoying to others. I don't know if they are jealous, but I think they might start getting annoyed with you.
PS - What Riley says is so true. Our son, incredibly smart as he is, is causing me to have about a million grey hairs. It's exhausting. I am very relieved to have one "normal" child as well. But your child is only 3...back when he was 3 I didn't realize all I was going to have to deal with.

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answers from San Diego on

Don't feel guilty, don't defend and as your daughter goes along in school, you'll have a better idea how to manage it. If she's gifted and friendly, its not a problem. If she is a show off and degrades others for their abilities or lack thereof, well, that's going to create problems.

What I realized is that as the mama, I was both proud and a little embarrassed... but that was my issue and had to look at how I was handling it. I do think your daughter will take your cue. You won't protect her from every response from others, but you can help her work through what she may encounter.

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answers from Grand Forks on

Gifted children, just like children with learning disabilities, benefit by being with their peers. In our schools gifted children have IEP's and are provided added enrichment, but other than that they are treated like the other children. I am bothered when I hear about gifted children being seperated from their own peer group and expected to behave like they are older because they are academically advanced. Social development is just as important as academics. Also, in my experience the smart kids are popular, providing they are well rounded.

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answers from Houston on

Our society loves underdogs. When I read you post I think of my two estranged sisters and myself. When the oldest one and I (the youngest) have a verbal fight, the middle sister says, "You know how Big Sis is--she means no harm at all". Big Sis is underemployed, gets food stamps, has a son incarcerated... I am not given that same understanding because I have a Masters Degree and money in the bank and am not one to make purchases that I cannot afford and my adult child is gainfully employed...

Its one discrimination/prejudice that goes unprotected. I feel your pain.



answers from St. Louis on

I think people always draw the conclusion that a mom is bragging when they say their child is "gifted." Maybe your child's pediatrician has labeled her that way. However, parents ALWAYS want to one up one another and judge one another. If you tell someone that your child is gifted and they happen to have a child who is behind, they will almost always take it as bragging when you talk about your own child. Is it wrong that people do that? Sure it is. But it is also human nature. It's like a skinny woman complaining to a slightly over weight person that she really needs to lose weight and the overweight person is thinking "Gee, if SHE needs to lose weight, I can only imagine what she thinks of ME!" Most people do not have gifted children, so if you think that people assume you are bragging--they do. You obviously are not trying to brag. However, going to a forum where there are tons of other moms--the most judgemental people in the world--and trying to get advice on your gifted child is not going to do you any good. I would see if there is a forum out there for parents of "gifted"children. I'm not trying to make you feel bad at all. I think it is great your child is gifted. I am just trying to explain why you are probably not feeling the love from most other moms on here. I can see both sides.

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