To think everyone's children can't be "very bright"

(240 Posts)
DrinkFromMyFountain Fri 13-Sep-13 19:25:51

Because a good 80% or posters/people in RL seem to refer to their kids as "very bright", surely 80% of kids can't be above average?

As the proud mother of a three month old I'm not fussed if my DS is "bright" or not, if he isn't academic I'm sure he will have other talents!

I hereby declare I shan't constantly boast about how bright he is unless he is a full in genius grin. As my mother always said, there is nothing wrong with being average.

HandragsAndGladbags Fri 13-Sep-13 19:27:13

Ah well my are the brightest so this isn't an issue for me wink

All kids are bright in their own way, it doesn't have to mean academic.

Tinlegs Fri 13-Sep-13 19:28:31

As a teacher, I notice that actually far more children have low self esteem and expect too little of themselves. I would love it if they all saw themselves as bright and worked to achieve high goals. Parents should want their children to excel and be happy, not just outperform the neighbours.

Stropzilla Fri 13-Sep-13 19:29:08

Mine is. So there wink .

SummerRain Fri 13-Sep-13 19:30:18

One of mine isn't, the other two are (when it comes to iq tests and standardised tests anyway, not so much at the day to day stuff)

My not bright child will probably have the beat outcome in life though so I don't think it means much tbh.

All kids are good at some stuff but not others, so it's perfectly plausible that 80% of children are ahead of their peers in some aspects. Very few are outstandingly bright across the board however.

Portofino Fri 13-Sep-13 19:30:36

You that now wink

ViviDeBeauvoir Fri 13-Sep-13 19:30:53

FYI ALL children are 'bright'

'Bright' doesn't mean 'above average' it means that they shine.
They all do, in their own lovely way. <softie>

KatyTheCleaningLady Fri 13-Sep-13 19:30:59

One of my three children is, honestly, "very bright." The other two... well, there are speech and language issues, so it's hard to say. I think they're amazing, but I don't brag that they're "very bright."

Sparklingbrook Fri 13-Sep-13 19:31:01

A lot of DC on MN are very bright. grin

Ragwort Fri 13-Sep-13 19:31:15

I don't know where you live but no one I know says their child is bright grin - my own child is lazy, academically average on a good day and I fully understand where the teachers are coming from when they say he is over opinionated and stroppy a bit like his father.

Portofino Fri 13-Sep-13 19:31:57

You say that now.

LadyStark Fri 13-Sep-13 19:32:11

I suspect Mumsnet isn't a representative sample. Anyone who cares enough about parenting to join a parenting website probably also cares a lot about education and therefore inputs considerably into school, home learning etc.

It's self-selection bias (although there probably is still a bit of good old parental bias in there too!).

Ragwort Fri 13-Sep-13 19:32:12

Of course, a lot of us are very bright here on Mumsnet grin.

Zizio Fri 13-Sep-13 19:32:35

Yes or no depending on whether one has a fixed mindset or growth mindset. The human brain is highly capable of learning anything with the right support and environment.

Bowlersarm Fri 13-Sep-13 19:33:17

Mine aren't particularly bright. Lovely. But not academic. Tis very annoying.

OddBoots Fri 13-Sep-13 19:33:24

Parental views of all sorts are probably inaccurate but I don't think it does any harm for a child to hear generally positive things about themselves. I'm sure there are harmful extremes but I don't think the word 'bright' counts, it's too vague.

My mum grew up being told by her dad that she was useless and the impact of that still shows.

FourGates Fri 13-Sep-13 19:33:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Absolutelylost Fri 13-Sep-13 19:34:44

My 5 year old has just been sent home with an IEP as she's on the gifted and talented register. I have 3 older children and they've all done really well, but the little one is in a different league. Must admit, I do feel rather smug!

Mine are. So there.

catgirl1976 Fri 13-Sep-13 19:35:53

Mine is the very brightest

And cutest

And sweetest

And funniest

Isn't everyone's? smile

Zizio Fri 13-Sep-13 19:36:08

Yes or no depending on whether one has a fixed mindset or growth mindset. The human brain is highly capable of learning anything with the right support and environment.

sydlexic Fri 13-Sep-13 19:37:18

My DS is amazingly bright, I first found MN when looking for advice on gifted DC's, I think that is true for a lot of people. It is easier to talk about DS on here than in RL. I also think the same is true of DC with SN and prenatal problems.

