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    #95436 - 02/24/11 10:51 AM x
    master of none Offline

    Registered: 03/18/08
    Posts: 2946

    Edited by master of none (12/27/13 07:03 PM)

    #95437 - 02/24/11 11:15 AM Re: parenting crossroads [Re: master of none]
    mnmom23 Offline

    Registered: 09/11/09
    Posts: 701
    Hi mon,

    I wanted to ask a few questions. You say that your DD is well-liked by her classmates but her best friends are her age-mates. Do you think it's because her interests and sensibilities are age-appropriate or do you think that she is just more used to her age-mate friends?

    Also, how is it that your DD doesn't qualify for the GT program if the school saw fit to accelerate her? I know it's different in every district, but our district requires testing that reflects a much faster rate of learing at a much higher level than age-mates and acceleration is only allowed when the gifted program is deemed insufficient to meet the child's needs on it's own. Also, could you tell us a little about your SD's gifted program at the middle school level? Is it a one-hour gifted class or does it change the whole scope of the curriculum?

    I was one of those people who was not challenged in school and then got to college with no study skills. There are worse things in life -- as I ended up being successful in college -- but I certainly based my choice of major on what came the most easilty to me rather than on the profession that I'd always dreamed of since some of those classes were harder to do well in. I assumed that since the classes were difficult I was not good at them, which isn't true. So, as a result, I have tried to get my kids into a school situation where they have to work a little bit and occasionally be frustrated a little bit when things don't come easily to them. In school I want them to learn new things and learn to work a bit.

    I think this is something you could work on if you were to HS DD for a year. And maybe she would feel more comfortable with increased challenge and frustration in the safety and privacy of the HSing situation. I think it's fine to decellerate DD grade-wise if you think that's best, but IMO it would be important when she returns to school to advocate for appropriate work without the grade skip. Unfortunately, this isn't always the easy route to go, and you might end up having to find outside opportunities to encourage her to stretch her mind.
    She thought she could, so she did.

    #95444 - 02/24/11 01:56 PM Re: parenting crossroads [Re: master of none]
    mnmom23 Offline

    Registered: 09/11/09
    Posts: 701
    Originally Posted By: master of none
    The question Iím asking is really developmental I think. When do you start requiring a child to work for their academic achievement? At what point does social become less important than academic performance (if it does)? Is it enough in middle school to just be liked? Or is it important for her to be at her social developmental level?

    I'm not sure that social ever becomes less important than academic performance. A child needs to be happy and like school and want to be there, if only because they are there for so much of their lives. And, it may be enough in middle school to just be liked. I know that the social piece is something that the whole middle school concept is built around. But I would guess the question might be more or less a matter of your DD's personality. Does she seek challenge when left to her own devices? Does she need guidance from you to tackle challenges (in which case you might want to be there to help shepherd her through the process while she's still young and at home with you) or does she eventually gather up the courage and perseverance to tackle challenges on her own with little to no help from you (in which case she might be fine without an academically challenging adolescence)?

    Originally Posted By: master of none
    She is the kind of child who, when unchallenged, develops a resistance, and then in a very ADHD like way avoids the task, which makes her think she canít do it, and itís just a downward spiral. It only takes a little push to get her through.

    This would make me want to slowly and gradually ramp up her level of challenge to help her develop less avoidance and more willingness to tackle difficult things. If HS is the way that you think you're heading, this would be something you could aim to work on with her without fear of social rejection or losing her status in the class as "the smart one."

    Edited by mnmom23 (02/24/11 02:11 PM)
    She thought she could, so she did.

    #95485 - 02/25/11 07:58 AM Re: parenting crossroads [Re: master of none]
    treecritter Offline

    Registered: 10/25/10
    Posts: 111
    I personally think that academics should be a challenge at EVERY level. Don't get me wrong, she shouldn't be panicking over getting into her chosen college just yet. But I see the brain as a muscle - if you use it, it gets stronger. If you don't, it atrophies. If I were in your shoes (and please keep in mind that I"m not - you know your child, I don't) I would keep her in the new class. I think I would wonder about the fact that she didn't qualify for GT, though - if she's advanced enough to skip a grade, I see no reason why she shouldn't be advanced enough for GT. Maybe talk to her, see if there was something going on the day of the test, and if possible, talk to the teacher about it as well. Still, even if she isn't in GT, at least she will have class work that is a bit more challenging for her.
    As far as the social issue, why not set up regular events on weekends when she can play with her old friends? Invite them over for a slumber party, or take them out for a picnic or something.

