Gifted Children: Embarrassed of smart kids?

The topic of "gifted children" sure hit a cord with many of you. My email box is loaded with questions. I'll try to answer as many of your questions as possible here on my blog. Read through some of these questions, and feel free to leave one of your own for the future.

Why is it that parents are always so proud of their child's accomplishments in sports and will push them to, or even past, their limits, but so many parents are embarrassed about having kids who are smart? --Wendy Rakus

Ah Wendy, you sure picked up on a sad cultural trend. Some gifted kids have received a bad rap. "They're all nerds or geeks or Ugly Betty-types." But that stereo-type doesn't fit the reality. Yes, there are kids who are profoundly gifted (think Einstein and Mozart) but they are rare. Most gifted kids aren't the geek type at all, but fun, curious, great kids who do get along and fit in as long as their parents have put all the emphasis on intellect and remembered to save time for fun and the social scene so they can learn friendship making skills.

The sad thing is these days kids don't want to be seen as smart or gifted. They would much rather have that "jock" label. By middle school and certainly high school many of these intelligent kids are deliberately hiding their talents so the other kids don't know they're smart. It's why many parents of profoundly gifted kids in particular go private schools (for all gifted) or home school.

But you nailed it. It's often the adults who start that disastrous message chain that "jock" is cooler. For shame!

Bottom line- It's up to us to start acting like adults and know that what we say has a huge influence on our children. We owe that to our kids so that every kid, regardless of IQ, reaches their full potential.

Thanks for pointing it out.

More Q&As about gifted children:

  1. Are we pushing too hard?
  2. Should she go to public or private school?
  3. Should I even bother labeling my child as gifted?
  4. Why are parents embarrassed of having smart kids?
  5. How can I boost my child's academic confidence?


12Secrets_Borba.jpgDr. Michele Borba is the author of over 22 books including 12 Simple Secrets Real Moms Know .

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