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    Wren #54366 09/03/09 05:42 AM
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    Hi Ren - As to the motivation/ambition of one GT person versus another, I'm not sure we as parents can have complete control over that. I think you see this many times in siblings, who are nurtured the same way and given the same opportunities. I think a lot of it has to do with the child's personality. Because you are more aware of some of the common pitfalls (lack of challenge in school, etc.), you can do something to try to avoid/prevent your child's future lack of ambition, and to try to find and encourage something that your child does have a passion for. But really there's only so much you can do, and I think it can be tricky to find the balance (what is pushing too hard? will there be repercussions/backlash?). And I think, with rare exceptions, most of us will have to wait until our children are a little older before we discover what they are passionate about.

    As to the hot-housing versus giving your child opportunities issue, I often find myself reading things about hot-housing and saying, "Huh. Well I guess I did do alphabet flashcards with DS, and I did get him educational software before preschool." The difference is that DS wanted these things, or I got them because I knew he would like them. And he did! A more recent example: DS5 tried the Timez Attack free version (multiplication software) and begged me to get the full version. I told him I didn't have the money for that, so he paid for it with his own money.

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    Wren Offline OP
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    I understand a lot of what people are saying. But I have to disagree with some of it.

    Like forcing vegetables. If I do not force DD to have fruit (and I have to blend it every morning or it doesn't get consumed) and eat her vegetables, she would just eat carbs. And she has bowel problems. It isn't an option not to force her. Not about to start giving her a laxative a day because she hates fruits and vegetables. So using this analogy... she has to be forced into healthy habits because of health concerns for her. She really has issues with the bowel.

    So, staying with my devil's advocate role, how different is that for someone whose child is HG, even PG and doesn't have learning passion? What would you do, just let them slide?

    DD was motivated to learn to read by herself at 2.5 and did math early. She was motivated in her Montessori preschool to do the math area when she got there. By the second year there, she got bored and just played.

    But her lack of trying comes mostly from fear of failure. She hates to fail. We have been steady in praising efforts, not success. Though you have to praise success also, but try and show how all the practice paid off. That is our mantra. The practice is what created the success. She really hates not being able to do something and gets frustrated when it doesn't come easily. And hates, really hates when we try and show her a better way.

    Though she gets into the class situation. She became an excellent swimmer this summer. She had a fabulous teacher and since we are on the ocean all summer, we really wanted to make sure she was as good in deep water. She way surpassed our expectations, diving off the block and swimming the length of the pool. At 41 inches and 34 lbs, that was a feat of energy. And sometimes a big wave takes her and she is OK with swimming with it, then coming up and swimming to one of us -- we are always near her. So sometimes she pushes herself beyond anything we thought and then....

    Wren #54372 09/03/09 06:50 AM
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    Originally Posted by Wren
    Like forcing vegetables. If I do not force DD to have fruit (and I have to blend it every morning or it doesn't get consumed) and eat her vegetables, she would just eat carbs. And she has bowel problems. It isn't an option not to force her. Not about to start giving her a laxative a day because she hates fruits and vegetables. So using this analogy... she has to be forced into healthy habits because of health concerns for her. She really has issues with the bowel.


    I guess I should start by saying that I am only talking about my own experience, and I am not trying to say that my experience is the same as everyone's. But IME, when DD gets constipated, we talk about choices she could make in the future to prevent that from happening again, and she does adjust her diet. Also, we don't eat a lot of processed foods, so even when she is eating carbs, they are all whole grains, etc. So for us, anyway, fostering a love of healthy food is more important than the specific foods DD eats right now.

    But I have never tried to force DD to eat vegetables, and now, she loves them. Sure, we went through periods when she wouldn't eat any. And for almost every vegetable we've introduced, she began by disliking it. But she tries them again, of her own volition, and learns to like them. Some days she wakes up and asks for green beans for breakfast. And I can't picture her doing that if we had tried to force her in the first place. So I guess it's a bit of a chicken/egg problem: You have to force your kid to eat vegetables because she doesn't like them, and she doesn't like them (at least in part) because you force them.

    I think children who have been forced/pushed too hard in one particular direction may end up enjoying it less than kids who were allowed to explore and decide for themselves.

