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Old 06-28-2010, 11:36 AM
 
417 posts, read 619,001 times
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Default Why does everyone seemed to have an "exceptionally bright' child?!?!?

In talking with other parents, online or in real life, it is interesting to me how many parents speak of their children as being exceptionally bright. If they have 3 kids, they are all exceptionally bright.

Does anyone have 'average' kids anymore? Why is it a bad thing to have a child who is in the middle of the pack? We have one who tends to do very well in school (not exceptionally bright, just a very good student who also works hard), another who is not great but gets by just fine and one who struggles to stay in the middle of the pack.

I find myself, constantly, surrounded by folks fighting to have their children in advanced classes (one mom who knew our oldest was placed in honors English for the fall actually called and asked about her grades and test scores from 8th grade so she could fight to get her 'exceptionally bright' child moved up to that class!). Others seem to look at me with pity or awe when I say how proud we were of our youngest for passing his math final and not having to go to summer school, as he worked really hard all year.

I'm sorry, but is the day of being proud of kids who do their best, even when that best does not eqaul exceptionally bright, done and gone? I find the same with sports, music, etc. It does not seem okay for your child to be in recreational soccer AND be proud of that. Most seem to think their exceptionally athletic child must be in elite soccer and that playing piano is no accomplishment...they have to be in a rated program. UGH!
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Old 06-28-2010, 11:45 AM
Status: "Waiting for fall break..." (set 14 days ago)
 
Location: Somewhere on the east coast
1,270 posts, read 1,244,163 times
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I dont have kids, but I know some people that do and you are so right about that. I also think its competition among parents. Whos kid is the brightest or the best at whatever. Nothing wrong with having a kid thats average. If God wanted everyone to be exceptionally bright he would have made it so.
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Old 06-28-2010, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
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Some kids truly are exceptionally bright and there are others who achieve at a high level because they work really hard at it. Then there are some who are forced to play out their never-satisfied parents' frantic desires and fears who may wind up rebelling or become anxiety-ridden basket cases.

But I think it is still a majority that wants their kids to be happy and healthy and celebrate them for who they are. Maybe you just notice the others more because they are more vocal.
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Old 06-28-2010, 12:06 PM
Status: "Happy Halloween!" (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
69,120 posts, read 58,222,176 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maf763 View Post
Some kids truly are exceptionally bright and there are others who achieve at a high level because they work really hard at it. Then there are some who are forced to play out their never-satisfied parents' frantic desires and fears who may wind up rebelling or become anxiety-ridden basket cases.

But I think it is still a majority that wants their kids to be happy and healthy and celebrate them for who they are. Maybe you just notice the others more because they are more vocal.
In my experience (my kids are 20somethings now), what the OP described was the case until later ele school/middle school. It went for sports, too. My cousin teaches swimming, and she says the same. Parents are constantly clamoring to have their kids moved up a level.

In high school, the competitiveness seems to be among the kids, and the parents stay out of it more. At least, that was the case when mine were in HS.
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Old 06-28-2010, 01:34 PM
 
Location: Frankfurt, Germany
783 posts, read 893,210 times
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I think it is hard for people to admit they don't have smart or talented kids. Are you going to say to someone "Billy didn't hit anybody today so it was a good day?" It is hard to brag about your child not being up to standards or on level with their peers. Probably the only people talking about their kids think they have exceptional children. The others say nothing.

I would think most kids have at least 1 thing they are good or better at doing and parents want to tell everyone about it! I find that I tend to apologize for my kids...I will say they are good at this but bad at that because I don't want to be "that" parent with the perfect kid.
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Old 06-28-2010, 02:47 PM
 
1,829 posts, read 2,272,894 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alise007 View Post
I think it is hard for people to admit they don't have smart or talented kids. Are you going to say to someone "Billy didn't hit anybody today so it was a good day?"
Yes!!! I have a special needs child who is also (uh-oh) very bright and qualified for talented and gifted (for what good it did -- that's another story). I will mention the brightness a lot (when appropriate) because I like to focus on his strengths and talents. Also, many people assume that a special needs child cannot be bright. Or that a special needs child who has tantrums cannot be bright. Because since they are bright, they should be able to reason and to behave, right? Doesn't work that way. My daughter is bright but has to work harder to pick up some concepts that he can pick up more quickly. However, he's better at reading and she's better at math. She may not be TAG, but she's going to be all right. He may be TAG, but I'm not sure he's going to be all right unless he gets that behavior together.

