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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.


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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


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    My favorite comment was when I told a good friend about DS's scores in a general way and that we were applying to DYS: "You know, IQ scores don't mean anything and the next time he tests they could be a whole lot lower.". smile

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    Originally Posted by questions
    My favorite comment was when I told a good friend about DS's scores in a general way and that we were applying to DYS: "You know, IQ scores don't mean anything and the next time he tests they could be a whole lot lower.". smile


    hehehe...

    Snarky reply: Oh my, you sound like you're speaking from personal experience!

    Patronizing reply: Oh dear, those old wives tales are still going around.

    Informative reply: That can be true, if the first test was done very young, but after 5-6 the results become relatively stable. There can be some variation but it's usually due to the person administering the test.

    Short reply: hunh.

    Daffy reply (to match a daffy remark): Have you ever read "Flowers for Algernon"? I think I'd be worried about the scores going down if DS had been on medication to increase his brain capacity, but since he did it all naturally I'm not too worried about him losing his capacity to learn. But "Flowers for Algernon" was a thought provoking book.

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    I feel fortunate that I haven't heard many negative comments from people about DS's gradeskip. Most people just seem curious. Maybe that's because around here most people feel that they are giving their kids an advantage by starting them in Kindergarten a year late. They just think I'm crazy--I don't think they're feeling threatened.

    I've had two comments that I would consider negative:

    Vice-principal: If it were my child, I wouldn't have him skip because he'll miss phonics and phonics is crucial.

    I wanted to tell her that missing phonics was the point of skipping first grade, but instead I thanked her for her advice. crazy I think she means well...

    Another mom (of mg kids) was complaining to me about the curriculum and I asked her if she had considered a gradeskip for her DD. She replied, "I wouldn't do that to her!"

    So now I know how she really feels... After she blurted that out she seemed to realize that she was implicitly criticizing our decision to skip DS and backpedalled a bit.

    But mostly people just seem curious for a while and then the novelty wears off. People have pretty much stopped asking me about it now. I do still get occasional fishing questions like, "So, how is your DS doing in 2nd grade?" (Odd that they rarely ask about DD...) I've decided to just ignore the subtext there and answer the question at face value--just as I would if he had not skipped.

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    Quote
    But mostly people just seem curious for a while and then the novelty wears off. People have pretty much stopped asking me about it now. I do still get occasional fishing questions like, "So, how is your DS doing in 2nd grade?" (Odd that they rarely ask about DD...) I've decided to just ignore the subtext there and answer the question at face value--just as I would if he had not skipped.
    I think that's the way to go with an answer. I have fun with coming up with funny replies, but if someone asks how GS9 is doing in school, I tell them straight up. Of course, I think Grandma's are given some slack when talking about the grandkids. And I take full advantage, haha.

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    This happened to me again last night at Book Club. But I'm learning! We were discussing a book about a Down Syndrome child who was kept hidden and whose caregiver eventually fought to get her into school.

    The conversation evolved into a discussion about "mainstreaming" kids with special needs into classrooms and the abundance of IEPs (individualized education plans) out there that teachers have to deal with these days. Finally, someone (former teacher married to a current high school teacher) made a joke about just waiting for the day when "gifted" kids would demand IEPs and there would be no student left without one.

    I kept my mouth firmly closed. And then I went home and vented to my husband. smile

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    I keep getting caught in the

    "How old is your DS?"
    "5 1/2"
    "Oh, so he just started Kindergarten!"

    web. Since DS is usually with me when this happens, I feel like I can't lie and I have to tell them he's in second grade.

    DH says I should just answer "How old is your DS?" with "He just started 2nd grade." And let them assume what they want. I've never been good at clever verbal responses, so it's good for me to have a plan.

