Gifted Bulletin Board

Welcome to the Gifted Issues Discussion Forum.

We invite you to share your experiences and to post information about advocacy, research and other gifted education issues on this free public discussion forum.
CLICK HERE to Log In. Click here for the Board Rules.

Links


Learn about the Davidson Academy’s online campus for profoundly gifted students living anywhere in the U.S.

The Davidson Institute is a national nonprofit dedicated to supporting profoundly gifted students through the following programs:

  • Fellows Scholarship
  • Young Scholars
  • Davidson Academy
  • THINK Summer Institute
  • DITD FaceBook   DITD Twitter   DITD YouTube
    The Davidson Institute is on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube!

    How gifted-friendly is
    your state?

    Subscribe to the Davidson Institute's eNews-Update

    Who's Online
    0 registered (), 0 Guests and 77 Spiders online.
    Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
    Newest Members
    twiceExceptional, robertjohn5814, Malumier, Roadie, Skittles4
    11168 Registered Users
    July
    Su M Tu W Th F Sa
    1 2
    3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
    24 25 26 27 28 29 30
    31
    Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5 >
    Topic Options
    #121543 - 01/31/12 06:16 PM What strangers say?
    sunday_driver Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 01/23/12
    Posts: 47
    I'm interested in hearing from some of you all what random strangers (people you encounter just being out and about) have said to or about your kid noticing he or she seems advanced, and how you've handled the comments. It's happened to me a few times recently, and they've caught me off guard...

    Top
    #121546 - 01/31/12 07:41 PM Re: What strangers say? [Re: sunday_driver]
    vwmommy Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/06/11
    Posts: 85
    Loc: Minnesota
    If it's just the typical "Wow, look at what he's doing" thing, I usually go with a stock answer like "yeah, he keeps me busy." or something to that effect. When the comments venture into the negative/judgmental area then I have a harder time holding back. I had an older lady stop me in the middle of Wal Mart to tell me that letting DS read at such a young age was bad for his development. I also had a daycare 'teacher' suggest that we should try to 'redirect' him back to things that are 'more appropriate to his age level' because otherwise we might cause him to 'burn out'. I still don't know how to best answer THOSE type of comments

    Top
    #121549 - 01/31/12 07:59 PM Re: What strangers say? [Re: sunday_driver]
    DeHe Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/07/10
    Posts: 735
    For me it depends on what the comments are. I disliked the wow he's so smart comments because there is no answer, it's not like thank you is appropriate,or yes he is, good of you to notice. I settled on just smiling. It became more problematic as DS noticed the comments, especially when they would hear something and say how old is he. I would answer but it made him realize that there was something different about him.

    But anybody who says your kid should be limited or denied is a loon. I have never encountered it beyond the looks when people heard how I answered my sons questions. I would say I disagree if you feel like engagement or if you want to be lighter to say something aout not wanting to get between your kid and books!

    DeHe

    Top
    #121552 - 01/31/12 08:41 PM Re: What strangers say? [Re: vwmommy]
    BWBShari Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/24/08
    Posts: 1167
    Loc: NM
    Originally Posted By: vwmommy
    I had an older lady stop me in the middle of Wal Mart to tell me that letting DS read at such a young age was bad for his development. I also had a daycare 'teacher' suggest that we should try to 'redirect' him back to things that are 'more appropriate to his age level' because otherwise we might cause him to 'burn out'.


    Depending on the comment, I may smile and nod or simply agree. In the case of the two you mentioned I would have quoted them chapter and verse about what current research shows and how wrong they are. I refuse to skirt the issue because it is imperative to me that my son never overhear anything that he could consider as a denial or embarrasment of who he is. Now that he's 9, he doesn't attract anywhere near as much attention and when he does we answers for himself. One of his most used lines... "Everybody has to be good at something and I can't hit a baseball". He has never had anyone question him past that.
    _________________________
    Shari
    Mom to DS 10, DS 11, DS 13
    Ability doesn't make us, Choices do!

    Top
    #121553 - 01/31/12 09:04 PM Re: What strangers say? [Re: sunday_driver]
    Seaserif Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 12/27/11
    Posts: 9
    Shari, I love your 9-year-old's response!

    For better or for worse, my daughter is extraordinarily tall (she turns 4 in February and is the height of an average 6-year-old), so when she does or says unusual things in public people just assume she's older.

    But when she was a baby and toddler and the size difference wasn't as noticeable we got a lot more comments from strangers, usually about her unusually advanced vocabulary or her general alertness and intense perceptiveness. I once, for example, was stopped for a drawbridge when the woman in the car next to me inched her car forward and then motioned excitedly for me to roll down my window. When I did, she gushed for several minutes about how alert and sharp and "with it" my baby was (My daughter was then maybe three or four months old). They'd been looking at each other through the windows, and the woman seemed so moved it was as though she'd had a spiritual or supernatural experience. It was really sweet but also felt very strange! At that point, of course, although I knew I had an unusual baby (because I kept getting these kinds of comments from strangers) I didn't realize she was gifted. Now when I meet babies who are extremely alert or intense, I warn their parents. wink

    Top
    #121562 - 02/01/12 02:38 AM Re: What strangers say? [Re: sunday_driver]
    TwinkleToes Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/02/09
    Posts: 435
    Usually I just smile and nod. Often I am surprised that they see anything unusual because (in my mind) she isn't doing anything particularly advanced. When she was three it seemed as though we never went anywhere without some random stranger making a comment. One woman said, "She isn't like the other children. She could be president some day" just out of the blue with little contact. I just smile and nod. Another person said she had shivers from watching my three year old read magazine covers in the checkout line. These things were so normal to me, and comments so common, that I just roll with them. My DD is very confident, articulate, and outgoing and an encyclopedia of facts so it the sort of giftedness that is hard to hide LOL There may be children with a higher LOG who are more introverted or have the sort of gift that isn't as easily recognized in day to day interactions with random strangers.

