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‘Average’ kids


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#26 **Xena**

Posted 23 June 2019 - 04:51 PM

I worry sometimes about my middle son comparing himself to his older brother and younger sister who are both academically high achievers and fast runners so usually selected for LSSSA teams. I hope he never feels inadequate and I worry about it sometimes. He is lovely and sweet and has goals though that should be well achievable for him so I know he will be fine. I'm just as proud of him as my other two, sometimes more so because he has to work that extra bit harder :)

Edited by **Xena**, 23 June 2019 - 09:15 PM.


#27 Dianalynch

Posted 23 June 2019 - 05:03 PM

We’ve got a kid who is a total maths freak, seriously gifted. It’s really tough to accommodate him at school, they’re trying their best but it’s not enough for him. He comes home upset most days because the work is so easy. And that’s the differentiated program. He gets very emotional and takes it out on us. I feel so sad for him.

I work with him every day on maths before and after school so he gets his maths hit. Dh plays countless games of chess. We don’t know what we’re going to do in future, because there isn’t a single mainstream school we’ve found that can accommodate him, public or private. Their acceleration programs just look funny when you’ve got a prep kid already sailing through grade 4 maths.

And we sure as hell can’t talk or complain about it, because we’d be lynched. And that’s fair enough, because it’s not really a problem. It’s certainly not a problem compared with real difficulties many kids face, like disability or illness. It’s just different.

So I’m not sure op, gifted or average, I’d say both have their ups and downs. On balance I’d say neither is that important, whereas health, well that’s what really matters.

#28 TwinkyBear

Posted 23 June 2019 - 05:14 PM

Ha ha! Mine are bog standard average. What I find more frustrating is that they have no drive or passion. You can ask them what extra curricular they want to do and it's, "Hmmm, I don't mind." I think they're trying to be polite? It drives me mental.

#29 gracie1978

Posted 23 June 2019 - 05:17 PM

Sounds like you're doing a great job OP.

If it makes you feel any better I went to a school full of tiger Mum's.

Pretty much all those girls have anxiety disorders, one never recovered from a breakdown, multiple eating disorders, alcoholism etc.

Two out of 50 are doing great.

Average sounds happier to me.

#30 Octopodes

Posted 23 June 2019 - 05:18 PM

View PostDianalynch, on 23 June 2019 - 05:03 PM, said:

We’ve got a kid who is a total maths freak, seriously gifted. It’s really tough to accommodate him at school, they’re trying their best but it’s not enough for him. He comes home upset most days because the work is so easy. And that’s the differentiated program. He gets very emotional and takes it out on us. I feel so sad for him.

I work with him every day on maths before and after school so he gets his maths hit. Dh plays countless games of chess. We don’t know what we’re going to do in future, because there isn’t a single mainstream school we’ve found that can accommodate him, public or private. Their acceleration programs just look funny when you’ve got a prep kid already sailing through grade 4 maths.

And we sure as hell can’t talk or complain about it, because we’d be lynched. And that’s fair enough, because it’s not really a problem. It’s certainly not a problem compared with real difficulties many kids face, like disability or illness. It’s just different.

So I’m not sure op, gifted or average, I’d say both have their ups and downs. On balance I’d say neither is that important, whereas health, well that’s what really matters.
Music has been the answer for my gifted maths lover. He spends his lessons learning university level music theory. It has given him a new outlet so that my brain gets a rest from trying to keep up with him. There is no way school alone could keep him satisfied. We do a lot of extra activities/outings to keep him stimulated. It keeps his behaviour at school in check because he is less frustrated.

#31 just roses

Posted 23 June 2019 - 05:27 PM

Mine are average, too. I don't care. DH sometimes cares and worries that we haven't done enough to identify the sports that they could potentially be great at (or, he says, 'represent Australia in' Ha). I say, DD loves ballet. She's good at it (if not a prodigy) and DS loves swimming. Sure, he might not be built to be a champion swimmer, but he's good at it, it's a life skill and he loves it. I say that's a great combination. DS is average at piano, too. But he really enjoys it now he has a teacher who agrees that 'scales are boring' and is teaching him to play movie scores. Report cards are good, not amazing. But they're happy, healthy and learning.

Most important to me, my kids are kind. If people comment on them about anything, it's that they're both deeply compassionate kids, good friends and have empathy for miles.

My brothers and I weren't brilliant or gifted, but we had a dad who worked hard to identify what we loved and were good at and helped steer us in the direction of things that would make us happy. The end result of that is that all three of us went off to uni with a clear direction and all these years later, we're still in the careers we identified as teenagers, as ones that would fulfill us. So that's what I want for my kids. That they'll work out what makes them tick, what makes them happy and that I can support them to have as clear a run to their goals as possible.