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    I have an IRL friend who as she learned that we were considering a gifted school or a grade advancement has become almost resentful of DD. Of course she does not tell me directly, in fact she tries to speak good things about DD, but you can feel the wave of envy coming up. She now insists about her DS being interested by letters and writing them so neatly and how great his languages skills are.... and she throws some comments about DD like her Dutch is soooo bad or put a face of complete disgust when I told her that we settled for a grade skip.
    Now I avoid talking any specific situation about the school, other to say that I like the teacher and so does DD and she likes it much more now.

    I have the feeling that our friendship is not going to outlast further grade skips...


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    I wonder how that age/grade conversation feels to people whose kids have been held back a grade or who are in special ed. I think I will try to be more mindful of small talk that I make with people.

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    Actually, there's a very nice mom at DS4's pre-K who sells Usborne Books and is really interested in the financial issues surrounding homeschooling a GT kid. She initiates the conversation, and she's stopped me more than once to ask about it.

    One big reason for her interest: she has a son in special ed who is now attending a special school--paid for by the state--and she can't seem to understand that NO ONE is paying ANYTHING for me to educate my GT child. She doesn't understand "unfunded mandate" within the schools. She doesn't get how there can be no money given to me by the schools to support my child. She doesn't understand how there can be not even so much as a tax break for me to write off the books and supplies that I buy.

    She just looks perplexed, and says, "But...But how can that be? There's all this money for MY son, and your son needs special help, too! Why isn't he getting it?"

    Needless to say, I LOVE this woman! wink

    So there are certainly some parents of kids in need of special ed who are totally okay with the conversation. I know this woman gets it much better than some parents of GT kids, frankly!


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    This has been so interesting, I'm currently one of those new moms w/no one to talk to IRL. I look forward to getting more comfortable w/the reactions & responses.

    Luckily, I haven't heard anything negative, maybe because I end up looking embarrassed when it comes up. DS's school has a HAL program (high ability learners) for some enrichments so people mostly ask why he didn't just join that. Well, he did in K and is still but needs more challenge. I tell them the school recommended a skip & that seems to satisfy most.

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    smile Thks for all the sharing! I am very sure I am in the right place! grin

    As I was telling Dottie that I am on the other side of the world. So u can imagine my surprise when I logged in this morning and saw 3 pages of sharing! It took me a while to read thro them but I'm happy to be learning!

    Come to think of it, the only friend here who is always supportive is this mom whose DD was best friend with DS when they were both in K and G1. In fact, they were inseparable... to the extend that the sch decided that they should be in different classes from G2 onwards. This friend knows DS8's strengths and his quirks. Sometimes when I shared with her abt DS's unsuccessful attempts esp. when it comes to a social setting (in the playground especially), she understands!!! (unlike parents with boys who think that I SHOULD have exposed DS to rougher playing/ sports since boys will be boys).

    There is a chinese phrase that says "playing the music instrument to the cow" ... loosely translated to " u would not get the audience if they are not the right crowd". I will learn to keep my mouth shut and to think before I speak.

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    Originally Posted by Dottie
    I have learned where and where not to share specifics though...sometimes the hard way. I did pick up a neat phrase from another GT parent. When discussing GT "shop", she said something like "Oh, is he a math whiz?" when DS's placement came up. I like that term. It seems safe.

    HOw abt the term "math genius" ? (which I come across quite alot) I don't know to agree / disagree!

    Originally Posted by Dottie
    It does get easier once YOUR questions about LOG are answered. I found the years of not really knowing to be the hardest. Now that I'm pretty sure where my kids fall on the continuum, I have less of a need to talk about it.

    GUess that's what I am going thro' now. wink

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    Originally Posted by ebeth
    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.

    That's so terrible. U must have felt awful then.

    Originally Posted by ebeth
    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.

    U have a smart little one there! wink When we see their cheery smiles at home, u know u must have done something right!

    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.

    That's a good suggestion... thks! and how true to the last sentence.... frown


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    I get these internalized thoughts too! crazy

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    I can imagine the type of response I will get!?

    "Poor thing...let the kid have a happy childhood!"

