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    #128235 - 04/26/12 05:59 AM x
    master of none Offline

    Registered: 03/18/08
    Posts: 2946

    Edited by master of none (01/02/14 04:56 PM)

    #128238 - 04/26/12 07:04 AM Re: Navigating relatives [Re: master of none]
    ABQMom Offline

    Registered: 08/25/10
    Posts: 868
    At least in our families, I've found the parents have much more of an issue with comparing our kids to theirs than the kids themselves. The kids find common ground and just have fun, whether it's playing a silly game like Apples to Apples or taking a hike outside. The real minefields are dancing through the whole sharing latest news without bending anyone's noise out of joint.

    I find the hardest is when one of them has a child who is good at something and wants to rub your nose in it, if somehow by producing children with gifted IQ's, one automatically wishes ill on the rest if society. One niece is graduating top of her class with honors galore and a full ride scholarship secured for next year. Every time we're together, the mom asks, "And where did so-and-so graduate after being in the gifted program?" - knowing full well he wasn't anywhere near the top. I usually ignore the comment and go back to being excited for my niece, because I am proud of her hard work and commitment. And moms aren't nearly as competitive when they think their kid bested yours.

    But it doesn't really get under my skin. I think that's the key. If it did, I probably would say something that would start a family feud. The way I see it, our values of wanting our kids to do what they're passionate about is different than theirs, who want their kids to go into specific fields of study. I'm not going to judge their choice, because it's what they've chosen for their kids, and they'll live with the consequences of the choices. I'm too busy living with the challenges of my own parenting choices to ever feel superior.

    #128240 - 04/26/12 07:30 AM Re: Navigating relatives [Re: master of none]
    daytripper75 Offline

    Registered: 05/29/10
    Posts: 341
    Can you mention to the relatives who do the comparing, quietly and in private, that you don't think it is right or fair to compare the children? Tell them how much you love the cousins and how everyone is different?
    I would also pick a few key phrases to repeat to the kids if they are doing the comparing and just keep saying them over and over until they get the picture that your family doesn't do competition like that.
    There are always going to be people who are jealous for any number of reasons (ask me about the new minivan my cousin just got for free because her father "had an extra." sick ) but we can't change them we can only try to react appropriately.

    #128243 - 04/26/12 08:02 AM Re: Navigating relatives [Re: master of none]
    KJP Offline

    Registered: 02/29/12
    Posts: 756
    I grew up in an area like you described. It is a hard place to be a smart girl.
    If they want to do comparisons, I would be careful about how what you say impacts your daughter. Like if you avoid mentioning her achievements in specific areas, it might make her feel like you are not proud of those achievements.

    #128255 - 04/26/12 09:34 AM Re: Navigating relatives [Re: master of none]
    bzylzy Offline

    Registered: 01/29/12
    Posts: 416
    The biggest issue in my family is that it's not encouraged to rise above the others or move beyond the pack. DD couldn't help it when she was little but when she started to get past her older cousins as far as age of reading, etc. they started to "attack" her social skills and the fact that she's not in the enrichment pull-out, she's not "likeable" to teachers like the others. The cousins are all the "optimally gifted" types, quite bright but not over-the-top so everyone can get excited about their school placement and awards, etc. but not to a point where they stand too far out of the pack. The younger cousins will be the same, you can tell from the development already.

    The most hurtful thing family has said was eluding to or stating that my DD is most likely to become mentally ill because "brains that work that fast usually develop problems".

    I had one uncle who was Mr. IQ 160+ but he chose to concentrate on his athletic abilities for likeableness and fitting in. It worked out okay for him but intellectually he was bored every single day of his life and restless when he got more into adulthood.

    But the whole gang only gets together once per year and DD has alot of influence outside family with various activities and her father. His side comes from a place where hardly anyone goes to college anyway, never mind girls, but DD's their little darling so no matter what she does they applaud! As long as she doesn't get too cheeky... And DD loves being outside and animals and that's highly valued where they come from, so she fits in that way.

    I think if you don't see these people too often and your kids have lots of other encouragement for their educational goals and mentors it's easy to just overlook. I just keep my mouth shut, which I've been doing with them my whole life anyway so it's not that hard, though I do let it upset me (not in their presence) sometimes and get-togethers are very tense among the adults.


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