Gifted Children: Too Smart for Their Own Good

Too smart for your own good.

What does this familiar saying really mean? How can being smart undermine what should be good? And how does this relate to gifted children?

 

What does this familiar saying really mean?

A brief web search for the meaning of this saying turned up varying definitions, but the general consensus is that sometimes being highly intelligent can cause social repercussions which can lead to issues at work, at school, or with friends and family. Yet, the idea that superior intelligence can trump one’s good is based on the belief that the intelligent person is somehow purposely using his above-average cognitive ability to show off or put others down. It seems when this happens, being highly intelligent can bring unwanted judgement—arrogant, pretentious and self-serving.

As an adult, common sense guides most of us to be considerate and respectful in our social interactions. Being overly proud, thoughtless or pompous is most always perceived negatively. An adult who understands that he is the most knowledgeable in a given social situation knows that using his intelligence in a way which offends others can result in negative repercussions—he may be seen as being too smart for his own good. As adults, we probably get this. But, what about children who may have less social experience or emotional maturity?

 

Are gifted children too smart for their own good?

Traditional schools divide students in grade levels based on age. This framework basically assumes every six year old can read on a first grade level and every child in eighth grade will be proficient in pre-algebra skills by the end of the school year. This age-based assumption is really just telling us that children of the same age will progress at the same pace and at the same level. Would you agree this is how children develop and learn, all at the same pace and level? Of course not. We know there will always be children who are below grade level; as well, there will be children who are above grade level.

Common sense and experience shows that some six year olds will be better at reading in first grade, and some eighth graders will not have sufficiently mastered pre-algebra skills by the end of the school year. Some students will be lagging behind their class in some areas and some students will be ahead of their class. There will be children who excel in school, are identified as being gifted, and are highly intelligent—they have exceptional cognitive abilities in varying degrees and in differing subject areas.

 

And many consider gifted children as the lucky ones.

 

So, back to two of the original questions above: How can being smart undermine what should be good? and How does this relate to gifted children?

I’ll answer with a few examples:

Tyler, a gifted boy in sixth grade, was placed in the regular math class at his new school despite test scores provided by independent testing done by a child psychologist recommending he be placed in the advanced math class. Tyler easily and consistently made scores between 90% – 100% in math to the point where Tyler was certain he had been placed in remedial math, or that his new school had placed him in a lower grade level. He became frustrated and bored and was often scolded for not paying attention. Once Tyler told his mother that he was the only one in the class who understood what was being taught. During one lesson, Tyler well understood the concept the math teacher was teaching the class, and he also understood the various different strategies used to obtain the right answer. Seeing the confused looks on his classmates’ faces, he raised his hand to offer his help to the teacher. Tyler sincerely thought that if the teacher would teach the other strategies, then maybe this could help his classmates understand. Offering to go to the chalkboard to help teach his classmates was not seen as a good thing. His teacher was offended. We can see how Tyler’s advanced knowledge did him no favors. He  was too smart for his own good.

And another example:

Nate, a gifted teenager, is a member of a robotics team. His advanced understanding of the mechanical and technical skills needed on his team, as well as his ability to apply this knowledge caused Nate to disengage from his team. Nate knows that his exceptional intelligence needs to be reigned in so as not to offend his peers, but watching team members ignore his solutions and advice and proceed with a flawed design frustrates him. Unable to hide the fact that he has a workable solution, he sometimes unloads his thoughts and ideas in a less than respectful way. This alienated Nate from his team for two reasons: 1. Because of his advanced knowledge, Nate is held to a higher degree of work ethics. When he doesn’t deliver on this exceptional behavior, he is shunned. 2. Because he is considered very intelligent, Nate is expected to be more mature and to be more accepting of others’ failures and weaknesses which is difficult and unfair. Due to his above-average intelligence, Nate’s behavior and outcomes are judged at a higher level than his peers—a level he emotionally can not handle. Nate is too smart for his own good.

 

Gifted children are often too smart for their own good

Nate and Tyler have been identified as gifted—a psychological and educational designation derived from IQ tests, academic achievements and other creative and advanced behaviors. Both have experienced many negative attitudes, repercussions and expectations because of their giftedness. They understand that it is often best to hide their intelligence, but doing so means hiding a significant part of who they are. Giftedness then becomes a source of shame, guilt and resentment which others find difficult to understand or believe.

 

How can being highly intelligent be anything but a good thing?

 

Nate and Tyler can easily explain the many ways being gifted is a bad thing. Both have experienced many times where their above-average intelligence, their giftedness, has been disadvantageous for them. They know that they are often too smart for their own good.

 

What can we do to change this?

Advocating for gifted children. Advocacy comes in many forms, but is essential on all levels—from the parent who is trying to convince their child’s school to place him into the advanced math class, to the child psychologist who conducts research and produces professional publications about giftedness in children—all are critical to aiding in the understanding that giftedness in children is not a net-positive. Gifted children too often feel that they are too smart for their own good, and we need to work together to change that.

 

FURTHER READING:

Can You Be Too Intelligent?, Julian Baggini, The Guardian, December 28, 2013

Is Your Child Too Smart?, Smart Woman, Marc 8, 2016

 

 

42 Comments on “Gifted Children: Too Smart for Their Own Good

  1. I will advocate this …
    These “gifted” (I despise that term) children would benefit from learning how to be respectful and how to be humble. Something as a whole they seem to be lacking, no fault of their own, I blame this on their pushy parents (which are the people I avoid at all cost).

    We, as a population, are being asked to over-extend for these special little snowflakes to the point that it is becoming to fall on deaf ears. I do my part, financially, for this group of children only because I have a friend who insist her child is “gifted”, he isn’t, but i still pay for his “special” very expensive school and he still cannot hold a crayon, follow directions, or keep his temper in check. Somehow it makes my friend feel accomplished to brag to others about how her child is one of a select group to be invited to attend (little does she know I payed his way into that school in hopes that she would calm down and move on with her life). What a waste of money, he would be better off in public school.

    What you have chosen to write about in this post is totally ridiculous, everyone at one time or another in their life can be labeled with “being to smart for their own good”, even my dog is too smart for his own good at time.

    The more you post to make these “gifted” children to feel they are somehow entitled to special treatment more than others makes me want to rethink the donation I give each year to the programs that assist this special class of little people. Maybe my donation of ten grand, which is not much but is an effort, would be better spent with another child foundation that does not expect from us as your group does. I never hear the Children’s Hospital administration complain about such silly issues and they receive the same amount of a donation. Perhaps they are too busy trying to save lives to sink to that level.

    Are you running out of material to write about?

    • Sorry but your comment made no sense. Did you even read the article? Gifted children do not want special treatment, nor do their parents. They want equal treatment; for their needs to be met just like other children.

      • Yeah I read it and then I read it AGAIN to waste more of my time on a totally senseless post. You ended, after much blah blah blahing about the same old crap you always preach about with …

        “Gifted children too often feel they are too smart for their own good, and we need to work together to change that.”

        That is in NO way an obstacle unique ONLY for these kids – everyone feels that way, adults and children, and it is not even considered an obstacle. So therefore they ARE getting equality on that issue, because everyone is too smart for their own good at times.

