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    #219847 - 07/20/15 09:31 AM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    Kai Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/17/09
    Posts: 640
    Right: My parents provided an intellectually stimulating atmosphere in our home, which, of course, was natural for them, but it made up for a lot of the things they didn't do as well. They also assumed that I could do anything I wanted to in school and in life, even when any rational person would have written me off.

    Wrong: I started obviously underachieving in 6th grade (though looking back, it's apparent that it started much earlier) and by 9th grade all things academic in my life were pretty much a disaster. I can see now that this was due in large part to undiagnosed dyslexia and ADHD. I wish they had not simply attributed my lack of achievement to laziness and had gotten me help with reading, math, and executive skills.

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    #219859 - 07/20/15 11:27 AM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    ljoy Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/28/11
    Posts: 269
    Right - quite a lot, given time and place, 70s-80s in rural towns of moderate size.
    -Chose their house based on the school district offering art and music
    -Insisted that the principal figure out how to accommodate me, then homeschooled when the prinicipal admitted that was impossible
    -kids' college, library, huge engineering projects covering our entire suburban lot
    -Did their best to include neighborhood kids in our enrichment, so that even though we were different, we weren't completely isolated by experience; demonstrated equal respect to all our neighbors while acknowledging ability differences
    -Explained my testing to me, to the best of their ability (age-equivalents, but not rarities)
    -Treated their kids as individuals, and gave each of us different resources according to interests and needs

    Wrong- nothing intentional, but hindsight reveals problems.
    -They didn't understand how different I felt from the kids around me, or that this was important, or that it was a problem that could be solved. I first met my peers in college; I was so far out of the range of even my GT program (district-wide dedicated campus) that I spent all my time trying to figure out why my classmates were being so illogical. I knew that my scores were pretty far above the next highest in my classroom, but I didn't know what that *meant*. Meeting other EG kids in childhood would have changed my life. I think I would have grown up more socially confident, knowing there was a difference between myself and others.
    -When I was 8 or 10 they stopped criticizing anything I did. They just looked amazed with a sparkle in their eyes and approved of my achievement. Even if it took a lazy 10 minutes to do. I needed more direction than that; a hint of how my first effort could be improved upon. Some of that library time could have been used to show me what could be done next.
    -I never had to argue hard, support my position, defend my choices. This meant that I buckled in college when asked to do these things. I assumed anyone in our homework group who was confident of their answer must have it right and I struggled to understand why my answer was wrong (especially when it wasn't).
    -My siblings would give a less rosy picture of their upbringing. One had a second E; none went to the same GT school I did, which was actually really good despite the population being different from me. They stayed longer in homeschool, which was not toxic, but also not directed enough. My parents' expectations scale was too linear: higher or lower, but not just different for each kid.
    -Moving and parental separation was much easier on me in middle/high school than on my siblings in elementary. I took it almost in stride and my independence just went up sharply. They were devastated and really struggled with their new living conditions.

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    #219863 - 07/20/15 12:52 PM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    bluemagic Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/29/13
    Posts: 1489
    Right:
    --When I had a bad junior high math teacher in a stupidly easy class my mother stood up for me and put pressure on the the school.
    --When I decided I wanted to apply to college a year early because I'd figure out how to graduate from H.S. a year early, they supported me.
    --When we moved cross country in H.S. They flew me out for a week to sample the schools in the districts they were considering buying a house in. And they took my selection seriously, and did end up first renting and then buying in that district. Honestly this was the best thing for me, that year is H.S. was one of the best things that ever happened to me even if I only went there a year.
    --I'm not sure if this was something they did or just luck. The area we lived when I was in K-2nd grade had schools who were exploring alternative methods of teaching and I was allowed very individual learning in early elementary. This was also very good for my older brother when he was in K-4th.
    --Provided a very enriched home environment. We lived in college towns, had lots of books around, my mother went back to college, we had a computer before almost anyone else and they encouraged us to use it. My dad did lots of things to encourage me in math and science, including having me help take apart and fix lot of electronics.
    -- Encouraged me to have fun and explore different things. While in college my parents supported my doing fun extracurricular even if they cost a bit more while in college.

