What will it take for people to understand gifted kids and their parents? I know one thing it won’t take – jokes at their expense. The joking is especially harmful when it comes from people with a national platform. That’s what we saw on May 21st when Stefanie Wilder-Taylor appeared on the Today Show to hawk her new book. I commented on Stefanie’s Facebook page, letting her know that mocking parents of gifted kids isn’t helpful, and explained why.The responses I got illustrate perfectly just why this mocking isn’t funny, but rather contributes to the myths and misunderstandings about gifted kids and their parents.
Stefanie says she didn’t “make fun of actual gifted children,” but rather those parents who just claim their kids are gifted, the ones who feel the having a gifted kid somehow makes them special. That is true. As I pointed out, however, most people don’t make that distinction. Every parent who says she has a gifted kid is one of “those” parents.
Here is one comment (one of the less vile ones) I got from one of Stefanie’s pals on her Facebook page:
“I didn’t realize how horrible it’s been to have a 4-year old who can read on a 3rd grade level. Our life is a living hell!”
Does it sound like this guy understands the difference between the parents Stefanie says she was mocking and the parents of “actual” gifted kids? Not to me. It sounds to me like an expression of the hateful and ignorant attitudes that parents of gifted kids have to deal with all the time. Parents of the “actual” gifted kids have enough to deal with; they don’t need the kind of mocking that feeds these negative attitudes.
If you have a gifted child, you know exactly what I mean. You understand what it means to be the parent of a gifted child and when you read I’m a mom of a gifted kid, you will identify with the other parents and know you are not alone. If you don’t have a gifted kid, read what it’s like. Read the article “I’m a mom of a gifted kid.” Read all of it. All the comments, too. Maybe then you’ll “get it.”
Here’s another comment in response to my comment on Stefanie’s Facebook page:
“I didn’t know being better than others was a problem.”
Who is the one saying that our gifted kids are better than others? I don’t know a single parent of a gifted kid who believes that to be true. Not one. It looks to me like projecting. People like this guy with kids who aren’t gifted seem to be a bit bitter that their kid didn’t get that “gift.” Is that how they feel about our kids? Do THEY feel that our kids are better than others and their just angry about it? Or maybe this guy doesn’t have any kids, but has residual jealousy and resentment from his early years when he saw his gifted classmates get selected for gifted programs while he didn’t.
Here is one of the many, many comments from the “I’m the mom of a gifted kid” article:
I’m tired of being told that my child isn’t gifted. It’s just me being a helicopter parent and want him to be gifted that’s the problem.”
Me too! I’m so sick of hearing that kind of response, I could scream. It is precisely why bringing up “those” parents in a short interview to sell a book is simply isn’t funny. Period. As I said before, it feeds the belief that *any* parent who tries to get the accommodations her child needs in school just *wants* her kid to be gifted; the kid isn’t an “actual” gifted kid. This not only hurts the parent, it is extremely harmful to the child, and not just academically, but emotionally as well.http://giftsforlearning.com/wp/im-sick-of-negative-attitudes-toward-gifted-parents/http://giftsforlearning.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/screaming-woman-15807454_s.jpghttp://giftsforlearning.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/screaming-woman-15807454_s-150x150.jpgFor ParentsRants and ResponsesSupport for Parents of Gifted Kids