    Wren #54373 09/03/09 06:54 AM
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    Encouragement and hothousing are two different things, and from what I understand encouragement (which may be mistaken for hothousing in PG children is what you really mean). To me the analogy with vegetables doesn't help much. Unlike stomachs that usually accept a vegetable once it has been forced down, a personality can reject 'forced drive'. OTOH, the fact that you 'blend' the veg, says that you are not out-and-out overtly forcing a child to eat a certain vegetable in a certain way, but instead you are trying to make it palatable to the child. Using your analogy, making drive 'more palatable', which I expect you are trying to do, would be a different way of looking at this.

    Wren #54374 09/03/09 06:57 AM
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    Originally Posted by Wren
    I understand a lot of what people are saying. But I have to disagree with some of it.

    Like forcing vegetables. If I do not force DD to have fruit (and I have to blend it every morning or it doesn't get consumed) and eat her vegetables, she would just eat carbs. And she has bowel problems. It isn't an option not to force her. Not about to start giving her a laxative a day because she hates fruits and vegetables. So using this analogy... she has to be forced into healthy habits because of health concerns for her. She really has issues with the bowel.

    So, staying with my devil's advocate role, how different is that for someone whose child is HG, even PG and doesn't have learning passion? What would you do, just let them slide?


    And hates, really hates when we try and show her a better way.

    Well...I feel that if a child doesn't appear to have a learning passion, it could just mean they haven't found it yet or they aren't fond of the methods used to teach it.

    And in my humble opinion, early reading does not make or break the gifted child. However, forced learning can.

    There's plenty of ways to incorporate learning into fun ways. Hands-on activities are much better for some kids. Plenty of learning going on with science experiments, nature study, playing math games, new vocabulary words and concepts are picked up through exploring math and science. You just can't read about them and get the same experience as working with experiments, or using geoboards or pattern blocks or playing other math games simply for fun.

    It sounds like your dd likes to sample different things, new experiences, but when the novelty wears off, she becomes disinterested. Or, if she at all senses disappointment that she isn't sticking with something, she could be picking up subtle hints even if you are praising her efforts.

    If she really hates when you try to show her a better way, it's probably because she senses you might not trust her to figure it out.

    I would give her a little control over the situation (whatever that is) and not jump in to trying to show her a better way (not saying that you do, but just in case). Rather than say, "here, let me show you how"...maybe you can say, "It seems to be frustrating you. You could either keep trying, or you can ask me for help, or you can take a break for a while and try it another time".



    Last edited by Sciencemama; 09/03/09 07:00 AM.
    Wren #54378 09/03/09 08:15 AM
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    Originally Posted by Wren
    I actually do not believe there will be any decent blue collar work by the time DD is employable and white collar work will be very competitive to get.

    Ren

    A friend makes metal home items like stairs, kitchen remodels, etc. He is busier than ever. He blends art with blue-collar production and is busier than ever.

    Our plumber makes six figures with four employees. He is always in demand.

    Our mechanic has all the latest gizmos and ten employees. He makes very good money and his little girl easily got into the top private school in Dallas. He knows a lot about everything and is one of the most interesting people to talk to.

    One of my wife's friends owns a machine shop with over 100 employees - they make all kinds of things from metals and plastics. He does most of the design work as well. He can make anything.

    Another man owns his own high-end welding business. He makes specialized 3-d robotic welding and cutting systems. He also troubleshoots other kinds of machines at $200 an hour.

    Most kids with a good grasp of math can go into the US Army, get their A&P license, and then get out, and make close to six figures doing aircraft maintenance once they have 10 years of commercial experience.

    Small business is the refuge of the highly gifted who need to make their own path in the world. Much of it is blue-collar.

    If you consider the actual mechanics, Surgeons are blue-collar workers.

    I can go on. But I made my point.




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    First. I don't think DD really will go into the armed forces. I wouldn't want her to, she is my only child. And considering her princess obsession, I don't see her doing any kind of carpentry or mechanical labor job.

