To find it quite amusing how some people try to make out their average child is a genius?

(220 Posts)
MiketheKnight Mon 26-Nov-12 08:40:59

I've known a couple of people like this over the years but at the moment I have one friend in particular who does this loads, and tries to make everyone else convinced he is too.

I met her at a baby group. There are 8 of us all with DCs the same age (3). I have two older children too. She in convinced her DS is more intelligent than the other children in the group. She often does a round-robin type text to us all saying a question or statement her son is meant to have said, usually involving a very complicated word such as preposterous. And if he asks a question when we are at the group, as many of the 3 year olds do, she starts asking us if we heard his question, and saying what a clever question it was, then she answers questions using a very lengthy reply during which time he has generally walked off to play and doesn't listen anyway. Latest thing is her asking on her Facebook status if anyone knows any private tutors that will tutor a 3 year old as he is apparently marvellously curious about maths and science. And I've never known such a fuss over finding a school for a child. She's talked about nothing else for months and apparently it's far more difficult for her than anyone else as they have to be very careful about where they send their child.

I'd say that he is probably quite average, and very similar to the rest of the children in the group, including my DS. His speech just seems normal for a 3 year old, he walked at the same time as the other children, potty trained at a similar time. I never hear any of these wonderful anecdotes of speech that she writes about in texts when we meet up, and his speech whenever I see him is just the same as the other childrens' speech. He talks well, as they all seem to in the group, but certainly not like a child prodigy.

I know we are all proud of her children and think they are geniuses but she really does cross the line between thinking it and making a bit of an idiot of herself.

LaQueen Wed 28-Nov-12 13:38:27

That's okay seeker I knew it wasn't personally meant for me.

I think it's a lazy teacher who just shunts a clever child up into a higher class.

And, I think you're very wise to try and keep this child in Reception. It doesn't matter how advanced they are intellectually - because emotionally they are still very little children.

Initially, DD2 felt very proud and excited 'to be doing work with the big boys and girls'. But 8/9 year old children (especially boys I found) didn't like having a wee 6 year old little girl trounce them in a maths test, or to be reading harder books.

Not that DD2 was remotely arrogant - she was actually totally in awe of the big boys and girls, and wouldn't have dreamed of saying boo to a goose in the classroom.

LittleBoxes Thu 29-Nov-12 13:59:52

I learnt the hard way never to mention dd's achievements. When she was in Reception (state school), I mentioned quietly, in a 'proud' sort of way rather than a 'boasting' sort of way, to a friend that dd had been put on the G&T register. The friend looked instantly wounded, and said how unfair it was that dd was getting G&T provision but there didn't seem to be any for her ds at his (not state) school. A few weeks later I discovered this friend had phoned DD's school and spoken to the G&T coordinator to ask what extra provision my dd was getting (naming me and her), then used this as ballast for a meeting with the head teacher at her ds's school to demand that her ds got extra work too. Since then, she constantly talks about how clever and talented her ds is, and has had him sit entrance exams for two other (more prestigious) private schools.

Worse still, dd is now not on the G&T register - they decided to take her off it, feeling that the reception teacher was a little overzealous and only did it because dd was an early reader. That's fine with me, but it's annoying that it sent this friend into a frenzy of competitiveness, making things really awkward, when all I wanted to do was modestly share a tiny bit of good news!

I keep my mouth shut now - lesson learnt.

School did that to me in P5, was moved up to P6.

It was a disaster. I vividly remember being taken into an older relatives class to answer a maths question in order to embarrass them that this tiny girl knew the answers and they didn't. That ended well sad

As a result I was always a year younger than everyone else. This eventually resulted in me refusing to take my uni place at Edinburgh because I was only just 16, shit scared of such a grown up place and was still far too young emotionally to leave my comfort zone.

Don't do it, mothers of MN, there's more to life than G&T, there's having a life, for a start wink

(I caught up with higher education eventually but it could have been so much easier)

Whocansay Thu 29-Nov-12 14:45:33

Don't we all do a bit of this occasionally? I remember when my eldest was nearly 2, we were on a long drive and he was having lunch in the car. He was eating a sandwich, but wanted his banana. Dh kept saying "not until you've finished your sandwich". So he dropped it down the side of his seat, and said "all gone!", clearly thinking he'd fooled us. I laughed (probably not an advised parenting strategy!) and was very proud of his clear problem solving abilities. It must be proof of genius? Or maybe not!

Miggsie Thu 29-Nov-12 15:16:13

I think we have been lucky - DD has jumped a year and it has been fantastic for her, she loves it and is still friends with her old class as well as the new one.

