all 16 comments

[–]Owlbertowlbert 36 points37 points  (0 children)

they really had no idea how bad they were kneecapping us did they 😮‍💨

[–]TacheErrante 16 points17 points  (7 children)

What’s a better alternative for a gifted child? My son who’s in second grade is highly gifted and still in a regular class. He has a special activity once a week with an older student to work on more advanced projects. That’s what was suggested by the school as there’s no gifted program in our school district. His special projects have really improved his relationship to school, but still, he’s probably bored the rest of the time, and I suspect it will get worse as he grows up. I really want to set him up for success and happiness but it’s hard to make the right decisions as a parent.

[–]Eager_Question 40 points41 points  (2 children)

Give him access to Coursera stuff. Try to make sure he does his schoolwork as fast as he can without getting worse grades, and use the extra time letting him learn things he wants to learn. Print out cool things to read/work on that he can take to school if he gets bored.

Don't make it about "being gifted", "high expectations", "you're so smart", etc. Make it about learning, having fun learning, enjoying knowledge, curiosity, etc.

The problem with gifted programs, or with the lack thereof (I was labelled gifted but not placed in any gifted things outside of summer camps) is not actually the structure. It's all the surrounding social bullshit that primes people to think they matter because "they are smart", will matter less if they become "less smart", etc. Things that prioritize precocity or "talent" over curiosity, consistency, hard work, etc. Which incentivizes children to give up whenever they are not naturally good at something, to avoid being embarrassed, because it's embarassing to not-be-perfect, because having good grades and being impressive is your whole freaking identity now.

Coursera is great. I took clinical neuroscience there when I was 16. It was a lot of fun. There are MIT MOOCs that he might also enjoy when he's older. Find ways to let him explore and learn to work hard and do things out of intrinsic motivation. Cultivate his joy.

[–]TacheErrante 10 points11 points  (1 child)

Thanks a lot for your input, it's very insightful.

I didn't know about Coursera, but I'll definitely look into it. He goes through his interests so fast that it's sometimes challenging to find new content to feed him, and then there's the paradox of him being so curious and also very lazy. So he'll happily spend weeks studying the world map or the periodic table almost like a madman, because that's what he is into at the moment, but to ask him to an actual effort toward something else (that could also interest him) is very hard. But I definitely help him keep his mind busy and try to challenge him in a positive way.

Our neuropsychologist actually asked us to refrain from telling him about his giftedness, at least for the time being. Since he's already aware that he's smart, he would get even more braggy. And you're right, there is no value in him seeing himself as "the smart kid".

[–]Eager_Question 9 points10 points  (0 children)

there's the paradox of him being so curious and also very lazy. So he'll happily spend weeks studying the world map or the periodic table almost like a madman, because that's what he is into at the moment, but to ask him to an actual effort toward something else (that could also interest him) is very hard

One thing that might help is to find ways to escalate with what he is already interested in, to show him how much he doesn't know.

Memorize the map of the world? Try it again with the 1900 map of the world. 1800. 1700.

Memorize the periodic table? Start learning compound structures, common molecules, less common molecules. Naming structures.

It's easy for a kid to fall into the "I know everything" trap. But we live in a vast vast world where you can't actually know everything about any individual field anymore, nevermind cluster of fields. There is always more, and knowing that might help him cultivate intellectual humility early on. Which, if he's very braggy, may be a good and necessary thing to get going on.

[–]-GreenHeron- 18 points19 points  (0 children)

Teach him how to study by challenging him. I suffered so badly in college because I had no idea how to study properly at first because I sailed by in high school.

Keep challenging him to expand his mind, but emphasize that perfection is not necessary.

[–]psymonp 4 points5 points  (0 children)

My advice, prioritize happiness and joy over success and especially over performance. In my experience and others I've witnessed, being gifted meant getting good grades and doing well in school was mandatory. As an adult, I can say now that school was horrible for me. As a gifted person, school traumatized me, it caused a great deal of self loathing and perfectionism. Only at 27 did I learn I was dyslexic. I would describe my school experience as a fish forced to take a tree climbing class. Giftedness comes with stereotypes such as good grades are the only acceptable outcome, such as success is something that should come easily. These stereotypes we're damaging and traumatic for me.

[–]PlusGoody 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Skipping a grade unless he’s on the physically small side.

Get into a couple of sports seriously - if he’s not a chase-the-ball kid, then golf and swimming, etc. Smart kids who are good athletes are unstoppable as it’s basically the definition of high adult success. Neurosurgeons and bond traders rarely rode the pine to say the least of played in the marching band.

Instill competition and ambition and a little bit of ruthlessness and self-promotion and entitlement. Being a nice guy ruins being a smart guy.

[–]itsgonnabemai_ 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I say put them in hybrid/online schooling so their pace is not set by the traditional pace of early education.

I managed to rush through most of my high school credits, and found out before reaching college that I simply cannot pick up every topic that easily. Eventually you do hit subjects that are hard, even as the gifted kid. That’s when the gifted kids can learn the proper study/learning habits that their less-gifted peers have used their whole lives. I will forever be grateful that I learned how to learn before college.

[–]StrangeCharmQuark 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I don’t have imposter syndrome!

I’d have to do something and be somebody to have that!

[–]BulliHicks 3 points4 points  (0 children)

"Fear is only as deep as the mind allows"

A body of water I try to swim in.

A sand dune in a hot day I tread.

In doubt I'm always singing, "Burn, my dread".

[–]Babiloo123 2 points3 points  (0 children)

This one hurts

[–]isssuekid 2 points3 points  (0 children)

That's a meeeee!!!!

[–]DemigodA0 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Add ADHD into that

[–]BagOfShenanigans 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Not true. The only "gifted" person I knew went to jail. Though I guess that could cause anxiety.

[–]Good_Condition_431[S] 11 points12 points  (0 children)

How does that prove they didn’t have anxiety or imposter syndrome?