    #95493 - 02/25/11 10:07 AM Re: parenting crossroads [Re: master of none]
    HowlerKarma Offline

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    With a girl, I actually think that this may be MORE important at preadolescence, since gifted girls so often go "underground" when they reach material that actually requires effort (often in middle school or high school).

    There is sometimes a real disconnect for them in terms of understanding that having to work doesn't take anything away from them in terms of being "gifted." Girls in particular seem sucsceptible to imposter syndrome, as well-- attributing former successes to "luck" and internalizing seeming failures as evidence of personal failings (ie-- no longer just knowing material effortlessly is often interpreted as overt failure here).

    I think between 8 and 11 is the ideal time to make certain that girls understand that working hard doesn't mean that they aren't as smart as they've always thought. smile
    SchrŲdinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

    #95494 - 02/25/11 10:16 AM Re: parenting crossroads [Re: master of none]
    bh14 Offline

    Registered: 06/08/09
    Posts: 367
    My daughter also had a skip this year. She still is friends with the kids from the last 3 years, but has made new friends. If she was qualified for a skip (and I am totally at a loss on why they would allow that but not be in GT. Something is WRONG there... BIG TIME!) Anyhow, I think that you should explain to her that she can have many groups of different friends. I think it is important to keep her challenged. I don' t think moving her back so that she could be with her old friends is an ideal solution. This may even lead to bigger problems down the road, such as severe underachievement, tuning out, losing interest in anything academic etc. Try to get her more involved with her friends from the 5th grade so that she feels that same bond. I know, it's hard, my DD came in after these kids had been together for years as well, and many friendships were already formed. If your DD was having a hard time with the work also, then I'd be more likely to say maybe she wasn't ready for the skip. Was she against the skip in the first place?

    #95511 - 02/25/11 01:38 PM Re: parenting crossroads [Re: master of none]
    deacongirl Offline

    Registered: 07/03/10
    Posts: 948
    I have no idea how relevant this might be or if this will resonate with anyone re: girls and their friends, but as I contemplate my dd navigating the world of middle school cliques this struck me:

    GROSS: You have a couple of lines about cliques. Would you read that for us?

    Ms. PEARSON: This is Petra reflecting on the fact that she has recently been admitted to queen bee Jillian's group with mixed consequences.

    (Reading) You chose the kind of friends you wanted because you hoped you could be like them and not like you. To improve your image, you made yourself more stupid and less kind. As the months passed, the tradeoff for belonging started to feel too great, the shutting down of some vital part of yourself just so you could be included on the shopping trip into town, not have to sit on your own at lunch or have someone to walk home with.

    Now, among friends, you are often lonelier than you had been before. The hierarchy of girls was so much more brutal than that of boys. The boys battled for supremacy out on the pitch, and after, they showered away the harm. The girls played dirtier. For girls, it was never just a game.

    #96122 - 03/04/11 01:59 PM Re: parenting crossroads [Re: master of none]
    inky Offline

    Registered: 10/10/08
    Posts: 1299
    This is great! The board wisdom is on a roll today. smile
    Originally Posted By: master of none
    We chose discipline of the mind as the priority: learning to attack problems and see them through until solved. When she is allowed to avoid, she loses confidence in her abilities and of course gets nothing done. So, our first goal of homeschooling is to learn how to follow through on her dreams with a practical plan. And that naturally means she needs to push herself. So the academics, as well as other life areas will come with it. Social comes after that with this reasoning: When she is confident in herself and who she is, she is in better shape to find true friends.

    #96139 - 03/04/11 04:28 PM Re: parenting crossroads [Re: master of none]
    Grinity Offline

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Originally Posted By: master of none

    Which means we will be taking the plunge into homeschooling!
    She wants to write a musical.

    Congratulations! Thanks for the update. Love your motto!
    Coaching available, at

    #121816 - 02/03/12 08:13 AM Re: parenting crossroads [Re: master of none]
    lmp Offline

    Registered: 04/02/10
    Posts: 90

    Edited by lmp (03/28/12 08:47 AM)

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