        Your examples are bs as well…

        Tyler – should know better than to correct his teacher in front of the whole class, it’s called RESPECT (which many of these little snowflakes lack in, as sad as that may be **I chalk this flaw up to the parents**). Snowflake Tyler should have enough sense to address his teacher to the side – or perhaps should replace the teacher since we are to believe he is much smarter than an adult who has a college degree and credentials to teach his/her subject.

        That brings us to Nate, poor Nate there is no “I” in team, hence Nate needs to learn to be a team player. This may mean that snowflake Nate may not ALWAYS get to dictate what goes on. If he does not learn this trait early in life little Nate will never survive in the real world where, contrary to your belief, everything is NOT equal. Imagine that one. Any time you deal with a team majority rules, and kids as well as adults learn from making mistakes. God forbid any other child then a “gifted” one have a great idea or a better solution, that would certainly rock your extremely narrow minded world.

        You were successful in convincing me of one thing though, when next year rolls around and I sit down to make my donations That I must do to off-set my taxes, I will definitely be looking for a different childrens charity to support. You people are way to crazy and whine far too much for me to bother with anymore.

        As far as those little snowflakes go, they need to learn respect and how to be humble, just like any other kids are expected to do. Don’t even get me going on their parents.

        BTW, just for your information, I raised two gifted children without ANY crying about how special they were and that they needed all this “equal” treatment. It amazes me that they are both very successful and are not scarred by their childhood. I didn’t depend on any school to feed their hunger for knowledge, I took on the responsibility for keeping them engaged in their quest to be the best they could be. My little snowflakes were NEVER made to feel as if they were entitled to a special kind of education, if you have a child that is brilliant it is the parents responsibility to nurture it – get up off the couch stop whining and get to tackling the task at hand and stop depending on everyone else to do it for you.

        Put a little more thought into your next post, this one missed the mark as far as “gifted” children go.

        • JustSayin: If your precious little “snowflakes” were so gifted, they certainly did not receive any of your assistance in language arts. You don’t exhibit even a cursory knowledge of basic grammar, spelling or homophones. You are the one who needs scholarly remediation before you attack another person’s opinions. Why don’t you take your elitist attitudes elsewhere. Celi’s blog is not intended to be a platform for braggarts to push their own agendas just to flaunt their charitable donations.

          • And to you Leigh, all I have to say is KNOW YOUR PLACE, you are the exact type of parent that turns the rest of us off to your children’s needs. I never claimed to be “gifted” so save your grammar references to someone who actually gives two hoots.

            So I will do something special just for you, the next time I visit one of our facilities for the “gifted” I will explain to the children how important their grammar is so they can be prepared for the, let’s call it the “Leigh Syndrome” attack. I get the pleasure of having group discussions with the Lil guys on occasion, one of their biggest complaints is their parents – they get embrassed by them. We laugh about it, try to find an excuse for it (which we usually can’t come up with one, laugh some more), then more on to more interesting topics.

            You are really sad Leigh, I shutter at the thought that you produce children, do us all a favor and don’t have anymore.

            GET OFF YOUR BUM AND ENGAGE YOUR CHILD – WITH YOUR POMPOUS ATTITUDE I WOULD NOT BE SURPRISED THAT YOUR CHILD’S EDUCATOR RUNS WHEN THEY SEE YOU COMING.

            Yeah, you guessed it, I also get to hear the educators vent on parents like you – your kind are NOT their favorite, go figure!

            So Leigh, your excused, you can now go back to your meaningless life. ENJOY YOURSELF, cuz apparently noone else does.

        • Dear JustSayin, my name is Yung-Yang and I am “gifted” – for lack of a better term. I am sorry that we, “gifted” children/people anger you so much.

          So, i’ll debrief you of the perspectives of a gifted as per my experiences.

          Disclaimer: emotional maturity solves most problems mentioned in the article. Hence, these issues usually refer to the immature, usually kids. I am merely sharing my experience for your understanding of the gifted’s social issues and why they should be addressed for the gifted person/child’s sake. Also, issues are subjective to individuals.

          True, the gifted can be arrogant, showy, abbrasive, and even condescending. But why? We perceive the world differently. Frankly, we are mentally more advanced than our age group, not in every sense but mostly intelligence wise and some emotional aspects.
          PERCEPTION: We perceive normal individuals as not as smart but hardworking (if they are). This makes us cocky fucks. Guilty as charged. We love challenges but routines make us bored.
          SOLUTIONs: developing emotional maturity (special classes, extra guidance, counselling, whatever).
          Challenges (extra curricular assignments, projects, whatver that keeps us interested).
          ISSUES: bad social experiences coz we are too cocky makes the children grow up with depression/low self esteem/avoidant behaviour/blabla
          EXPLAINATION: this is why the above article was written, for awareness of these problem of this particular “gifted” group of people.
          IN YOUR DEFENCE: we don’t necessarily need special expensive classes or things like that although it’ll be nice if we do get it. No, we are not at all entitled to it.
          BUT: we just need guidance of emotional growth much earlier than our peers because we learn faster than most. (Yes, sounds cocky – but it’s true)

          PERCEPTION BY PIERS: we are cocky, arrogant bastards that always have questions and are full of witty retorts that make them feel insulted and/or very annoyed. We think we know everything about everything and are obsessed with doing things the most efficient/smartest/realistic/meticulous way. Control freaks. That asshole that thinks he knows everything.

          IRONICALLY, articles like these and awareness programmes, and the special classes or school that you so despise are the things that stop gifted children from becoming socially unacceptable cocky, rude fucks.

          Lastly, justsayin. I will try to understand why we or this article angers you so. I would appreciate it tremendously if you could refrain from throwing insults at me or at what I stand for, thought if you do, I will take no offence.

          Frankly, this is amazingly similar to the mutant-human relations issue in the X-men series. Try not to be Bolivar Trask and do keep your temper and ego in check to keep arguments on point. Again, I meant no offence of any kind, only remarks useful to you if you ever intend to reflect.

          Best Regards,
          Yung-Yang. 😊
          Peace be with you, JustSayin.

    • JustSayin’;
      You missed the point of the article by a country mile. It’s **not** about how the kids behave, though certainly children should show respect to their elders. It’s not about that. It’s about how *other* people react to the gifted child. You complained throughout this comment and almost all your other comments about the poor attitudes of the parents, who baby and pamper their children, or, to use your very dismissive word, “snowflakes”.

      By the way, get a new keyboard; yours doesn’t type out the letter “i”.

      Another hangup you have is around that word “gifted”. Frankly, I think it’s an abomination to use that word, but not for your reasons: “The only difference between a “gifted” (ugh, my kids would admonish me for using that word, they feel it makes them sound like some Christmas present, lol) child and other children s that their brains are wired differently. That is how simple this is, PERIOD”.

      Gee, if that’s only all it was about. But the problem is, gifted people (children, adolescents and adults) pay a very high price for their gifts — not the least of which is the sort of harsh attitude you and people like you display. If that’s all the argument was about, it would stop there. But it doesn’t.

      If giftedness were “simply” about brain-wiring, then no-one would have any complaints. But people are NOT their brain-wiring. Humans live in a social web of interactions with many different “actors” (it’s a sociological term meaning those who influence others — no reference to thespians). Most actors in social interactions with the ‘gifted’ are neutral; some are positive and appreciative of the differences displayed by “gifted” people, but some act negatively.

