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    #127586 - 04/17/12 07:51 AM Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong
    sweetpeas Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/07/11
    Posts: 80
    I just responded to another post that got me thinking. I think the majority of us here with gifted children are probably also gifted ourselves. I'm very interested to know... what did your parents do right and wrong in terms of dealing with your giftedness when you were growing up? How does that impact the way you deal with your own children or issues of education?

    I'm lazy, so I'm just going to copy my response to another post below. It summarizes how my parents (mis)handled my own giftedness. They meant well, but... well... They meant well.

    Quote:
    I wasn't an adult, but a teenager, when I voluntarily had some testing done. I learned I had an IQ of 152 (which was 99.9th percentile on this particular test).

    I grew up with my parents both minimizing my gifts and also trying to accommodate them. I was in the gifted program at a public school. My parents kept downplaying the gifted program and saying that almost any kid that wanted to do it could. (I later learned this was untrue and entrance was based on standardized test scores.) This was easy for me to accept, because honestly the curriculum was a big nothing. No challenge whatsoever. Also my peers in this program didn't seem especially smart to me. (I cringe when I type that, it sounds horrible... trust me, though, I never felt elitist or better than them.) I always got a 99th percentile on our annual standardized tests, across all categories, but my parents insisted that was what most kids got. It wasn't anything special. I remember one year I got 98th percentile in some sub-set of the test, and I was mortified. I couldn't believe it! I knew I must have been the stupidest kid in the class (because, at the time, I believed my parents and thought everyone in the class got 99th percentile across the board.)

    I remember fighting with them one time about what a percentile means, and how could it be possible for all the kids to get 99th percentile. (They gave a BS answer about how some kids are sick the day of the test and so they score a zero, some kids just fill in random dots, and they get a zero... so those that actually read and answer the questions end up with these inflated scores of 99th percentile. I still get mad when I think about that fight - and that was over 25 years ago!)

    It was a strange dynamic. I think they wanted to keep me from getting a big ego or something. It worked. I definitely had low self esteem.

    So while they downplayed how gifted I was, they did indeed allow me to take college courses at the local university when I was 12, they did indeed enroll me in a couple of language classes when I was 5, and they did indeed take advantage of many of the gifted resources offered by our local university.

    As a teenager (like many teenagers) I felt confused about who, exactly, I was. Was I just like everyone else? Or was there someone a bit different about me? Relationships with my peers were frustrating, to say the least, because I expected them to be more similar to me. Confusing times.

    So I saved my money and I paid for a full evaluation and IQ test at the university when I was about 17.

    What did it do for me? Well.... not a helluva lot. LOL! My parents knew I did this and were curious to know my score. When I told them, they just nodded and didn't say much. I was told the score was 99.9 percentile... but my entire life that was how I scored on standardized tests and it had been drilled into me that it meant basically nothing. Everyone got those scores. So I essentially had yet another number that meant basically nothing.

    I thought I would have some insights and a big revelation, but instead it was just more of the same.

    Fast forward 19 more years and I'm an adult and a mother. Does knowing my IQ matter to me? No, not really. I rarely give it any thought at all, other than to try to forecast my kids' IQs! Data is fun to have, but it doesn't change how I view myself or deepen my own self-understanding.



    Oh, and my experience is a big reason why I am enrolling my kids in a private gifted school. I want them to be surrounded by gifted kids. I hope they will be challenged. I was never challenged. I never really had to study until I got to graduate school. In college, I would often just show up to take finals (and I graduated with highest honors). Then in grad school, when suddenly things didn't come automatically and I actually had to put forth some effort to learn complicated things... I was miserable. I was in a PhD program, but dropped out with just my MS. I was getting "B"s for the first time in my life, and felt like a total failure.

    Pathetic, I know.

    So I want my kids to be challenged and learn to study (and hopefully struggle) at an early age.

    I also vow to not deceive them about how different they might be from the norm. I won't dwell on it either. I want them to be humble, of course. But I won't spin lies to keep their egos in check either.


    Edited by sweetpeas (04/17/12 07:55 AM)

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    #127632 - 04/17/12 02:45 PM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    DAD22 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/19/11
    Posts: 312
    When I was in second grade, my parents bought me some 3rd grade math workbooks. My dad also bought a few educational games for our Intellivision II, such as chess and bomb squad. After I beat my dad in chess at the age of 11, he bought me a book about chess that I couldn't understand on my own. I think that's the extent of cultivation I got from my parents.