#32 Jenflea

Posted 23 June 2019 - 05:36 PM

Not everyone can be a brilliant prodigy.
Not everyone can cure cancer or represent their country in  a sport.
The world will ALWAYS need average people who plug along in their jobs, getting shirt done, keeping the world running.

I don't care if DD is average, I DO care if she's happy, polite, and able to stand up for herself in life.

And no one knows what's going on in the day to day of these kids, the anxiety, the nightmares or whatever. We only get to see the best things.

#33 José

Posted 23 June 2019 - 05:37 PM

as others have said there could be stories behind the snapshots of success, eg the selective school they got into means excessive travel to and from school, the elite sport has meant too many early mornings or sacrifices due to cost, the ribbon they are proudly displaying was given to everyone etc etc

of course parents want the best for their kids.  I think you can have a rich, full and meaningful life without being supremely gifted in some way.

#34 WannabeMasterchef

Posted 23 June 2019 - 05:57 PM

View PostBornToLove, on 23 June 2019 - 02:38 PM, said:

One of DD’s closest friends is super gifted - top of the class, plays several instruments, does dance etc. Very talented kid.

Anyways, one term the girls happen to have swim classes at the same time. DD is a good 3-4 levels above her friend, overall advanced for her age. Her mum was very impressed with how well my DD swims. She said to me, she wished her kids were decent swimmers as she feels it’s a life skill more important than music and dance classes she has them in.

I guess what I’m saying is that it works both ways. I know my DD isn’t competitive so moving up to more intensive level of sports just isn’t her thing. But she’s quite artistic and I have been encouraging her to explore her talents there.

This is a great post!  I think most people have their thing and its what makes us unique and special.

Sometimes the thing might be non-obvious as well. For example my friends son has an encyclopedic knowledge of movies and knows all about the actors, directors, screenwriters etc. He has a great memory and Its really entertaining to listen to him talk about it. But you wouldn't necessarily hear that on FB or in the school newsletter.

#35 jayskette

Posted 23 June 2019 - 06:05 PM

I think we need to differentrate between truly gifted kids and the hard working kids with goals.

#36 27plus

Posted 23 June 2019 - 06:06 PM

View Post3rd time lucky, on 23 June 2019 - 03:49 PM, said:

Public school, but I guess it’s a suburb which due to rising house prices would now be considered middle to upper class...

Avocado tree - mine don’t ride bikes either!!! I’ve tried- they seem to lack the will and coordination

What you all say makes perfect sense. And I love my kids as they are, and am grateful for their health and easy ness.

Like I said, just musing...

Average is very lucky really.

My son is 30. He still does not know how to ride a bike. Never could learn how. However it never held him back.  He just used to run next to this friends on bikes (which was handy for soccer).

#37 just roses

Posted 23 June 2019 - 06:09 PM

View PostDianalynch, on 23 June 2019 - 05:03 PM, said:

I work with him every day on maths before and after school so he gets his maths hit. Dh plays countless games of chess. We don’t know what we’re going to do in future, because there isn’t a single mainstream school we’ve found that can accommodate him, public or private. Their acceleration programs just look funny when you’ve got a prep kid already sailing through grade 4 maths.
Is he at a P-12 school, by any chance?

Back when my DS was in year one, one of his peers was in the same position. Seriously gifted but incredibly frustrated. She was accelerated but it wasn't enough.

So the school put her in year 10 science. Possibly maths too? I can't remember. But definitely science. And it absolutely worked for her. Those year 10 kids weren't her social peers (and didn't need to be because she was still with her same-age peers most of the time), but they were the right match for her educationally. Her mum told me it was an absolute godsend.

#38 halcyondays

Posted 23 June 2019 - 06:29 PM

I keep getting asked by work colleagues why I’m not sending my kid to the selective school- and the answer is the kid is not that bright.

#39 eliza_non

Posted 23 June 2019 - 07:02 PM

Take a lot of the achievements with a grain of salt. Fir example, at our school, there is a ‘captain’ role for nearly everyone. School captain, band captain, choir captain, class captain, sport captain, debating team captain, student rep council. This includes a male and female captain and vice captain roles.

My daughter recently won a silver music award at a local interschool competition. There were only two entrants in that category. Lol.

EFS

Edited by eliza_non, 23 June 2019 - 07:09 PM.


