Wendy - posted on 01/20/2010 ( 11 moms have responded )
Hi - I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions as to what to do when your child no longer wants to be gifted - well, I guess I should say appear gifted or participate in the gifted classes.
My daughter is 9 and in 4th grade. Lauren went to a small school (K thru 3rd grade with a total of 58 kids) up until this year when she went to 4th grade. Her small school did not offer gifted programs - they offered to bus her to the larger school for special classes but we declines. This is her first year to participate in the gifted program and she refuses to test for the classes and for the most part is doing everything in her power to make herself not look "smart" much less "gifted".
She is gifted, just not officially tested. They did an unofficial test in kindergarten so that she could attend some excellerated programs offered at the college. Our school doesn't officially test until 3rd or 4th grade.
I'm not really interested in having her officially labled gifted or even placed in the gifted program if she chooses not to, but I'm afraid that if she sees being smart as such a negative component then maybe she will sort of self-destruct. She takes gifted classes offered at the college and loves them - but none of her classmates go there so she doesn't mind being smart there - she just doesn't want her friends to know that she is smart. At school she figures out how many problems she can miss on a test so that she gets a "B"; she will write two reports or do two seperate projects - one that she keeps at home that interests her and is at her intellectual level and one that she turns in to her teachers that is "perfectly average" , at home she reads "Watership Down" and discusses the "extreme personification of the rabbits in a socialist government", but at school she pretends to not know the main idea of a paragraph - she even asked to be pulled from the accelerated math program (which is not gifted - just excellerated) and when they told her no - she failed three tests so that they would have to drop her.
Lauren is socially outgoing, very empathetic towards others, and has lot's of friends. She keeps busy, doesn't seem bored school ( because she sees it mainly as a social time ), and gets plenty of intellectual stimuli at home and through her other classes. I'm just worried that as she gets older she will just keep hiding more and more of herself.
Has anyone else faced this with your kids and do you have any suggestions as to how to handle it .