    When I scored in the 99th percentile on the Stanford Achievement Test in 1st grade math, my mom told me that it meant that out of 100 randomly selected 1st graders, one would probably test better than me. She also decided to put me in the regular 2nd grade class rather than the mixed 2/3 like I had requested. (Where I would have been able to do math with the 3rd graders.) So instead I spent the year trying to answer the teacher's math questions before she could figure out the correct answer, and usually succeeded (as far as I know... maybe she wasn't really trying... I slowed down to let her win occasionally, and she celebrated her victories. Either way, I played a game with the teacher that none of the other students could play, but nothing came of it.)

    My parents never requested any accommodation from the (public) school. My parents never attended a parent-teacher conference on my behalf AFAIK. My dad told me recently that he thought the school would automatically accommodate my abilities, without him having to request anything.

    In my opinion, a lot more than that should be done.

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    #127634 - 04/17/12 03:26 PM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    JonLaw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics
    Well, I think that the entire experience with the Princeton interviewer could have gone a bit better than it did.

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    #127636 - 04/17/12 05:19 PM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    La Texican Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/10/10
    Posts: 1777
    Loc: South Texas
    I think every generation mostly does a little bit better than the last. I intend to take the best of what my mamma did and do just a little bit better. There's a saying, "you do the best you have with what you know at the time".

    I just made it sound like I answered the question without answering the durn question, didn't I? laugh
    _________________________
    Youth lives by personality, age lives by calculation. -- Aristotle on a calendar

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    #127642 - 04/17/12 07:08 PM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    Wyldkat Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/22/09
    Posts: 425
    My parents decided against a grade skip for me. They cited social issues, but they couldn't have been any worse if they had skipped me and I might have actually had some kind of challenge.

    As far as I know I never got an "official" IQ test. I do know my father was considering having both of us join Mensa, but we didn't like the people so we didn't.

    It was always expected I go to college, always expected I get straight A's. I got along better with my teachers than the students.

    I think less emphasis on grades and more emphasis on physical activity would have helped. I'm making sure my boys have physical activities that they love. I also think that it's likely I would have been diagnosed with Aspergers if I was a kid now. Then I was just difficult and quirky. I've been following through on testing for my Bear to make sure his issues get all the help they deserve.

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    #127650 - 04/18/12 12:10 AM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    KJP Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/29/12
    Posts: 756
    Mine declined an offer have me skip K, declined an invite for me to participate in the gifted pull-out in elementary (I self petitioned in junior high) and took very little interest in my high school classes.
    My situation was the opposite of Wyldkat's.
    I grew up in one of those places where athletics rule and my parents were very supportive of my athletic pursuits. I think it was more socially acceptable for them to be openly supportive of sports than academics. Nonetheless, I had a stable home and they modeled responsible behavior. There was some uneven support but no harm done. We turned out alright.
    I do have a funny/sad memory of being an gifted kid. I remember putting down a book I liked to go watch sitcoms I didn't like so I could know what the other kids were talking about. I actually got teased for not knowing about Steve Urkel!

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    #127652 - 04/18/12 12:29 AM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    SiaSL Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/11/10
    Posts: 320
    What they did right: A stable, loving home where I knew my intelligence was valued. High expectations (starting with college).

    Where they did as well as could be at the time/location: got me two grade skips. There were no other options for GT. For all of you pining after that chance for a skip... I don't regret mine (it would probably have been worse without), but ended up completely disconnected socially and still not challenged academically.

    Where they dropped the ball: lowered expectations slightly after second skip straight into middle school, when I brought a few Bs home. I think they assumed I had reached the right level of challenge. I was figuring out that hey, I didn't actually need to work to get A-/B+ and nobody seemed upset that I wasn't getting all A+ anymore. I spent the next 4 years reading under my desk, never acquired proper study habits and hit the wall in college (graduated from an OK school, but could have done better, I think).

    Talking with my mother, they did consider the one GT school then available in the country, and decided family balance (I have many siblings) was more important. I don't disagree with that decision. Today (yeah internet!), things would be very different. Thirty years ago...

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    #127670 - 04/18/12 06:23 AM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Right:

    - Rejected grade skips more than once (I was under-sized until 10th grade).
    - My mom always thoughtfully answered my questions.
    - Provided positive feedback for my academic accomplishments and set appropriately high expectations.
    - Put me in football at a young age.

