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    #21922 - 07/31/08 03:49 PM Re: Ruf's Levels [Re: gratified3]
    incogneato Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/25/07
    Posts: 2231
    Loc: up in my head.......
    Hey gratified. I'd like to present a contrary opinion concerning the coping skills you all are talking about. Upfront, I'll say that I respect your position and your child is obviously doing really well!

    IMHO, checking out like you describe; I'll refer to it as behavioral disengagement, cause that's what I think it is.
    I had a similar reaction to school and used behavioral disengagement as a coping strategy. It's important to note that probably due to my temperment and personality, I used this strategy to the EXTREME! smile

    People use many different coping strategies to deal with stressful situations. Active coping strategies are usually thought of as most healthy. Behavioral disengagement is thought of as an avoidance coping strategy and generally not as healthy as active coping skills.

    My sister, who majored in psychology, agrees with you. She feels that a child like yours or mine uses disengagement as a healthy way to cope with an uncomfortable situation in regard to the school setting. Because she is older, she insists that she is right and I am wrong. grin

    But because of my experience, I got very involved with the school when I discovered that DD5 was disengaging in K. Maybe it has more to do with temperment when it comes down to whether or not its helpful or harmful.

    I did think this article was pretty interesting. Here's the part that caught my eye, and then the link:


    "Medscape: Who is most at risk for long-lasting effects from this or similar tragedies?

    Dr. Silver: Importantly, our study assessed mental health history before the tragic events of Sept. 11 occurred. As expected, those who had a history of anxiety or depressive disorders or other psychological problems were most likely to have persistent symptoms in response to Sept. 11. What surprised me, though, was the potency of coping strategies as a predictive factor. Those who reported behavioral disengagement were at greatest risk, above and beyond other factors like psychosocial history. We didn't even find a strong effect for normally protective factors, like higher income or social supports. Income was not related to frequency of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, but subjects with higher income were less likely to report psychological distress."

    Sorry, I've removed the link as you need to be able to sign in as a user.


    I've read that many highly gifted people suffered from p.t.s.d. after 9/11 whether or not they were there during the attack. I had to wonder if there was a connection because I'm quite sure many highly gifted students defer to disengagement repetitively during school hours for many years.

    Anyhooo....just another perspective.

    'Neato





    Edited by incogneato (07/31/08 05:05 PM)
    Edit Reason: link requres log-in

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    #21935 - 07/31/08 04:43 PM Re: Ruf's Levels [Re: incogneato]
    acs Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/05/07
    Posts: 797
    It looks like I need a login to get the article so I haven't even read it. So I have no evidence, articles or anything, but I think there must be a difference between entertaining oneself during life's inevetiable down times and what you refer to as behavorial disengagement.

    I see what gratified's child is doing is much more in lines with self-comforting and self-control (which are positive traits)rather than checking-out.

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    #21936 - 07/31/08 04:58 PM Re: Ruf's Levels [Re: incogneato]
    mamaandmore Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/20/07
    Posts: 198
    The reason that I suspect that giftedness might play a part is because DS wasn't just crying not to go to school, that I would have considered a behavior issue we would have gotten to the bottom of, but ultimately dealt with it differently. He was begging me to make them teach him "real things", those were his exact words "Mom, please, make them teach me real things!". When we brought him home he was so desperate to learn that we had school for 3-4 hours a day because he would ask to keep going with a lesson or for me to keep talking to him and he finished a years worth of math in less than 2 months. It's slowed down some, but he still is scheduled to finish a semester's worth of Singapore math after a month and a half. He still finds science concepts and researches them exhaustively. If he continues like this, I really don't know how a school would accommodate it. He takes the introduction of a math concept, asks a couple of questions and suddenly he's just figured out the concept for the next 2 years worth of work. He is not a high achieving people pleaser, he doesn't sit down and shut up easily (I know I've been begging for the last 6 years, lol).

    So, I guess what I mean by "never thriving in school" isn't so much how high his IQ is, but how he learns coupled with his personality. Occasional boredom he can handle, but the chronic lack of mental stimulation he had in Kindergarten was too much. He had done fine in preschool for 3 years, but he had expected school to be different. He had expected that he was going to learn something every day. And at 6 he's jaded and completely disenchanted with school, he regularly tells me he's not going back until he starts college. If this is a personality issue, I feel like at some point he'll mature out of it and we can work around it, if it's an issue of giftedness then he's never going to outgrow it and he'll have to learn how to manage it, but if it's a combination of the 2 (which is my guess), then I'm not sure I see a regular classroom with his age peers ever working.

    My question (rhetorical) at this point is how much is gifted and how much is personality? Am I going to spend the next 12 years trying to play mediator between the world and him, sitting on this fence trying to explain the world to him and trying to explain him to the world? Or is there a light at the end of the tunnel, that I can hope one day he'll finally understand what I mean when I say "You can't change other people, you can only change yourself" and "You catch more flies with honey than vinegar"? Giftedness vs. personality.

    I'm not sure if any of this makes sense, but I've been editing it for a couple of hours now, so off it goes smile

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    #21937 - 07/31/08 04:59 PM Re: Ruf's Levels [Re: acs]
    kimck Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/20/07
    Posts: 1134
    Originally Posted By: acs

    I see what gratified's child is doing is much more in lines with self-comforting and self-control (which are positive traits)rather than checking-out.


    I wonder if this is one of those things parents just need to do a gut check on to get a sense on where their kid lies and if their coping skills are leading them down a bad path, or if they still have a strong work ethic and enthusiasm for learning. It certainly is no one-size-fits-all situation.

    I definitely employed the techniques 'Neato did to survive school. Looking back, I may have been clinically depressed during my elementary school career. I think this has definitely made me hyper sensitive to my kids school careers.

