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    #121598 - 02/01/12 08:00 AM Re: What strangers say? [Re: sunday_driver]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Last night I met DW at DD's soccer practice, and DW started filling me in on how DD had turned in her writing project that morning, and how that went. Another mom overheard, and wanted to know more about the project, so we briefly described it to her. "She's in 1st grade, right? Wow... it's amazing the things they have 1st graders doing these days!"

    Seeing as how this woman had her own little first-grader on the team, we went ahead and filled her in on how DD's assignment is not typical 1st grade work.

    Besides, I'm not really interested in hiding who DD is to protect other people's feelings. She is who she is, and if it makes them feel bad about themselves or their own kids, that's not DD's problem, nor mine.

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    #121601 - 02/01/12 08:11 AM Re: What strangers say? [Re: sunday_driver]
    Iucounu Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/02/10
    Posts: 1457
    The downplaying is a concern for me too. Gifted children should never feel like they have to hide their abilities because they're shameful or inappropriate, although it's not good to show a lack of tact either. I would never downplay anything about my kids in front of them, and I tend to do less of it as I go on, instead just speaking in generalities or redirecting the conversation if I don't feel that an open discussion is warranted.

    Originally Posted By: Dude
    I'm not really interested in hiding who DD is to protect other people's feelings.

    That's a healthy attitude. I tend not to want to engage in one-upmanship with a pushy parent, just because it's a hassle. I also think some parents can respond with veiled hostility if they feel that I'm the pushy one, so I try to be tactful at all times. I do want DS6 and us to fit in, with the ideal being fitting in with our differences fully recognized and appreciated. It's just my experience that some parents are more ready than others to discuss things like this openly without it tarnishing the relationship; with the more closed ones, I tend to redirect.
    _________________________
    Striving to increase my rate of flow, and fight forum gloopiness. sick

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    #121616 - 02/01/12 09:27 AM Re: What strangers say? [Re: Iucounu]
    DeHe Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/07/10
    Posts: 735
    I actually found myself looking for things that DS could not do so I wouldn't sound like I was bragging in pre-k. That's when I just got silent like so many do here. I realized I didn't want to put some other parents comfort level before DS's. Whether its amazement or competitiveness, its rarely a pleasant discussion and I find that avoidance is the best bet. But I don't really like it, I am hoping that in a gifted program that won't be necessary but I find I still do it, its just now about scope. Sigh.

    DeHe

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    #121617 - 02/01/12 09:32 AM Re: What strangers say? [Re: sunday_driver]
    Ametrine Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/27/11
    Posts: 741
    One particular incident comes to my mind.

    I was talking with our son's preschool teacher about something he had done that day. She said I must be a very good teacher (because of whatever it was he had done).

    I simply said that he was easy to teach. It's the truth and how can anyone challenge that? I'm not about to elaborate with a stranger (yes, preschool teacher is a stranger, imo) that he only needs a couple of repetitions and he has whatever down.

    I've also said to other comments about how much he knows: "He's a busy boy". Usually I move on and don't give them a chance to question me further.

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    #121623 - 02/01/12 10:24 AM Re: What strangers say? [Re: sunday_driver]
    ABQMom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/25/10
    Posts: 868
    I think the one I find most annoying is when someone describes any of my kids as "freakishly smart". A compliment and insult all in one.

    I have found that other parents, strangers and kids are much more comfortable with the extreme talents with my 2e son than they were with my high gifted son who was gifted in all exceptionalities tested. Seems human nature is more willing to embrace superiority when it is also served up with struggle in something else. It's ok to be able to recite from memory, including side effects, complete audio books at the age of three if that same child has a speech disorder.
    _________________________
    ~Lisa
    http://www.lisaabeyta.wordpress.com/

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    #121624 - 02/01/12 10:54 AM Re: What strangers say? [Re: ABQMom]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Originally Posted By: ABQMom
    I think the one I find most annoying is when someone describes any of my kids as "freakishly smart". A compliment and insult all in one.

