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    #127714 - 04/18/12 01:13 PM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    amylou Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/01/10
    Posts: 263
    I believe my dh is pg and also believe his upbringing affected him in very interesting ways. He is a middle child from what I would describe as a benignly dysfunctional family. The biggest effect seems to be that his parents were sufficiently absorbed in their own problems that they didn't pay much attention to the kids. Dh was not thrilled with his family life and retreated to the basement most of the time as a high school student to avoid the rest of the family. What he did in the basement is teach himself. He taught himself electronics and other things. The electronics he learned was extremely valuable later on, but taking charge of his own education was probably an even bigger outcome.

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    #127747 - 04/19/12 07:32 AM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    Michelle6 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/16/12
    Posts: 76
    My mom was concerned about grades and nothing else. It didn't matter if I was learning, as long as my grades w ere all A's. As a result, as soon as I hit a class where I actually ha d to study a bit, I didn't know how, and my grades dropped like a rock.
    The other thing was that my IQ scores were made available for pretty much anyone who wanted them. So my teachers (not all, but quite a few) made me feel like I was slacking every time I did not understand something. When I went to college and majored in physics ( a field in which even the most talented need help pretty regularly) I didn't feel like I could ask for help, for fear of the professor thinking I was stupid - so I had a hard time adjusting.

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    #127750 - 04/19/12 08:31 AM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    ultramarina Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3428
    I always knew that a lot was expected of me, but because learning was important, not because I had to achieve XYZ. There were high expectations without insane pressure, and if a teacher was truly being unreasonable, they got that. My special interests were encouraged, but I was never made to feel like A Special Prodigy.

    I think they could have pushed me a little more in high school, since I opted out of science my last two (!) years. However, I was a very difficult teen in other ways, and they may just have decided not to bother.

    The house was full of books, TV was never a big element, and dinner table conversation was lively and intellectual. I was taken to museums and historic sites. All this was regarded as genuinely interesting, not a "supposed to do."

    They actually did a lot of other stuff wrong, but in terms of this stuff, they did quite well. However, I'm not sure my sibs would answer the same way.

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    #127755 - 04/19/12 09:57 AM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    DebM Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 07/27/11
    Posts: 17
    Hello.
    What was right about my parenting growing up in the 1960s? Being left alone & my parents remaining silent and neglectful. They didn't know what else to do with me and weren't interested in me as a person anyway. As a result, I read alot & spent alot of time alone contemplating and just doing my own thing. I wasn't forced into uncomfortable activities like some gifted kids are. Yikes. I'd have probably been mighty ill at ease with other moody and intense teens like myself. Being on my own, I searched for and found fun with more relaxed and easy-going teens that didn't think too much. I felt more love too being around them and their parents than I ever did in my soulless home and family.

    I remember being tested at 13 in the 1960s. And was told I had a "Master's Degree level IQ", whatever that meant. And nothing was done about this test afterwards. That news felt like a big "So What" to me as a result. Good thing too. I didn't see the point. Still don't. Enjoying the freedom of "No Expectations" is preferred over the pressure of "High Hopes". I never heard anyone say "You are gifted." If anything, I was mostly described by my Dad as "Strange" and my Mom as "Difficult". Not very helpful or kind ways to be considered by parents.

    It was in my 50's that I actually learned that I was "gifted" and that my scores were not at a Master's degree level. They were at least at a Ph.D. level or beyond.

    Oh - did I mention who tested me? My Dad did. Before he died, my Dad made a confession to make. I was smarter than I knew, he said. He gave me the results of the tests to gave me. They were extremely enlightening and so were his actions in retrospect. He was an insecure, arrogant, upsetting know-it-all Ph.D public school psychologist. He was like this even on his deathbed. Dad kept my smarts hushhush and stifled. He had an appearance to maintain as the "Smarter One" in the family. He never encouraged me to attain a PhD. And he discouraged me from every career I embarked on. He never understood me or why I"d want to be an actress or a naturopath or a massage therapist. He took pride & solace in being the only one in the family that was "The Breadwinner". If I made money it threatened his position and he'd bitterly put my work down.