      People influence and are influenced by others. Some of those others have some real issues with people who are ‘different’, who deviate from the expected social norms, whether or not that deviation is positive (e.g., giftedness) or bad (e.g., criminality). There’s no point in talking about people who react neutrally to ‘gifted’ people; they have zero effect. Nor is there much point in talking about people who react positively towards ‘gifted’ people. They obviously have a positive effect.

      No, the real reason why giftedness isn’t a gift, and shouldn’t be called ‘giftedness’ is something you skipped over: how others treat very or extremely intelligent people.

      Such negative people react in several ways. Some of these are emotional: envy, anger, resentment and hatred. Some react distrustfully because their particular sub-culture or ethnic group or religion militates against “ostentation” and “showing off” — which isn’t what gifted people try to do, but that’s how it’s perceived, and when we’re talking social interactions, perceptions are reality.

      Still others have a political agenda — the radical political egalitarian Left (what I’ll call RPEL, just to save me some typing), which takes to a position of radical egalitarianism. These people believe that any perceived differences are due to social class, gender, and ethnicity differences (identity politics) and try to get school board and other actors to act as though giftedness is brought about by upper middle class hothouse parenting of their precious snowflake children, but otherwise doesn’t exist; as thought he world drops off at three standard deviations above the mean.

      It’s a position that has so seeped into the mainstream that many people — and, it would appear, yourself included– have adopted, whether or not they share those same radical Leftist beliefs (so in other words, no, I’m not accusing you of being a radical Leftist).

      But the last position — the RPEL denial of any genetic input into the issue of intelligence, let alone great or extreme intelligence — fails to account for some things. It’s can’t explain why, no matter what the socio-economic status (SES) of the test subjects, 2% of any given population, whether working-class, middle- or upper-middle, or upper class, *will always test in the top 2% of the population for intelligence*. If the RPELs were right, one would expect to see people in the lower SES levels showing very few gifted children, and people in the upper-middle and upper classes would have oodles and oodles of gifted kids. But it doesn’t turn out that way, statistically or otherwise. Giftedness is uniformly found in both genders, in all SES levels, all nations, and the vast majority of ethnicities; for some reason, East Asians and Jews typically have more then the predicted number of gifted children.

      (Full disclosure: I’m Jewish,a and my IQ testes out in the top 1% of the population (99th percentile), though exactly what score it is i’m not saying).

      The issue with those who distrust the gifted or “genius” (to use another outmoded term), has 100% and completely to do with the sociological and cultural values of the group, and nothing whatever to do with the gifted folks themselves — again this is an issue of actors, and perceptions, and not empirically verifiable truths.

      As for those who approach the gifted with envy, anger, resentment or hatred, in the vast majority of cases these are people with lousy self-esteem, or alternatively, some sort of venal psychopathology (narcissism, psychopathy, etc).

      Now, you demand that those who are labelled ‘gifted’ to “know their place”. And you also demand it of those who disagree with you, which I guess means they are ‘uppity’ and — wait for it — too smart for their own good. They need to be taught a lesson; in other words, you want to play whack-a-mole with the gifted and their supporters. Can’t keep ’em down on the farm once they’ve been to Paree (Paris), now can you?

      I submit, JS, that your objection here isn’t so much to giftedness, as it is to a failure of others to value convention and conventionality as much as you do. But one of the reasons why giftedness ISN’T as “simple” as wiring is the fact that gifted people, by their nature, **JUST AREN’T CONVENTIONAL**.

      As much as some people, and I think I am safe in putting you in this group, don’t like it, the unconventionality, the eccentricity, the orthogonality (look it up), of gifted people and those labelled “exceptionally gifted” and “profoundly” gifted is not a bug, it’s a FEATURE! (“Exceptionally gifted” and “profoundly gifted” categories correspond to the 4th standard deviation above the mean, and the 5th SD above the mean or higher, or what used to be called genius, second-order, and genius, first-order, respectively )

      A benefit, if only people could see it hat way, not only to the possessor of the “gift”, but society in general. After all, Isaac Newton Beethoven, Marie Curie, Rosalind Franklin (she helped figure out the structure of DNA along with Watson and Crick), Mozart, Picasso and so many other “geniuses” were about as unconventional as one could get. And that unconventionality wasn’t (isn’t) caused by their eminence; rather the unconventionality was the very reason for their eminence. In other words, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, Edison, Einstein and others weren’t ordinary, run-of-the-mill people. The reason why they were able to come up with the great things they did (Wozniak is still alive), was BECAUSE THEY WERE UNCONVENTIONAL. They thought in ways no-one else had before. They saw things and made connections no-one else had seen up to that time.

      THAT, sir, is the nature of “genius”. But you want to suppress that, it would appear. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I doubt you will.

      But instead of celebrating their unconventionality, you want them to “know their place”. Why? I had a grade 4 teacher who despised me. Why? I corrected her several time in class — and I was right, and she was wrong. But if we are to understand you, I should not have said anything for fear of being “out of my place”, and that teacher should have taught WRONG INFORMATION — all to satisfy YOUR desire for sameness, respect for one’s elders above all else, your anti-unconventionality, and your despise-ment of “hothouse” parents who spoil their ‘snowflake’ children all too much.

      So we are to believe that it’s better to respect one’s elders and “KNOW YOUR PLACE!” as you so ineloquently put it, than it is to seek truth, to correct errors so that children, teens and adults, can get the benefit of the smartest, not the eldest, the most senior, the highest status.

      I am a believer in radical meritocracy; I have no time to tolerate people who adore and revere status above ability; they are usually intolerant, and if there’s one thing that should NOT be tolerated, it’s intolerance — at least in an intellectual setting. Of course such people have a right to speak their intolerant beliefs, but that doesn’t mean we all should respect it or revere those beliefs — just the free-speech rights of the speaker, not the spoken thing.

      . So if my grade 4 teacher had taught the students that the Earth is flat, the Sun orbits the Earth, and the universe was created in 6 (24-hour) days, about 10,000 years ago, you’d be okay with that, so long as no-one’s feathers got ruffled?

      There’s term for that, JS. It’s called anti-intellectualism. And whether it comes in the very unsophisticated form of the schoolyard bully, the Leftist egalitarian education policy “wonk”, or the grumbling spitball arguments you present, with no respect for anyone’s position but your own, matters not one whit.

      Look; I’d say this: if a teacher makes a mistake, he or she ought to be open-minded enough to permit being corrected. The very best teachers I ever had –elementary, high school or university — WELCOMED being corrected. They had a thirst for truth and for accuracy, and they weren’t above being corrected “from the peanut gallery”.

      On the other hand, the very worst teachers (besides those too incompetent to do good classroom management and allowed the bullies to run roughshod over the less “tough” students), the ones whose classes were, for me at least, an exercise in mental torture, were those teachers so disrespectful of their students that they could not brook any dissent.

      Those are the sort of teachers that sensible people call “deadwood”, and deserve nothing less than to find another line of work — like say, pimp, slave-owner, or professional sadist (okay, so I exaggerate a touch; but not by much). But YOU want everyone to treat such G0d-awful incompetents as though they were made of rolled gold?

      Why? Because you insist that everyone should “KNOW YOUR PLACE!”?

