OT- discussion on public shaming...

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
OT- discussion on public shaming...
Thu, 11-03-2011 - 12:30pm

This isn't directly gifted related... just a conversation DD 14 and I have been having.

So tell me, why is it that the most reliable and responsible are those more often publically shamed and held as "an example" on those rare occasions they faulter? Recent situation, DD is rehearsing a community theatre show for which she's been the ONLY person to be present every single rehearsal (and that includes the director and support staff.) However, she did have one conflict that was given to the staff prior to auditioning. When she reminded the staff

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2006
Thu, 11-03-2011 - 1:52pm

I'm sorry that your daughter had this happen to her.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Thu, 11-03-2011 - 2:29pm

Why is it that the most reliable of us are also the most abomished for our mistakes?

I don't know that we've necessarily seen "shaming," but I do know that you mean. I truly think that gifted kids experience it more than most, lots of times with the "potential versus actual" stuff... So, your 4th grader works his butt off on a book report and does ten times more than the next kid, but the teacher says, "next time, you need to choose a more challenging book" (never mind that it was a 7th grade level and some kids are reading "Junie B Jones")... or your 10th grader aces a math test after really working hard, and the teacher says, "well, I would have expected no less" as if it took no effort.

And I also think that teachers and coaches and bosses really count on certain kids... you know, the ones who always show up, and can always be counted on to have their work done,

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2002
Thu, 11-03-2011 - 4:58pm
I would guess the reason is the mistaken belief that, being responsible, committed, capable and secure in themselves, they are more likely to bounce back from the experience of being made an example of. More depressingly, it may also be viewed by the perpetrator as an opportunity to "take her down a notch" because she is perceived as being *too* confident and secure, a situation which some insecure people find threatening.

I suppose we've just been lucky but neither I nor my kids have experienced this sort of thing as far as I can remember. It sounds dreadfully unfair and very frustrating.


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

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2001
Fri, 11-04-2011 - 3:14pm
Very frustrating. One similar thing that really bugs me is when adults expect the "good" kids to manage the kids doing bad things, when the adults in charge are either not present or not paying attention. We have seen this in group activities or classes when the teacher/responsible adult decides that because the "good" kids did not stop the poor actions of the other kids, even if they tried but failed, they were just as culpable. In many cases. it is lower status kids that are behaving and they have no influence over the higher status kids. I am not talking about bullying or dangerous action that should be reported to an adult if it can't be stopped, but just misbehavior. I don't get it when adults not only do not support the good kids, they actually blame them.

OTOH, I also think personality plays a part in hearing these messages. I have one kid that would be very frustrated and upset in your dd's situation and another that would bascially think it was the directors problem, since he had already told him, and not give it a second thought. I am probably more like the former, as I hear the negative comments much more loudly than the positive ones.

It is often true that expectations are different for different kids in a class, an activity or even in a family. It is probably impossible to judge every kid by the same standard and keep expectations high, but it is equally unfair to hold certain kids to a very high standard with no room for error. In this case, it was certainly completely unfair of the director to make an issue over a conflict that was previously accepted.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Fri, 11-04-2011 - 3:52pm

I'm really not a cynical person, but I've seen this enough to believe that some people are threatened by

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-06-2010
Sun, 11-06-2011 - 1:56pm
I tend to agree with you. The others brought up what I feel are the main reasons why the most responsible are made an example of, but I just had another thought as well: those who are never "in trouble" because they are always on top of things may never have had the opportunity to develop skills on keeping under the radar on the few occasions when it does happen. Just a thought!