    All those 100K paying jobs were more "grease monkey" rather than office jobs. Which is great for someone mechanical. Not DD. And I said when DD grows up. She is now 4. The changes in manufacturing robotics and computer productivity has been so dramatic over 20 years.

    Second, she does love experiences, science experiments. So I don't want anyone to think we are keeping her locked in a room. I am being devil's advocate here. Discussing this theorectally.

    Third. I am not going to let DD eat carbs -- and they are wholegrain, organic etc. and then sit screaming on the toilet or let her soil underwear because it starts shooting out and then say, see what happens when you don't eat your fruit and vegetables. What kind of advice is that? If she had diabetes and chose to eat sugar would you wait until she was in convulsions and say, see what happens when you eat candy?

    Fourth, when I posted a while back about music lessons and others posted about practicing being an issue and "forcing" their kids to practice you don't post here to back me up.

    Because that is where the real issue is. And how many of parents out there have to "force" kids to do homework. Apparently none who responded.

    Ren

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    Originally Posted by Austin
    Originally Posted by Wren
    I actually do not believe there will be any decent blue collar work by the time DD is employable and white collar work will be very competitive to get.
    Small business is the refuge of the highly gifted who need to make their own path in the world. Much of it is blue-collar.

    If you consider the actual mechanics, Surgeons are blue-collar workers.

    I can go on. But I made my point.

    And made it well.

    I've been self-employed since leaving my mall-job @ 18. Although I've done much "white-collar" work, I've been equally rewarded by my blue-collar endeavors.

    After having seeing soooo many clients successful in the plumbing field over the years, I've been sorely tempted to learn a new trade...


    Being offended is a natural consequence of leaving the house. - Fran Lebowitz
    Wren #54385 09/03/09 09:10 AM
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    We do have plenty of issues with piano practice, and yes, I make DS5 do it anyway. I think it is great for showing a perfectionistic kid, for whom everything else comes easily, that it takes time to learn some things. And it also is a great tool to make sure your child knows that there are some things they need to do that they might not want to.

    We have food allergies here, so I can relate to the food issues. We do have to make sure DS5 gets enough calcium and such, and we had many struggles with getting him to eat certain things. We do the best we can while keeping him healthy, but we don't give him the choice to completely avoid things he doesn't like.

    [FYI - to all you who think plumbers have it made. The shop owners do well, the day-to-day worker bees are lower to middle class in my area. I know because my dad was a plumber and all his relatives are/were as well.]

    Last edited by st pauli girl; 09/03/09 09:12 AM.
    Wren #54387 09/03/09 09:25 AM
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    Originally Posted by Wren
    I am not going to let DD eat carbs [...] and then say, see what happens when you don't eat your fruit and vegetables. What kind of advice is that?
    In our house, we call that an "object lesson." Or in today's political parlance, a "teachable moment."

    You can tell a kid a thousand times, "Don't touch the stove -- it's hot." But they will never, EVER get it until they touch the danged stove. I let our son touch the stove when he was little, and although it didn't melt off any skin, he sure as heck doesn't touch the stove any more.

    Originally Posted by Wren
    If she had diabetes and chose to eat sugar would you wait until she was in convulsions and say, see what happens when you eat candy?
    C'mon, now. I wouldn't let our kid eat PB either, if it would send him into anaphyl-whatever shock. That's just plain nuts and I don't think it's reasonably analogous.

    Originally Posted by Wren
    And how many of parents out there have to "force" kids to do homework.
    "Forced" to do it at the point of a rubber-band-gun, no less. Only because the object lesson involved can take a little while to materialize. I do, however, let sloppy work get through so he can get the immediate teacher feedback in the form of an "F" for turning in illegible work, despite having all correct answers. He only got one of those and is much more mindful of his "neatness" and when I do have to "suggest" that he rewrite something for clarity, he doesn't pitch a fit like he used to.

    I'm not one for wrapping everything in cotton balls. My wife & I went round & round about the blasted pads on all the sharp corners, or always trying to prevent the myriad of cuts & scrapes. Grrrr.

    If the object lesson will be readily apparent and not threatening to life, limb or eyeball -- nothing teaches like experience.



    Being offended is a natural consequence of leaving the house. - Fran Lebowitz
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