CombineBananaFister Fri 13-Sep-13 19:40:35

I think it's only natural that most mums notice the things their kids are good at (and of course they're going to be slightly biased sometimes as you love your child) it would be odd if you didn't, surely? But, I do know what you mean to some extent, those who are blinded by maternal love thinking their little ones are fantastic at EVERYTHING grin which is ok if you don't constantly bang on about it.
But I think you have be realistic about what they are crap at as well and also realize that sometimes neither the good or bad matters, it's having a happy child that counts.
Being bright isn't the be all and end all, academia can be overated, I think social skills are just as important when they're young - the 'geniusness' ?!? can peter out too as they all catch up with each other

DD1 is clever enough I guess, but is verrrrry conscientious, works really really hard and makes up for it with hard graft.

DD2 is actually much brighter but hates doing stuff "she doesn't think she is good at" and has a reputation at school for daydreaming, not concentrating and generally pissing around.

They are both awesome grin

commuterbelt Fri 13-Sep-13 19:47:06

on mn they're all bright. i hate that phrase as if some children are 'dim' sad

mrstigs Fri 13-Sep-13 19:47:52

Mine ARE very bright. All three of them. Even the toddler. At least, they all seem to outwit me on an hourly basis, so that must mean they are extremely intelligent. wink

I think its nice to be proud of your child, although those parents who always seem to be implying that their child not just clever, but far superior to your child in every way are rather irritating.

Sparklingbrook Fri 13-Sep-13 19:49:06

What does bright actually mean though? confused

giveitago Fri 13-Sep-13 20:01:30

I've never met a child who is not bright.

MrsDeVere Fri 13-Sep-13 20:06:53

Parents are deluded.
Except me.
My DCs are perfect.

Butwilliseeyouagain Fri 13-Sep-13 20:08:27

According to their teachers my DC are performing 'at expected level', although I know for a FACT that they are very, very clever indeed. They are also both the cutest kids in their class by a country mile.

wineoclocktimeyet Fri 13-Sep-13 20:13:25

My children are so bright that everyone around them has to wear sunglasses so they are not blinded by their brightness smile

wordfactory Fri 13-Sep-13 20:17:34

Statistically, the biggest determining factor in a child's educational achievement is the mother's.

MN is a highly educated group. Ergo, their DC are statistically more likely to have bright DC.

The second biggest factor is wealth.

MN is a reasonably wealthy group...

littlemisswise Fri 13-Sep-13 20:20:32

Mine are bright, but I believe bright or not everyone is good at something. DH is not the brightest button in the tin (he will admit it), if I say to him "I fancy x piece of furniture, can you do it?" He will be off with his note pad and have it sorted in no time.

I was quite good at school, not the brightest, nothing like my kids, but I can make a fantastic chocolate fudge cake and knit some pretty good baby clothes. I have embroidered some fine samplers too.

Academia isn't everything.

Vecta Fri 13-Sep-13 20:24:30

I think that most children are "bright". To me, "bright"ness is not so much about how clever they are but about how alert, engaged, wondering and curious they are about the world around them. Actually, most young children are bright in this sense - it is how they learn and grow.

arethereanyleftatall Fri 13-Sep-13 20:24:42

I am constantly amazed by how much better my kids are than anyone elses.

exoticfruits Fri 13-Sep-13 20:33:17

It's more the fact that they 'need to be stretched' that gives me a funny picture- or that the teacher won't be able to cope- as if they never come across bright children!

Sparklingbrook Fri 13-Sep-13 20:35:07

I wonder how many of the bright children are considered bright by their teachers? grin

Rufus43 Fri 13-Sep-13 20:40:38

I thought I was bright, then my dad tidied his attic and gave me my old school reports.....not so bright apparently....