    Wrong:

    - Perpetuated the myth of the savant (book-smart with no common sense).
    - Called me "stupid" every time I made a common, age-appropriate mistake.
    - Apart from a Nat Geo subscription and a set of encyclopedias, provided no intellectual enrichment.

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    #127672 - 04/18/12 06:33 AM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    JonLaw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics
    Seriously, though, I can't really answer this question because my mother spent much of my teenage years dying of cancer and my father had a stroke and became totally disabled soon after I graduated from college.


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    #127673 - 04/18/12 06:37 AM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    epoh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/31/11
    Posts: 954
    Loc: N. Texas
    Right - My dad and step-mother both believe that children live up to their expectations. I don't recall ever being 'babied' or coddled. Quite the opposite... I think it probably could be called neglect these days - by 1st grade I was a latch key kid and was expected to walk home, do my homework, pick up the house then I could go play. When my dad got home from work, I was off playing at a friends. I was expected in when the street lights turned on for dinner.

    Wrong - I think I ended up going to 10 different schools by the time I graduated high school.. and most of that moving happened in K-5th. I recall being in a few G&T programs, but mostly I was always trying to figure out how each new school worked, and what was expected, and what they were studying.

    ETA: Another 'Right' - the public library. We went ALL THE TIME. And were encouraged to check out whatever we wanted. (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!)


    Edited by epoh (04/18/12 06:38 AM)
    _________________________
    ~amy

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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
    Member

    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.




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

    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.

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

    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)

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

    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.

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

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

    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.

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




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

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

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

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


    Wrong:
    • Never pushed/pressured me when I was underachieving

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

    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.

    Right:
    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 :))

    Wrong:
    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,

    polarbear




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

    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

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

    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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    #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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    #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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    #223818 - 10/13/15 10:17 PM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    aquinas Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2480
    I would give my parents a low-90s score on their approach to raising me. I hope I can come close to them in my parenting DS.

    Right:

    - Unconditional love in a stable and close-knit family
    - Lots of one-on-one attention and family time spent pursuing interests together
    - Modelling self-respect and confidence as a woman (my mother), and chivalrous masculinity (my father)
    - Giving me space to learn to be alone happily, and to appreciate myself without the need to be defined by others
    - Modelling high achievement and setting high personal standards
    - Making financial and personal sacrifices to send me to a specialized school, and ensuring that one parent was always at home during my early years and school holidays
    - Accepting some grade skips and SSA
    - Joyfully and sincerely seeking out my opinions and discussing current affairs and scientific developments from an early age
    - In my father's case, sincerely trying to avoid the harshly critical and perfectionistic habits of his own abusive father (and, IMO, making strides relative to his father)
    - In my mother's case, fostering intrinsic motivation for good organizational habits in high school (noteworthy because she has always lamented her lack of study skills, despite high achievement)
    - Always trusting and believing my word, and fostering a family culture where open communication about sensitive topics was encouraged
    - Being unrelenting, yet tactful, advocates in the face of poor educators
    - My mother: modelling humility and patience with difficult personalities (I.e. myself and my father!)
    - My father: gentleness and commiseration with respect to sensory sensitivities
    - Giving me carte blanche to study in any field, without any perceived pressure in any direction
    - Respecting my wish to not engage in many of my hobbies at competitive levels. I do things because I like them; I am not a performer.
    - Being proud of me for being who I am.
    - Having the courage to be authoritative parents, enforcing reasonable boundaries, and not being caught up in the mania of being your child's friend at the expense of being a parent

    Wrong:

    I firmly believe that weaknesses are strengths that manifest themselves maladaptively. As a matter of degree, I'd weight the "wrongs" as being much less important than the much more abundant "rights", where the same habits were used positively.

    - Father: projecting his own insecurity of never being "good enough" to his father onto me. Not so subtly competing with me, and needing to compare any achievement of mine to an experience of his.

    - Father: Explicitly teaching me that (I quote), "If you're smart, you don't have to work hard." He thought it was marvellous that I could bring home 100s with zero effort and denigrated anyone who had to work at all. It was a strange message, because he had clearly worked hard in his life to achieve what he had, and his actions were otherwise so positive.