    And Mom? Well, she was an ineffective parent & public school principal & a narcissist to boot- both felt threatened by my IQ's abilities - but with her, I received much more abuse. Instead of nurturance and unconditional love, I received neglect, jealousy and ruthless punishments. Mom literally kicked me out of my family home when I turned 18 with no place to go, and I was a good kid. Never any trouble with the law or drugs or boys or anything. Honest. I was just a misfit in my own family. I never felt that she even liked me.

    Both parents didn't help provide any feelings that they understood me at all, or cared about or loved me as a individual. I could have been a piece of furniture. I was left on my own to be me - which may or may not be a good thing in the long run. Dad did provide a library at home and enouraged me to read (this meant he didn't have to do anything with me) and he provided music to listen to - if he liked listening to it. Mom was too self-absorbed and had sexual affairs with other men. The mood at home was stiflling & lacked love and empathy. I'd have rather had love over having a high IQ growing up.

    But if I could have had both, how cool that would have been.

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    #219828 - 07/20/15 05:51 AM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    George C Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/12/15
    Posts: 282
    To revive an old thread...

    I was raised in a very loving, supportive environment. My parents did end up explicitly keeping me out of the GATE program because they didn't see the value in being pulled out from regular classes... and from the sound of it, they had a point. My mom recently told me that they measured everything in that program and it didn't seem like a healthy system for learning (this was the 80s).

    They never told me that I tested gifted, though, yet they had this general expectation that I should be getting mostly As. I did get As, pretty much without having to work at it, and I thought that seemed unusual. If a C was supposed to represent average, why wasn't I getting those for an average amount of work? The only answer I got was "you're not most people" with no elaboration.

    I spent most of my youth feeling like an outsider looking in, and no one ever explained why that might be. That's the only thing I wished I had known. I had to figure it out for myself...this year.

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    #219833 - 07/20/15 06:34 AM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    SAHM Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/07/12
    Posts: 251
    Loc: Mountains, USA
    Wrong - my parents assumed what was right/wrong for one of their children would be right/wrong for all of their children. If older brother or sister didn't like it, younger wasn't given the opportunity to try.

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    #219836 - 07/20/15 07:40 AM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    ConnectingDots Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/06/13
    Posts: 848
    Right, quite a lot of things, given the times and where we lived. I grew up in a small town (fortunately, only 30 minutes from a major university, though) with no, none, nada gifted services. Never even heard of gifted and talented until I scored very well on the PSAT and read that it could qualify me for TAG programs.

    I did have the advantage of having a mom who went through the same school system and knew a lot of the teachers(she's almost certainly PG level herself, my guess is I'm in the HG/EG range, based on standardized testing and other factors).

    Right:
    Access to books, books, books and more books (to the point I would be yelled at to go outside and live life, lol)
    Summer travel to historic sites and whatever tourist traps I could talk my dad into...
    Allowing me to follow my interests into things like agriculture classes and the FFA (which expanded my skill sets from a technical and interpersonal standpoint)
    Allowing me to screw up and fail (hello E for not turning in assignments and thinking somehow my 100+ exams would save me)
    Being proud of me
    Showing me how to edit my own work
    Encouraging my interest in writing (I also had an aunt who encouraged this, sending me books on how to get copyrights, sending me poems she found interesting, etc. She also sent me Gourmet magazine for years. I do not cook at all, though!)
    Talking to teachers who were not supportive (interestingly, our town had a number of very exceptional ones, so this only happened a few times)

    Wrong, not pushing me more academically and perhaps, seeing my brother as the "mathy" one (he truly is, to be fair) and allowing me, who must have looked average by comparison, to label myself as not good at it as soon as I ran into the first challenge with it in high school. Not teaching me a foreign language (my mom was still fluent in two when I was young, and it would have been so nice to have learned then).

    I remember asking for a grade skip somewhere around third or fourth grade. My mom, who had been skipped and wasn't sure it was good (but who has later said that she would have probably felt like an outlier no matter what), didn't go for it.

