My Kid Might Be Gifted; But I’m Not

With a show of hands, how many of you out there think you’re brilliant? Maybe just an “Everyday Genius”? Okay, maybe not, but how many of you realize that you’re maybe a little different from most folks, sometimes a little weird, and feel a little lonely with that offbeat sense of humor that earns you scowls or strange looks. Yeah, you might be gifted.
 

I know, I know. I’m supposed to be talking about gifted kids, but not this time. Just humor me and read on. According to research, 6-10% of the people in the U.S. are believed to be gifted. Pretty small number; right? I mean, only 1 out of every 10 at most. That actually doesn’t sound that small when you think of it that way; huh? That may or may not include an often overlooked group or misfits known as underachievers. See, underachievers think they’re not as smart as those gifted people; but what if they discovered that they fit so many of the other criteria that it made them actually consider… just wonder if maybe….

 
Underachievers run the gamut from teachers to store clerks, to stay-at-home moms, to dads who work the 9 to 5 not because they love their job, but because that’s what responsible grownups do; right? Yes, often. And often those grownups are satisfied where they are and with what they do. But, then there are the others. Some adults want more from their lives. They actually NEED more. No, they CRAVE more. Then, of course, they return to sanity and realize that they’re getting way too old to even wonder. What’s past is past; right? What purpose would it serve even if it was true? Right?

 
Really? Are you sure?
 
Maybe.
 
Maybe it’s at least worth a look.

 

Maybe you’re not an underachiever. Maybe you did well in school and went on to earn your way into a successful career. Maybe you’re satisfied where you are, but maybe there’s something else.

 
Are you still reading this? Why? Out of curiosity? Guess what, that’s one of the biggest markers for gifted. Curiosity. Everyone is curious though; right? Are you following along with this description shaking your head in agreement at times or feeling a pang of remorse for days gone by?
 
You might be gifted.

 

Before we go any further (You’re still reading; right?), I’m no authority. The only real knowledge I have about giftedness is what I’ve read and who I am. But….If I have you thinking about it, use that curiosity gene of yours and go find out more. Yes, now.
 
Or let it nag you in the back of your mind.
 
Ponder it. Mull it over. Come back and reread all of this again, tomorrow. Try to push it aside. Push away the wonder, the irresistible tug that will resurface and make you want to do a search just to prove me wrong; or maybe right.

 

 

See, what I’m getting at is that although children today may be identified by well informed teachers, although they have testing to give insights about kids today, although you may have even caught onto some of the quirks in your reading that helped to identify your child, did you ever stop to consider that you too may have the gift?

There’s a good chance that they missed it at your school. They just didn’t know. Few people did back then.

 

 

If your child is gifted, you may be too. In fact, many gifted adults only discovered their own giftedness through their children. Are you thinking it’s too late to wonder? Would it even matter? if you’re still here reading this, there’s your answer. You owe it to yourself to find out more. It does matter. It’s important whether you’re 20, 40, or 60. It’s part of who you are. It may be that missing piece. I know it was for me.

 

Here are some indicators taken from Mary Elaine Jacobsen’s book, The Gifted Adult. See if they ring a bell. If not, no harm done and I thank you for your attention and consideration. If they do, please let me know. I love to help people learn. It’s what I do.

 

Giftedif

 

And if you’re still curious, I’ll get you started with a self-test. What could it hurt?

 
 

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8 thoughts on “My Kid Might Be Gifted; But I’m Not

  1. I love, love, love your writing–no matter the topic!

    You hooked me with this one though because I have in my mind that the giftedness skipped me and went from my parents to my children–kinda like I heard the baldness gene does for men–every other generation.

    Okay, okay–I’ll go take that little test you linked to.

    Seriously though, you are on point with adults needing to know if they are gifted which could explain a lot of unanswered, but nagging questions which need to be put to rest in their lives.

    Thanks for another one of your fabulous posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m interested to read what role you see for gifted educators within teacher-education.

    Perhaps you have addressed this already, but I thought I’d ask now that you have up a post on gifted adults:

    Is it desirable to encourage more gifted students (young adults, adults) towards teaching? (Pre-K? Early elementary? Elementary? Middle? Secondary? Tertiary? Etc.)

    And with regard to teacher-education:

    What are your thoughts on gifted educators working with non-gifted teachers?

    & non-gifted educators working with gifted teachers?

    & gifted educators working with gifted teachers?

    & non-gifted educators working with non-gifted teachers?

