Does your child "hide" their abilities?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-12-2006
Does your child "hide" their abilities?
Tue, 10-25-2011 - 1:18pm

I am starting to see signs of DD (4) , starting to "hide" her abilities, and it has me concerned, especially since she's a girl. She's socially very

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2005
Thu, 10-27-2011 - 2:46pm

DS tried to hide the fact that he could read, until I reassured him that I would<A href="http://s218.photobucket

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-06-2010
Thu, 10-27-2011 - 3:40am
Wait, wait...You already talked about the summer reading contest and how your DD went on to like reading. I guess my short-term memory needs a boost. That's what I get for posting just before going to bed!
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-06-2010
Wed, 10-26-2011 - 3:04pm
about the remedial reading group - yes, DD was much happier! She had been placed there due to her unwillingness to do workbook assignments, and was then placed in a group which did mostly - you guessed it - workbook assignments. Upon joining the group which was analyzing the story and writing summaries, her "reading difficulties" ended. She's now in seventh grade and a pretty voracious reader.
I've seen the phenomenon with kindy kids spending a year unlearning their reading skills every so often. I'm not sure why that happens. Did your DD go on to love reading?

Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Wed, 10-26-2011 - 12:34pm

I think some of this is pretty normal and to be expected. How many times as an adult have you accepted instructions when you already knew what to do? How many sports games have you slowed down a bit when the win margin was already high. How many grandparents have you let spew dated parenting advice and just smile and nod while thinking "um, no way I'm putting brandy on my kids gums" lol. We all do this because we want those around us to be comfortable and to feel good about themselves. It's really no different for kids.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004
Wed, 10-26-2011 - 12:01pm
My daughter entered kinder reading better than she left. (At least apparently.) I did figure that she was comparing herself to the other kids. A summer library reading contest totally took care of that - she won for her age group of reading the most number of pages. She learned that she really liked reading, and didn't want to be held back.

That is funny (in a sad way) about the remedial reading group. I hope that she was much happier in the advanced group - I know my daughter was!
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-06-2010
Wed, 10-26-2011 - 5:54am

My YDD used to do the same, and she still falls prey to that kind of thing - for example, because many of her friends in her bilingual school are still not fluent in their second language, she'll pretend to have an accent too because "it sounds cool like that."

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2006
Tue, 10-25-2011 - 8:03pm
As a four year old, my middle child "dumbed down" her musical skills without me knowing what was going on, because she shared a lesson with a less able five year old best friend. Years later she told me that she didn't want to "be better than A". We've never compared my kids against each other or anyone else at all. I don't want her to feel happy that she has uncommon music ability, just as I don't want her to feel sad that it was hard for her to learn to read or that she has to take insulin. I'd rather focus on a) how enjoyable and rewarding music is and b) ditto for reading and c) the preciousness of our lives in the face of unfairness and adversity.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2002
Tue, 10-25-2011 - 3:53pm

I wouldn't get concerned. She's figuring out how to adapt her interactions with people depending on the environment -- and like many young kids she's over-applying the newly learned rule. It shows a social perceptiveness. I would validate what she's learning about the environment and about other people. "Some kids are just learning those things. People learn things at different times. It's okay to know stuff early, and it's okay to learn it later." I don't think it's a sign that she's on a relentless trajectory towards dumbing-down. Just beginning to realize that everyone's different, and interactions need to take that into account in some way.

My kids all adapt their style of interactions depending on the environment they're in. Occasionally, when they were very young, that took a form similar to what you're describing. Nowadays it's more likely to be subtle stuff like killing a bit of time daydreaming at the end of an in-class math problem set before putting their hand up to get your solutions checked, so that they don't appear to have waltzed through quite so easily as they did lest that be demoralizing to their classmates.

There's a fine line between being proud of your abilities and appearing intimidatingly competent. Personally I'd rather my kids be confident and comfortable with their abilities but err on the side of caution in displaying them in environments where others may be struggling. I'll bet your dd will gradually find that fine line and develop more subtle ways of accommodating while remaining authentic.


in rural BC, Canada
mom to three great kids and one great grown-up
unschooler, violist, runner, doc