    Wrong:
    --They didn't seem to do anything to help me with my struggles with spelling and essay writing. My parents are also bad at spelling and it was shrugged off as just the family curse. I was doing better than both my brothers because I was very compliant, so they didn't really see my struggles.
    --While my parents backed me up & fought the school about the bad math teacher 7th grade. Otherwise they were very hands off. Paying very little attention to homework, or how I was doing except for grades. Although I think that was more what was expected. Unless things were really bad parents didn't step in. Talking to my mother recently I was surprised they don't remember how awful my older brothers 7th & 8th grade science teacher. Perhaps they never knew, but I remember how this teacher was known for turning a lot of boys off science. (Looking back on it I expected it was an EF issue.)
    --My perception was they didn't do enough to help teach me social skills and help me socially. I was the bottom of the pecking order in junior high and I never felt I could talk about this with my parents. It caused me to make some bad decisions in early H.S.. I honestly think they never really knew how bad the situation was and even if they sort-of knew didn't know what do about it. Now that I've been through this as a parents, I can see this isn't an easy "fix".
    --My parents insisted that my brother go to university straight out of H.S. when he really wanted to take a year off. (I only found this out as an adult) Basically the said they wouldn't pay for it unless he went right away. Big mistake..

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    #219927 - 07/21/15 04:17 PM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    AvoCado Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/11/13
    Posts: 202
    Right:
    Lots of books in the house
    Lots of family travel
    Um … producing the genetic mix that made us HG …?
    I guess sending us to a "good' school (but they sort of figured that then was their job done)
    Mum's very quirky/arty and did lots of creative stuff with us, and always made an effort to look up answers to our weird questions even though her always looking up things in encyclopedias drove me nuts when I was a teen

    Wrong:
    It's like they never met me smile No idea I was gifted, I only figured it out a couple of years ago when my younger sister casually mentioned she tested HG in high school and it suddenly clicked that I likely was too and my own HG children hadn't just popped out of nowhere (derrr). Thanks a lot, parents. Even now my sister's the "smart one". When my kids do something amazing it's always "Oh, just like *sister*". Hello?!
    In my 20s and 30s if someone commented I was intelligent I'd think it was cool that I gave off that false impression!
    In high school I had zero work/study skills, failed or scraped through everything except for always getting 90+% in English which I ignored because it came too easy so obviously didn't count. I had the works: perfectionism, underachieving, imposter syndrome, asynchronous, low self-esteem, anxiety, bad hearing and terrible eyesight that no one noticed/fixed until I was 8! I feel quite sorry for young me.
    When I left school my father suggested I become a pharmacy assistant - a job involving science, maths and dealing with the public - i.e., exactly everything I was completely terrible at. For criminy's sake smirk Thirty years later I'm still really quite bitter about that complete lack of understanding. Luckily I eventually took notice of my talents in English and became a writer.
    Phew! Therapeutic smile


    Edited by AvoCado (07/21/15 04:20 PM)

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    #219930 - 07/21/15 05:09 PM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3884
    Not comprehensive.

    Right:
    Generally: a home built on love, principles, faith, consistency, creativity, intellectual curiosity, joy, compassion.
    Specifically regarding education: an academically and creatively rich home environment, proactive and thoughtful advocacy, and the willingness to create the structures and strategies necessary to meet our needs, if they did not already exist. We also benefited from emerging interventions and programs in the larger community that providentially came into existence at times we needed them. I didn't need my parents to keep me humble about IQ, as I have a very laid-back sibling who has about a 3 SD lead on me. We all knew our IQs, but it was just another piece of data about oneself, not a defining quality. Actually, more of a stewardship and moral responsibility, just as being born into a financially-secure family means using material resources to show compassion to those in material need.

    I won't exactly call this wrong:
    Probably could have pushed me a little more in terms of effort/EF/work skills, though I think from their own experiences, they just figured that life would eventually teach me that there was a place for a little effort--which it did. I don't think I came to any harm from this. As a parent, I can see that there is a fine line between scaffolding for asynchronous EF and shielding children from the consequences of their own (in)action.

    I think each generation makes its own mistakes, (same or different from the previous generation) but that love covers a multitude of sins. I don't expect perfection from either my parents or myself.

