How I Respond to Awkward Comments About My Child’s Giftedness

Volume 6

Strangers and family members alike sometimes say offensive, confusing or awkward things to parents when the subject of giftedness comes up. This is how I have handled actual comments people have made to me about one or the other of my sons these past few years.

“Why did your son skip a grade?”

“He was ready.”

“So how smart is he?”

“He requires a different educational approach in order to be appropriately challenged in school.”

“He doesn’t seem that smart…clearly, he’s no genius.”

“Thank you. We work hard to help him develop the social skills he needs to fit in with other children his age.”

“All kids are gifted.”

“You’re right…all kids have gifts. “Gifted” is the word used to describe a particular subset of children who have IQs that are one or more standard deviations from the norm and who are asynchronous in their development.”

“Why are you homeschooling him?”

“So he can learn at his own pace.”

“We don’t push our child…they are only kids once.”

“We don’t push ours either…he pulls us in the direction where he wants to go.”

“Grade skipping hurts kids socially.”

“That is a widely held belief but actually the research shows that grade skipping benefits the majority of children who are ready for it.”

“I was shocked to hear that your son is in the gifted program” (said about my 2e child)

“There are many children who are gifted and who also have another exceptionality such as ADHD or a learning disability. It’s more common than you might think.”

What are some of the awkward comments people have made to you about your gifted child? Share on the Facebook page @Raising Children with Intelligence.