    No one has ever made a single negative comment about her being precocious, but her preschool was not remotely supportive. Her K teacher seems impressed by things that seem very minor to me (compared with what she does at home). I think these reactions will lessen as children get older because people are less sure of their age, whereas talking / reading babies really seem to wake people up LOL


    Edited by TwinkleToes (02/01/12 02:39 AM)

    Top
    #121579 - 02/01/12 07:12 AM Re: What strangers say? [Re: TwinkleToes]
    Austin Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/25/08
    Posts: 1840
    Loc: North Texas
    We just say "thanks" and move on.

    Originally Posted By: TwinkleToes
    but her preschool was not remotely supportive.


    The only fully supportive person was Mr W's piano teacher. She immediately moved him up to work with an advanced 6 year old. Imagine if all things were that easy.

    Top
    #121592 - 02/01/12 07:34 AM Re: What strangers say? [Re: DeHe]
    DAD22 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/19/11
    Posts: 312
    Originally Posted By: DeHe
    For me it depends on what the comments are. I disliked the wow he's so smart comments because there is no answer, it's not like thank you is appropriate,or yes he is, good of you to notice. I settled on just smiling. It became more problematic as DS noticed the comments, especially when they would hear something and say how old is he. I would answer but it made him realize that there was something different about him.


    At the park a parent heard me conversing with my daughter, and asked how old she was. I told him she was two and he exclaimed "she speaks very well for a two year old." I wanted to say something like "well... she's almost three" or "she's actually two and a half" but she wasn't. She was 25 months or so. I replied "Thanks." I think he meant it as a compliment, which would make "Thanks" an appropriate response. Mostly it was awkward.

    Honestly, there was another small part of me that wanted to brag and say "Yep. And she's bilingual too." I mean, if someone is going to assess my daughter's speaking abilities, shouldn't I steer them toward a more accurate assessment? Instead, I try not to draw attention to her abilities in front of anyone who might be made to feel insecure.

    Sometimes I'll even lie. My friend had a baby 3 months after I did. When his baby was a few weeks old, my wife, my daughter and I visited them. His son was not particularly alert, and his wife said she couldn't wait for their son to be more interactive, like my daughter. Then they asked when she became so alert. If I were truthful, I would have said "she's been like this since birth." Instead I said I couldn't remember. I initially thought that my daughter was the normal one. I remember visiting the pediatrician when she was a few days old, and he told me "she's watching me." That comment didn't make any sense to me at the time. I wondered what she ought to be doing, if not watching him.

    With her recent advances, it's only going to draw more attention. My plan is to readily mention that she leads and I follow, not the other way around.







    Top
    #121594 - 02/01/12 07:43 AM Re: What strangers say? [Re: DAD22]
    Iucounu Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/02/10
    Posts: 1457
    Those situations can be tough. Mine have ranged from a worried dad on the playground comparing his son to mine, where I felt compelled to make encouraging noises about children developing differently and not being able to predict much from early milestones (which I tend to believe in some respects) and to downplay DS's abilities, to a playdate at the house of a quite pushy mom, who incredulously stated that she didn't believe my son was reading-- after seeing him read some things, not after a mention by us-- and proceeded to test him on the spot, which I let proceed with some inner pleasure.

    I've grown to dislike pushy, aggressive parents fairly intensely over time, whether or not there's a real reason for believing in the advancement of their children, no matter how much that advancement may be. I like being around smart adults and children, and wish we could be much more often. I also understand where the pushiness comes from-- not just the desire to be better than others, but usually primarily angst over opportunities for our children-- and know that it involves some commonality for parents of kids all over the continuum of ability. I just hate it, because sometimes the children of these parents seem unhappy on some level, and also because it only makes things uncomfortable for everyone. I view this as a bigger problem than off-the-cuff comments from random strangers who don't understand my kids.

    I still remember orientation night at our kindergarten, where one of the mothers raised her hand and asked whether the more advanced children would be allowed to read to the class. She looked around the room to see the effect her words had caused. DW was rolling her eyes, and I'd barfed a little in my mouth.
    _________________________
    Striving to increase my rate of flow, and fight forum gloopiness. sick

    Top
    #121596 - 02/01/12 07:54 AM Re: What strangers say? [Re: sunday_driver]
    sunday_driver Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 01/23/12
    Posts: 47
    It is good to hear how some of you handle this. I've handled the general "She's smart" comments with things like yes, thank you, keeps me busy, etc, and usually that's the end of it. However, the other day I had a slightly longer conversation with a woman, which started with her asking me DD's age. She then compared my DD to her older grandchild. I kind of made a joke, but have been thinking of it since then, because while maybe it made the woman feel better(?), it downplayed DD's ability. Sooner or later my daughter will be attentive to how I handle these conversations, too.

    Top
    Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5 >


    Moderator:  M-Moderator 
    Recent Posts
    Elitism
    by Kai
    1 second ago
    SIG Summer Camp
    by Irena
    06/30/22 01:47 PM
    Confidence Intervals
    by Emigee
    06/27/22 02:08 PM
    Resources for impulse control?
    by indigo
    06/25/22 06:49 PM
    Technology may replace 40% of jobs in 15 years
    by indigo
    06/19/22 05:52 AM
    Davidson Institute Twitter