      Well, I will tell you these four things:

      (1) I don’t know how you found out your children were “gifted”; I suspect it’s because they got really good marks, but getting good marks is not the primary hallmark of true giftedness. Instead, I think your kids were/are very smart, certainly above average, but not high enough to be gifted (i.e, not in the third standard deviation or higher of IQ scores).
      (2) If your children were/are indeed ‘gifted’ — and I have no reason to doubt your sincerity on the fact of their being very smart; in fact I was surprised to read that fact — they came out okay DESPITE your attitude about respect (which is way over the top and extreme), NOT BECAUSE of it.
      (3) Demanding that people “know their place”, that students who chafe against the absurdities of a school system (designed and not much changed from the (U.K.) Schools act of 1850 — not nineteen, but EIGHTEEN fifty; in other words over a 166-year-old design) are wrong to do so, is, prima facie, absurd and ridiculous. It was a bad school system then, it’s even worse now, and you want people who are way ahead of their peers to “KNOW THEIR PLACE”?
      (4) I know I’m not going to change your mind. People with closed minds tend to stay closed-minded — while vociferously protesting how open-minded they are. And a mind that never was open, can’t usually be opened, not by one comment like this, certainly. (As an aside, the protests of open-mindedness from the closed-minded remind me of the famous line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “The lady doth protest too much, methinks”).

      Having said that, I think you are closed-minded and an anti-intellectual. And no, those aren’t personal attacks; they go to the very heart of the nature of your argument. Demanding that students and parents “know their place” — irrespective of the relative competency/ability of teacher and student, ignoring the social context in which gifted persons find themselves; personally attacking and being extraordinarily dismissive of anyone (and I’d hazard a guess that that will inevitably include me) who disagrees with you; all of these are the sorts of behaviours that someone displays who arrogantly arrogates to themselves All Truth, and, having declared the One, Sole, Exclusively Tolerable “Truth”, proceeds to shut down all their critical faculties, and to dismiss the entirely legitimate dissents from others, such a person can only be so described as anti-intellectual, and very closed-minded.

      Your argument is absurd, and it is also heavily cruel to those children and adults who’ve suffered immeasurably at the hands of everyone from bullies to “progressives” who think they’re helping the non-gifted by suppressing the gifted; to the anti-intellectual; to the religious fundamentalist who can’t trust those with a different mind–set.

      I can easily predict your next words upon reading that : “Oh, cry me a river”; and if indeed that’s what you thought, I only have a dejected sadness to think what an empty, hollowed-out mental life you lead, having decided you know All Truths and can’t tolerate (or even bear to listen to) anyone who doesn’t conform to your point-of-view.

      Socrates, the greatest Western philosopher of all, said “I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think”. Have you done that, JS? Do you think — critically, questioningly, open-mindedly? Or have you taken stubborn and mendacious (nasty) foolishness, dressed it up in Emperor’s clothing, ad demand that we all pay homage to your irrationality?

      Forcing people to obey authority, no matter how noble the intention, is a recipe for the very thing you display — an intolerance toward dissent. It’s obvious from everything you’ve written that you can’t tolerate anyone thinking differently than how authorities –and you consider yourself an authority — think. That path leads to intellectual slavery and debasement. It’s the true and very opposite of genius.

      • Turns out that the website itself is, bizarrely, suppressing the letter between “h” and “j”

      • Thank you so much for this John. If only people understood this. It is a tough world for these kids and they don’t deserve it. They did nothing to bring this upon themselves and don’t understand why people feel the way they do. They just want what everyone else wants…to be happy. Few understand how difficult it is for them.

      • Dear John ….

        I did not state that “gifted” children should “know their place” rather it was said to the poster, Mr 1%.

        Why should anyone be expected to agree with everything that is posted on this site? Apparently I didn’t agree with the main topic of the original post which was “gifted children are too smart for their own good”. If you are someone who does not agree then you will be swarmed with individuals who are determined to convince you that they are right and you are wrong in whatever means they see fit it doing it.

        I never once stated that a teacher should deliver incorrect information to their students rather I stated there was a better way to handle it then correcting them in front of the class. You yourself admitted you attempted this on many occasions , after your many attempts I must ask you, did the outcome ever change?

        I guess only those that agree with EVERY OP on this site are are the only ones that are allowed to have a gifted child because if you don’t agree you are automatically accused of having children that are not gifted or were not tested.

        We do agree on one thing, the educational system has not changed in a very long time. With that being said, there are two options left, you can sit around and wait for the changes you desire or you can be proactive and deliver what your child needs. I chose not to sit around and wait.

      • There will be a relevance to my comments; please bear with me.

        You may know that in Poker, players talk about being”poker-faced”, which they have to be, in order not to display something called a ‘tell’. What’s a ‘tell’? It’s something a poker-player does, or says, or expresses on their face that indicates they’ve got a great hand. It even applies in Chess; I had a friend who used to start singing Roy Orbison’s “Cryin’ over You”, every time he was going to make a killer move. Once i heard him singing or humming or whistling that, I knew something was coming, I just had to figure out what, and prevent it.

        People hostile or distrustful typically have two ‘tells’. The first one is the accusation of “arrogance” where the intended target was doing nothing more than ‘acting smart’, (as though it’s an act? Please. No-one wakes up one day and decides, “Hmmm, today I think I shall become/be gifted”). By accusing the gifted person of arrogance, they then give themselves permission — because no decent person and certainly the victim would’t give them that — to knock the gifted person down, “to their proper level”; or in the words of JustSayin’, to “know their place”.

        The other ‘tell’ is the phrase “too smart for their/your own good”. What does that mean? If a gifted person opens their mouth and says something really clever, and other people don’t like it, whose problem is that? The gifted person, or the person who got angry? I’d argue that the person who is in the wrong is the one who got angry. Why do I say that? Because the reality is, **most people don’t get angry at people who say smart things**. Only a few do.

        By comparison, if someone (not Black) were to walk into a meeting of the NAACP and scream (forgive me for using the word, but I need to make a point) “N****r!”, well not just the Black people there, but a hell of a lot of non-Black people would clearly be outraged and utterly disgusted by the use of the N-word. It’s socially unacceptable, to say the least.

        But when did it become or is being gifted socially unacceptable? And if it *IS* socially unacceptable, to whom is it so, and why?

        Most people, I daresay the majority of people, just take smart people in their stride. They may or may not appreciate or even admire the intelligence of the speaker, but they won’t hate them, and saying something intelligent (or G0d forbid — genius). And making intelligent statements, well, it’s a far cry from screaming the N-word in a room full of people who could be derogatorily described by the N-word. Some people, usually ones who are themselves smart, or who admire smartness/intelligence, will even admire a smart statement made by a smart person. So who then doesn’t? Certainly NOT the majority of people. It’s a minority, and they are motivated by who knows what base and dark motivation.