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    #21938 - 07/31/08 05:04 PM Re: Ruf's Levels [Re: acs]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    Originally Posted By: acs
    It looks like I need a login to get the article so I haven't even read it. So I have no evidence, articles or anything, but I think there must be a difference between entertaining oneself during life's inevetiable down times and what you refer to as behavorial disengagement.

    I see what gratified's child is doing is much more in lines with self-comforting and self-control (which are positive traits)rather than checking-out.


    I personally just don't assume it's harmless, whatever you call it.

    That's not to say that I assume it's harmful either, BTW. Just that I think the question is important to ask in the generic sense. (None of this is really aimed at gratified. As I said, I never intended to second-guess. I would never presume.)

    It's possible this sort of coping strategy is positive but the situation that requires the coping strategy is not, at least not in the long term. I think that would be my take on it, FWIW.

    Important, too, is the fact that my parents and teachers always assumed it was a positive thing that I stayed busy and undisruptive, I think. A big part of this is my own rejection of that assumption.
    _________________________
    Kriston
    Mom to DS13 and DS10

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    #21939 - 07/31/08 05:17 PM Re: Ruf's Levels [Re: Kriston]
    incogneato Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/25/07
    Posts: 2231
    Loc: up in my head.......
    ACS,

    There is no diagnosis going on here, obviously!

    You call it what you will, I'll call it what I will, it's subjective.

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    #21940 - 07/31/08 05:18 PM Re: Ruf's Levels [Re: Kriston]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    As for the question of personality vs. GTness that you're asking, M&M...

    I think kimck is right that it comes down to a gut check. If you doubt that he'll ever fit into school--and boy, do I hear you there!--then I'd say trust your gut....at least for the near future. Things can change, especially as they hit puberty, discover girls, and hit high school where there are usually more and better options for advanced study, so check back regularly. wink But I know we've pretty much written off anything but homeschool until at least age 12-14 for exactly the reasons you're describing.

    <shrug> It's the right choice for us. Wouldn't be the right choice for everyone. I REALLY wish we had a viable bricks-and-mortar school option instead. I envy those who have a good school fit and still mourn the school life I thought DS7 would have and will never have.

    But this will work.
    _________________________
    Kriston
    Mom to DS13 and DS10

    Top
    #21942 - 07/31/08 05:38 PM Re: Ruf's Levels [Re: Kriston]
    acs Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/05/07
    Posts: 797
    Originally Posted By: incogneato
    ACS,

    There is no diagnosis going on here, obviously!

    You call it what you will, I'll call it what I will, it's subjective.


    But that isn't what I am saying! I think they are different and one of our jobs as parents is to try to tell the difference. You make a good point about kids needing to distance themselves when situations are too bad for them to be able to cope in other ways. Kids who do that should have their situation addressed. I just don't want every instance of a child daydreaming to be thought of as a sign of abuse. Perhaps I misread your post.

    I am saying that a child who can entertain himself when needed (say a long car trip or while waiting his turn in line) without needing to resort to outside entertainment (like electronic games) is different than a person who is checking out to protect themselves from traumatic situations (physically or emotionally). Kids who are abused in various ways do check out and that is bad. Spending 6-8 hours a day being completely left out and bored is neglect which is a form of abuse. If your kid is doing that, then find out what is going on.

    But having a kid who looks out the window and daydreams while driving down the highway or waiting in line for lunch, that just doesn't seem like a problem as long as there are plenty of opportunities for engagement in most of the rest of the day or other signs of a problem.


    Edited by acs (07/31/08 05:40 PM)

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    #21943 - 07/31/08 05:43 PM Re: Ruf's Levels [Re: acs]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    Originally Posted By: acs
    But having a kid who looks out the window and daydreams while driving down the highway or waiting in line for lunch, that just doesn't seem like a problem as long as there are plenty of opportunities for engagement in most of the rest of the day or other signs of a problem.


    Agreed, though I'd emphasize the boldface part a lot more heavily. I'd also suggest that I think we're talking about a kid daydreaming in school during class, not in the car or in line for lunch. There's a BIG difference there, in my mind!

    I think it's important to ask if harm is being done. As long as we're asking, I'm happy, regardless of what the answer is in individual cases.
    _________________________
    Kriston
    Mom to DS13 and DS10

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    #21948 - 07/31/08 06:10 PM Re: Ruf's Levels [Re: Kriston]
    incogneato Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/25/07
    Posts: 2231
    Loc: up in my head.......
    People can and do practice disengagement in many situations besides abuseful ones.

    It's an avoidance strategy, it can be practiced whenever someone wants to avoid a situation they are not immediately able to change.

    Like a child sitting in a classroom listening to the teacher explain something for the fifth time that he mastered long ago.

    Daydreaming in the car is not the same thing as disengaging during school to avoid boredom.

    And only the parent really knows if its happening and if so to what extent.

    Personally, I don't think it's a good measure to ask the child if harm is being done. Unless they are teenagers it may be hard to get an accurate report. I think the responsibility is on us parents to make these decisions.

    Obviously gratified had made the decision that it isn't a problem, so that's the final word.

    Again, I'm offering a different viewpoint based on what I know personally. Indeed, my sister thinks it's a great way for a gifted kid to survive a non-optimum school fit. I've heard the same from others. I just don't buy into it. I think it's a cop-out when the child is in the position to have to adopt this behavior for long periods of time during the school day because their educational needs are not being met.

    Key phrase being long periods throughout the day. I think it's harmful and conditions the child to be ineffective and non-productive. Do any of us know people we care about who seem to be "spinning their wheels" a lot of the time?
    That's the issue that concerns me.

    So, maybe it's less that I'm wondering about gratified's son; and more that the comments hit a nerve with me about something that is a big pet peeve.

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