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 13-Sep-13 20:45:12

Then there are the teachers who think you should be surprised when three of them in 30 mins say 'she is really very bright' - hmm I live with her she has been arguing like a QC since she was three.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Fri 13-Sep-13 20:54:48

I would describe bright as being able to learn new things quickly.

Which children do by definition. As their whizzy bang bang neuro thingamies are still growing or joining or whatever.

Fakebook Fri 13-Sep-13 20:59:07

My children are so bright, that the sun shines out of their little chubby bums. Nappy changing time for my 1 year old is particularly difficult.

MammaTJ Fri 13-Sep-13 21:12:15

Mine are!! grin

Well, DD1 I thought was clever, but not clever enough to learn from my mistakes. Where I went got married at 18 and did not study and am now finally getting round to doing a degree at 46, she has given up on education and has moved in with her BF. She will hopefully learn education can be done again later!

DD2 is not so good on paper (she is the youngest in yr4 though and that makes a bit of a difference), but doesn't miss anything going on in the world around her!

DS seems bright and is ahead BUT he is the oldest in his year and in year 2, so I know that makes a massive difference at his age. He has his head in the clouds most of the time though, so hides any cleverness well! grin

As long as they are happy..................................

ironmansmum Fri 13-Sep-13 21:12:52

I reckon that all kids shine in different areas but it also depends on the environment they find themselves in. At home my DS talks constantly, never stops for breath (can't imagine where he gets it from!). Just had his first week at big school and I bet he didn't say 5 words! School may think he's a bit timid etc. Wait til next week - full force!

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Fri 13-Sep-13 21:14:21

DD individual. Good at the things I'm not, like music, making friends, maths.

Also inherited DW's lovely feet, which means she won't have my orthopaedic problems.

lljkk Fri 13-Sep-13 21:17:43

I've never heard anyone IRL refer to their own DC as "very bright". confused

Kleinzeit Fri 13-Sep-13 21:17:52

Ah, it’s not that my kid is brightest at everything, it’s just that the things my kid is brightest at just happen to be the most important things in the world. The things that other people’s kids are brightest at just aren’t as important. Obviously. grin

softlysoftly Fri 13-Sep-13 21:21:26


Mine are though, seriously at 4 my dd1 has been told she'll definitely get a scholarship to the best schools because of how forward she is, by an actual teacher her aunt so it's a fact.

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 13-Sep-13 21:23:08


WestieMamma Fri 13-Sep-13 21:30:51

My daughter is the smartest brightest girl I've ever come across. Her IQ was tested as part of her AS investigation. Everyone was astounded at how high she scored. Although considering her Dad is a rocket scientist type it shouldn't have been quite so unexpected. Unfortunately she's bone idle so it's completely wasted on her.

FoundAChopinLizt Fri 13-Sep-13 21:34:52

A parenting website.

I've joined a PARENTING website.shock

I always thought of it as an antidote to parenting.


Alisvolatpropiis Fri 13-Sep-13 21:40:31

I don't think there is anything wrong in parents thinkkg their child is very bright.

My parents thought I was, and I was indeed in comparison with my peers until around 15 then lots caught up with me. Is the way things go.

The only friend I know who goes on about it is one whose daughter contracted meningitis before she was 2 years old. I think in the main it's a relief reflex that she has fully recovered with not ill affects (now 6/7). I don't begrudge him it.

thebody Fri 13-Sep-13 21:43:34

couldn't give a shite. glad my 4 are healthy and happy. we thought we had lost dd3 last year but we didn't.

that's when you realise that being 'bright' means absolutist fuck all. being healthy and being here is what matters.

Bodicea Fri 13-Sep-13 21:51:45

Everyone I know whose child is learning to read seems to have a "reading age" at least one year or more above their normal age.
So I either know a lot of clever kids or really the reading ages is set artificially low to make people feel good about their kids.

LittleRobots Fri 13-Sep-13 21:52:54

I'm conflicted here. I was very bright (not that my parents particularly cared). I was usually top of the year, bored at school, didn't understand why others weren't like me, whizzed through school and oxbridge . . . Haven't succeeded in life though. I'd love my children to do well at studies, but would love them to end up more content and happy than life with me. Honestly I live around low income families who really are a lot more content in life than me.

