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    Joined: Feb 2009
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    Originally Posted by PoppaRex
    As I read through these posts one thought hits me.

    If a child is gifted in sports we think it's just fine and dandy that we build arenas for them to perform in front of cheering fans and if little Johnny breaks the school record it gets blasted over the PA and shouted from the rooftops... yet when little johnny is discovered a genius, somehow he's "Different" in a hushed tone and it becomes not nice to announce to the world.

    Maybe that's the reason that we have such a hard time finding funding to get these kids what they deserve.

    I am in COMPLETE agreement... I'm proud of my GT kid, and I have no problems talking about him with anyone else. And yeah, there are naysayers, but if he was a 6yr old Olympic champion, there would be naysayers then too.

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    Originally Posted by Grinity
    Originally Posted by JaneSmith
    We celebrate kids who achieve in athletics, not kids who have the potential to achieve. I.Q. is a measure of potential - I think it's more analogous to a genetic marker for a high VO2 max than to breaking a school record.

    I agree with JaneS on this one. Can you imagine the look on your face if some parent announced that his son had the gene for a major-leauge level pitching arm?

    Let's save the sports analogy for budget allocation discussions, ok?

    Love and More Love,
    Grinity

    But how many of the general public knows what an IQ score is? All they know is that it means you are smart or not. Right? When I have mentioned DS6's IQ to several people, they have not seen it as potential, but immediately as he is very bright.

    As for genes for potential sports greats, it wouldn't be wrong to suggest that a child has the gene(s) to be a great athlete. In fact, a child with Black African ancestory has more potential, genetically speaking, to be a great sprinter, as opposed to a child who has Asian or European ancestory (muscle makeup is different). wink wink Obviously, it doesn't mean that he/she WILL be one, but...

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    Originally Posted by JJsMom
    Originally Posted by PoppaRex
    As I read through these posts one thought hits me.

    If a child is gifted in sports we think it's just fine and dandy that we build arenas for them to perform in front of cheering fans and if little Johnny breaks the school record it gets blasted over the PA and shouted from the rooftops... yet when little johnny is discovered a genius, somehow he's "Different" in a hushed tone and it becomes not nice to announce to the world.

    Maybe that's the reason that we have such a hard time finding funding to get these kids what they deserve.

    I am in COMPLETE agreement... I'm proud of my GT kid, and I have no problems talking about him with anyone else. And yeah, there are naysayers, but if he was a 6yr old Olympic champion, there would be naysayers then too.

    Well, there's a middle ground here, and that's what I'm trying to hit with our kids.

    I agree with Grinity that being smart is no more reason for cheering fans than having blue eyes is. Smart is just how you came from the baby-factory. You didn't earn it. You've done nothing to merit applause by being +3Sds (or whatever) any more than a kid who is -3SDs deserves booing.

    BUT!

    Having come from a family who always seemed a little embarrassed by being smart, I don't think that is acceptable either. There are other families who practice GT denial, trying desperately to cling to "normal" in a kid who is clearly outside the norm. That's a similar problem. Shame and denial of who a child is just aren't okay.

    Thus the matter-of-fact tone I try to take with my boys. "Yes, kids, you are really smart. So what? What are you going to do with what you were fortunate enough to get naturally?" I expect them to challenge themselves and do the best they can do (within reason, so as to try to avoid unhealthy perfectionism), and that's what I applaud them for. I applaud when they try something that's hard for them and persevere to the end. I applaud when they use what they've got. I applaud when they solve problems and behave helpfully and act with kindness toward others because these are *choices* that they make, these are things they can *control*.

    Just being smart? That's not up to them, so why applaud it?


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    I also sit on both sides of the fence with these last thoughts.

    I agree that intelligence is just another characteristic like blue eyes, and I've used that line (well, blonde hair) myself. Despite DS6's latest off-the-chart achievement scores, I was much more proud of him when he got a 2nd place medal at his first taekwondo tournament. In the first, he just took some tests and used no more effort than most children. Conversely, with tkd, he had put in a lot of hard work and perserverence to earn the medal, and that's more about character.

    On the other hand, I also agree that our childrens' academic achievements should be celebrated just like that with sports.
    I used to get so irritated because everyone likes to compliment baby pictures or gross motor skills, but you can hear a pin drop in playgroups when people discover that your toddler is ahead. Apparently, religion, politics, AND early/advanced achievements all make for bad conversation starters in most settings!

    My entire set of in-laws poo-poo any academic excitement/early milestones we try to share. Granted, I think they do this because my 2 nieces are definitely not in the gifted spectrum, and my 1 nephew had brain cancer and is very developmentally delayed on the opposite side of the educational spectrum. They try so hard to show that they're loving all the kids equally that they respond to little (not even a response when I emailed them about YS). That's not fair to these kids, either.

    I would think that celebrating these gifts in an appropriate way is important to showing we care and encouraging them. A gifted child who rarely gets accolades for their achievements has little motivation to keep reaching higher and continuing their potential. I also agree, though, that a gifted child who is underachieving due to laziness (without underlying problems) should not be recieving compliments merely because they are smart.


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    Originally Posted by Kriston
    [quote=JJsMom][quote=PoppaRex]
    Thus the matter-of-fact tone I try to take with my boys. "Yes, kids, you are really smart. So what? What are you going to do with what you were fortunate enough to get naturally?" I expect them to challenge themselves and do the best they can do (within reason, so as to try to avoid unhealthy perfectionism), and that's what I applaud them for. I applaud when they try something that's hard for them and persevere to the end. I applaud when they use what they've got. I applaud when they solve problems and behave helpfully and act with kindness toward others because these are *choices* that they make, these are things they can *control*.