        So when such hateful people say, “You;’re too smart for your own good”, what they may really mean (because some will mean it in an advisory way, i.e., “Tone it down!”), is *** “You’re too smart for MY OWN good.” ***. In other words, they are upset and put off by having to deal with someone smarter than themselves, and their ego and self-worth may be so intensely wrapped up in some underlying psychological reason, that they find the smart/gifted person a threat to their sense of self, to their social or societal status, to their serenity or (to use a $25 word), homeostasis. The reason can be many, but here’s a short list:

        * The hateful person (hp) is a narcissist, who believes that they are the smartest one in the room;
        * The (hp) is a psychopath, and sees the gifted person as a challenge to their dominance;
        * The hp has a very low-self-esteem, and feels threatened by such folks;
        * The hp (who, in this case doesn’t realize they’re being hateful) grew up in a religion or culture, or even a socio-economic status, that despises “ostentation” and “showing off”;
        * The hp is in denial, and does not wish to accept the fact that there are some very smart people in the world; their denial may stem from a variety of reasons too numerous to list here;

        I wouldn’t include people on the Radical left as venally hateful (from the gut); their dislike of “genius ” or the term or label “gifted” is ideological and thus (mostly) emotionless in nature. So I can safely exclude them from this analysis.

        So why hate? Again, the reasons can be and are undoubtedly numerous, unique in many cases, and not worth exploring except on a psychiatrist’s couch. But what concerns us here (actually, me, mainly) is the outcome of the hatred, and how it manifests itself.

        Human beings, like most other animals, are “wired” to want their world to be in balance, to be ‘homeostatic’. If I believe I’m the smartest person in the room, and I have any one of the nasty reasons for being a hateful person (hateful of the gifted, I mean), and then I meet someone who clearly upsets my homeostatic apple-cart, I need to bring my life back into homeostasis.

        There are a number of ways to deal with a non-homeostatic environment, and if you guessed I mean “flight, freeze or fight”, you’re right I do. The hp fleeing isn’t harmful to a smart person, should the hp run away (in fact it’s a DAMNED GOOD THING). Neither is if the hp decides to freeze such that the hateful person doesn’t really know *how* to react, so they don’t. But the one that IS harmful is the fight reaction.

        Now, in a fight scenario, evolution has provided animals (since plants don’t ‘fight” the way animals do, though they are competitive for resources) with the capacity to “escalate”; That is, instead of straight out attacking –which could prove fatal — the organism tries to warn off the perceived aggressor or competitor (or competing suitor for mating, but that’s a whole different kettle of fish). So a dog, for example, may stop “smiling”, lower their tail to a flat-out position. If the other creature doesn’t take the hint, a dog will growl, followed closely by baring of teeth (which is why you should NEVER smile, showing teeth, at a growling dog; they think you’re going to attack them). The next step may be barking, followed either by a slow movement toward the perceived aggressor or competitor, or a sudden rush to attack, clearly the more dangerous of the two.

        On the part of the perceived aggressor or competitor, they may do one of several things; yield, even roll on their back to signal to the attacker that they the perceived aggressor or competitor actually means no harm; they may run away, or they may even counter-attack. But the perceived aggressor or competitor also will “escalate”, but if they believe the other dog to be more powerful, will escalate in reverse, or in other words, de-escalate — the mirror opposite of the other animal.

        Humans do much the same thing, but we have the benefit of language, and use it along with body language to indicate positive or hostile intent. As a species, the one with the greatest and most advanced communication ability, we rely heavily on words to make our point.

        So how can a person who’s very insecure warn off a potential threat to that person’s sense of homeostasis? We use words. I don’t need to elaborate on the hundreds of thousands of ways we do so. That’s material for a Ph.D. thesis in human ethology.

        If we’re specifically talking about a perceived threat from a gifted person toward one of these hostile persons/hateful persons (either way, it’s ‘hp’), what can that person do to ensure that their (self-)esteemed place at the centre of the universe remains undisturbed? The answer is obvious (yeah, yeah so I’m pedantic and academic and long-winded; I’ve been told that before, but it doesn’t seem to change me, fortunately or unfortunately). What does the hp do? Use words to put down the threat; they try and minimize the threat, neuter it so it’s not a threat any more.

        That’s why hp’s love to play the game of “whack-a-mole” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whac-A-Mole) with gifted persons. By suppressing such people by putting them down, trying to damage their self-esteem and/or sense of self-confidence, the hp can deflate, minimize, even crush and destroy the gifted person (emotionally and psychologically, and only occasionally violently), thereby neutralizing the threat.

        As you may or may not know, I was bullied for three years by three different “murders” (what else to call a collection of hp’s?) of hateful/hostile people. I won’t detail it. I’ve already droned on enough as it is. But I did learn some lessons from that set of viciously abusive events.

        When someone who hates you for being gifted or exceptionally or profoundly gifted, they try and re-cast the intelligence as something it’s not, but which is socially unacceptable, such as the accusation of ‘arrogance’. And really, if you think about it, the term “too smart for your own good” is a derivation of that same thing — the charge of arrogance (unless the term is used in a advisory sense from a “friendly”, a parent or significant relative or mate/partner to warn the person that they could get into a lot of trouble and the caring “Friendly” doesn’t want their intended audience, their loved one to come to harm).

        If, as it has been said, those whom the gods would destroy, they first make proud, (I can’t fined the source sorry), then the ‘motto’ of the anti-gifted is “Those who I would destroy, I do so by charging them with my own actions”.

        It’s not the gifted person who is arrogant. It’s the hateful person who is so caught up in either their own misery, or their own misplaced sense of grandiosity who is arrogant. So logically, if ‘being too smart for one’s own good’ is a charge similar to that of arrogance (i.e, don’t act so uppity, don’t act above your station, “KNOW YOUR PLACE!”) then it follows then that the charge with which the hateful person is attacking the gifted person is the very thing of which they themselves are guilty!

        The hateful person, if motivated by self-loathing, feels so threatened by other people whom they perceive as ‘superior’ or acting superior, that they believe that the gifted person is acting smart in order to make the hp, who already feels small, to feel even smaller, even though in the mind of the gifted person, he or she had no such intent, and is merely doing what gifted people do best: be smart.

        if on the other hand, the hateful person is driven by some venal and cruel psychopathology, then the charge of ‘being too smart for your own good” or of being ‘arrogant’ stems from this hateful person’s own dramatically overblown sense of self-magnificence. Sigmund Freud called this “projection”, which this site (http://changingminds.org/explanations/behaviors/coping/defense_mechanisms.htm) defines as “Projection: attributing uncomfortable feelings to others.”

        The hp knows, at some level, that he/she is a phony, a false-front, a big show with no real meaning, “all sizzle, no steak”. Thus they do everything in their power to prove (mainly to themselves) that they really are “all that and a bag of chips”. But the feeling is short-lived, and it is short-lived precisely because after the euphoria of ‘blowing everyone away with their own magnificence, their own ‘all-that’-ness”, the psychopathologically-motivated hateful person has to go back to living with themselves and their own averageness, or worse yet, mediocrity. It’s undoubtedly an empty and hollow feeling to think that, ‘Damn it, I’m just like everyone else’.

        Alfred Adler, one of Freud’s acolytes (at least initially), talked about “over-compensating”, or as the following link puts it, “excessive compensation; specifically : excessive reaction to a feeling of inferiority, guilt, or inadequacy leading to an exaggerated attempt to overcome the feeling” (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overcompensation). The hp thus seeks to overcome their own inadequacy by trying to prove that their targets, not they, are the ones who are somehow inadequate.