    Wow, did that ever cause problems in my first semester of university, when I was underage, enrolled as a second/third year student, living away from home for the first time, and full of hubris. Talk about a moment of reckoning. It took a semester for me to learn that I did need to do some work to get the grades I was used to, and I spent a year believing I was a moron for having to work. It was the first time I had ever needed to do anything other than show up and do the work cold. I met someone who was objectively FAR smarter than me in my field (as in, tenure-track-at-24, extreme PG, light years ahead of me) and I'm now ashamed to say that my first reaction upon meeting him was anger and resentment. I missed out on friendship and learning opportunities with him because I was too petulant and jealous of what I wasn't. How sad! I won't make that mistake again!

    - Father: Being happy to debate and discuss ideas only so long as my opinions mirror his. Perceiving differences of opinion as a rejection of him. Being over-committed to consistency over truth in his stated opinions.

    - Father: Bragging about me shamelessly to others in my presence, including showing people my report cards (ugh!), and constantly telling me I was better than others for being smart. (ugh!)

    - Parents: Not accepting all acceleration offered by the school. Given reason: social adjustment. Suspected real reason: I would have been accelerated more than my father had been as a child. He was a radical accelerant, and that was an important part of his self-identity.

    - Father: Complaining bitterly and sulking anytime I didn't come in first place. I really didn't care, but he felt slighted on my behalf somehow.
    _________________________
    What is to give light must endure burning.

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    #223830 - 10/14/15 06:22 AM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: aquinas]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4688
    Originally Posted By: aquinas
    Father: Explicitly teaching me that (I quote), "If you're smart, you don't have to work hard." He thought it was marvellous that I could bring home 100s with zero effort and denigrated anyone who had to work at all. It was a strange message, because he had clearly worked hard in his life to achieve what he had, and his actions were otherwise so positive.

    Wow, did that ever cause problems in my first semester of university, when I was underage, enrolled as a second/third year student, living away from home for the first time, and full of hubris. Talk about a moment of reckoning. It took a semester for me to learn that I did need to do some work to get the grades I was used to, and I spent a year believing I was a moron for having to work. It was the first time I had ever needed to do anything other than show up and do the work cold. I met someone who was objectively FAR smarter than me in my field (as in, tenure-track-at-24, extreme PG, light years ahead of me) and I'm now ashamed to say that my first reaction upon meeting him was anger and resentment. I missed out on friendship and learning opportunities with him because I was too petulant and jealous of what I wasn't. How sad! I won't make that mistake again!
    Some may say the view on effort and negative response to the success of others may show the downside of a "fixed" mindset. Kudos on your reflections & overcoming this. smile

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    #223854 - 10/14/15 12:12 PM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: indigo]
    aquinas Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2480
    Originally Posted By: indigo
    Originally Posted By: aquinas
    Father: Explicitly teaching me that (I quote), "If you're smart, you don't have to work hard." He thought it was marvellous that I could bring home 100s with zero effort and denigrated anyone who had to work at all. It was a strange message, because he had clearly worked hard in his life to achieve what he had, and his actions were otherwise so positive.

    Wow, did that ever cause problems in my first semester of university, when I was underage, enrolled as a second/third year student, living away from home for the first time, and full of hubris. Talk about a moment of reckoning. It took a semester for me to learn that I did need to do some work to get the grades I was used to, and I spent a year believing I was a moron for having to work. It was the first time I had ever needed to do anything other than show up and do the work cold. I met someone who was objectively FAR smarter than me in my field (as in, tenure-track-at-24, extreme PG, light years ahead of me) and I'm now ashamed to say that my first reaction upon meeting him was anger and resentment. I missed out on friendship and learning opportunities with him because I was too petulant and jealous of what I wasn't. How sad! I won't make that mistake again!
    Some may say the view on effort and negative response to the success of others may show the downside of a "fixed" mindset. Kudos on your reflections & overcoming this. smile


    Yes, perfectionism and fixed mindsets are insidious habits. Thankfully, life is full of learning opportunities and occasions to correct course when experience shows you that better choices exist.
    _________________________
    What is to give light must endure burning.

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    #223865 - 10/14/15 02:16 PM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    Mahagogo5 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/11/12
    Posts: 517
    ugh I started typing and it all got a bit grim. I would say though despite doing everything contrary to current wisdom on raising gifted kids, it really would have only taken one person telling me I had potential to make a difference.

    If nothing else, be that voice.

    Thought I'd a little more after reading some of there others.

    Right: pushed very heavily into girl guiding which was great for trying lots of things and like minded friends. Very involved in school and supported my learning through tutors in subjects I was failing (not doing well).

