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    #127674 - 04/18/12 07:07 AM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    Austin Offline

    Registered: 06/25/08
    Posts: 1840
    Loc: North Texas
    I got a lot of support from my parents in that they took me to the library and gave me great freedom from an early to do my own thing.

    Back then most people did not know what to do with someone like me and the hands off approach was better than forcing me to fit into a mold like the schools mostly did.

    I agree with La Texican in that each generation tries to do better. With Mr W we have finally settled on homeschooling which is pretty much what I did on my own in becoming an autodidact. Except we will give him some direction which I did not get so he can progress at his natural rate.

    #127677 - 04/18/12 07:24 AM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    MegMeg Offline

    Registered: 03/14/10
    Posts: 615
    I come from a family where everyone gets a BA (the women in my family were going to college as far back as the 1890's), and two of my grandparents and one parent had/have PhD's. High expectations, enrichment in the home, and an understanding of how higher education works came for free.

    But I was also growing up in an era when parents didn't advocate. My parents made sure their kids went to the "good" public school, but that was the extent of their intervention. We were expected to lock-step through the system, because that's how things were done. We were expected to excel while lock-stepping, and as long as we did it was assumed that our schooling was a success.

    In fifth grade I lobbied for a grade skip. No one ever directly said no, but nothing ever came of it. I suspect it was because I was already struggling socially, and they assumed a skip would make it worse. But I still find it hard to countenance that the adults simply gave up on my academic needs.

    I finished high school so disaffected that I was completely unprepared for college. I took a year off twice during college to get my act together, and in the end I did well and got into the PhD program of my choice. But I'm still stuck with the memories of spending twelve years of my life bored and miserable.

    #127681 - 04/18/12 08:47 AM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: ]
    Beckee Offline

    Registered: 07/19/11
    Posts: 332
    Loc: Hawaii
    Originally Posted By: eema
    I never really realized how smart I was until I was older, and I am sure that it would have helped my self esteem, since I was kind of awkward and did not fit in well.

    Well, I was tested and qualified for the new gifted program when I was in 6th grade and had a new baby sister at home. My mom told me my IQ (or what was known of it), and the school psych explained the concept of "fraction of a percentile", having scored the cognitive pretty much immediately, while I did the Draw-a-Person test.

    I will just point out that when you are a teenager, a self-esteem based pretty much exclusively on your IQ is not a very robust one. Adolescent girls tend to take a huge hit to their self-esteem when puberty hits, and the debate over whether the causes are biological or societal may rage on forever.

    I remember on a gifted class field trip, a 15-year-old friend of the gifted teacher called me a "rude genius". Shoots, I had a crush on him, and that was difficult to hear, but I deserved it.

    Edited by Beckee (04/18/12 08:48 AM)

    #127683 - 04/18/12 08:50 AM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: epoh]
    Beckee Offline

    Registered: 07/19/11
    Posts: 332
    Loc: Hawaii
    Originally Posted By: epoh
    I read Clan of the Cave Bear when I was like 12, lol. I'm not 100% sure if that's a good thing or not!

    Ha! A Special Education teacher at the school where I work told me the same thing the other day.

    #127685 - 04/18/12 09:40 AM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    knute974 Offline

    Registered: 09/22/09
    Posts: 683
    Loc: controlled chaos
    Wow, this is a tough one.

    Listened to me when I didn't want to skip fifth grade even though in retrospect it probably would have been the right thing to do. I am the fourth kid and had older siblings in college and high school at the time. Having lived with being the youngest in my family, I remember telling my mom that I didn't want to be younger than everyone in HS and college, especially when it came to driving.

    Tried to find the most academically challenging high school that fit their beliefs. I attended a college prep Catholic high school. It was a good fit the first couple years but I ran out of stuff to do before the end of HS.

    Allowed me to go to the Ivy that was my first choice for college. Dad really wanted me to go to Stanford or Cal and stay relatively close to home. It was the first time in my life that I was "average" -- everyone had high test scores, was valedictorian, was a great athlete or musician, etc. I struggled with my definition of myself. I had a horrible first semester. Socially, I felt completely out of place with East Coast kids who came from a completely different and often elitist culture. Since it was the place that I chose, I couldn't blame anyone else and was motivated to find my way in this new place.

    Offered me love, acceptance and encouragement when I told them that I wanted to quit my chosen profession in my late twenties.

    Defined me by my achievements.
    Fed the perfectionism beast in so many ways.

    #127686 - 04/18/12 10:12 AM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    sweetpeas Offline

    Registered: 09/07/11
    Posts: 80
    These are all such great an interesting responses! Very thought-provoking. Thank you - and keep 'em coming! smile

    #127691 - 04/18/12 10:53 AM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    HelloBaby Offline

    Registered: 08/10/09
    Posts: 313
    • Never pushed/pressured me when I was underachieving

    • Never pushed/pressured me when I was underachieving

    #127704 - 04/18/12 12:17 PM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    polarbear Offline

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3363
    I'd like to add that most of the things that my parents did right were the same thing that I'd do for any child, intellectually gifted or not.

