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Pipe Down: Your Child Isn't Gifted

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Sure, your kid is smart--but is she gifted? Read on to find out.


We all know moms on the playground who can't seem to stop bragging about their kid.

"Catie got a A in English. She's gifted."

"Roger played Heart and Soul on the piano--he's a genius!"

Well, here's some reassurance for moms who are plain sick of hearing about little Einstein. Baby wonders are rare--according to recent data, only 2 to 5% of children are considered gifted.

Here's some clarification: A "genius" is a child who's gifted to an unusual degree (think Mozart) and those talents have actively come to fruition. In other words, if your little one is solving calculus problems at the age of 5, he's considered a genius.

Being "gifted," on the other hand, means you have the capability or potential to excel in one or more subjects. However, if your kid knows his letters and numbers at the age of two, chances are he's just a quick learner. And if you work with your child to cultivate his talent, he may excel faster than the other kids--but, given enough time, most other kids will catch up.

What's the difference between gifted and smart? Go to PAGE 2.

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8 comments so far | Post a comment now
Charles September 3, 2008, 12:27 PM

Kids will live up to (and down to) your expectations. If you keep encouraging them, they will strive to perform better. So keep telling your kid he’s “smart” or “gifted” if you want to.

Just don’t mention it to the other parents, they may not appreciate the effort you put into your children.

ame i. September 3, 2008, 12:32 PM

Both of my daughters are in the gifted program at school but have no idea what their I.Q. scores are because I don’t want them to get the idea that they don’t have to try as hard because of those numbers. I keep the test results put away. I may tell them after they graduate high school.

ak mom September 3, 2008, 3:43 PM

Telling kids they are smart and encouraging their good behavior and good grades is an excellent way to boost their self esteem. However, telling them they are “gifted” when they are not will only damage their confidence when they realize that they’re not in the “gifted program” that other “gifted” kids are in. The fact is, most kids are somewhere in the average range, they ALL (gifted or not) have strengths & weaknesses and it’s our job as parents to teach our children that they and everyone else have things their good and things their not good at that that is OK.

ashley September 4, 2008, 8:06 AM

My mother in law did the same thing as ame i. Apparantly my husband has a very high I.Q. (although he doesn’t show it) but she has never told him or I what it is. For some reason she doesnt’ want him to know.

cara September 4, 2008, 11:11 AM

All I have to say is that if I’m a genius, then everyone else must be retarded because I’m an idiot. I had to suffer through THREE IQ tests as a kid…the real ones. They go on for days….I felt like Reagan in The Exorcist II. (why three you ask, well because the head mistress at my haughty taughty middle school was convinced the first one was wrong and I must of cheated, hence the second one. The third one was given to me a few years later when I came back from an overseas “alternative” school, and I’m not sure why)

mom of one September 5, 2008, 3:49 AM

MomLogic or BitchLogic, we know the truth, all children are gifted in one area or another. I’m tired of this site being so predjudiced and heartless!

Tracy March 26, 2009, 11:18 AM

All children are not “gifted”. It doesn’t mean other children are not better but gifted children, have different ways of learning(abstract) and deal with a great amount of emotions. At times, they are such perfectionist, that teachers misunderstand them.

abilities intelligence test July 4, 2010, 8:38 AM

I doubtless love going through your post..thanks

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