Things I’m sick of hearing as the parent of a gifted child

Disclaimer: I am not an educator, psychologist, or any other professional related to giftedness or child development. I am just a former gifted child and the current parent of a gifted child, and these opinions are my own. Please proceed with a sense of humour.

Ask any parent what it’s like having a gifted child and they’ll probably tell you that it’s not all roses. Here’s a bunch of stuff that parents of gifted kids are tired of hearing.

(Okay, that I’M tired of hearing.)

“They all even out.”

Yeah because they’re bored to death and have stopped trying.

“Oh, like X character from blank?”

No, like the individual that they are.

“Oh, you have them trained!”

If my kid was trained he wouldn’t wake me up ever but here we are.

“If you let them learn they’ll just get bored.”

I’m bored talking to you and I’m surviving.

“Let them be a kid!”

Oh crap, there I go sending him off to the coal mine again. Oh wait no, I was just letting him do a math problem. Sorry, I got confused by your reaction.

“You have it so easy.”

This is exactly what every parent dreams of hearing, thank you.

“It’s because they’re an only child.”

It’s actually a neurological difference but ok.

“They need to be with kids their own age for socialization.”

Yes, because as a 31 year old I only ever socialize with other 31 year olds.

“I wish my kid was gifted.”

You’re confusing a special need with high achievement *loud whisper* it’s not the same thing.

“I know someone who skipped a grade, they hated it.”

That’s unfortunate, but research overwhelmingly supports acceleration.

“Don’t you want them to be normal?”

Define normal.

“Funding these kids takes funding away from kids who actually need it.”

We find room in the budget to fund huge companies, we can find a couple bucks to fund all kids and their needs because they all “actually” need it.

“How did you teach him to do that?”

I didn’t. YouTube did.

“They’re exhausting.”

So is hearing that.

“They’re such an angel!”

That’s because their perfectionism is so strong they’re hiding their real personality to please you.

“I can’t wait to see what they do when they grow up!”

I just want to see them reach adulthood without crippling anxiety.

“I know lots of gifted kids. None of them grew up to be successful.”

That’s probably because a high IQ isn’t necessarily indicative of success.

“We have lots of kids like them here.”

Statistically, you probably don’t unless you’re a gifted program.

“Socialization is so important. They need to learn to be around people who aren’t gifted.”

Considering 98% of the population isn’t gifted and I let my kid out of his closet sometimes, I think we’re good.

“They can’t be gifted, they don’t do x yet.”

Asynchrony is a characteristic of giftedness. Nice try though!

“They can’t be gifted, they have (ADHD, Autism, etc).”

It’s called twice exceptionality and it means they need extra accommodations for all of their needs and especially their giftedness.

“You’re just bragging.”

Umm yeah I thought that’s what we were doing here? Or are you the only one allowed to share cool shit about your kid?

“Where do they get it from?”

Okay, first of all, ouch. Second of all, apparently it’s genetic?

“They’re a genius!!”

Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, and Stephen Hawking are geniuses. My kid is just a kid.

“We don’t see issues while they’re here, so it must be trouble in the home.”

You don’t see problems because they’re bottling it up all day and bringing it home to me.

“They’ll be fine.”

Except they probably won’t be if their needs go unmet.

“Gifted programs are elitist.”

If you think equality is elitist.

“They’re so smart!”

Way to set them up for anxiety and imposter syndrome.

“You shouldn’t care so much that they’re gifted.”

Maybe parents shouldn’t care if their child is gifted, but not caring about the fact that they are gifted would be neglecting their special need and hindering their development.

“But their handwriting!!”

I didn’t know they were training to be a monk in the Middle Ages?

“We’ll accommodate them with depth and breadth.”

That’s useless for truly gifted children if it doesn’t also come at a faster pace with increasing difficulty.

“But they seem so normal!”

Umm… thank you?

“All children are gifted!”

All children are gifts, sure, but saying they’re all gifted is like saying “all children have brown eyes”– and it’s FALSE.

Parents: what did I miss???

Meme text reads: “What people think raising a gifted kid is like vs what it’s actually like:” and image is two side by sides of Mr Incredible. In the first he looks overjoyed and in the second he looks stressed and worn out.

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