Looking at words criteria then my child should do well academically as I did, at maybe not as we're not wealthy!

Sparklingbrook Fri 13-Sep-13 21:59:53

Well said thebody.

Snoopingforsoup Fri 13-Sep-13 22:00:29

If you have a 'very bright' kid, you know because other people tell you you have a 'very bright' child all the time.

You don't have to say anything at all about it, other people will tell you and the playground mums hate you for it grin

thebody Fri 13-Sep-13 22:02:19

grin sparkling

SevenOnwardsAndUpwards Fri 13-Sep-13 22:02:32

I think they can all be 'very bright' in some aspects but more rarely excel in everything. DS is very bright, he knows nearly all the worlds countries (oddly obsessed by maps) and at just turned 5 he's reading perfectly and can tell the time, both of which have taken little teaching (we home educate). However he needed speech and language therapy, was a late talker and is still sometimes difficult to understand.

DD1 on the other hand at 21 months still can't do wooden puzzles and has no interest in books other than destroying them (and everything else) and walks into doors and doorframes because she doesn't look where she's going. However I'd say she's bright with her social skills because she was an early talker and now has well over 200 words already.

Parmarella Fri 13-Sep-13 22:04:25

My oldest is not merely bright, his teacher said gushingly at parent evening that he is, in fact, a Genius. She really said that ( silly lady, but lve her).

That was quite a nice parent evening, but now, with the next teacher, he is just average.

So who can say, maybe brightness is in the eyevof the beholder.

But secretly I know he is special, and I always tell him " you have a good brain, you can figure it out I'm sure" when he doesn't know something.

Also, I DO think that most children ARE bright, but just too many are failed by their educators.

I have a friend wo always tells me her DS isn't the sharpest tool in te box, and that always makes me a bit sad.

Isn't it our job as mums to think our kids are great? Ok, maybe we should shut up about it, but we can THINK it, right?

harbinger Fri 13-Sep-13 22:07:53

Agree with Wordfactory about the stats.

BUT if your children are very bright (round here) zip it/shut up.

harbinger Fri 13-Sep-13 22:10:14

Soz X post. Think is fine smile

"I wonder how many of the bright children are considered bright by their teachers?"

ds1 is. <smug>

My hairdresser let slip that her friend, who was his teacher had let slip that "Master Quint is a bright spark". My hairdresser then had the good sense to blush and stutter upon realizing that she had just admitted that she and her friend had been discussing my child....

Lilacroses Fri 13-Sep-13 22:14:41

Well alot of children are bright in different ways. My Dd isn't very gifted academically but she is extremely articulate and creative. I don't think I've ever taught a child in the past 15 years that wasn't bright in one way or another. They're not all intellectually bright though so no yanbu in that sense!

Lilacroses Fri 13-Sep-13 22:17:17

I completely agree with your post Parmarella.

YeahWhat Fri 13-Sep-13 22:22:24

I atended a Speed awareness course the other day and 100% of the people there rated themselves as 'above average drivers' grin

Just sayin'

Back to the OP..

I blame the gifted and talented program - over 14% of children in English state funded secondary schools are on the gifted and talented registry. In other words it means bugger all other than encouraging people to think that their kids are exceptionally clever.

Wingdingdong Fri 13-Sep-13 22:36:28

I do describe my children as 'bright' (and so do other less obviously biased people), but I don't think that 'bright' means 'intellectual', 'academic', or indeed denotes any quality that is somehow measurable. It just means something generally along the lines of alert, switched on, has an aptitude for learning (skills as well as information), etc.

I also think that it has some emotional connotations too - so I'd describe a happy enthusiastic child as bright but wouldn't use the word to describe a really miserable, sulky child, even if s/he was a member of MENSA. I don't consider it to be a boasting term.