        It’s not a scientific, but an anecdotal surmising, but I’ve noticed, when I think back to all the people I’ve had run-ins with over my sadly all-too-high IQ: the bullies, all the mediocrities, all the people who tried to fool others into thinking that the pretender was in fact a genius, all the people who were ‘poseurs’ (being a pretender but with a vicious side of nasty vengefulness and anger if thwarted or outed as ‘ordinary’), all the loud-mouth bozos who stupidly tried to make fun of people far more intelligent than they, all the narcissists who insisted on their exclusive genius-ness, all of them (but with one exception I can think of, who truly is a genius, unfortunately, and a hell of a lot smarter than me, to boot); every single last one (with the one exception, all shared one single qualifying, unifying, feature: they all were staggeringly renowned for their absolute, abiding, overwhelming ORDINARINESS.

        Even the genius guy who ended up threatening me with physical violence if I tried to join the technical group I helped him start up, ***every single last blasted one of them*** had done literally NOTHING to advance humanity forward, were satisfied with the small potato mini-victories that they convinced themselves were akin to winning a Nobel Prize (e.g, I am a genius because … I drive a cool car … I f**k all the chicks I want to … i have a 12-inch long genital unit … I can bench-press 250 lbs … I own a house and a car — but Weintraub, YOU DON’T hahaha! … etc., etc. etc.).

        If someone says (except, as I said, in a friendly and advisory manner) that someone is “too smart for their own good”, what they really mean is either “You’re too smart for *my* own good”, or “I’m not smart enough to compete with you at your level, so you need (really? NEED?) to be brought down to ‘your proper level’, some way that I can compete with you, now that I’ve crippled and hobbled you”.

        No Celi, Gifted persons are NOT too smart for their own good; their detractors want to weaponize the gifted person’s gift and turn it back against the gifted person, usually by trying to knock the gifted person down to the inferior person’s level — or lower.

        And that is why “being gifted” is no gift at all. Why not call it what it is: intelligence? Then there would be no mistake, and people wouldn’t get the mistaken impression that giftedness is a gift.

        • “If someone says…that someone is ‘too smart for their own good’, what they really mean is either ‘You’re too smart for *my* own good’, or ‘I’m not smart enough to compete with you at your level, so you need…to be brought down to ‘your proper level’, some way that I can compete with you, now that I’ve crippled and hobbled you.” <--- John, this is the crux of this issue in a nutshell. You've said what so many of us know, but few say because they fear the inevitable backlash. All of us in the global gifted community--physicians, psychologists, PhD's, teachers, parents and other professionals--know through decades of research, experience and practice who our gifted people are and that giftedness is a true neuro-diversity; we also know that there are those very few who have a personal need to cut gifted individuals down to size for whatever their reasons are. Thank you for taking the time to try to help others understand that being gifted, or intellectually talented, is living a paradox--being born with above-average cognitive abilities, but having to moderate those abilities because others are offended, and resentful. (Would we ask Celine Dion or Paul McCartney to moderate their vocal talent so that those not as vocally-talented are not offended?) Thanks, John!

      • Wow John. Couldn’t have put it better myself. Much applause.

    • JustSayin’, your argument could be summed up as: “Shut up,” he explained.

      Later, in response to people who disagree, it become personal attacks (see your responses below) instead of sticking to the issue.

      Overall, your argument is quite “politically correct” (which, of course, giftedness is not) and, once again, makes the point political correctness usually does against things it doesn’t like:

      “Shut up,” he explained.

      Unfortunately, “framing the debate” to eliminate opposing viewpoints is neither civilized nor very bright (like most bullies) and, as the late Charleton Heston said, “Political correctness is tyranny with manners.”

    • I hate people like you. I went through school thinking I was the idiot! My IQ is over 180+ and is probably immeasurable, but I felt stupid because everyone I have ever met outside of Europe, ESPECIALLY in the United States, always says something similar, “children would benefit from learning how to be respectful and how to be humble. Something as a whole they seem to be lacking.” My parents, my family, my classmates, society in general, etc. I wish I had stayed in Europe, they bent over backwards to accommodate my specific needs, and because of such early help might be the only reason I’m able to overcome all the trauma you average idiots did to me.

      I don’t know what the logic behind that asinine thinking is, I don’t know whether truly gifted kids make average people feel like idiots and because they’re just smart enough to be self-aware they get offended. Like a bunch of downs kids with iq’s 50 trying to figure out a problem, and an average person comes by and without even thinking about it just does it in front of them; now shift that so the downs kids are average, and you might be able to conceptualize just how goddamn smart these kids are.

      Is that scary because it makes you look stupid?

      I’ll put it in another way, I am so intelligent, I have broken all testing to the point I can’t be tested. They don’t work, which by the way psychological testing breaks at 130-149, that you’d have to adjust the downs kids to 130-149 (+) and make the same shift towards more intelligent to find me.

      It might also be worth noting, by shaming people for being smart you are limiting the abilities and forcing high-IQ individuals to conform to YOUR society. YOUR way of life. YOUR ideas of what’s right and wrong, when these kids are so far in advance of anything you can think of, there is no conceivable way you could understand. Yes these kids have sometimes severe idiosyncrasies, it’s a part of being extremely intelligent, but despite your limited comprehension they do not care for the same things you do and are MOST LIKELY the least racist, least judgmental, naturally humble, friendly, emotionally stable people that exist.

      I’ve only recently been getting the help to untangle the web of average lies and bs meant to keep me in line, and am beyond furious at how I was treated. You can’t put gifted kids in public school. If you do you are putting the best of our society in a system that is completely incapable of teaching or handling them. In a sense we ARE like retards, and they get their own funding, because you can’t have retards in normal curriculums, and considering that gifted individuals are JUST as far from average as the retards are from average, doesn’t it make sense that normal curriculum is unsuitable for them as well, and limiting? Throw in the great unwashed, large class numbers, these kids gifts get drowned out and they spend a lifetime dealing with the aftermath.

      I hope you have a gifted child, so you can watch him grow up in public school, so you can watch as your son’s talent and intelligence is nuked in your “public schools” and watch as they grow up and realized how you fucked them, because that kid will most likely disown you; and the irony is that you’ll never understand why.

      • Wow, so you are gifted and you use words like “hate” and “retarded”?

        My son is gifted and he is raised and very well adjusted and he certainly does not call children ” retarded”. In addition, it was not hard to keep him engaged in topics he was interested in so he could excel at his pace, i didn’t depend on the public school system to provide this as they were not equipped to do so.

        Hope you get help for your apparent anger issues, i believe they have medication for your condition.

        BTW, do you know how long ago the OP was posted?

        • I suppose it’s a bit offensive to use words and rhetoric most consider dangerous, and an affront to their personal values; but I am not one to mince words to save face or pretend. I will always say things as I feel, as I see, as I think.

          I will not pretend.

          If you’re offended then I have done what I set out to do in the first place.

          • Well James once again you show your awesome stupidity because nothing you have said has offended me. What idiot sets their goal to offend someone? Seems like a waste of time and energy to me. Once again, I suggest you get medicated for your condition you seem to be very confused. Perhaps you might grow out of it, that is if you ever grow up.

            This OP is months old, catch up and move on.

  2. I am sorry justsayin, I am afraid your comments show you have little understanding of the subject. I challenge you to take up reading and do a little research before commenting on something you obviously know little about.

    http://sengifted.org/ is an excellent place to start.

    Concentrate your research on those gifted children who are above moderately gifted because, as you will see when you do your research, school works quite well for them. School does not work well for those at either end of the spectrum, those highly gifted and above, and those below normal.