    Let us pursue our own interests
    Encouraged us to do our best
    Took us to the library every Saturday afternoon (even more so than the intellectual benefit, I treasure the memory of that time spent with my Dad)
    Took us to the mountains for picnics on the weekend
    Took us to our grandmother's for extended summer vacations each summer
    where we had the chance to visit with extended family
    Kept learning themselves (my Dad spent his summers getting a Master's degree at a prestigious university when I was in early elementary school)
    Gave me a sibling smile
    Let us keep our toys and inventions spread out all over the basement floor as well as outside
    Let us paint our bedrooms ourselves
    Showed up for all our school concerts, plays, awards
    Told us it was ok (and even a good idea) to take a year off before we started college (neither of us did, but I think knowing that our parents acknowledged that we might not be ready to decide where we wanted to go or what we wanted to do was a wonderful type of freedom that helped us actually know what we wanted... how's that for confusing lol!)
    Driving us to and paying for countless music lessons, band practices, girl scouts, whatever club/activity we wanted to take part in
    Showing us an example of faith but not encouraging us to find our own faith rather than blindly accepting theirs
    Understanding what it was like to be a teen and not being totally against everything it meant to be a teen (they were middle and high school teachers in the 60s/70s)
    Letting us know it was ok to question the status quo
    Insisted we write thank-you notes (not that I do that now, but I got the message - be thankful :))

    My mother was very critical of me and did not give out hugs or declarations of I Love You etc freely

    Back when I was a kid, in my school district, there were not as many opportunities for different types of school as there are now, and not as many opportunities for intellectual acceleration of enrichment. I don't remember parents pushing or advocating for their children - naturally I really can't have any idea what other parents were doing, but my own parents never asked for more challenging material for us, never pushed to have us accelerated, never asked for additional testing, never found any outside programs for high IQ kids for us to take part in. In spite of that, I was always in the top honors classes at school, was subject accelerated in several areas by the time I was in high school (thanks I guess to my own academic performance) and I took every AP course I could when in high school and loved them. I have vague memories of being bored when I was younger and still bored in quite a few of my high school classes, but I still enjoyed school for the most part and I did well. So even though that's not something my parents *did* ... I remind myself when I get frantic over what I have or haven't done for my own kids ... for the most part, our kids are going to be ok no matter what we as parents do or don't do smile

    Best wishes,


    #127711 - 04/18/12 12:52 PM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: polarbear]
    JonLaw Offline

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics
    Originally Posted By: polarbear
    Understanding what it was like to be a teen and not being totally against everything it meant to be a teen (they were middle and high school teachers in the 60s/70s)

    This was the opposite of my father. He was in charge of enforcement and discipline as an assistant high school principal in the 70s. And boy, did he *love* that.

    He was at his happiest when he could punish students through the use of police-type interrogation techniques. I think he really wanted para-military tools to control the deviants within the subject population, but he had to settle for the local police.

    I only ever witnessed one raid, where he brought the full force of the local police against a bunch of kids playing with a small bouncy ball on school property at about 2:00 a.m. I don't think they expected to be confronted with police offices waving guns at them demanding they get on the ground.

    I think he always wanted to be an FBI officer but settled on a career in education to make my mother happy.

    Edited by JonLaw (04/18/12 12:55 PM)
    Edit Reason: Adding father's profession

    #127712 - 04/18/12 01:04 PM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    Giftodd Offline

    Registered: 10/25/10
    Posts: 221
    Loc: Australia
    Wrong... my single parent mother was mentally ill which had a whole lot of implications. Certainly there were no expectations, no interest in my education, no enrichment, a lot of time spend worrying about her and because my dad is smart (and hated by her), smart was not a useful thing to be. Have finally accepted that smart is ok, though I am still struggling to find direction. But it's not all bad - as a result I foster my daughter's passions, embrace her smarts and work to ensure she understands the importance of effort in achieving her goals.

    Right... well, not that I'd recommend it as a way of achieving it - but much of the above has given me exceptional resilience, a deep understanding of people's motivations and an appreciation of people's personal qualities - their kindness and compassion, loyalty and effort, etc. So if I like you, I like you for who you are, not how smart you are, how pretty you are, how much money you have in the bank, the job your hold or who you know. And so I will teach my daughter humility, encourage empathy and keep her grounded.

    My parents (both of whom I love dearly these days - but they're much better with adults than kids!) wrote the book on how not to raise a kid and fortunately I have been lucky enough to learn from rather than repeat their mistakes (yay for smart!).

    "If children have interest, then education will follow" - Arthur C Clarke

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