3rd Posting: Ch 6 speaks of the sensitivity of gifted individuals, as well as intense perfectionism. I love page 121: The characteristics of a gifted child cannot be removed, they are an integral part of that child. When these characteristics are criticized by others and portrayed as negative, gifted children learn to hide their giftedness, which is a great cost to the child.I believe it is a great cost to society, to families, to schools and communities as well. I can see the flickers of hurt when others say negative comments about abilities...I try to get students together, asking each other questions until they find what they do have in common. Today I then had them face each other, and admit, that as different as they are, they both have things in common. Both girls were very pretty in very different ways, both are so smart, and both like the same television shows. While gifted children can be the recipient of hurt, they also can be the aggressors. With their outstanding vocabulary and imagination, they can run "ammuck". I have to be careful in my classroom, and with those children in my family, that I see the whole picture of any incident.
Throughout my years of experience with gifted people in my family and with my gifted students, I see so many characteristics of the gifted described on chapter 6 (some of which I feel personally identified with). Among them are:-Gifted people tend to believe they should be capable to handle any situation or challenge and are reluctant to ask for help (page 117).-Sometimes gifted people become paralyzed by situations they perceive as difficult to succeed at, due to their perfectionism and to their fear of failure (page 118).- Gifted children get intimidated and frustrated when they encounter significant stress in academic settings; sometimes they give up on the challenge and see themselves as a failure (page 130).- Perfectionist and idealist children expect the world to be perfect too. They find difficult to tolerate imperfections and to accept the "faults" of the society. They feel and intense drive to make changes (page 123).- The perfectionist gifted feels guilty, lazy and selfish if he is not working on meaningful task full tim(page 125). They tend to become overachievers (page 126) at the cost of their personal relationships and their own well being.-Gifted children tend to take on more than what they can actually handle. Their perfectionism leads them to guilt when they cannot follow through their commitments up to their standards. They have a hard time saying "no" (page 142).- The perfectionist gifted tends to focus on the only one imperfection on their own work instead of focusing in their achievements and positives (page 133).
Response to Melanie:I agree with you that leading gifted children to hide their giftedness because is being criticized not only hurts the child but our entire society. Coming from a culture where “being bright” is celebrated, promoted and admired not only by adults but also by peers; I can see the damage that the criticism of giftedness does in our public school system. It's really sad how a gifted child is bullied and put down because of his/her gifts and how that social behavior keeps an entire classroom from raising the bar and self-improving, ultimately hurting the entire educational system and our society.
On page 125, the traits of perfectionism are described. I could name many GT students I currently have, and have had in the past, who are perfectionists. I try to help them relax their perfectionism a bit so they aren't so stressed out. I'll tell them an 89.5 is the same as a 100 when it comes to GPA, but they still insist that a 95 isn't good enough.
@AlvaradoO: I completely agree that they tend to focus on an imperfection more than their achievements. Some can mistake this for humility, which is a positive trait, but in gifted kids it can be a sign of perfectionism, which isn't always a good thing.
I have had many students with Asynchronous Development. Specially as described on pg. 122 about the difference between emotional and intellectual maturity. They can easily read and understand complex academic content, but they will interpret that knowledge with the maturity level they currently have. So I have had some very interesting and sometimes funny examples of how they interpret that content.
On pg 123 it describes the traits of Idealism and Perfectionism. "Gifted children often envision ideal behaviors, performances, and settings-for themselves, for soceity, and even for the world. They can see the potential, but they also clearly see how they are missing the mark or how society falls short." I had a group of gifted children a few years ago and I remember that they were always correcting others and myself. The would interrupt my lesson to tell me that I forgot to cross my t or dot my i. I was talking with the GT coordinator on our campus and we both had a good laugh at how they feel the need to correct your simple mistakes and she told me that she has a "oops" box. She took an "oops all berries" cereal box and told her GT students that rather than interrupt the lesson to point out the teachers mistake to write it down and place it in the box for her to read later. She said she found that it took the pressure off of the students need to correct, it let them get it off of their chest and move on to the task at hand. I thought it was a good way to let the students be themselves but in an appropriate way.
Response to David: I think the experience you share is a perfect example of the tendency of gifted children to look at the negative instead of the positive. Even though that extreme perfectionism might not be a healthy trait, I think there is a positive side to it and that is that your gifted students are intrinsically motivated and that is always a good thing.
To Dave A: I have also met many perfectionist children, and I like that this book offers different strategies to help them learn how to control themselves and use their gift in a positive and productive way.
Laughing is the best medicine. Pg. 147Relieve tension with humor. Everyone should be able to 1st laugh at oneself and be able to joke around. I like to encourage light hearted humor towards my 3 boys at home. From knock-knock jokes to singing silly songs helps my household. Moving slowly at 1st with GT students until you get to know their humor traits.
Response to Adriana N: I'm glad you mentioned Asynchronous Development. Oh, my, it can be confusing. Today in my class I was amazed that a student who intuitively knows how to solve math problems, is confused about how to draw place value columns. This is the same student who can read everything, but can't remember her password. I need to take into consideration how to retrain her in some areas, and not just assume she is high across the board.
PV: The statement on p. 121, "The characteristics of a gifted child cannot be removed; they are an integral part of that child. When these characteristics are criticized by others and portrayed as negative, gifted children learn to hide their giftedness, which is a great cost to the child." I still recall this teen I knew wherein the parent acknowledged her child as being very intelligent however, neither the parent nor the school seemed to understand his giftedness and were not able to offer appropriate interventions. He felt misunderstood and frustrated and the parent felt overwhelmed.
I liked JB Brown's "oops box." I have a similar student now, who is a correction master! This "Oops " box has provided me with a valuable tool to use in my classroom! Thank you!
Melanie speaks of Gifted being aggressors sometimes. I agree and had a student last year who continually was agressive with his classmates. Using a time out approach, thinking and talking out feelings and why he was acting in this manner seemed to help. Sometimes group type therapy is a great aid in the classroom and students feel comfort in hearing others feelings.