    Those I refer to are in the top and bottom 2% as shown in this picture.
    http://www.psychology4a.com/uploads/3/0/2/1/30214259/3075014_orig.png

    If you were a parent of either one of these children then you would know that neither one of them feel much like a special snowflake. They are not the elite that you, and many others, imagine them to be. Give either the top 2% or the bottom 2% a wish and they will wish to just have a normal IQ and if you imagine that we hothouse our kids you couldn’t be further from the truth.

    • Sheila … please do not tell me what I do or do not know, and for the rest of you WOW look at you and your attacks on people’s Grammer (and then of course you want us to overlook your snowflakes little short comings) and you wonder why Noone wants to come running to support your seemingly unending requests for changes to adopt to your children. You should not attack others for their opinions just because you may not agree, isn’t that what you are asking to NOT be done to your precious little snowflakes?

      Polite, justice, respect and mature? Where are these perfect little role models when I tour the many facilities that attempt to address the educational needs of these brilliant children? Get a grip, they are still children and they act (act out) like any other child does. I think the greatest obstacle most of these children have is their own parents, stop thinking and speaking for them, rather give them the access and freedom to explore their own way of obtaining the knowledge that THEY thirst for. Have you no faith in your own kids?

      As far as my children go, They are no longer adolescents anymore, we already faced AND conquered all that comes with having an exceptional talent, without complaining about it or asking the world to adjust to our situation. There was no such thing as a website blog to refer to, whine on or support or blast other parents for their beliefs. For that I think we were better off because we had the opportunity to decipher what worked best for us. Please keep in mind that I was involved in that process I did not pass them off and expect others to figure out or financially support the means in which they reached their potential. Futhermore, if I would of had to rely on other parents with children like mine to guide me in my quest it would of been a lose-lose situation, you cannot help those who are unwilling to help themselves, and I do not see your special group even attempting to help yourself but rather “advocating” for others to do it for you.

      Let’s get back to what this post was originally about which is “being to smart for your own good”, how many of you parents have ever felt that YOU were to smart for your own good? If you were being honest, you would of answered “yes”. Now here is your challenge, take to the streets and ask that same question to ten other people (young or old, it does not matter) tally your results and come back and report your findings. I wonder how many people you will find that has not felt that way. So my point is … this is NOT a characteristic that is unique to just our precious little snowflakes of the world, and THAT is what the blog was about.

      GET UP, GET GOING, STOP WHINING AND PLACE THAT WASTED ENERGY INTO ADVANCING YOUR OWN CHILDS KNOWLEDGE, unless you are to lazy to do so, in which case you should be attending parenting classes instead of surfing the net.

      Once again, you have all done a great job in determining what issues deserve our attention and which do not. When is the last time any of you whiners helped another childrens charity, at least I attempt to help out equally across the board. Brings to mind all the parents I had the PLEASURE of working with at the Children’s Hospital Network, They dream that their child will see the next day and are grateful when the next day comes so they may dream for another, you do not hold a candle to these parents, and would be humbled if you ever ventured past your self-absorbed world to meet them. Your children would benefit as well from meeting their precious little ones, Where a donation of a book or art supplies to their playrooms will invoke the brightest smile you have ever seen. Do they expect the WHOLE book store or ALL the supplies from the art store, not these precious angels they appreciate the smallest of gestures that come their way as do their parents.

      I would not expect any of you to go out of your way to help out any other childrens plight but your own, but if you find it in your heart to do so, donate your money, books (they can be used), toys, stuffed animal or gift cards so the parents can grab a little something to eat during their hospital stay, in the name of “gifted” children. Until then, please refrain from attacking those of us that do attempt, as unappreciated as it is, to give to your charity. Excitedly awaiting to see how big your hearts are, anticipating the delight in the precious little angels eyes to play with something your precious little child has outgrown years ago.

  3. And I should also mention that these children are very polite, have a strong sense of justice and a great respect for authority as they are normally mature beyond their years in many ways. You will also find that they are very helpful in providing the correct information when the information provided is incorrect. This is normally only frowned upon when another individual feels threatened by their knowledge.

    • When are you going to realize the secret to your kids success is understanding how they process information and then capitalizing on it. The only difference between a “gifted” (ugh, my kids would admonish me for using that word, they feel it makes them sound like some Christmas present, lol) child and other children is that their brains are wired differently. That is how simple this is, PERIOD.

      I find it odd that my children did not “suffer” from not having the entire school system revamped to fit their needs. They knew they were brilliant and found ways to excel without being pulled out of class and paraded around the school while they were being shuttled off to participate in some special event that the other kids were not allowed to do. Hence, my children had friends and we’re not resented. They did NOT correct adults because they knew that would not set well with me. Opps, and they were in the top 2 percentile, so get of your high horse about that one.

      A “gifted” child is not a saint as you so well describe them to be. They lack in social skills which hampers their ability to be “mature beyond their years”, they struggle with respect because they often think they are smarter then the adults around them, sense of justice equates to fairness, everyone thinks things are fair if it is going in their favor and polite come with a child’s upbringing along with respect.

      The struggle is yours, you are creating it so you can deal with it. I found the solution for my kids, now the ball is in your court, but in your case you get alot more hand holding then in mine. I didn’t wait for society to put in place avenues for my children to excel, rather I forged ahead and created the path for them to be the best that they could be. In situations like this you have only yourself to depend on, noone else loves your child as you do, show them that love by being an instrument in their journey to success, never depend on someone else to do it for you.

      If I could do it, as stupid as I am as the lovely Leigh pointed out, then you can do it as well. It’s alot of hard work, but trust me your child is worth it.

      Now I will leave you all to waller around in figuring out how to address your pressing issues. I gave you the answer, what you choose to do with the information is up to you. I bet your kids would be able to process it, who better knows their unique learning style but themselves. Have faith in your kids – they may surprise you on how well that can apply my PROVEN method in their quest to be the best.

      I now need to devote my time on another issue that touches my heart, women and children of domestic violence, trust me their issues ARE real and not as simple to conquer as yours. These children and their moms are not worrying about equality, they worry if they ever will have a day without having to face fear, so ltitle to ask yet so hard to provide. Bless their hearts.

      HAPPY PARENTING TO YOU ALL AND GOOD LUCK!

  4. I was labeled “gifted” as a child, and I can very much identify with everything in this article. I really tried hard to be respectful to my peers so that they wouldn’t feel stupid around me, but my efforts didn’t always work. Sometimes it would take only one large vocabulary word to make them feel like I was putting them down on purpose. This caused them to bully me terribly, and I didn’t enjoy it at all. Does that make me a snowflake? I would suggest that the others – who were so offended by multi-syllable words that they resorted to calling me names – are the snowflakes. Why are large vocabulary words seen as threatening and aggressive but outright name-calling is acceptable?

    That was in 5th grade. My the time I was in 9th grade, I had learned that my encyclopedic knowledge was not appreciated and that I should keep it to myself. People are always saying, “be true to yourself,” but they don’t really mean it.

    • Hi Beth,

      The verbally gifted seem to receive the brunt of the negativity by people who are offended by the use of an advanced vocabulary. One of my sons experienced this–trying to help him tone (dumb) down his vocabulary was like trying to keep him from breathing–it was who he was. How ridiculous to find myself telling him, “stop using big words around your friends or they will not like you.”