    Wrong: mental illness (seems to be a theme on this thread) just basic working class lack of vision. After I got into university I took a major which I loved but I had no one to steer me in the direction of making the most of it. My parents had pretty much decided university was for people who thought they were better than everyone else. Of course they would tell everyone they met about their genius daughter in varsity wink

    I was very unsophisticated and basically had no idea about things like honours degrees etc until I was well into the system and by then my self esteem was so low I had gone down the bad boyfriend, drugs route that we all stress will happen if we don't bump up that self worth.


    Edited by Mahagogo5 (10/14/15 02:34 PM)

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    #223877 - 10/14/15 04:39 PM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    AvoCado Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/11/13
    Posts: 202
    I think the information age has a lot to do with (what we perceive as, anyway!) much improved parenting these days. Anyone with even the vaguest slightest interest in any aspect of their kids can find this forum or thousands like it and get all the advice, debate, theory, encouragement or criticism they could ever need and then some.
    Yesterday alone we googled the appropriateness of Great Expectations for DD8 who really wants to get into Dickens (maybe we'll start with Xmas Carol), how a Magic 8 Ball works, and double-checked something about the curriculum of a nearby private school. This morning we downloaded an article from The Atlantic for her. In the 70s - pffft. You'd get Dr Spock out of the library and that would be it. The only self-improvement book I ever remember my mother having was Phyllis Diller!


    Edited by AvoCado (10/14/15 04:42 PM)
    Edit Reason: Dr … Mr … same thing ...

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    #223884 - 10/14/15 05:54 PM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: AvoCado]
    Mahagogo5 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/11/12
    Posts: 517
    Originally Posted By: AvoCado
    I think the information age has a lot to do with (what we perceive as, anyway!) much improved parenting these days. Anyone with even the vaguest slightest interest in any aspect of their kids can find this forum or thousands like it and get all the advice, debate, theory, encouragement or criticism they could ever need and then some.
    Yesterday alone we googled the appropriateness of Great Expectations for DD8 who really wants to get into Dickens (maybe we'll start with Xmas Carol), how a Magic 8 Ball works, and double-checked something about the curriculum of a nearby private school. This morning we downloaded an article from The Atlantic for her. In the 70s - pffft. You'd get Dr Spock out of the library and that would be it. The only self-improvement book I ever remember my mother having was Phyllis Diller!


    Very true - I know my mum did HER best. BTW I turned out brilliant - just not employed brilliantly.

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    #223889 - 10/14/15 07:10 PM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: AvoCado]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3884
    Side note: She might do better with GE than you think. I read Great Expectations at age 9, and loved it. It was my first Dickens. Followed by A Tale of Two Cities. (Which maybe would have been better after studying the French Revolution.) And my friend a few months older was obsessed with Les Miz.
    _________________________
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

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    #223897 - 10/14/15 11:50 PM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    Tigerle Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/14
    Posts: 602
    Loc: Europe
    Hmm. Always felt the most straightforward Dickens was David Copperfield. Except for the Steerforth (?) side plot, of course. Everything else I felt had so much jumping back and forth and needed so much historical nderstanding...
    I'm actually wondering whether it might make sense to have a child watch a mainstream movie or tv adaptation firsts, to sort of get them in the the 19th century mood and help them keep track of the plot. Totally against conventional wisdom, I know. Depends a lot of just how much historical fiction the child has read already. Has she maxed out on historical (ie actually written over a hundred years ago) children's fiction?


    Edited by Tigerle (10/14/15 11:51 PM)

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    #223898 - 10/14/15 11:52 PM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    Tigerle Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/14
    Posts: 602
    Loc: Europe
    Sorry for the OT...

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    #223900 - 10/15/15 01:24 AM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    SynapticStorm Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 04/12/13
    Posts: 24
    Loc: California (SF Bay Area)
    Right:

    * My mother loved me unconditionally
    * My mother engaged me in open-ended conversation to explore my interests and desires
    * My mother treated me as a genius and encouraged me to pursue my passions
    * My father challenged me to pursue moderation in all things
    * My father explained the value of being typical over exceptional

    Wrong:

    * I was forced to attend public school and had to suffer through boredom and peer abuse for many years
    * My teachers and school administrators prevented me from attending college at an early age (12-13) because they felt it would damage my social skills
    * When I discovered my passion (computer programming and engineering), my father saw it as an obsession and removed it from my life in an attempt to steer me towards more typical interests
    _________________________
    DS10 (DYS, homeschooled)
    DD8 (DYS, homeschooled)