'Bright' doesn't have limits or quotas - a whole class of kids could be bright (indeed I have taught whole classes of bright students, as well as whole classes of not particularly bright students...). Gifted and talented, on the other hand... wink

crazycanuck Fri 13-Sep-13 23:11:13

I used to work in a bookshop and we ALWAYS had parents coming in and banging on and on about how bright their children were and how they were reading about 4 grades above their actual grade level (maybe a slight exaggeration not really ). Meanwhile I would direct them to the genius–level books they were requesting while saying Congratulations on your vastly superior DNA Here are some books that may interest you. grin

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 13-Sep-13 23:27:05

Can't remember who the poster was but the one who mentioned reading ages. One year above average is nothing at all. At 7 I was considered to have a reading age of 14. I've done ok given the age grouper I'm in and what I studied but doesn't mean much in reality.

Secretswitch Fri 13-Sep-13 23:32:18

Sadly, my children are as dull as dishwater, but then again their gene pool is not very deep.

Theas18 Fri 13-Sep-13 23:37:39

3 words...

Self selected population!

Of corse mn kids are bright and able and just amazing. They are actively parented by interested articulate computer literate Internet using parents!

Morloth Fri 13-Sep-13 23:43:54

Of course Mums think their kids are bright/the best. They are Mums.

My Mum still thinks I am pretty special and I am 36 now. And not really that exciting.

Mother goggles.

lljkk Sat 14-Sep-13 08:13:41

Well, DD thinks she's the best at almost everything. Doesn't make it true.
I've seen same self-delusions in DSs BUT far less objective evidence to support.

thestringcheesemassacre Sat 14-Sep-13 08:18:50

Mine are beautifully and perfectly average.
The bright comments on here are ridiculous

picniclady Sat 14-Sep-13 08:23:17

Wordfactory - is that true that achievements of the mother are biggest factor in determining the child's achievements? I'd better get reading...Shakespeare.. now ;-)

I agree that children of mners are likely to be bright, as we're probably quite keen parents or just like chatting all day

noisytoys Sat 14-Sep-13 08:33:07

DD1 is very bright (IQ tested in top 0.4% of population) but does the bare minimum at school and is quite lazy.

DD2 has a development delay, is about a year behind her peers brought on by her epilepsy, daily seizures resulting in her spending large parts of her life asleep and behaviour issues when awake. Hopefully when that is under control she will catch up with her peers.

Parmarella Sat 14-Sep-13 09:51:23

Noisytoys, how and where do you have a child's IQ tested?

Sparklingbrook Sat 14-Sep-13 09:52:46

I always wondered that Parma how and why would you get your child's IQ tested and what difference does it make? Does a child with a high IQ automatically turn into an adult with one?

MrsDeVere Sat 14-Sep-13 10:25:51

I wouldn't have my DC's IQ tested out of principal.
They were developed for one thing only and that one thing was not nice.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Sat 14-Sep-13 10:37:41

My SIL was talking to me about my DS the other day and began comparing her 4 month old granddaughter and how 'advanced' she is. My DS was only 10 days old! confused

I predict my SIL is going to be a bloody nightmare!

KatyTheCleaningLady Sat 14-Sep-13 11:05:50

Truly "gifted" (Extremely high IQ) is a type of special need. The child may present as troubled or challenging and the parents are seeking help. The test is a means of diagnosis.

A child with an IQ of, say, 165, is less likely to be successful and happy than a child with an average IQ, unless they get special support.

So, it's not really a bragging thing.

Sparklingbrook Sat 14-Sep-13 11:07:02

Oh that's interesting Katy. So you would need a reason to test the IQ?

Parmarella Sat 14-Sep-13 11:10:19

I was asking, as only my SEN boy has ever had his IQ tested as part of his assessment.

My other boy, who I think is very bright wink has never had an IQ test ( not even when the teacher said he was a genius ), it just never occurred to me ( but now I'm curious!)

Snog Sat 14-Sep-13 11:14:34

It's surely like everyone's baby is the most beautiful baby in the world...logic would perhaps say this cannot be so, but as we all know reality says this is in fact absolutely true.

treadheavily Sat 14-Sep-13 11:29:56

All I can say is that none of those very bright children grew up and came to work at my office. You couldn't find a bigger pool of averagely intelligent people if you tried.