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    #219842 - 07/20/15 08:50 AM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    notnafnaf Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/07/14
    Posts: 199
    For me, I feel they did a lot right and really did the best with advice they got from the experts in our area and era.

    Once they had the diagnosis for my disability and realized how far behind it set me back in many areas, they were very focused - and very matter of fact - on closing that gap and then on pushing me to excel once I caught up in the academics. They have always made it clear they believed in my abilities and that my disability did not make me any "lesser" of a person (I met a woman my age with the same disability, and she could not believe how comfortable I was with myself because her parents made her feel ashamed about her disability). My father understood my love of sports and supported me through injuries and my mother really did try to understand. Books have a high value (my dad had a huge library built into their house) but so does exercise/sports. I know they had regrets about not spotting my disability earlier, but they hid that well while I was young, and really just kept looking forward.

    wrong - well, a lot of what could be "wrong" is a matter of cultural, and as I get older, I understand the choices they made and the reasons. For instance, my mother used to worry about my weight - and it was from health perspective (being fit, not having heart issues or diabetes) but it was not something I could handle as a teen as easily. And they did not handle the sibling rivalry well(mainly on my older sister's part - it is quite one sided) due to my older sister's intense jealousy and lack of understanding that my parents are not from this country so their cultural values are not same as what my sister expected - that still remains a mess.

    I never ran into being severely underchallenged because of the enormous gaps I had to catch up on, but I can see now that I am gifted (to what level, I don't know since my reports showed it kept going up as all the remediation took effect and to go from being years behind, end up in honors and AP classes, and double-majoring in college while training for 3-4 hours daily for a year round sport is an accomplishment).

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    #219844 - 07/20/15 09:21 AM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    LAF Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/15/14
    Posts: 469
    Thank you for resurrecting this thread! It has been an interesting read smile

    I tested into the MGM program in 6th grade. I remember hearing that I was gifted but didn't believe it. I think I had already opted out by 6th grade, but I don't ever remember thinking I'm smarter than the other kids. I primarily remember I just wanted to fit in (which I didn't really). I liked to draw and read.

    So when they said she is eligible for pull out classes in 6th grade (and I knew who the other kids were in the program, mostly kids like me who didn't fit in - and one child who was downright bullied for being very different- who then went on to become an astrophysicist!) I told my dad I didn't want to be in the program, which he honored. My father's parents had had extremely high expectations of him, and he had gone to MIT but he was definitely not going to push us. He flat out told us we had to go to school, but that grades didn't matter.

    My mother on the other hand was very pro education- it was expected that we would get a college degree - in what didn't matter - and when I went to live with her in 10th grade (my parents were divorced) she promptly started paying me for grades. Since I didn't care about school, but I did care about $..this worked. As long as I got good grades, she pretty much left me alone about school. She did encourage me to grow, and gave me lots of freedom to do what I wanted.

    Both parents always encouraged me to follow my interests, and took my brother and I to cultural events and museums, took us to restaurants and to festivals that expanded our understanding of other cultures. They also let us be weird smile I remember when I was in 3rd grade I was obsessed by Japanese culture and someone had given me a kimono which I wore when we went to Japanese restaurants- my dad let me do this without batting an eye. He actually built me a Japanese dollhouse too for my Japanese dolls that I played with instead of Barbies.

    When I was in High School I finally took a GATE class -it was in Mythology. Since I had been obsessed with mythology in elementary school I knew all the myths cold. After confirming I knew as much as they were going to teach in the class, the teacher knew I was an artist so while all the other kids listened to the lectures and did homework, I only had to take the tests and she would have me paint pictures the gods and goddesses to display in the classroom (while I was painting I listened to the lectures but I didn't have to do homework). I loved this as art was my favorite thing to do… but the other kids promptly ostracized me for being "teachers pet". I didn't take any more GATE classes. I have since heard from others that at that time the GATE program wasn't all that great and led to bullying by the other kids, so it was probably a good thing that my parents didn't force me to be in the program.

