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    #238294 - 05/11/17 10:09 AM Quiet and embarrassed about intelligence
    twallace Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 03/31/17
    Posts: 42
    I have a kindergarten girl who has been very embarrassed and "nervous" about being so far ahead. I was in the classroom yesterday, and when one of the other girls asked her for help on spelling, she just ignored her (until I asked her to respond, which she gave the correct spelling), and later told me that she was embarrassed. When she hears her older brother tell her how smart she is, she gets mad and tells him to stop. She is not able to express why she feels embarrassed, but when I told her another child I knew said she was embarrassed about being different, and my daughter stated "thats stupid, who cares about being different". I am at a loss on why she is so embarrassed, and how to help her move past it. I would appreciate any feedback.

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    #238296 - 05/11/17 12:23 PM Re: Quiet and embarrassed about intelligence [Re: twallace]
    ashley Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/26/12
    Posts: 639
    Try to google on "blend in" of gifted children and you can read about what she is really going through. Here is an informative link and I am sure that there are many more useful links out there: http://sengifted.org/the-me-behind-the-m...h-for-identity/

    I can share with you our situation and how we handled it: my DS went into public K being able to read, write, add, subtract etc and he was very verbal and had thrived in an environment that encouraged him until that point. In public K, he was put into an advanced classroom with 1st graders and he was still standing out in that room because of his abilities. He made no friends because other kids could not relate to him. Over a period of months, he began mimicking the popular kids in his class in speech, mannerism etc in order to blend in. Whereas before he used to talk in complete sentences with accurate grammar and complex vocabulary, he deliberately started dumbing down (e.g. I "runned" during recess", "I "writed" my homework" etc) - it looked like he was not putting up his hand to answer teacher's questions in class as well (I was in the room and observed it).
    He later said that all the kids around him talked like that and he stood out by talking "differently" and that they were "mad" at him when he corrected their grammar. He also said that he was the only person who put up his hand in class all the time and that he got labeled a "show off" which hurt his feelings.
    We realized that peer group was very important to my social kid and that he was becoming a vastly different person because of trying to fit in. We have moved him to a school where there are kids who are more accomplished and have higher abilities than him smile He will not be considered a show off in class any more because he is not always the first to come up with answers now. There is healthy competition in the classroom. Until we found the correct fit, it was a hard journey that involved many school changes and family instability due to relocating for schools etc.

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    #238298 - 05/11/17 01:55 PM Re: Quiet and embarrassed about intelligence [Re: twallace]
    notnafnaf Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/07/14
    Posts: 199
    Have you asked her what she did not like about being asked by her classmate? Is she a social and extroverted person or an introvert who dislikes any attention called to herself by nature?

    I can easily see my DD (who is almost 5) doing that - because she is very introverted, and really dislikes being put in a spotlight. For her, that would be "embarrassing" to be singled out - by a teacher or peer. She really does not like attention to be called to her (whether it was artwork, things she can do etc).

    Luckily for her and us, she had a teacher who was very good at managing kids like her (she is in a small GT school), and interestingly enough, I noticed at least one other child who reacted in same way in her class. For instance, in the beginning, she would raise her hand then freeze and get shy when the teacher called on her... and for a while, she would scowl and hide behind me from one of the staff who was very exuberant especially when that staff member called out to her.

    I don't have any real advice since I am still navigating that myself - for me, it is a part of her personality. Her older brother is in many ways, her opposite - very extroverted, loves helping etc. We are very lucky in that her teachers are aware of her shyness and have been really working on having her come out of her shell and not make her feel embarrassed about her work or abilities.


    Edited by notnafnaf (05/11/17 02:15 PM)
    Edit Reason: typo

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    #238300 - 05/11/17 02:32 PM Re: Quiet and embarrassed about intelligence [Re: twallace]
    polarbear Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3363
    Originally Posted By: twallace
    I I was in the classroom yesterday, and when one of the other girls asked her for help on spelling, she just ignored her (until I asked her to respond, which she gave the correct spelling), and later told me that she was embarrassed. When she hears her older brother tell her how smart she is, she gets mad and tells him to stop. She is not able to express why she feels embarrassed, but when I told her another child I knew said she was embarrassed about being different, and my daughter stated "thats stupid, who cares about being different".


    The two situations you're describing are possibly different, even though they may seem the same. In the classroom situation, it might not be the "being different" that's the issue but rather being singled out from a group. One of my kids is beyond extroverted, makes friends easily, and has no worries about being "different" from anyone else in any way. She also loves dancing, singing, being on stage, and she's performed on stage in a large public venue - but she will only perform with a group, not by herself. She won't dance in anything that remotely resembles a competition, and she gets so anxious over giving presentations at school that she worries herself sick. The issue isn't being embarrased or feeling different, but feeling very uncomfortable feeling like attention is focused on her.

    I have no idea if that's what's up with your dd, but I'd talk to her about it and ask her what she was feeling, as well as ask her if this happens frequently. I'll also add that teachers can make such a huge difference in classroom vibe in early elementary, as well as school culture.

    Best wishes,

    polarbear

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