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ConcernedMother
ConcernedMo... asks:
Q:

How do we avoid the pressures of branding our kids as gifted?

I have a gifted (almost 5 yr old) child and am thinking of enrolling her in a school for gifted kids. My main reason for this is because of her asynchronous development (high IQ, Low EQ). But I worry about the following:

(a) If they are in a school with other gifted kids (which is probably just 5% of the whole population), how do they learn to interact with the others. When they go for higher education or work they will need to interact with the rest of the world. Will they feel out of place then?

(b) These kids are now branded "Gifted" and might feel pressured with the expectation/tag. How do we help them handle this "status" and still feel normal?

Would love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks!
In Topics: School and Academics, My gifted child, Children and stress
> 60 days ago

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Expert

BarbK
May 3, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

If your child has been tested and qualifies for a gifted program, then chances are she will do very well is a school for gifted students.  Research indicates that gifted children should be grouped together.  It is easier for them to relate to other gifted peers than those who are not gifted.  I'm sure the teachers at this school for the gifted have been specially trained in working with and teaching gifted students, and that training would cover social and emotional needs of gifted students.  In fact when you go to meet with the school staff ask them questions about how they deal with gifted students to encourage their socialization.  Chances are when your child is around other students who understand her, her EQ will increase.

As for your child being labeled gifted a lot will be up to you and how you handle it at home.  You can help to make sure your child is well grounded to your beliefs.  You will have plenty of teachable moments both in and out of the school settling to drive home your feelings.

One last thought, think about activities outside of school which will expose your child to "average" children.  Your child can learn to interactive with them in a fun way.

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Additional Answers (1)

ronald
ronald writes:
Concerned mother,

I too had a gifted child but he did not benefit from a special program. My son did attend excellent public schools; and, graduated from a top university as a computer science major. I am given you this background before sharing my thoughts on your question.

1) your concern is an excellent one and a real one. If your child attends strong performing public schools, you may not need a change. In strong performing schools, there are usually ways to supplement your child's education either through the school or in the community. I will be happy to give you additional ideas if interested. If your child's school is weaker you may want to take advantage of the gifted school.
2) some parents push gifted schools until high school. Hence, you may get the benefits of keeping your child motivated academically at a key time in your child's development. Then, transfer back to the private or public high school.
3) In general, I favor gifted programs and gifted schools. You and your child should visit the gifted school and classes to learn first hand the information you seek. Extra-curriculum activities are a crucial part of a child's EQ development. Usually, the traditional schools are better suited for varied activities (debate, sports, music, etc.) than the gifted schools - especially at the secondary level.

Please note the numerous articles in the resource link below.

Ron

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