    Like

    1. Maya,

      When you say “gifted educators”, my impression is that you’re referring to a teacher who holds gifted accreditation of some kind. In the current education climate, I would recommend pull-out for the students or push-in working with the students and the gen ed classroom and teacher. The former would give gifted students a much needed respite from a typical classroom IF a gifted educator truly understands the needs of the gifted and has the autonomy to implement activities to benefit the special needs of gifted children, but would not address teacher-education. The latter would broaden the understanding for the gen ed teacher and give access to perhaps unidentified gifted students. It would also introduce alternatives for teachers to consider without handing them a packet and expecting them to implement strategies for a small population (which rarely happens). I think the key is acceptance. If the teacher isn’t interested (even after offering to take over planning for the day-which most teachers would gladly agree to), you have little hope of changing the daily routines.

      To address your inquiry concerning encouragement of gifted students to pursue teacher education as a career-in the current climate, probably not. I lean towards vehemently opposing that encouragement since so many of us are actually LEAVING schooling. The issue is increased standardization and decreased autonomy. A gifted program near me is even implementing identical lesson plans for gifted instruction! Imagine the irony.

      As with a disease, a natural artistic talent, an experience of poverty, or a talent for sports, many of the general skills and understandings of giftedness can be taught, but I don’t believe they can ever be truly understood. Does that mean we give up trying to enlighten others? No. Does that mean that we need more segregated gifted programs. Unfortunately, in the current climate, yes or we need support through administration.

      I see a daily struggle to meet the needs of a diverse population in a classroom without autonomy for teachers and support from administration. At this juncture, teachers are struggling to keep their heads above water; not break out into innovative learning experiences. I don’t see teachers looking to gain understanding for gifted students, sadly at this time. Though awareness seems to be increasing, many teachers will push it aside in an effort to gain control over their current full plate. Serving such a small population that doesn’t substantially increase their job security (test scores) won’t gain the needed attention. It’s a sad predicament, but we need to continue to find ways to promote awareness.

      Best of luck to you!

      Like

  3. It appears from the link to the “Gifted” site that “academically” gifted is the only sort that matters. Pity, really. The generally accepted idea that education is a process of stuffing the same stuff down everyone’s throat and that the kids who mop it all up and maybe get bored are the “gifted” ones is so amazingly narrow as to have clearly originated from the “less than gifted”.
    I guess I was lucky in that from age 15 and a half I was able to spend nearly all my school time doing math. But what about breadth ? !!!! What ????? Not from school, thanks !

    Like

    1. Howard, I always want to ruminate over your responses because there’s always so much I want to kick around with you! I waited a bit for this one, but still am not sure I’ll hit home with you (though I always enjoy the challenge). It’s interesting that you appear to find fault in the description of gifted as academically gifted. Gifted is, of course, SO MUCH MORE and that’s exactly what I was trying to point out in my post.

      Do you consider yourself to be gifted? My guess is not, yet you continue to read my posts (thankfully). You seem to be the epitome of giftedness! For those of you who are not familiar with Howardat58’s blogs, PLEASE check him out! This is one of my favorites: https://howardat58.wordpress.com/2015/07/28/music-tuningharmonic-equal-temper-beat-frequency-math-part-trois/

      Howard, giftedness is NOT what most people have come to believe. Yes, often it does equate with high test scores or a success in the job market, but it’s also that offbeat, truly creative, truly curious, person who yearns to know.

      You will always have an open invitation to my new Facebook group, Gifted Adults. If you’re on Facebook, I encourage you to check it out. Yes, the women are the most vocal of the group, but you just may find that pieces of you are already there. I know how much you love to learn and hope that you’ll share your insights with us.

      Like

      1. Years ago when one would invite people round for a (color) slide show, before color printing became affordable, a friend of my mother’s had a show from a photographer. At the end all the people there were in awe of this guy, praising his photos and so on, and he said in response “I took a few photographs”.

        I have never felt gifted, only at times (many) just different. My friend at Oxford got a first in math, took holy orders, did a D.Phil (Oxford speak for Ph.D.), and it didn’t seem to require too much effort. But I will accept your opinion in paragraph two !
        I feel bad about slagging off my school. They did try, quite hard.

        My wife is one of two (at the most) female Neo-Classical ballet choreographers in the whole of the USA and PR. I will never tell her I think she is gifted. Only “You’re damn good at this stuff”. Check our website (needs updating) http://www.wbtpr.com for pictures, including me as Dr. Coppelius in Coppelia, and Mr. Scrooge in Christmas Carol. Going on stage was always in my blood, but I could NEVER remember the lines. Ballet rocks!

        It sure ain’t jus’ math’.

        Liked by 1 person

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