When the school suggested it I said no - for the LaQueen reasons, it was DD who said she'd give it a go.
She's enjoying herself enormously, really gets down to the work, her teachers are positive and her new class are quite chuffed she is there because they have now got the "talented" one.
That said, the school is very odd in how it runs - the ethos is to support everyone in all their abilities and to feel glad if one person suceeds as that means the whole class and school suceeds. When there is an inter-school team or competition those not in the team are encouraged to write slogans or songs or do posters to support them, and share and enjoy sucess of others- whether in sport, music or academic stuff.

Sadly the odd competitive parent turns up with their "exceptional" yet "misunderstood" child. You just smile and nod, and generally they move their child on about a year later.

I spent the first few years of motherhood convinced DD was lacking as I had a friend who was convinced her child was a genius and who talked about it with such authority that in my naiivete I thought she was right - that her child was a genius and therefore DD was behind. However, later devlopment is a great leveller and 6 years down the line I can view my DD's abilities realistically compared to her peers.

It is sad if someone twists every situation their child is in to point out their "genius" - even when at playgroup. I've learned to look politely interested and not pursue it.

OP your friend sounds just like my sister! My sister was convinced of her daughters superiority to the point she did her own thread on am I being unreasonable - she was then brutally brought back down to earth smile
She now constantly boosts that her dd is doing so well at 'school' despite the fact her child is 3 and at nursery school slight difference! However I should add my 2 dc's are the real genius' gringrin kidding my ds is far too busy planning world domination and the return of Darth Vader to be a genius and my dd has a bike to ride and friends to see!!

MrsMelons Thu 29-Nov-12 20:22:25

People can be really nasty about children who are above average. I have one fairly average DS2 (YR so guessing he is average) and one who is well above average. I end up being extra careful about DS1 and never say even parents evening was good on FB like everyone else. Its sad that I feel that I need to do that but I guess it is likely that most people who behave like your friend do not actually have gifted children and feel the need to convince everyone that they do.

It was fairly obvious to friends that DS1 was different and as they were my true friends they often pointed stuff out to me about him and were always very kind about it. One friend started to get a bit competitive and made up a few things about her DD but I just don't discuss stuff with her about levels etc. I think if a child is ahead it is generally obvious as they articulate things differently to the average 2 or 3 year old.

We had quite a laugh when one mum put on FB that she 'was really cross that she had her term time holiday 'unauthorised' when her DD was 3 terms ahead in every subject'. I mean why would you put that - on FB so everyone can see!

DS was put up a year last year but in a really small school so it wasn't like completely moving away from his peers. Its just an infant school so he is still in the same class this year. His junior school offered for him to go into Y3 but it is a really small junior school so I don't really think it is the right thing to do as he should be with his peers and they are small enough to differenciate for all 18 children! I am against moving them away from children their own age.

Anna1976 Thu 29-Nov-12 21:04:38

It's important to remember that particular skill sets only work for particular bits of life. Being a genius isn't useful if you can't cross the road and can't relate effectively to those around you, as has been said upthread. Ivory towers these days do not cater for the socially inept, academia is far too overstretched, so it is exceptionally competitive and requires a level of schmoozing and social manipulation that would make Sir Humphrey Appleby look like Rain Man.

I went through school as the socially-unaware aspie genius (with mother alternately trying to have me put up a year or viciously teling me it was because I was a spaz and a social failure that the school didn't put me up a year), hated by all the normal kids and their resentful mothers. I had very few social skills, had no idea how I came across, pissed people off all the time... and while I flew fairly high academically for a while as an adult, I came crashing down due to severe depression and burnout, and aged 36 am now having to start again socially, and am unemployed. Many of the socially inept genius types I met in academia are in a similar position. The socially-aware empathetic geniuses are the ones with successful careers.

The probably equally bright kids I knew in primary school, whose parents emphasized social skills, resilience and hard work, are now fully-functioning happy adults with careers and families. I have neither.

higgyjig Thu 29-Nov-12 22:19:20

lol LaQueen boasting at full force about her average kids under the guise of "poor her being so advanced sad"

higgyjig Thu 29-Nov-12 22:20:02

I've noticed LaQueen boasting about other things (wealth etc) as well though, so it's to be expected.

exoticfruits Thu 29-Nov-12 22:24:40

I find that LaQueen tells things as they are- not everyone is happy with that approach. grin

thebody Thu 29-Nov-12 22:32:13

Well my kids are fantastic.. They never got top marks at school as why would you bother to be the biggest creep in the class..

However when dd 12 was badly injured in feb her older bro had his 21st birthday party cancelled as we dealt with her injuries and the attention of the media

Her even older brother travelled home to be there for his sister and us and dealt with calls from relations, friends and supported us all.

