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    #1 - 12/14/05 01:56 AM Discussing with gifted child
    SFParent Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 12/12/05
    Posts: 7
    Loc: San Francisco
    Hi All,

    First of all I am grateful to have found the Davidson website and this forum.

    We just learned our 7 year old son is gifted. We are exploring the different options (not many) regarding schools and programs.His current teacher has a wonderful heart but he is quite bored in his class and ends up reading books after he finishes the assigned work. To be frank, we are eperiencing many of the issues highlighted in the Genuis Denied book.

    My wife and I would like to discuss the situation with our son and let him know we are exploring different options. Are there any concerns in telling our son he is gifted?

    Any adivce is appreciated.

    Regards,

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    #2 - 12/14/05 03:00 AM Re: Discussing with gifted child
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    This is a very difficult area for our family. My son,now 9, says that looking back at kindergarden he was "bored all the time but didn't know it," he seemed completely happy then, but by age 6 he was creating havoc at school. I have chosen to share with him that his tests show that he is at the 1/1000 type of unusuallness. (the good part is that they can understand the normal distribution curve at an early age - I'd work on that for a while first if possible) Rimm's books on parenting gifted children are good at explaining how not to "support" you child against adults innapropriatly. To a child, not fitting in means that they are "less than" no matter how good their deviation from the norm looks to an adult.
    I'm so glad for your family that you are looking for options NOW, and not a year or two later after the situations is muddied by any behavioral reactions to "lack of fit" in the school setting.

    Part of your explaination can be that part of what makes your son different is that he has a need to learn new things. While you are exploring options, don't hesitate to start meeting your child's need to learn new things at home with you. At our house we call it, afterschooling. Sitting down and learning together will demonstrate to your child that you see him for who he is, and that it's ok to be who he is. This is more important that any discription of "how smart/deviant" your son is. Ask your son what he wants to learn, then post back here if needed for more resources for how to get it to him. If he doesn't know, pick an area that you like. This forum will be a resource for you beyond your wildest dreams. Love - Trinity
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #3 - 12/14/05 05:55 AM Re: Discussing with gifted child
    SFParent Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 12/12/05
    Posts: 7
    Loc: San Francisco
    Thank you for the comments. They are very helpful.

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    #4 - 02/08/06 11:18 AM Re: Discussing with gifted child
    New in IL Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 01/24/06
    Posts: 11
    Loc: Illinois
    First grade is an especially tough year for gifted kids. They have waited their whole life to go to "school" - that mythical place where you get to learn all day long! Then the realty of school hits. It's actually the place where you have to pretend to be attentive, where you already know everything, where no one else understands you or your desire to learn more and you figure out that you just plain don't fit in.

    Beginning the dialog about how different people are good at different things, about how everyone's brain works differently as early as possible is a good thing. These kids need strategies in preschool and kindergarten to help them develop a way of learning in an environment which is seldom suited to them. And they need to understand that they aren't just weird.

    Of course a school environment that took care of all these things would be lovely, but until you find that I would say you should talk to your child extensively about how they are different.

    When mine was 4 I decided that piano was a good thing. It was something that woudl take years to master and require some struggle on her part. As it turned out, when she got really frustrated was an excellent opportunity to talk about how this feeling was not unique to her, and in fact there were several kids in her class who had that exact same feeling everytime they were confronted with math or reading or whatever.

    I shy away from IQ scores. They mean nothing to the kids, and go with the 1 in 10,000 approach...

    Good luck.

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    #5 - 02/22/06 06:13 AM Re: Discussing with gifted child
    mayreeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/20/06
    Posts: 156
    Loc: AL
    There is a good book out there - something like gifted children's guide to giftedness or something. Can't remember the name.

    We gave that to our son and had a talk. He is different from other kids because he learns so fast. That makes school harder for him because he has to learn to be patient and well behaved while the other kids learn. He also has to strike a balance between trying hard on his own - and not making other kids feel bad for not understanding things as well as he does.

    Anyway - the talk seemed to have helped. We stayed completely away from IQ and how rare his IQ is.... There is probably an appropriate age for that - but 6 didn't seem like the right age.

    Mary
    _________________________
    Mary

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    #6 - 08/07/06 06:25 AM Re: Discussing with gifted child
    gmelle Offline
    New Member

    Registered: 08/07/06
    Posts: 1
    Loc: vermont
    Hello,
    Just joined this forum a few minutes ago...To answer SFParent, yes, it is even necessary to discuss his differences with your child, emphasizing of course that what matters is how we treat others, not how smart we are. It will help him/her in the long run.

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    #7 - 08/09/06 09:42 PM Re: Discussing with gifted child
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Mary - I think it's great that you can "get away" without giving "number" at this stage. I wouldn't have done it if I could have gotten DS to "really believe" that there wasn't something "terribly wrong" with him any other way.

