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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Raising Profoundly Gifted Grandchildren

Well, it pretty much sucks.  There you have it folks. Do not ever wish your child was anything more than a delightful normal child. Average is a wonderful thing.

I have two of them. Profoundly Gifted. Guess what? It's not what it is cracked up to be.

11 year old who will graduate SEVENTH grade at age 11. She goes to school and is an A/B student in all Advanced Placement classes. She started school a year early, and then was accelerated a grade. Because she was intellectually bored.  As in a VOID. As in straight A's and starting to act out in class because of boredom.

So did accelerating solve the boredom issue. Yes. It did. But she is now going to school with girls that are 13-15 years old. One is pregnant. My child is not even really into puberty yet.

The other kids make fun of her because she is smaller. They make fun of her because she is less developed. They make fun of her because they can. She is quite pretty, thin, funny and a wonderful child. They make fun of her because she is smarter than they are, and because they get away with it.

Should I have kept her in her grade? Well, I did her mother, and look how THAT turned out! So we decided to let these two go at whatever pace they chose. They both chose to accelerate, with the blessings of the school.

My little tiny 8 year old will graduate FOURTH grade. The other 8 year olds are in 2nd, in some cases 3rd grade. Mine is a straight A student. She will start FIFTH grade the DAY AFTER SHE TURNS 9 years old. Yep, ONE DAY after she turns 9.

They will both graduate high school at or before age 16.

Is this fair to anyone? No. Is there an easy solution? No.

You either keep them in grade, and have issues, or you accelerate them and have issues.

Oh, and you lose all your friends over it too. See, you cannot talk about your children at all to your friends, because their children are normal, everyday, average kids.  And if you try to talk about anything your kids do, they view it as bragging. But, they are allowed to talk about the accomplishment of their children.

We all think that our kids are great, because they ARE great!!


  1. You know, I do understand that are unique struggles with children who are "profoundly gifted." There seem to be SO many various options within the public education system now... is that true in the state you are in? Our regular little public school is starting a charter school next year where grades are not a big consideration....all the kids will work together at their own pace in one room. The bigger the scharter school becomes they will add classes, but I don't think it will ever be segregated by grade level....maybe k-3, 4-6, and so on... but the focus is on kids working together, bringing their talents and skills to the pool of what everyone is working on. It is less obvious who is profoundly gifted and who isn't in that type of environment than a regular classroom.

    Feeling not a part of your peer group is tough.

  2. There is a reason that when our children (or grandchildren) are born that they don't come with instruction manuals! LOL I imagine school is difficult for both of them, but they will succeed because of their desire and when one of them finds the cure for cancer, or HIV or some other horrendous disease; or they become award-winning novelists or human rights advocate, you will know you did the best for them you could. And oh by the way, if they become wonderful mothers to children of their own, you will be just as proud of that! And I admit, I have to work really really hard to listen to other parents in my circle tell me about their wonderful children without reacting negatively! I get jealous sometimes...but it is my problem to deal with, not their problem, so I work on it and I keep asking questions about their kids. Feel free to brag about these awesome children, you deserve it! :)

  3. I have struggled with this issue myself many times. My daughter started school when she was 4. She graduated from HS at the top of her class and as the youngest. She was the last to drive, the last to do anything, yet she hung with the older ones who smoked, did drugs, were pregnant, etc. She was thrown in there really a year too early. What if I had held her back? Would she have turned out differently. Noone knows. We are doing the best as parents, grandparents, we know to do at the time. I am happy for you that the kids are gifted and have an easy time intellectually. You must be so proud!

  4. @Bristol. Funny how that works. My daughter was the profoundly gifted one, and we left her in grade level and did everything all the 'experts' told us to. sigh, I guess deep down, it doesn't matter at all then? Mine turned out a junkie and so did yours, and we both went different roads with a gifted child. It boggles the mind really, and now to have to do it all over again with TWO of them....I am so scared!

  5. @Lisa. I raised so many kids through the years, two profoundly gifted, three badly FAS, the rest normal, and now with the grands, two profoundly gifted, one FAS and one absolutely, marvelously, wonderfully average. The one thing I can tell you is that 90% of the most successful people in the world were average students. They learned early how to struggle and fail and get back up. That is probably the MOST IMPORTANT lesson a child can learn, and one that our junkies did not learn. Almost across the board, our kids never failed at anything. That is Sooooooo Weird!!!!!

  6. @Anette. We have just a regular old school. BUT, they can take college courses simultaneously starting in 9th grade and theoretically anyway, graduate college and high school at the same time. So that is a bonus. 7th grade is the absolute hardest for girls anyway. Her year is almost over, next year will be much easier for her ;)