All Children Matter. And Gifted Children Should Matter, Too
Children are our future. At some point in our lives, we will grow old and depend on the younger generations, including our own children, to look out for our needs as we age and they grow into adults. Our children will one day grow into responsible citizens who will be a part of our government, who will manage our environment and who may change our world. Our children will grow up to be doctors who may one day take care of our medical needs, or they will become compassionate neighbors who feel it is their responsibility to come to your aid when you are in need of assistance. Our children may grow up and run for political office, and we will be entrusting them to vote for bills and laws to maintain the rights and privileges of all citizens. So, yes, all children matter. Their success matters to the people of the world. They are everyone’s future. That is why as the adults in our society now, we should make sure that children have what they need to succeed in their own future. It is important for them and it is important for all of us.
Education is one of the most important needs we should provide to all children – a free and appropriate education. A proper education is critical for the next generation of adults so that they will have the tools they need to grow up and become successful, compassionate adults, and be able to positively contribute to the well-being of all of society. Children are our future and we need to nurture them, be responsible for their care, and educate them properly.
Do you agree?
Yet, “all children matter” is not always an accurate claim or fulfilled belief – not in education at least. The truth is, there is a small percentage of children in our society who don’t seem to matter so much at all, especially when it comes to their education. Would you be surprised if I told you that some of these children are not being provided an education adequate enough for them to succeed?
Quite literally, these children and their parents are being told that there are no funds to educate these children properly. Properly. As in, if one of these children was learning at or above the 6th grade level, it would be very common to see him sitting in 4th grade simply because he was of age to be in 4th grade. To be sure, a proper education for this child would be teaching him 6th grade level work.
Look at it this way. Let’s say your precocious 4 year old learned to ride a two-wheeled bike earlier than most, and he entered a triathlon for kids, but the organizers insisted he had to ride a tricycle for the race. Why? That would be because most 4 year olds have not learned to ride a two-wheeled bike yet, and since most of the 4 year olds in the race are riding trikes, your 4 year old will need to ride a trike for the race just because he is 4 years old and that is the type of bike most 4 year olds ride.
So, the above-mentioned 4th grader is not being provided a proper education and he is being kept from gaining the tools he needs to succeed. He can easily handle a 6th grade education, but he is held back in 4th grade because of his age and because that is where most kids his age are. The unfortunate fact here is that this improper education has been known to make this small percentage of children actually begin to give up and fail in school. This is when these children and their parents begin to feel like they don’t matter.
Worse than not having a proper education, these children, because of certain characteristics which they were born with, are also very often misunderstood, mistreated and sometimes even envied in our society. What a double whammy we are slapping these children with First we withhold a proper education from them and then we callously shun them in society, all while showing envy and disdain for this group of children. This is a grossly paradoxical and hurtful situation for these children, all because of their inborn traits.
Oh, wait. There’s more.
These children are denied a proper education, are misunderstood and mistreated in society, AND it is taboo for their parents to ask for help for their children when they begin to suffer from this educational and social neglect. It is so taboo for the parents of these children to mention their children’s neglected inborn needs and suffering that articles have been written expressing anger and irritation with the parents of these children when asking for help for their children. They would prefer that the parents of these neglected children not speak up at all because they are tired of hearing what these parents have to say. Yes, it is like kicking someone when they are already down.
And, there is just one more thing – these children are sometimes difficult for parents to raise. They are great kids – smart, creative, talented, intuitive, intense and very sensitive, and they keep their parents very much on their toes. It can be emotionally trying at times for these parents, but they know not to mention the help that their children need educationally, socially and emotionally because they may more than likely be ignored or they will see the envious eyes rolling. Some parents are brave and ignore the taboo, and they beg or push for help for their child. They only want a proper education for their children. This pushing usually ends up with these poor parents being fed a lot of lies by schools and school systems.
They just want their children to matter.
It does seem like these children don’t matter at all, doesn’t it? Worse yet, some in society just don’t like these children. Really, you would almost think these children were being discriminated against for their genetic traits – something they were born with. These children learn to feel ashamed of who they are. How will they ever grow up to succeed, become contributing members of society and take care of the aging generation when they are adults?
If all children matter, why don’t these children matter? Why is society so very brutal and heartless towards these children, and their parents, too? Why don’t they matter to most of society?
I for one can tell you that these children matter to me. ALL of them matter to me! They are just children, they depend on us to give them what they need and they should matter to all of us.
These children, these intellectually gifted children should matter to all of us.
Giftedness. Does it matter to you?
This post is part of Gifted Homeschoolers Forum September Blog Hop: “Giftedness. Why Does it Matter?” Giftedness should matter to all of us so please visit all the other great blogs and see what they have written about giftedness and why it matters.