    I'm really pleased (and a bit jealous) that you got to have "the talk" before the "judgement of the group" had set in. OTOH don't you have a daughter who's a whole different story? ((gently winking - support intended)) What's up there?

    smiles - Trinity
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #8 - 08/21/06 11:21 PM Re: Discussing with gifted child
    cym Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/01/06
    Posts: 865
    Loc: southwest
    Dear SFParent,

    I've been through this 4 times, with each of my sons. My husband is very adamant about not revealing IQs (although I was very tempted once with one son to show the diagnostic report to "prove" to him that he was extremely gifted in math, in hopes of stopping him from disliking it...but refrained). They know they have high IQs because of the special program they are in at school. One neighbor boy came over as soon as we moved in and said, "Hi, I'm Michael, and I'm gifted. I have an IQ of 134." That was even before our kids were school-age, and we knew we didn't want our kids to ever know that much. I have also been repulsed by other kids in their class bragging that they don't have to follow the rules because they're in the PEGS class. I repeatedly tell my kids I better never hear them bragging or thinking they're better than others. They are differently abled, almost like handicapped children--and I use that comparison with them. It's not how smart you are, it's what you do with it. All of those cliches. I do tell them my expectations...that I know they're smart and therefore they cannot accept poor grades, laziness, etc. We have an ongoing dialog about how I can help them develop their interests/learn, we me offering up summer institute, distance learning classes, above-level testing opportunities, magazine subscriptions, speakers, etc. I talk to my oldest son (12 and in 8th grade) about how he envisions high school should be for him, whether he'd like to skip another grade, extra-curricular activities, mentorships, etc. I talked to my youngest son (4, in 1st grade) about skipping kindergarten, not because he's better than other kids, but that he has learned that material already.
    I think keeping an open dialog with your child is healthy and makes him/her a stakeholder in educational choices. One of my sons flatly refused homeschooling, which I offered when he was 7 and doing algebra. Instead, we came up with other ideas to address his math abilities (ALEKS math program, Accelerated math, and other supplements) which I negotiated to have his school adopt and now his whole class benefits.

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    #9 - 08/22/06 11:18 PM Re: Discussing with gifted child
    ScottsWife Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 06/23/06
    Posts: 27
    Loc: Somewhere out there
    I didn't really have a choice. Well, my son already knew I guess. We were driving along one day and he says out of the blue "You know, I'm smarter then most people." and I said "What?" and he says "You know, I know a lot of stuff. More then most people. I'm really smart. Smarter then most people." I nearly ran right off the road. eek I think he was about 6 when this conversation happened. I told him that yes, he is very smart and yes, he may know more then a lot of people and perhaps even more then most people BUT that is just not the sort of thing you go around saying. We had quite a long discussion about intellect and the responsibility that goes along with it and the humbleness he should maintain because there will always be someone greater in the world. I did share his range on the bell curve with him recently and I guess to some of you that may be pretty controversial. I did it before his most recent eval/testing appt. because I wanted him to know before he went that although I stressed how important it was that he did his very best that he didn't have to stress himself out about the whole thing or be anxious if he didn't know all the answers etc etc. I wanted him to know that I am completely happy with him and that he has more then exceeded any expectations I have ever had for him on an intellectual level at this point in his life and that he could really just relax a little. He is not the type to be boastful and I have never heard him sharing this information with anyone else or saying to his friends "oh yeah! Well I'm only 7 and I'm already in 4t grade!" He isn't the type to brag at all. In fact he spends more time being down on himself for his short comings like the fact that he isn't as good at skateboarding as the other boys in the neighborhood. frown I did buy him the cutest t-shirt that says "Never question a genuis...especially you!" *chuckles* I just couldn't resist it when I saw it. He actually rarely wears it. He prefers his shirt that says "I got this shirt for my sister. Best trade I ever made!" ROFL!

    M.
    _________________________
    "Learning can only happen when a child is interested. If he's not
    interested it's like throwing marshmallows at his head and calling it
    eating." -Anonymous

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    #10 - 08/23/06 05:19 AM Re: Discussing with gifted child
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    I think that preparing a child for testing is a difficult experience - sounds like you handled it well.
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #11 - 08/24/06 10:32 AM Re: Discussing with gifted child
    delbows Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/25/06
    Posts: 778
    Loc: Midwest
    I told my son that he was intellectually gifted when he was five because he mentioned thoughts of jumping in front of a car or truck.

    He had just started at a very academically demanding school (for a trial) because he wasn’t able to fall asleep at night and his pediatrician suggested that he might need more intellectual stimulation. Our son, then just turned 5 told us that on the first day all of the kids liked him, by the second day they were much cooler and by the third day, they excluded him. He said “It’s like being in a burning building with no windows, doors or even a phone.” These thoughts were all independent to this little kid. He had never been exposed to the issue of suicide through the media or anywhere else.

    I spoke to him about how giftedness is not just an academic issue, but also an emotional intensity issue. I explained his academic potential as well as, his emotional vulnerabilities. He has always been very empathetic a concerned for others so I knew he would not use it to brag. However, it did help him deal with the problem of connecting with his peers. He is actually very sociable and gets along well with children who are younger and older than he. His age mates are not extremely accepting of him and of course he forgets 100 compliments in exchange for 1 mean comment. –Now that he is almost 10, he is getting better at letting it go.

    My point is, sometimes it helps to have some self-knowledge. He got over his thoughts of suicide soon after we began discussing the issue of IQ and all it’s implications, not just the part about who is smartest in the class.

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