KatyTheCleaningLady Sat 14-Sep-13 11:45:11

Sparklingbrook, I don't think you have to have a reason. Someone can do it out of mere curiosity. But if someone says their child tested at 160,I would guess they had the kid tested because they were struggling to deal with the child on some level.

Sparklingbrook Sat 14-Sep-13 11:46:45

That makes sense Katy. I wonder if DS1 (14) backchats and strops because he has a high IQ. <ponders>

quesadilla Sat 14-Sep-13 11:49:01

I really wrestle with the question of whether labelling a child as "bright" is helpful or not (regardless of whether its accurate.)

I hear those people who say that low self esteem is an issue and that parents have low expectations of children etc. Making a child feel good about things they are good at and encouraging them in areas where they are less sure footed seems self evidently sensible.

On the other hand I think parents (and teachers) can go too far with the relentless positivity and children can smell an untruth a mile off. My mum used to go on and on about how bright we were (in fact I was above average at some things, distinctly below in others.) not being given a realistic appraisal in the areas I was weak led at some points to my doubting my ability in the strong areas at some points.

ClaimedByMe Sat 14-Sep-13 11:51:56

I am under no illusion that my dd is not very bright, it has took me 6 years of primary school to accept this, she is funny, popular, sporty but academically her light is not switched on!

candygs Sat 14-Sep-13 12:40:45

My three boys (men) are doing great but if you really want to know brilliance then just look at my little Jack Russell terrier, she is AMAZING!!!

RedToothBrush Sat 14-Sep-13 12:49:01

Define bright.

I know people with First Class Degrees who have come out with classic lines like, "Well penguins are fish anyway". Said with complete seriousness and honesty.

They might be academic but they are, in my opinion, as thick as pig shit, unless they have studied it and learn it by heart and can splurge it out in a exam. They are just good at repeating stuff once they have memorised it.

They lack any awareness of the world and they lack the ability to think for themselves.

Equally, you might be as thick as cow dung yourself so when your child can add 3 + 2 at age 6 without the aid of a calculator you might think they are bright because compared to your standards they are streets ahead of you.

In short, its all relative and depends on what you are actually trying to measure.

On another note, you are less likely to have a parent say their child is average than bright or has learning difficulties. Average is really the thing that everyone avoids saying, because that seems to suggest that there isn't a reason for their mediocrity and how they don't stand out from the crowd in some way.

Oh and IQ tests, don't measure intelligence in the way you think. They measure how good you are at doing IQ tests under those particular conditions. They don't take into account certain types of intelligence and they don't take into account how you may be affected by the conditions under which you might take the test (you might be a person who is anxious under exam type conditions for exam but might otherwise thrive under more 'natural' conditions even though they might be high stress situations).

Not to mention you might have an exceptionally high IQ but because you are useless at reading and responding to other people, its about as useful as a chocolate teapot as you can't use this intelligence in a way which is helpful and ultimately productive because you lack skills in other areas.

Emotional intelligence is essential to being bright in my honest opinion. You might not be academic but if you have the ability to do the most with what you have got and use it in a way that can achieve more than your 'more intelligent' peers, then surely you are brighter than they are?

AwayWithTheFay Sat 14-Sep-13 12:54:34

I'd say my DD (3) is average at nursery except when it comes to sports. Then I would say she's above average :D

TheUglyFuckling Sat 14-Sep-13 13:41:24

Mumsnet isn't very representative of the population in general.

I think MN is well known for having a large percentage of educated/graduate Mums isn't it? So it's not quite so surprising that the DCs of such Mums are probably of above average intelligence.

Our DCs are well above average intellignece if their SATS and Levels are anything to go by. Doesn't mean they can't be irritating little buggers from time to time, and they drive me mad with their inability to get a move on in the mornings, it's like trying to heard fucking cats.

MrsDeVere Sat 14-Sep-13 15:35:50

I score around the low 80s in IQ tests.

