I get it. I do. We all want to feel that our kids are athletic, creative, smart, and well-liked. I GET that some folks see a label of gifted as meaning that one out of those four things is in the bag, and maybe then some. I *get* that hearing that someone else’s kid is reading Goethe in third grade might make you self-concious/worried that your kid is having trouble with chapter books.
I’ve some parents are just plain braggers, including some parents of gifted kids. Some parents get their egos stroked by talking about their kids, whether it is their shiny hair, or hockey goals, or IQ score. Bragging isn’t really about the Pantene hair, slapshot, or IQ score though, not really – it is about the parents reassuring themselves that their kid is ok, and that they are good parents.
I’ve met plenty of parents of kids who seem to me to be gifted (and by this I mean demonstrating abilities or ways of thinking more advanced than one would expect of someone their age), who try to dodge the term “gifted” like its a gun pointed at them. I infer that they don’t want to be perceived of as pushy or braggy, or that they think their kids are ‘bright’ but not geniuses, or that they don’t want their kids to be considered egotistical, or problem-children, or just plain geeky.
I’ve also met people like myself, who just don’t *know* if their kids are gifted. I’m not ‘flaunting’ my kids’ processes and products, but nor am I denying or hiding them. I’m not avoiding the term either, because I know that there are many things about my kids that DO match the lists of characteristics and issues of kids with giftedness. I’m honestly ok with not knowing for now **because knowing wouldn’t change anything**. We already homeschool our kids for who and where they are, and adjust as needed, and, judging from our happy, inquisitive, productive children, our way of doing things is working. If that changes, so will our approach. If only more parents of gifted kids were in the same comfortable boat…
Because here’s the thing: so many parents of kids with giftedness are NOT getting their kids’ needs met, either because they DO need testing and aren’t getting it (paperwork or money), or because teachers/doctors/etc aren’t *hearing* them about what their kids need, so they aren’t getting the help their kids must have. These parents have to be very vocal advocates, and they might HAVE to get more than a little pushy in trying to secure resources for their kids, and some might even overstate their cases a bit.
Be patient with them: they are just trying to get their kids what they feel they need, and are being frustrated at every turn. This makes them feel angry, powerless, and afraid, and maybe even like they are failures as parents.
Does that sound egotistical to you?