#40 Dianalynch

Posted 23 June 2019 - 07:25 PM

View Postjust roses, on 23 June 2019 - 06:09 PM, said:


Is he at a P-12 school, by any chance?

Back when my DS was in year one, one of his peers was in the same position. Seriously gifted but incredibly frustrated. She was accelerated but it wasn't enough.

So the school put her in year 10 science. Possibly maths too? I can't remember. But definitely science. And it absolutely worked for her. Those year 10 kids weren't her social peers (and didn't need to be because she was still with her same-age peers most of the time), but they were the right match for her educationally. Her mum told me it was an absolute godsend.

Unfortunately not at a k-12, it’s a prep - 6 primary school. We’ve discussed with the school that he could do maths at the high school when he finishes up about grade 8 or 9 (which is about as high as the primary school can take him) and when he needs it we can enrol him part time at a uni. It seems ridiculous thinking about uni when he’s 5, but on his current rate it will come up quickly.

What you’ve described would be wonderful. Both the kid and Mum would have been so relieved!

#41 Majeix

Posted 23 June 2019 - 07:32 PM

I get you op! For me it’s not so much what the other parents are posting on fb or the like. It’s when my kid comes to me and shows me a dance routine and thinks she’s brilliant and a natural talent. I could do this for the talent show right? I have to bite my tongue because um you are amazing, (smart, unique, empathetic  etc etc) but seriously you did a term of dance at four years old  and didn’t want to continue; your more co-ordinated then the rest of the family but the standards not high...Or when my square peg round hole kid (anxiety, sensory processing etc) suggests her little  sister could go on one of those “game shows” or whatever...
We are taught to tell our kids they are amazing and can do anything they want. How do we balance reality and well protecting them; with your amazing and you can do anything, within a world of amazing natural talent and parents who have fostered that talent etc.
I just remind myself that I was a child without amazing talents (and slightly quirky) found my niche (mostly) and thrived. I praise achievements for kindness and empathy or hard work and know ok they are not going to win gold medals at the Olympic; but they are (hopefully) going to be nice adults who will hopefully find what not just makes them happy but they will feel they shine because of their unique and multiple strengths. There are multiple ways of defining achievements and hopefully for our children (and the others) it’s long term and includes happiness and empathy.

#42 JoanJett

Posted 23 June 2019 - 07:35 PM

OP, I cannot tell you the number of times my husband and I have discussed the challenges our "twice exceptional" (highly gifted, ADHD and effectively a learning disability to boot) child faces daily and will face for the rest of his life, let alone the challenges we face as parents on a daily basis.  Very often we have wished for "ordinary", or what you call average.  It can be heartbreaking.

The fact is, that it's not "average" to be socially well adjusted and adapted.  It's not "average" to have emotional maturity.  It's a skillset you don't notice when you don't know the difference.   And it's probably a better predictor of your child managing a happy and fulfilling life long term than IQ or "giftedness" in a primary school setting.

Enjoy your kids.  Embrace what makes them the wonderful individuals they are.  I know plenty of people who were "average" kids who bloomed later in life and found a way to embrace their interests and passions and are now literally world leaders in their fields.

I hate cliches, but the truism of them speaks:  it's not a race but a marathon.

#43 28 Barbary Lane

Posted 23 June 2019 - 07:42 PM

I loved it when our kids’ teacher was like “don’t worry genius is the new normal”. I think she nailed it, in regards to the expectation nowadays at least.

My kids are very completely awesome but TBH completely average.I just try and keep life as simple as possible, keep our eyes open for anything “exceptional” that could be built on and follow their interests as much as we can.  

I loved what PP said about most people are just normal people, doing sh*t day in and day out to keep us functioning. That’s me 100%. I don’t have any delusions about being above average myself, however I’m pretty good at making the most out my opportunities and that’s a skill you can build on no matter what your “genius” level is.

#44 Manicmum

Posted 23 June 2019 - 07:47 PM

OP, parents with gifted kids often do a lot of activities so they can cope with the children... gifted kids are exhausting. Think of it as therapy.

Facebook is all about everyone being fabulous, it’s not reality.

#45 MarciaB

Posted 23 June 2019 - 07:48 PM

View PostDianalynch, on 23 June 2019 - 05:03 PM, said:

We’ve got a kid who is a total maths freak, seriously gifted. It’s really tough to accommodate him at school, they’re trying their best but it’s not enough for him. He comes home upset most days because the work is so easy. And that’s the differentiated program. He gets very emotional and takes it out on us. I feel so sad for him.