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    #223901 - 10/15/15 02:09 AM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: SynapticStorm]
    AvoCado Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/11/13
    Posts: 202
    (Sorry, OT re Dickens!) Thanks for the insights. Not maxed on historical fiction - Little Women, 20000 Leagues, Treasure Island, etc. Just mentioned an interest in Dickens, no idea how she even came across him! She's familiar with the Xmas Carol story as it's adapted a lot, but we actually own Great Expectations, so we'll see. Maybe I'll just read her some excerpts to satisfy her curiosity. Like that ever works smile

    Originally Posted By: SynapticStorm

    * My father explained the value of being typical over exceptional


    Is that a Right?

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    #224018 - 10/16/15 11:55 PM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    Aufilia Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/25/14
    Posts: 336
    Loc: Washington
    Right:

    My parents always acted like there was nothing particularly unusual about us, accepted our interests (even when they were weird-for-age), answered questions, and provided a generally intellectually stimulating environment without us really noticing it being unusually intellectual (perhaps because their adult friends also gifted adults with smart kids who were also mostly a few years older than us).

    I wouldn't say I thought particularly much about being gifted though I was sent off to a gifted public school in 2nd grade, and was certainly aware of why I was sent to that school. I don't think any kind of big deal was ever made about this at home.

    Cons:

    Because we moved several times, I was the only kid in the family to have gifted services before the 4th grade. And I don't remember it being particularly challenging even then, though I loved the class.

    Little to no help applying to and selecting an appropriate college -- I was certainly capable of getting all the paperwork 'n' stuff done on my own, but some parental wisdom in choosing the right college would've done wonders.

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    #224038 - 10/17/15 02:51 PM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    Mana Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/17/12
    Posts: 882
    My parents have been unsupportive of my interests all my life but the flip side of that coin is that they left me to do whatever I wanted.

    I don't think I am making the same mistakes as my parents did but I do wonder if I'm making the opposite mistakes. I think I am getting too involved and need to give DD some space to grow on her own.

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    #224371 - 10/23/15 01:06 PM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    _Angie_ Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/18/14
    Posts: 146
    What an interesting thread! I think about these things too... for context I think my IQ was tested in the mid 140s, I'm not entirely sure.

    Not so great:

    My mom told me several times "I just don't understand you." That really didn't help with my insecurities.

    My parents thought I was just lazy when I just couldn't seem to get my stuff together. It was a high school teacher my freshman year that finally helped me turn things around. Every day he told me I was a good student. smile I became one.

    My dad made me feel like a complete antisocial weirdo when I found my passion in high school and started teaching myself programming. They took away my computer. Crazy thing? My dad is a software engineer. He should have understood my love of it. Today I'm a successful software engineer and I can code WHENEVER I WANT. wink

    I was depressed in junior high and basically spaced out for 2 years of my life. Why in the world did my parents not get me help?

    The great:

    Library reading clubs, gymnastics, swimming, art classes, summer gifted camps... From about 4th grade on (when I started in a self contained gifted class at school) I really felt supported to learn and try whatever I wanted. I wouldn't say it was always hard enough for me but it was close enough that I really enjoyed it. And, I had a peer group of gifted kids. So great!

    My dad explained everything in the world in terms of physics and math. He loved to make those concepts accessible to kids. I wish I could do that! It was amazing. We traveled all over the US on summer vacation and there was always physics. Grand canyon? Physics. wink

    My dad and I would sit and do math puzzles together. smile It was kind of our time. I have some great memories from that time.

    I was a twin and my sister did not test gifted. They managed to meet both of our needs without making us feel bad about it either way. My twin got better grades than me until college.


    I don't see myself approaching parenting in a hugely different way. The only thing I really try to change is understanding and empathizing with my son more. I know that despite being gifted he still has his own stuff he needs to work through and handle. I get that gifted doesn't automatically equal easy success. I'm not sure my mom ever knew what to do with a gifted kid that didn't get good grades until high school!

    Also, my 5 year old already thinks through logic better than most adults. If that kid wants to develop software, I will teach him myself. Currently he's enjoying an airplane obsession though.

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    #249133 - 08/25/21 04:21 AM Re: Gifted adults-what did your parents do right/wrong [Re: sweetpeas]
    GiftedOne Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 08/21/21
    Posts: 5
    You did an easy major and/or went to a easy college/university. That's how you got highest honors. Is that correct? Someone correct me if I'm incorrect.

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