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    Originally Posted by S-T
    Originally Posted by Dottie
    I have learned where and where not to share specifics though...sometimes the hard way. I did pick up a neat phrase from another GT parent. When discussing GT "shop", she said something like "Oh, is he a math whiz?" when DS's placement came up. I like that term. It seems safe.

    HOw abt the term "math genius" ? (which I come across quite alot) I don't know to agree / disagree!

    This reminds me of a cute shirt I saw. It was DS's favorite color with "Boy Genius" on the front. I am sure that I would have gotten this before I had DS tested, but now I feel it's off limits. frown

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    My sister in-law got a shirt like that for my son...... he only wears it to sleep in

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    Having somebody IRL really helps a lot. I am lucky enough that I have a few local DYS families and met others through them as well.

    Thank you so much for the Hoagie's link. I really needed it. Lately I have got lots of unsolicited advice regarding DS6 and I am getting fed up with it. People assume that hs is the last option for us and that they need to help us find other solution.

    This one is from yesterday, "Last year we had little Johny in our PreK class and he came knowing everything we did during the year. He knew his letters and such. His Mom is really happy with the ... school district. You can go as far as you can in their high school. Have you consider this for DS6?"

    First of all my child is 6 and I couldn't care less what they do in high school. Second of all I am happy that little Johny is fine in K, but unless Johny read chapter books to the class at the age of 3 or knew binary numbers at 4 chances are we are talking about very different kids. Of course, I cannot say none of these things. I tried the "You know we have a family consultant (thank to Davidson) with whom we talk about all such issues ...." I got "Oh yeah, my friend had such a consultant for her 2 kids." Yeah, right. We are so not talking the same language.

    I get this from people who really care, but they just don't get it. I shouldn't be surprised though. Let's face it a year ago I had no clue how far away from his peers he was. If it wasn't for the tests I may still doubt even his HG status.

    I really need to start using something like "We are homeschooling this year. It's amazing how much flexibility it gives us both curriculum and time wise. You know DS6 can do his academics in the morning and then go to ... school to socialize with other kids. He can take gt classes on Sundays and take a day off during the regular week. We really like this option." followed by "How is your child doing?" That could take care of it, what do you think?



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    That's happened to me a time or two: someone thinks I just haven't explored all the options. When it happens, I'm polite and I listen. I figure you never know where a great tip will come from. (Case in point: I just heard about a local GT school that I'd never heard of before. Granted it's for 7-12th graders, but still...it was new to me.) But I do not EVER feel the need to defend my choice to homeschool.

    I usually just say, "Thanks, but we looked at other options. Given where he's at, we're pretty happy with homeschooling." Then I throw out my patented <shrug> to show that I'm not offended, but I'm not talking about it any more. Keep it short, you know?

    I don't entertain the notion that some casual stranger knows better than I do--not even for a second. Nor do I feel any need to defend our choices. I listen because I might learn something that could help someone I know if not our family (probably not our family! I've done my research...). But I don't get into it with them. A polite head nod and thanks, a shrug, and then we move on.

    Don't let 'em get you down, LMom! smile


    Kriston
    Joined: Dec 2007
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    Originally Posted by Kriston
    But I do not EVER feel the need to defend my choice to homeschool.

    That's probably a big part of my problem. In most case I do feel the need to explain. I will get over it like I got over explaining while I was still bf or doing this or that. Then I will just listen and politely smile while laughing at the crazy comments inside wink


    LMom
    Joined: Sep 2007
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    Yes, please get to that point. I think the reactions you get from people mostly come out of your own attitude. (That's "your" in the generic sense, not "your" as in "You, LMom, have an attitude," BTW. Sometimes English is not my friend...) At least that's what I've seen. When I was insecure and unsure about my choice, I was challenged on it a few times, and I felt the need to defend myself because I was so scared that I was doing the wrong thing.

    Ick.

    But now I know better, and the responses I get to my good attitude about our choice are pretty universally positive.

    You get what you give, I guess. Maybe?


    Kriston
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