      I’m sorry you experienced bullying and name-calling simply because you were gifted. There is a lot of misunderstanding and ill feelings towards children and adults who have above-average intelligence.

      Yet, our children should not feel like they should hide who they are for fear of envy and bullying by those who are envious or feel threatened. Every child should feel free to be who they were born to be, to be true to themselves, without fear of discrimination and negative attitudes. You are right, the real snowflakes are those who expect gifted children to tone down their natural intellect because it offends them or makes them feel inferior or envious.

      Thank you for sharing a little bit of your experience as a gifted child. Sadly, your story happens too often to gifted children. I hope you are ignoring those negative people and are being true to yourself!

      Thanks, Beth!

    • Dear Beth,

      A snowflake is unique there are no two that are exactly alike, just like children. A snowflake is also white in color which can represent the innocence of a child. That is why children are referred to as snowflakes. There is nothing bad about being a snowflake – it just means you are a kid and innocent and pure.

      Adults cannot be snowflakes, unfortunately, as we loose our innocence as we grow.

      This site likes to twist things like the word snowflake among many other things, don’t let it confuse you – honestly they obviously haven’t a clue where the word snowflake comes from when referring to a child.

  5. JustSayin,

    Your comment provides a great example of the problem gifted children face.

    We want you to understand this article and we are trying our best to explain it, but we are speaking at a level much higher than your mind’s natural ability to evaluate and analyze information.

    So like the frustrated gifted child, we will soon give up our efforts to explain it to you. Maybe we are too “smart” on this topic, for our own good.

  6. As an EG-range gifted child and now an adult, JustSayin’s thinking is the bane of my life. Everyone likes (and takes pride in) what they know and act upon (gifted included) and deviants (gifted included) disrupt expectations and should conform (be seen and not heard, while doing great stuff) instead. (Gifted individuals, therefore, should both be like everyone else and produce fantastic things at the same time, or they’re socially offensive and disrespecting everyone else.) Unfortunately, the gifted need a harder workout to develop “normally” like everyone else and do fantastic things like non-gifted folk expect. (No one else is expected to do everything with nothing, nor given the “torches and pitchforks” treatment when they complain about it.) In short: Upset folk because they “don’t know what to expect,” or anger them (you’re “arrogant” and “think you’re better than everyone else” when you inform; you’ll either have to be something you’re not or leave in order to resolve the conflict. People reason emotionally and justify that however they can make fit; you’re a mortal enemy to be driven out or destroyed (personally rude and offensive to them) if you go against that presenting them something they only half-way know or don’t understand. (Go ahead, blame gifted folk for both wanting “special treatment” and not curing cancer yet, while declaring we must “be tolerant of individual differences” so they need to “take others’ perspective” but still “be confident and blow your own horn, because nobody else will,” at the same time… school or work, doesn’t matter; it’s dismissive, making sense has no functional place in this.) Usually, the only way to beat this is to have some authority dictate– force folk to stop and consider (like happened after Sputnik)– that gifted talent is valuable and so is its cultivation.

    • Exactly–“I disapprove of gifted kids getting ‘more’, and I dislike their pushy parents, but if I need heart surgery, I will certainly look for a gifted surgeon”…who hopefully received the ‘more’ he needed to get to medical school and beyond.

      You are exactly right.

      • Wow, so what you are saying Celi is, if a doctor is not gifted they are not good even though they all went to college for a long time to earn their degree. Damn, busy right now creating a quiz for my docs to take, I need to weed those bad ones out. Thanks for the heads up, should I submit the quiz to the AMA?

        Better yet, before I receive services from any trade I better quiz them, cuz apparently only the gifted can provide quality services.

        • You want something for nothing, comrade. One must invest to expect a return; otherwise, it’s theft.

    • What? You mean cancer has not been cured? Thought i read it had been on some website although i do not recall which category of people they attributed the cure to, got peeps hanging out in both groups so i’m not keeping score. I’ve got to stop reading these websites that report invalid information.

      But seriously, you’re posting on yesterday’s news, your a day late and a dollar short. The OP was about “being too smart for your own good”. Then it spun off into all kinds of craziness because I chose to disagree. Thank God I live in American where people are still entitled to their opinion and can exercise their freedom of speech.

      So sorry to hear your life journeys were such a bummer but there is always tomarrow!

      XX’s and OO’s

  7. Celi, I applaud your restraint amid some of these comments. I am not going to respond to comments that attempted to hijack this post. Instead, I want to let you know that I appreciate your description of what these children face and your unwavering advocacy for what they need.

    • Thank you, Gail.

      I know that there are people who will never understand that gifted children do have educational, emotional and social needs which are horribly neglected because of those who feel they already have too much. Teachers like me, parents of gifted children and mental health professionals such as you know the struggles our gifted children have–thank you for all of your advocacy for gifted children and sharing your professional knowledge of our gifted children. You have greatly helped so many of us!

  8. I approve nearly all comments as long as they contribute to a conversation about giftedness. I believe everyone has an opinion and is free to speak it as long as there are no personal attacks because that does not contribute to a productive conversation.

    Many bloggers are much more heavy-handed when deciding which comments are approved and which ones are not–some don’t approve any comment which is negative or disagrees with their personal views. I believe my site should be a place where all can speak their mind and it is not my place to censor others’ ideas and opinions.

    I am going to stop approving comments for this post simply because I think there is no possibility of the above conversation being productive or helpful.

    I truly do appreciate everyone voicing their opinions even if they don’t agree with me, and even if they vehemently don’t agree with me and my writing, but I think it is time for this thread to come to an end.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and opinions.

  9. Too smart for my own good….

    My step-parents used to joke about taking an axe, and using it to lobotomize me, in order to make me “normal”.

    Nobody is too smart for their own good. Some people are too hateful for their own good, and everyone else’s good for that matter.

  10. Hello all. It was very interesting reading the comments above. Some were very informative where as others were unreal. I was hoping I could ask a question for I am unclear as what steps I should take. I am a young mother of one bright little 6 year old boy. I believe I am smart, though I have bad grammar (English being my second language), but I would not consider myself “gifted”. Back to my question, I believe my son fits the criteria though I am not sure for it is most likely beyond my scope. He is at the top of his class even though it is only kindergarten he tells me often he is bored. He tells me he doesn’t like that the teacher has to repeat herself over and over before the other kids understand. Many people describe him as an “old soul”. He is full of compassion and respect but can be gullable to “fit in”. He has acted out in school (minor things) and has changed greatly since being in the school system. He smiles less and isnt his usual bubbly self. I worry he maybe pushed under the rug per say. There is so much information on the Internet of conflicting views that I have no clue where to turn. Of course every parent sees their child with bias, but I think it’s much deeper. I hope I’m not trampled by my comment. I just hope for opinions and possibly direction.

    Thank you in advance.

    • Samantha,

      You are right, your son does have some of the characteristics of giftedness. Here are a few websites with very good information and resources for you to check out:

      Gifted Homeschoolers Forum (tons of resources on giftedness,don’t have to homeschool)
      Hoagies Gifted Education Page
      SENG–Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted

      Read and learn all that you can, and request your child’s school to test him for giftedness. You can also get a private evaluation by a psychologist who specializes in children, especially gifted children. It is better to know if your child is gifted earlier rather than later.

      Good luck and keep in touch!

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