    I am keenly aware of the blessed childhood that I was granted.
    _________________________
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

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    #219941 - 07/21/15 08:40 PM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: George C]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4688
    Most appreciated things (done right)
    - Budgeted carefully, lived within our means
    - Told each offspring we'd go to college (State Uni)
    - Taught us to make, care for, and fix/repair things
    - Made frequent trips to library
    - Watched PBS
    - Maintained a subscription to National Geographic Magazine
    - Laughed a lot, shared a big sense of humor

    Least appreciated things (done wrong)
    - Gave away two favorite childhood books, passed down to another family. (LOL, I have repurchased copies of these on e-bay.)

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    #219944 - 07/21/15 09:29 PM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: indigo]
    LAF Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/15/14
    Posts: 469
    Originally Posted By: indigo
    Most appreciated things (done right)
    - Budgeted carefully, lived within our means
    - Told each offspring we'd go to college (State Uni)
    - Taught us to make, care for, and fix/repair things
    - Made frequent trips to library
    - Watched PBS
    - Maintained a subscription to National Geographic Magazine
    - Laughed a lot, shared a big sense of humor

    Least appreciated things (done wrong)
    - Gave away two favorite childhood books, passed down to another family. (LOL, I have repurchased copies of these on e-bay.)


    This is pretty similar to my childhood too - smile and I just got a subscription to National Geographic and Popular Science for my DS10..

    …and my dad gave away the Japanese dollhouse he made me (to a school) but I still would have liked to keep it.

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    #219947 - 07/21/15 11:36 PM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    puffin Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/11/12
    Posts: 2035
    Right. My father gave me as many books and educational things as he could afford. My mother took me to plays and museums when we visited her.

    Wrong. Both my parents (and i think everyone in 1970's NZ beleived bright kids would do fine at any school. There was no extension of any sort and my father never seemed concerned about the fact i was completely miserable at school. He also bought into the fact i was immature and needed to be one of the older kids in 2 grade composite which meant i wasusually the brightest kid in the class. At time i thought the class placement meant i was less clever. Not accessing available private opportunities for challenge. Not involving me in any activities to strengthen my weak areas. Not having high enough expectations or any real acknowledgement of my successes. It felt like it made no difference and i was terribly bored so i just stuck my head in a book and switched off.

    A lot of it is just philosophy of parenting i guess but it didnt work for me.


    Edited by puffin (07/21/15 11:40 PM)

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    #220214 - 07/28/15 09:43 AM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    CCN Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/25/12
    Posts: 978
    Loc: BC, Canada
    Right: My parents supported me unconditionally, accepted me as is, and never pressured me excessively to overcome issues like extreme shyness and introversion.

    Wrong: They just assumed that because I was so smart I'd be fine in life (which I basically am) but never pursued enrichment or challenge. To this day I have trouble with task completion and perfectionism.

    Over all I wouldn't change much because my parents made me feel loved and safe, but I do wish I was challenged more as a kid. A TINY bit of pressure would have been ok wink

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    #220217 - 07/28/15 09:54 AM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: Kai]
    CCN Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/25/12
    Posts: 978
    Loc: BC, Canada
    Originally Posted By: Kai


    Wrong: I started obviously underachieving in 6th grade (though looking back, it's apparent that it started much earlier) and by 9th grade all things academic in my life were pretty much a disaster. I can see now that this was due in large part to undiagnosed dyslexia and ADHD. I wish they had not simply attributed my lack of achievement to laziness and had gotten me help with reading, math, and executive skills.


    Ohhh... me too (no dyslexia though). My son has the ADHD dx and I'm pretty sure he got it from me. I was "the smartest kid in my grade" until about grade 9-10 and then at the end of grade 12 didn't made the honor roll for the first time. Oops. Nobody bothered to delve deeper into my slipping grades ("oh she'll be fine") and not all kids have the ability to ask for help or the awareness that it's even fixable. I'd bring books home to study but they stayed in my backpack because I had no idea where to even begin, so I didn't bother (I also fell into the trap of "whatever - I'll never fail so who cares"). As for parents... when your child is "smarter" than you, there's a tendency I think to assume that a) they know what they're doing, and b) you can't help them anyway.

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