The Purple Goldfish Theory: What Your Child Already Knows about Being Gifted
Jamie Uphold
Mensa for Kids
Aug 23, 2018

Originally Posted by brief excerpt from article
“Gifted kids are like purple goldfish. They spend all day swimming along in school with all the other goldfish. But unlike the other fish, they are purple — and they swim backward! They know they’re different from the other kids. No one has to tell them; they realize it on their own. And while purple goldfish know they are different, they don’t necessarily know they are gifted.”

Gifted children learn what it means to be gifted in many different ways. Many do not question the concept until they are identified at school and enter their school’s gifted program. They know they are different from other students around them. How knowledgeable their parent is about what it means to be ‘gifted’ and how they share what they know can have a powerful impact on their child.

Parents sometimes wonder if they should even tell their child they are gifted. Dr. Gail Post, Clinical Psychologist, stated emphatically, “Yes – it validates, provides clarity and perspective on what they already suspect and don’t understand. [Parents] need to explain it carefully, ensuring they [the child] don’t assume they are better than others, or take on undue burdens.” Jamie explained, “The value is in understanding how their brain is wired differently; not in an assessment received from a test. Information, for them, is received and perceived differently than their peers.” Telling a child they are gifted and/or talented should be accompanied by the ‘perspective’ as related by Dr. Jim Delisle that they at ‘better at’ rather than ‘better than’ their age-peers. Jamie believes that “early and honest communication about giftedness can mean the difference between arrogance and understanding.”
(emphasis added)

Parents are their children's first teachers, and it is important for parents to help their children gain an understanding and acceptance of their giftedness, and how it may make them different from most of the children they may encounter in their classrooms... and ongoing throughout life.

Teachers provide classroom management, facilitating inclusion and positive interactions among students, therefore it is important for teachers to treat giftedness in a non-punitive manner.

Related thread:
NEA speech 2023 - stance on GIFTED...? posted 07-20-2023, in the Learning Environments forum
link - http://giftedissues.davidsongifted....eech_2023_stance_on_GIFT.html#Post250385

Related post:
post with selected articles spanning 5 years
link - http://giftedissues.davidsongifted....ting_with_principal_toda.html#Post176620
This article reveals a teacher's light touch and positive approach to encouraging classroom acceptance of gifted, accelerated students:
Tamara Fisher, The Right Fit, Education Week, Sept 2012
Originally Posted by brief excerpt from article
She said she had overheard some of the 5th graders making comments as they entered the room about “what are 4th graders doing here?” (I had warned the boys that this might happen and told them the novelty of their presence would wear off after a week or two and to just shrug off those comments matter-of-factly in the meantime.) The teacher said she told the whole class, “They are exactly the same as you mathematically. This is where they need to be, just as this is where you need to be. End of story.” And it was.