I work with him every day on maths before and after school so he gets his maths hit. Dh plays countless games of chess. We don’t know what we’re going to do in future, because there isn’t a single mainstream school we’ve found that can accommodate him, public or private. Their acceleration programs just look funny when you’ve got a prep kid already sailing through grade 4 maths.

And we sure as hell can’t talk or complain about it, because we’d be lynched. And that’s fair enough, because it’s not really a problem. It’s certainly not a problem compared with real difficulties many kids face, like disability or illness. It’s just different.

So I’m not sure op, gifted or average, I’d say both have their ups and downs. On balance I’d say neither is that important, whereas health, well that’s what really matters.

My nephew attended high school math classes from Year 3 ( NSW public primary). It is possible.

OP just politely clap the Facebook brags. Most kids are average ( by definition) and with all the challenges our teens face, our number one priority must be mental health. If that is under control we are winning :).

#46 Ozquoll

Posted 23 June 2019 - 07:57 PM

View PostJoanJett, on 23 June 2019 - 07:35 PM, said:

The fact is, that it's not "average" to be socially well adjusted and adapted.  It's not "average" to have emotional maturity.  It's a skillset you don't notice when you don't know the difference.   And it's probably a better predictor of your child managing a happy and fulfilling life long term than IQ or "giftedness" in a primary school setting.
This whole post resonated with me, particularly the first sentence quoted above. I have autism. I would probably have been put in the gifted stream if my primary school had had one. I would swap quite a few IQ points to be socially well-adjusted. I’d swap a few more to be good at athletics or a creative art - I suck at all of them! Average sounds pretty good to me.

#47 Octopodes

Posted 23 June 2019 - 07:59 PM

View PostNo Drama Please, on 23 June 2019 - 07:42 PM, said:

I loved it when our kids’ teacher was like “don’t worry genius is the new normal”. I think she nailed it, in regards to the expectation nowadays at least.

My kids are very completely awesome but TBH completely average.I just try and keep life as simple as possible, keep our eyes open for anything “exceptional” that could be built on and follow their interests as much as we can.  

I loved what PP said about most people are just normal people, doing sh*t day in and day out to keep us functioning. That’s me 100%. I don’t have any delusions about being above average myself, however I’m pretty good at making the most out my opportunities and that’s a skill you can build on no matter what your “genius” level is.
Geeze this attitude p*sses me off. It completely undermines how hard it can be to be a genuinely gifted child in a mainstream school. Being gifted isn't some golden ticket to an easy childhood. It has challenges and frustrations and these children are just as misunderstood as kids with learning and developmental disorders are.

#48 But seriously

Posted 23 June 2019 - 08:05 PM

View PostOctopodes, on 23 June 2019 - 07:59 PM, said:

Geeze this attitude p*sses me off. It completely undermines how hard it can be to be a genuinely gifted child in a mainstream school. Being gifted isn't some golden ticket to an easy childhood. It has challenges and frustrations and these children are just as misunderstood as kids with learning and developmental disorders are.

They might be just as misunderstood but to compare their challenges to a child with real disability is offensive. One has great opportunity - with some extra effort by parents and teachers, the other isn't. Those of us in the intellectual disability category live in a world you couldn't fathom.

#49 ~J_WTF~

Posted 23 June 2019 - 08:12 PM

View PostBut seriously, on 23 June 2019 - 08:05 PM, said:



They might be just as misunderstood but to compare their challenges to a child with real disability is offensive. One has great opportunity - with some extra effort by parents and teachers, the other isn't. Those of us in the intellectual disability category live in a world you couldn't fathom.

Considering octopades DS has special needs, she probably fathoms it quite well!

#50 Prancer is coming

Posted 23 June 2019 - 08:16 PM

My kid who just fits the school’s definition of gifted also has ADHD and a learning disability.  He was actually failing school before everything was diagnosed which I think was even more frustrating for him when he had fantastic knowledge of the work, but did not have the skills to concentrate or get his knowledge on paper.  He is doing well now, but I don’t know if he will ever reach his full potential.  And he is odd and sometimes struggles socially.

My kids do some good things, but in the scheme of things they are not topping the state in anything or making state teams.  But I am really proud of their achievements, particularly for each individual kid factoring the other stuff going on on their lives.  I like posting stuff they are doing on Facebook as lots of family keep in touch with us that way and it is a nice record of achievements.  I do wonder if it comes off like bragging and I don’t know what I would share if I wasn’t sharing the high points, as I am sure no one wants to know about my kid going hyper, the level of noise in the house or the amount of things lost this week.




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