    My mother understood how much I hated school and as both she and her mother had graduated high school at 16 she encouraged me to take the GED and get out. I took the GED at 16 and promptly enrolled at a local Junior College and that completely changed my feelings about school. Regular school felt like a jail, you never had a moment when you were left alone. Junior college you were expected to show up because you wanted to pass the class, and you were treated like an adult with adult responsibilities.

    I read a book called Gifted Grownups last year which was enlightening for me, and I think they did pretty good considering. Both had significant anxiety, but they handled it. Both were actually pretty decent to each other considering they were divorced and polar opposites with regard to personality. They always encouraged us to do what we needed to do to be happy. Sometimes I wish I had gone into microbiology or some other science field but I have a job right now that allows me to do research on a wide variety of things. Since I am prone to information burnout (too much focus for too long a time on only one thing leads me to lose interest) I like that what I do allows me to have time to follow lots of different types of interests. However sometimes I feel like a Jack of All Trades, Master of None.

    My parents felt that intelligence was great, but it didn't make you better than anyone else, and that the world was an amazing place filled with lots of interesting people on all walks of life. They also were more focused on the social aspects of life than the academics. They didn't try to get us to fit in, but they did want us to have friends and enjoy life. So not a lot of pushing, certain things were expected, but definitely no tiger parenting. smile

    I am now trying to implement a lot of the things they did right with my kids.. however my kids are not like some of the kids described on these forums (and I don't think I was either) I didn't read or excel at math at an early age, although I was considered an advanced artist. My son is also an artist, and my daughter is amazing with crafts etc. So acceleration in school doesn't seem to be an issue - however they are at a high performing elementary in an area rife with doctors, lawyers, and other very smart people, so they are probably surrounded by pretty smart kids. I'm not sure what will happen in middle school.

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    #219845 - 07/20/15 09:28 AM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Right:

    access to books, art materials, cultural events, animals, and loads and loads of people from all walks of life, exposure to international politics, argumentation and debate, etc. We lived in a district with exceptional GT programming at a time when it was the "golden age" for such things in my state. (1970's) I entered college with as much dual enrollment credit as my DD had last fall when SHE entered. It wasn't bad, even by today's standards. But it was definitely intended for MG students, and that wasn't really me.


    Wrong:

    unstable home due to parental mental illness, significant medical neglect and physical abuse. My mother REFUSED a "recommended" grade skip-- four years running, no less-- and failed to intervene in self-esteem issues that were probably rooted in an undiagnosed math disability which impacted my ability to attain automaticity at math facts. I was never told that I could do more, and nobody expected me to, that much is certain. I'm not sure that I knew that a PhD even existed when I was in junior high and high school. (Really, not kidding). They didn't shelter me from being a side-show freak when my IQ score (FSIQ, old-school SB) became widely disseminated by my malicious middle school classmates and teachers. They also didn't understand that having that kind of intellect didn't mean that I had the life experience to actually BE 21, even if I acted like it a lot of the time-- it was inappropriate to expect me to police my peers and serve as a de facto chaperone, and this is precisely what my mother expected of me, punishing ME anytime a group of my peers refused to listen when I told them something was a bad idea and it predictably turned out about as I expected. {sigh} My mother also allowed teachers to flatly be kind of abusive toward me (thinking of one math teacher in particular, who said to my mother that I had better not take calculus in HS, because he was the only one that taught that class, and "I just don't like her," with 15yo me right there to hear it, even)-- my mother was herself a public teacher, mind. She was HORRIFIED by that statement, all right, but she certainly didn't say or do anything about it, except for telling me that it was okay not to take calc with him. shocked That guy was a misogynistic pig, quite frankly, and someone SHOULD have called him out on crap like that.

    Neither: Benign neglect, or free-range parenting back when that wasn't the term. Exposure to how the educational system produces sausages. I was permitted pretty wide leeway to escape the horrid educational setting that I endured for so many years.


    I am EG.
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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