    I have found that other parents, strangers and kids are much more comfortable with the extreme talents with my 2e son than they were with my high gifted son who was gifted in all exceptionalities tested. Seems human nature is more willing to embrace superiority when it is also served up with struggle in something else. It's ok to be able to recite from memory, including side effects, complete audio books at the age of three if that same child has a speech disorder.


    A popular defense mechanism is for people to generalize all HG+ individuals as severely handicapped in some other way... ie "Rain Man," "Revenge of the Nerds," etc. They accept the genius of Stephen Hawking because he's in a wheelchair. Einstein flunked math. Da Vinci hacked off his own ear. Etc, etc.

    So yeah, if you're not showing off the ways in which your child is tragically flawed, you're threatening their view of the universe, and people don't tend to like that very much.

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    #121665 - 02/01/12 05:32 PM Re: What strangers say? [Re: sunday_driver]
    vwmommy Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/06/11
    Posts: 85
    Loc: Minnesota
    Up for some more frustration? Check out this blog post:
    http://blogs.babycenter.com/mom_stories/i-hate-hearing-about-your-gifted-child/
    Someone just posted it to the Hoagies page on facebook. Just the thought that for some reason there are people who feel the need for my child to hide themselves to make themselves feel better is sad.

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    #121682 - 02/02/12 12:26 AM Re: What strangers say? [Re: sunday_driver]
    Madoosa Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/20/11
    Posts: 710
    Loc: South Africa
    when we figured out how different Aiden was, I stopped speaking about him. I stopped mentioning milestones and achievements. He started hiding his abilities and even when he started pre school at 3 he then tried to average out his abilities to fit in with the kids in the class.

    Once I managed to adopt the attitude that Dude mentions, it got a bit better, but now he is 5 and still tries to average out himself. Even to the point of deliberately messing up a reading assessment with his Grade 0 (K) teacher so that he is more in line with the only other 2 kids in the class who are reading.

    So now when people say their comments I smile, say thank you for noticing. And when they ask more questions I quite openly say something like "yes he is an accelerated learner", or openly say that he is reading at a Grade 2/3 level or does grade 2/3 maths at home.

    If I get negative comments then, I just tell them that each parent has to love their child just the way they are, and for me that means embracing that my child enjoys learning and thrives on it.
    _________________________
    Mom to 3 gorgeous boys: Aiden (8), Nathan (7) and Dylan (4)

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    #121684 - 02/02/12 03:41 AM Re: What strangers say? [Re: Dude]
    TwinkleToes Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/02/09
    Posts: 435
    I wholeheartedly aggree with these assessments. People often feel compelled to say that most gifted kids have major issues and seem to comfort themselves with that idea. Many people say how unusual it is that my DD5 seems "so normal." She is also a pretty little girl and I am sure that also flies in the face of some people's stereotypes. I find that I unconsciously and sometimes consciously try to emphasize weaknesses (like in some sports) or challenges we have had. It makes me feel less likely to be publically stoned (ha ha). When I was younger, I was in a gifted program, a talented gymnast, and modeled, and actually met with some serious hostility from other girls. I don't think they were threatened by the smarts as much as other things. My DD5 did
    dumb down in pre-k and hid skills, this was in part due to a terrible fit with an ignorant teacher (we pulled her out) but seems to be doing better in K even though the gap in her reading group is wide. The lowest kid is at Cat in the Hat (that my DD read at 2) and my DD can read near adult level text. I felt myself tensing up as I wrote this and telling myself not to brag, but then remembered I am here, and I can breathe a little easier. I actually take comfort when I read about children on here who are more advanced than my DD5!

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    #121686 - 02/02/12 05:13 AM Re: What strangers say? [Re: sunday_driver]
    Mamabear Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/17/08
    Posts: 354
    You know, most often I try to use generic responses like, "She is a busy girl" or "She keeps me on my toes", but there was an incident a couple of weeks ago when a lady made a snide comment about my dd reading her kindle as we were walking in a store. I had to remind dd a couple of times to pay attention so as not to run into other people. Well, she did bump into a lady. She said excuse me and started to move on (again with the book in her face)and the lady said to me,"You really shouldn't allow her to be so interested in books!" I said, "Yeah, I know...someone should call CPS." Forutnately, the remark took her off guard and she turned and walked away.


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