My son also participates in a sport on a more, let's say, recreational level. Other children who participate more competitively have very competitive parents. I hear them yelling at their children to try harder. My daughter participates in dance, and I frankly don't see this level of competition so far. That's good.

I would worry more about the extra-curricular competitiveness, like sports, dance, music, etc. as opposed to academics. I think the push for the advanced classes is a way for parents to help ensure their child obtains the best education possible. Sure, some parents may be in denial (deep denial), but I believe for the most part it's well-intentioned. Think about the opportunities and attention that a very bright child may receive. Who doesn't want that for their kids?

And if a parent values education enough to push his or her child to reach high, then perhaps that's not such a bad thing.
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Old 06-28-2010, 03:45 PM
 
Location: NOCO
535 posts, read 963,602 times
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The same reason that the vast majority of people claim to have an above average IQ (what would be the average IQ if 90% of people thought they had an above average IQ? An average IQ). Also, most people claim to be a great driver, while everybody else on the road is an idiot if they drive slower, and a maniac if they drive faster. The majority of people think they're great, its part of their dna, the people that don't are depressed, they start thinking they're terrific again as they come out of it.
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Old 06-28-2010, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Exeter, NH
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It appears that the only accepted version of narcissism is this society is the idolization of one's children. Just like people of my generation often try to re-live their own childhoods by giving their children everything except the word "no," they experience their kids' accomplishments as their own, and feel "successful."

It's a strange situation and probably results from how we we experienced childhood as "second class citizens" to adults during the 1950s and 1960s.
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Old 06-28-2010, 06:42 PM
 
Location: TX
860 posts, read 1,527,086 times
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They want to live vicarously through their children.
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Old 06-28-2010, 07:39 PM
 
Location: On a Slow-Sinking Granite Rock Up North
3,513 posts, read 3,369,330 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taben View Post
In talking with other parents, online or in real life, it is interesting to me how many parents speak of their children as being exceptionally bright. If they have 3 kids, they are all exceptionally bright.

Funny isn't it?

Does anyone have 'average' kids anymore?

I am the very proud mother of two exceptionally 'average' kids and I enjoy them quite a lot. One has to (and does) work very hard and struggles some, the other only struggles on things that are considered to be big on the ZZZZZZZZZZz factor. Well, perhaps "struggle" isn't the right word..."blows off" may be more applicable. Nonetheless the thing I am most proud of is the fact that both of them are well-behaved that I am often are told that they are "so polite and behave so well." At this stage of the game, that's more important to me. Yes, I want them to do well and succeed, but I don't believe it should be accomplished all at once.

Why is it a bad thing to have a child who is in the middle of the pack?

It's not IMHO. Sometimes those who are in the middle of the pack early fly far ahead of the overachievers later from my observations for what they're worth.

We have one who tends to do very well in school (not exceptionally bright, just a very good student who also works hard), another who is not great but gets by just fine and one who struggles to stay in the middle of the pack.

I find myself, constantly, surrounded by folks fighting to have their children in advanced classes (one mom who knew our oldest was placed in honors English for the fall actually called and asked about her grades and test scores from 8th grade so she could fight to get her 'exceptionally bright' child moved up to that class!). Others seem to look at me with pity or awe when I say how proud we were of our youngest for passing his math final and not having to go to summer school, as he worked really hard all year.

Pfffffftttt...be proud (as you should be IMHO). Rome wasn't built in a day and despite what "experts" would like us to believe, children aren't either.

And pardon me for saying so, but there's a very fine line between advocating for your child and "living vicariously through your child." Sometimes the line gets slightly blurred as near as I can tell.

I'm sorry, but is the day of being proud of kids who do their best, even when that best does not eqaul exceptionally bright, done and gone? I find the same with sports, music, etc. It does not seem okay for your child to be in recreational soccer AND be proud of that. Most seem to think their exceptionally athletic child must be in elite soccer and that playing piano is no accomplishment...they have to be in a rated program. UGH!
While I think competition is good when cheering on a game of some sort or another, I also think that this world has become competitive to the point of toxicity sometimes. 5 year-olds in so-called "Beauty Pagents" comes to mind when I think of things of this nature.
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