    Totally agree. This is exactly how we try to approach it too. And I grew up in a family that very much just wanted me to act and be normal. I think the kudos come later when and if they go on do great things with those brains. And I do think it's sad that the math team doesn't get as much attention as the football team. But I'm glad there are things out there like chess clubs and math teams even if they aren't as main stream and identifiable as sports. We live in an area that does have a high enough GT population to make these kind of things somewhat more common. High achieving high schoolers are regularly objects of recognition locally.

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    I'm not a big fan of either labels or numbers. I don't want DS to limit himself based on numbers or labels. However, since based on his most recent testing he has a 4sd variance between his processing speed and many of his other scores, we had to talk with him about what the tests he taks mean and why the numbers can matter. He often feels like he doesn't belong in the gifted program, not because he can't handle the work (in fact he still isn't challenged there overly much) but because many of his classmates who do better in the regular classroom are not in the program. DH and I struggled with talking to him for a few months when we kept getting the why can't I do what the other smart kids do, and why isn't so and so in the gifted program instead of me. Talking about what the tests tell us has helped him to understand that he learns and processes information differently. This really helped him to get a better attitude towards school in general and it is much more rare that he gets so down on himself.

    I guess for us need won out over preference. I personally don't think that the exact numbers need to be shared. DS still doesn't have the numbers just that some of the numbers meet the school's criteria for the gifted program and that some of them meet the criteria for educational support. Like Dottie, we looked at a bell curve to talk to DS about it. We sort of showed him where he fell in different areas.

    Regardless of the numbers, we reward effort and honesty not just being wicked smart smile

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    I'm late in reading these posts but find this a very interesting discussion.

    zhian said "How can a fact about a person not be that person's business to know? Would you stand for someone deciding it wasn't your right to know your IQ? Or something about your health? I don't think a parent has the right to withold this kind of information."

    My kids were tested at either 4 or 5 years old. I think I would tell either of my oldest two now (14 and 15) because they're mature enough to digest it (maybe) and perhaps wouldn't query about their other brothers or feel competitive. I remember being repelled by the little boy next door who, on the day we moved in, came over and announced "Hi I'm Michael and I have an IQ of 134" I also thought a little girl in my kids class was obnoxious because she told the other kids at school that she was exceptionally gifted and smarter than everyone else. I repeatedly lecture my kids (they will attest) that they might be smart but that doesn't make them better than anyone and what would truly be impressive is if they did something good or beneficial or helpful or important with what they had. Otherwise, there's nothing remarkable about it...and if I ever caught them bragging about their blue eyes their intelligence, I'd be very disappointed.

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    Out of the blue, last week my DS8 asked, "What's my mental age?"

    Apparently, he recently stumbled upon a trivia book that included a lengthy section about the history of IQ testing.

    I tried to blow it off by saying it depended on how he was treating his sister, etc., but that didn't fly.

    When he pressed, we looked at the book together and decided that without going through a bunch of testing, a doctor might consider his abilities as they compare to older kids, and that the "mental age" could be different for various strengths & weaknesses. He must have understood that he needed to know his mental age in order to estimate his IQ based on the discussion in the book, but I didn't go down that road. But apparently, he did.

    When I was cleaning up his desk a couple days ago (because his "mental age" for housekeeping is only age three), I noticed that he was running through calculations that considered the ages of his classmates. Going this route, he actually nailed his FSIQ. Funny.

    We talked a bit more that evening, but only to stress the importance of saving IQ-related discussions for his parents. I told him I would discuss any aspect with him personally, but that nothing was to be repeated elsewhere -- especially with his peers.

    He seems to have a good grasp of the necessary discretion, and has rarely -- if ever -- worn his brain on his sleeve. There's this positively unbearable little girl at school who's constantly chirping about how smart she is and how her IQ is the highest in the class. She catches holy-heck from many of the other kids about this, so our son definitely sees an example of how not to behave.

    When he asks for his scores, I'll give him the range (and there's honestly a huge range), and I think it'll satisfy his curiosity.


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    This thread makes me think of a story about my D. When she was 3, we had her tested and she had an astronomically high score on the Stanford-Binet. The tester, a local university professor & psychologist who specialized in gifted/talented kids wrote this glowing report, envisioning a future for this child of college at an early age, etc. Kind of freaked us out smile

    D's school experience did not always bear out these predictions for a variety of reason (asynchrony among them!). But she has done very well in some areas, and last year had a top 3 finish in a category for the Midwest Academic Talent Search (MATS). One result of that is that she was invited to our state's ceremony for MATS, and got some special recognition. Lo and behold, who should be on stage doing the recognition but this woman who had done the testing. D, of course, did not know who she was. We had not let D read the report at that time (I think it actually would have been a bad idea at an early age, as parts of it have NOT come true). D was not sitting with us, so I couldn't even give her a heads up.

    So this woman beams at D on stage, and holds her up there, talking quietly to her for a few minutes. D comes back looking very puzzled... how did this woman know her? What was she talking about, saying she had known all along that D would accomplish great things? Um... D was a bit annoyed with us, as she does not like surprises, but got over it. D said it was sort of like being tapped for Hogwarts to get this unexpected recognition from this apparently important person. As I have mentioned in earlier reports, we did let her read the reports the next year. By then she was able to roll her eyes at how over the top some of the predictions were.

    Last edited by intparent; 07/24/10 08:40 PM.
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    intparent, thank you for posting, what a story! It sounds like your daughter handled the situation very well. That must have been very puzzling for her indeed!

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