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    Joined: Aug 2008
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    How do your friends react when they know that your child is tested gifted or is attending a gifted program? I asked because I find it hard to talk abt it without ruffling some feathers and perhaps being seen as a "bragger"? . Then of course u have remarks like "aren't all kids gifted?" "my child also have some gifts" "doesn't he have some social problems in school?" "EQ is more important than IQ!" etc. I find that it is a topic that is not easy to talk abt. Do u have the same problem? (except in this board of course! It's a breathe of fresh air when I read that everyone is so encouraging! smile

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    Thank you very much CFK! I can see why u like rule #1. People do get defensive. When I shared with someone that the school psych. is doing something for DS, the response was that "he must be too free!".

    I like rule #4 too. smile I have come across comments like "Kids should be able to enjoy their childhood and be happy". I wonder what makes them think that a HG kid can't be happy.

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    I agree, and you may run into a few parents locally in the same boat. Then you can really speak your language without anyone getting upset. smile

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    I run into this regularly because people ask me why we're homeschooling. Because I really don't want them thinking we're religious conservatives--so not me!--my solution is to say, "School wasn't working well for him because, well..." and then lower my voice to a whisper to say, "...he's pretty bright."

    Reactions to that approach have been universally positive/neutral. No backlash or dumb comments like the ones you've received, S-T. Apparently the whisper and the lack of use of the word "GT" conveys to people that I'm not bragging. But it gets the point across.

    I realize it's a different situation because of the homeschooling. But maybe this gives you something to work with?

    Also something to consider: are these real friends, or are are they acquaintances who say such things? Dumb comments tend to bother me a lot less from acquaintances than they do from friends who realy know me and know my kids. I, too, avoid talking about all things GT with people I don't know well. But my *real* friends get it and are supportive. Do I talk about it a lot with them? No. But I do have a few friends IRL--all with at least MG kids themselves who have had trouble with the schools--with whom I can discuss the problems we've had with school and possible solutions.

    Being a homeschooler helps me find those people though, I think. It's like I have a neon sign that says "Different and okay with it" so people aren't afraid to approach me to ask questions. Just this week, a woman with a DD who sounds HG+ stopped me at pre-K to ask me about homeschooling. I suggested DYS to her and invited her to our local GT parent group meeting. Now we're talking playdate and maybe a family Dungeons and Dragons game. laugh Those people seem to seek me out since I'm pretty visible. I suspect the Judgey McNasty types stay away from me for the same reason.

    <shrug>


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    I used to try to down play it because DS is sort of behind pysically..... but now i just say, yeah he's ahead of the game.

    I have 2 friends that come to mind though-

    1. Her daughter is the same age as my son.... they were in kindergarten together. Her daughter is way advanced in Art. I am an artist and am totally impressed with her daughter- she sees my son and is totally impressed with his advanced -ness. It's a funny thing.

    2. Another person both her kids are gifted, her DS10 is suffering though middle school now. Her DD8 is an out and out terror, throws a fit everyday when it's time to get on the bus. She doesn't think they are gifted. Her DS could, and did, build a computer at age 9. Her DD at age 6 could draw using perpective. Ummmm, sometimes I want to bop both her and her husband on the head and tell them to wake up- many of there kids behavior problems are because they are unfullied educationally.... but I just keep my mouth shut.

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    I agree. Once you get past that "Is s/he or isn't she, and what do I do about it if s/he is?" I think you get more confident about your choices. Last year I was the one seeking people out to talk to about my situation at our GT parent group meetings; this year, people are seeking me out to discuss their kids.

    That's not to say that you don't cycle through if things change or a new problem develops--as seems to happen a lot with these kids! crazy --but I think that by that time you've sort of figured out a support system for yourself and it isn't quite so hard and scary.


    Kriston
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    I agree that the need to understand where your child is on the LOG scale decreases as they get older and we are more informed with test results in hand. (or perhaps our gifted denial wears thin?). And conversely, when your child is younger, there is so much unexplored potential there that it just begs you to question everything about your child. But that unexplored potential also fuels all of the interacts that you have with other parents and their view of their own kids.

    I think that most parents want to believe that their child is capable of accomplishing amazing things or at least is better than average. They therefore react to another parent's tale of gifted programs or schools with some resentment, as in 'why isn't that offered to my child? He/she is just as talented/smart as that other kid.' In my mind, that is when the competitive comments are made, such as all kids are gifted, or my child is just as gifted. It is an effort to level the playing field. And when it becomes apparent that their child is not quite the same as your child, then the questions of EQ vs. IQ or social skills are brought up. I think of these comments as in the category of 'cutting down the tall poppies'... i.e... Your child can't be so smart since they are behind my child in this particular area. Both of these categories are fueled by the need to figure out that unexplored potential, both on our side of the equation (HG+) and on the other parents side of the equation (ND to MG). When both sets of kids become older and that potential evaporates into reality, then the differences in ability either have to accepted or the friendship between parents suffers.

