Do you get tired of hearing about how parents need to stop pushing their kids to be gifted, that we should just let our kids be kids? I do. I just read yet another article with this message: Why It’s Time to Stop Pushing Our Kids to Be “Gifted” by Laura Lifshitz. To be fair, Laura doesn’t seem to be talking about parents of gifted kids, but parents who want their kids to be gifted. But we all know how that message will be received.
Laura’s message is the same as thhe message Stefanie Wilder-Taylor’s delievered in an interview on the Today Show. In her case, though, she was mocking parents who think their kids are gifted, which I said in another post just feeds people’s misconceptions about parenting gifted children. Laura Lifshitz isn’t mocking parents and demonstrate some understanding of gifted kids, but her message is a mixed one and not particularly good for parents of gifted kids.
Lipshitz starts out by discussing toys and day care centers that use words like “genius” and “brainiac” in order to appeal to parents who want to have smart children. If many parents weren’t interested in trying to create a genius kid, those day care centers and toy companies would go out of business. So no one is going to deny that there are parents out there who are indeed “pushing” their kid in the hopes that the kid will turn out to be a “genius.”
To her credit, Lipshitz does devote a few sentences to the issues that confront gifted kids – not being challenged in school or having problems socializing with other kids, for instance. But then she goes back to discussing the importance of not pushing our kids. Enough educational toys, she says. That’s not life. Kids learn best through play, she says.
I actually agree with Lipshitz on this. Kids do need to play, and they do learn through play. But then she ends with this: “It would be nice if in this country, all of us, adults included, could just let loose and enjoy life a bit more again. If children could be children once more.” You know what else would be nice, Laura? It would be nice if people understood that our gifted kids don’t have to be pushed to learn. They are driven to learn. Depriving them of opportunities to learn – yes, even through educational computer games – would be for them abusive, cruel. In many ways, learning is their form of play. It would be nice if people understood that when our kids are learning, they ARE being kids. They are being the kids they were born to be.http://giftsforlearning.com/wp/stop-pushing-more-advice-we-dont-need/http://giftsforlearning.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/stockfresh_6903452_woman-with-pram-isolated-on-white_sizeXS.jpghttp://giftsforlearning.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/stockfresh_6903452_woman-with-pram-isolated-on-white_sizeXS-150x150.jpgRants and Responses