I just responded to another post that got me thinking. I think the majority of us here with gifted children are probably also gifted ourselves. I'm very interested to know... what did your parents do right and wrong in terms of dealing with your giftedness when you were growing up? How does that impact the way you deal with your own children or issues of education?

I'm lazy, so I'm just going to copy my response to another post below. It summarizes how my parents (mis)handled my own giftedness. They meant well, but... well... They meant well.

I wasn't an adult, but a teenager, when I voluntarily had some testing done. I learned I had an IQ of 152 (which was 99.9th percentile on this particular test).

I grew up with my parents both minimizing my gifts and also trying to accommodate them. I was in the gifted program at a public school. My parents kept downplaying the gifted program and saying that almost any kid that wanted to do it could. (I later learned this was untrue and entrance was based on standardized test scores.) This was easy for me to accept, because honestly the curriculum was a big nothing. No challenge whatsoever. Also my peers in this program didn't seem especially smart to me. (I cringe when I type that, it sounds horrible... trust me, though, I never felt elitist or better than them.) I always got a 99th percentile on our annual standardized tests, across all categories, but my parents insisted that was what most kids got. It wasn't anything special. I remember one year I got 98th percentile in some sub-set of the test, and I was mortified. I couldn't believe it! I knew I must have been the stupidest kid in the class (because, at the time, I believed my parents and thought everyone in the class got 99th percentile across the board.)

I remember fighting with them one time about what a percentile means, and how could it be possible for all the kids to get 99th percentile. (They gave a BS answer about how some kids are sick the day of the test and so they score a zero, some kids just fill in random dots, and they get a zero... so those that actually read and answer the questions end up with these inflated scores of 99th percentile. I still get mad when I think about that fight - and that was over 25 years ago!)

It was a strange dynamic. I think they wanted to keep me from getting a big ego or something. It worked. I definitely had low self esteem.

So while they downplayed how gifted I was, they did indeed allow me to take college courses at the local university when I was 12, they did indeed enroll me in a couple of language classes when I was 5, and they did indeed take advantage of many of the gifted resources offered by our local university.

As a teenager (like many teenagers) I felt confused about who, exactly, I was. Was I just like everyone else? Or was there someone a bit different about me? Relationships with my peers were frustrating, to say the least, because I expected them to be more similar to me. Confusing times.

So I saved my money and I paid for a full evaluation and IQ test at the university when I was about 17.

What did it do for me? Well.... not a helluva lot. LOL! My parents knew I did this and were curious to know my score. When I told them, they just nodded and didn't say much. I was told the score was 99.9 percentile... but my entire life that was how I scored on standardized tests and it had been drilled into me that it meant basically nothing. Everyone got those scores. So I essentially had yet another number that meant basically nothing.

I thought I would have some insights and a big revelation, but instead it was just more of the same.

Fast forward 19 more years and I'm an adult and a mother. Does knowing my IQ matter to me? No, not really. I rarely give it any thought at all, other than to try to forecast my kids' IQs! Data is fun to have, but it doesn't change how I view myself or deepen my own self-understanding.

Oh, and my experience is a big reason why I am enrolling my kids in a private gifted school. I want them to be surrounded by gifted kids. I hope they will be challenged. I was never challenged. I never really had to study until I got to graduate school. In college, I would often just show up to take finals (and I graduated with highest honors). Then in grad school, when suddenly things didn't come automatically and I actually had to put forth some effort to learn complicated things... I was miserable. I was in a PhD program, but dropped out with just my MS. I was getting "B"s for the first time in my life, and felt like a total failure.

Pathetic, I know.

So I want my kids to be challenged and learn to study (and hopefully struggle) at an early age.

I also vow to not deceive them about how different they might be from the norm. I won't dwell on it either. I want them to be humble, of course. But I won't spin lies to keep their egos in check either.

Edited by sweetpeas (04/17/12 07:55 AM)