    Sigh... We have learned those four rules that CFK posted the hard way. Recently, when DS8 was accelerated in science, we had a few strong reactions from people who we thought would be supportive, i.e. with kids who are MG and in the gifted program. One person just shook her head and walked away in the middle of the conversation. Another person responded by saying, "Well, I guess he is really a Doogie Howser after all?". I spent days fuming over that last response and what the "after all" meant before I could shake myself out of it. I finally realized that if they could not picture their own kid jumping up a grade or three, then they would view it as impossible (and just plain wrong) for another kid to be "forced" to do it.

    On the brighter side of things, my little, socially clueless DS8 appears to not be nearly as socially clueless are his parents with respect to talking to others about his subject acceleration. He decided that since his grade skip last year ensued a great deal of teasing and bullying, he would keep completely mum about his current science acceleration. He just gets his things together and leaves class at the appropriate time, without a word to anyone about where he is going.

    So, as parents, we are finally learning our lesson to just smile and say something along the lines of "I'm happy that our wonderful school system is so very careful when determining the needs of its students." That lets the other person know that it was not us as pushy parents who made the decision, but the school after careful consideration and testing. And then I rapidly change the topic by asking about their kids. People, after all, and usually happier when talking about their own kids and their accomplishments. This can lead to some very one-sided (and lonely) conversations, with the irony being that you can be actively in a conversation and still be lonely.

    Kriston, I think there is a different between being secure in knowing what your child needs and thus stop asking other parents for advice, and still needing the support that you reference by being allowed to share your own side of the story and your own successes and frustrations. Even when I have figured out what my own kid needs <LOL! Like that ever happens for more than a blink of an eye!>, it is still nice to have someone to talk to that will not either compete with me or find fault with the decisions that I have made. At least for me, this is very hard to find! (present company excluded, of course! smile )


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    Quote
    One person just shook her head and walked away in the middle of the conversation. Another person responded by saying, "Well, I guess he is really a Doogie Howser after all?"

    mad Grrr! That would have put me into fuming mode for days!

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    We've had to discuss this many times when we didn't really want to. When DS was two, we helped start a local charter school somewhat based on the IB elementary model. We had "founding parent" status and were guaranteed admission. However, in meetings with the principal after the school opened, it was very clear that the school felt their design would meet the needs of all students and there would be no differentiation. We politely declined our spot in Kinder this year.

    But that hasn't stopped the other 30 parents in the neighborhood asking us why we didn't think the school was good enough for us. Why we didn't want DS there... why we think he's special... why we worked so hard for something we didn't believe in... Ugh. My best answer to them has been "We had hoped for a school that would be K-12 and really want DS to have a small learning community." I stick with that- it's a good excuse.

    I feel very lucky to have a very close friend who has a 19 year old son who faced many of the same issues we are looking at now. I can talk to her openly, get advice and she tells me when I'm over-thinking! I know that's rare. I can't talk about DS like that with any other friends.

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    Originally Posted by ebeth
    So, as parents, we are finally learning our lesson to just smile and say something along the lines of "I'm happy that our wonderful school system is so very careful when determining the needs of its students." That lets the other person know that it was not us as pushy parents who made the decision, but the school after careful consideration and testing. And then I rapidly change the topic by asking about their kids. People, after all, and usually happier when talking about their own kids and their accomplishments. This can lead to some very one-sided (and lonely) conversations, with the irony being that you can be actively in a conversation and still be lonely.

    Kriston, I think there is a different between being secure in knowing what your child needs and thus stop asking other parents for advice, and still needing the support that you reference by being allowed to share your own side of the story and your own successes and frustrations. Even when I have figured out what my own kid needs <LOL! Like that ever happens for more than a blink of an eye!>, it is still nice to have someone to talk to that will not either compete with me or find fault with the decisions that I have made. At least for me, this is very hard to find! (present company excluded, of course! smile )

    I hear that, ebeth! frown I agree completely.

    In those handful of cases I've found IRL where a child is really HG+ and there's no competition, no fault-finding, it's such a relief! It's like joining a secret sisterhood. I have one truly disappointing homeschooling acquaintance with kids probably HG and with whom I was hoping for a real friendship--so much in common! But she's got some of those competition issues (or something...) going on, and it was not a good experience. I'm still mourning that lost opportunity, to tell you the truth. But you have to take people where they are. *sigh*

    I agree that without *some* connection with *someone* who gets what you're going through, it's a very lonely road. As I often say, whatever would we do without this forum? It at least lets us tell our stories and feel like we're not alone. Some of my contacts here have even become IRL friends, and that has been so wonderful! smile It makes sense: we have shared a lot of detail about what we're going through, and it's actually quite intimate stuff because we can't share it with most people. It only makes sense that these friendships sometimes become "real" instead of merely virtual. It helps. laugh


    Kriston
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