We never had 'work in the wall' but we got the jackpot with our babies.

thebody Thu 29-Nov-12 23:32:30

Anna, hope you are ok, that was a bloody sad post. Hugs to you.

Anna1976 Fri 30-Nov-12 00:05:18

thanks thebody. Apart from spending way too much time on Mumsnet as a proxy for having a family, things are ok. I do need to sort out what to do with my life though.

MrsMangelfanciedPaulRobinson Fri 30-Nov-12 10:56:45

Higgy, are you not familiar with the MN stealth boasting wink

mam29 Fri 30-Nov-12 11:04:25

Warning to op gets worse when they start school.

fb is amazing as every end of year or parents evening everyone says how amzing it went yet statistically i doubt all 45kids in the year are doing exceptionally well.

Dds old school has split classes based on age however thi year chose to move 2up as they were high academic ability into a mixed 2/3class.

But dds class pure year 2 nightmare.

least 2pushy mums going on about what genuises their kids were.

1 was freind she appeared quite normal in reception slight precious maybe she only has 1.

But since year 1 its been competition of what reading levels mine and hers is on.

Hows her daughter is doing amazing tactful hen I tell her mines strugglingsad

Her dd teases mine. I think her dds ok shes july so guess doing quite well but socially/emotionally shes inept she spent nost of gym class crying last month as she doesnt like bei8ng upside down.
She argues ith my dd and her younger siblings always whing, crying.throwing tantrums, her parents keep telling her shes special and gifted yet when we left she was only 1reading level above mine.

Her dd on top table mine was bottom.
they got equal scores in phonics test-they had diffrent teachers last year.
her dd got some 2cs and 1as end of year one mine got all 1bs.
she now claims last week that year 2teacher thinks shes a year ahead and at 2b already im unsure if to belive her.

Her dd not as strong at art and shes hopeless at sport so her mum always moans competative sports are unfair .

But have noticed kids at some schools unless its academic sucess dont get recognised at other things they good at.
Seems really sad hence why moved mine.

I dont miss the competition.

part of me hopes that freind will see sense and realise what an arse shes being . I think last years teacher humoured her shes always moaning her dd held back, not being stretched and last year had conversation on suitible reading for her child. her childs ot officailly on the gifted and talented register.

I think junior will see her realise maybe that shes just average.

My dd has potential but needs to ork at it.
shes not gifted but she has no special learning needs
think most kids are like that.

I think as average child and well behaved she was overlooked.

my middle dd is very diffrerent shes only 3 and forcast her possibly doing better but who knows.

Then my youngests not talking ad trying not to stress.
they all so diffrent and sometimes things click later.

I think the fixation of selective schools means a parent does not want a average child so maybe play up the clever bit like a trophy.

LaQueen Fri 30-Nov-12 14:38:52

higgyjig and you are...?

LaQueen Fri 30-Nov-12 14:40:53

Mangel Oh, I'll happily boast from time to time...but, not about what happened to DD2 sad

ArseyKwa Sat 01-Dec-12 10:34:47

Like KatieScarlett, I was moved up in P4 to P5. Can't say it caused me any problems whatsoever in Primary School, but I did end up in private High school because the local secondary wanted me to repeat P7. My last year at school wasn't great as I was made Head Girl, which didn't go down well with the others being older. Went to Uni in England at 16. Still no problem really.

But I wish I'd had a year more at home now looking back, and I'm really reluctant to let them same thing happen to my kids. Luckily they are at a fairly small, but not tiny, school, and all through they're in classes with some kids the year above (not in Y2 or Y6 though) and they are up with the top kids but not in sore thumb territory as the oldest was at pre-school in a 10 pupil intake school.

I try not to get drawn into commenting on reading ability, etc, but it's not always easy. My poor husband has had to put up with several weeks of lectures, from his boss with a same-aged child, on the evils of grammar schools and the transport problems etc etc as a consequence of my oldest getting into grammar school. That situation is not going to get easier, I think!

Primrose123 Sat 01-Dec-12 11:30:01

I have a very nice neighbour who tells me all about her granddaughter. I know she's a very proud granny, but it is way over the top. Her DD thinks that the little girl will have to go to private school at the age of 11 because she's so advanced. She's not 2 yet.

I know another parent who sends the most dreadful round robin letters at Christmas about how brilliantly her children are doing at school and are a year ahead, how good they are at music, etc.

We met last summer by accident and had a chat. Both her sons are now struggling at school, were not moved up, but will probably have to move down a year (they're not in the UK). She is convinced that they are both brilliant but dyslexic, however, the school does not agree. She is trying to get them diagnosed as dyslexic. I feel sorry for the kids, as they are nice boys, and she is a very pushy mother with some odd ideas.

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