QOTW all ages: the environment around your gifted child

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Registered: 02-14-2009
QOTW all ages: the environment around your gifted child
7
Sun, 12-12-2010 - 8:24am

Do you feel that high achievement of your gifted child is cherished by the direct environment of your child or something that evokes jealousy, condescending remarks (towards the child or you as parents) or other negative behavior/reactions? Is your child sensitive to this? Is it different in school, extra-curricular activities, at home in the neighborhood?

Suzanne
Avatar for turtletime
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Registered: 05-13-1998

You know, we sort of downplay achievement in the house. It's not that we don't give the pat on the back when they've obviously put out some effort

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-06-2010

I have to say that most parents and kids have been very kind to DD and that I've seldom seen much evidence of jealousy.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2002

Like turtletime, we sort of downplay achievement, focusing instead on effort. We also keep our kids out of competitive environments, at least until well into the teen years. And almost without exception we've found other parents, teachers, friends and acquaintances to be supportive and nurturing. We're very grateful for the way our community nurtures and cherishes our kids and we try to do as much as possible to give back. Today my eldest is playing piano with a choral group doing home visits to the housebound elderly and terminally ill. She did a major recital last month and put all the admissions money into a local charity. My ds volunteers his time refurbishing computers for needy families. And we do a lot of volunteerism as a family. We're one of the more affluent families in what is a very impoverished town, so I want to avoid the perception that we're leading charmed lives and existing on a magical higher plane. I'm not sure, but I think those things help mitigate any jealousy. They see my kids working hard -- both at the things they excel at and at community service -- and therefore appreciate their accomplishments without feeling that it's all somehow unfair.

Miranda

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

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2009

We've actually taken a small break from downplaying ability and achievements at home! I am all for keeping your feet on the ground and not growing little show-offs...but we've noticed how DD L (11) structurally has too low an impression of herself. Funny enough she's not lacking self-confidence, but she is not aware of her potential and doesn't always attribute enough value to her achievements. She's too critical towards herself.

In her case it doesn't help that she has a 16 mo younger sister who's very extrovert in her giftedness (very verbal, quick, sharp, high achiever) and gets a lot of compliments from people around them. They sort of forget L (she's also very tall and looks older, whereas darling sister is very small and petite for her age, and even the people in their music program sometimes confess they forget how young Lucie still is so easily). And she has two gifted parents who sort of have the same problem in undervaluing their own achievements. Not the best example. Plus she's the type to adjust and down-play herself among friends to make socialization easier... and in her old school she had a lot of demotivating reactions (her classmates either ignored her achievements or pointed out that X could do it better, snorted...that sort of thing). And of course she'd believe them over a professional music teacher or us parents ;-)

At this point she really needs a more stimulating, cherishing, complimenting environment to help her redefine things for herself and believe in her own possibilities more realistically. We're very happy to see in her new school this is present! There's

Suzanne
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Registered: 11-18-2008

I don't have a lot of experience in this area since Felix is only 3 and it very well may turn out that he's just an early bloomer. That said, I feel that his teacher really recognizes and appreciates his enthusiasm for learning. She does such a great job of recognizing each child's interests, strengths and potential and works with each one accordingly. I couldn't ask for someone better!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009

Many truly gifted children are NOT high achievers.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2009
I know, and often that has to do with the environment around the child, hence my question :-)
Suzanne