I do not have moderate learning disabilities. I am just rubbish at IQ tests

IQ tests are a load of toss.

lljkk Sat 14-Sep-13 15:56:40

Loada wank, agreed.
I have a "Blow your Mind" IQ and I never get mentioned in the list of wise, useful or popular MNers. <<Sulk>>

Rooners Sat 14-Sep-13 15:57:18

MrsD - I score around 140 but am, to everyone's agreement, as thick as fuck when it comes to almost anything not involving an IQ test.

Sparklingbrook Sat 14-Sep-13 15:59:51

I know supposedly intelligent people with degrees who have no common sense whatsoever Red, so to me they aren't 'bright' at all.

Rooners Sat 14-Sep-13 16:00:23

Also ds1's is above 140 (proper assessment that took HOURS) and he is all set not to get into doesn't think he is dyslexic, I do, because he is 10 and can't read a clock, but there you go.

Bright is a word that fits him but academic is not. NO one would ever believe he has such a high IQ in everyday life.

I know ds2 is clever as he is better at sums than ds1 and is only 6...he just has a more organised brain perhaps.

Ds3 is an unknown quantity but I hope he isn't totally stupid.

JustinBsMum Sat 14-Sep-13 16:06:20

Has someone posted this already ?

Quote from Lake Wobegon by Garrison Keillor

"Welcome to Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average."

seems bright children are international!

Oblomov Sat 14-Sep-13 16:06:58

Ds1 is.
Ds2 is not.
I had no idea that ds1 was. Reception teacher td me that he wasn't just average , as I had said, but was exceptionally bright.

Ds2 is barely average.
Who cares.
Bet ds2 will end up earning more than ds1 !! smile

ouryve Sat 14-Sep-13 16:09:00

One of mine is extremely bright.

The other has severe language delays and learning difficulties.

MrsDeVere Sat 14-Sep-13 16:10:59

DS1 is very bright.
He left school as soon as he could and is faffing around on the dole angry hmm

gamerchick Sat 14-Sep-13 16:15:04

My eldest is a slow learner but gets there in the end. My middle son is bang on the national average. My youngest has this huge brain that I find absolutely terrifying because there's no way I'm going to be able to keep up.. never mind brag about it.

Every mother thinks their kids are brilliant but I find its usually the ones that bang on about it have kids who are average but mega push them to reach their full attention. Nothing wrong with that I suppose.. just tiresum to listen too.

KatyTheCleaningLady Sat 14-Sep-13 17:10:35

mrsdevere You are very obviously clever!

And you are also the first person I've ever "met" to admit to scoring below 100 on an IQ test! grin Actually, I think 130 is the lowest actual number I can remember anyone claiming.

LittleRobots Sat 14-Sep-13 17:21:22

I've been told my daughter is bright . . . But we're in anarea of mainly non graduates and many won't have seen a book etc . . . I worry they won't work with my daughter at her ability as their idea of average is lower.

arethereanyleftatall Sat 14-Sep-13 19:16:04

Mrs DV - 80? Really? Just shows what a pile of tosh IQ tests are. mine is nearly double , but my posts aren't even half as intelligently written as yours are.

MrsDeVere Sat 14-Sep-13 19:25:14

Awww you lot are too kind blush

MrsDeVere Sat 14-Sep-13 19:26:29

'they won't have seen a book' shock
Where on earth do you live little?

Crowler Sat 14-Sep-13 19:29:45

I think this is an epidemic, really.

I'm so tired of having to listen to people bang on (IRL) about how smart their kids are. I would never presume to think anyone would want to hear about how my kids are doing in school, apart from their grandparents.

Sparklingbrook Sat 14-Sep-13 19:32:37

I agree Crowler, I can't imagine anyone else being interested in my DCs test scores etc, I am not interested in other peoples. Should I be?

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 14-Sep-13 19:54:24

Little Never seen a book? Surely these non graduates went to school - where they have books?

I know lots of intelligent non graduates who read and are generally very knowledgable. I know lots of graduates who don't really know anything at all and proudly say they don't follow news/politics/current events or read.

Going to university isn't the benchmark of all round intelligence. Some people simply aren't academic but are still very bright. Some simply didn't want to go at all.

Sparklingbrook Sat 14-Sep-13 19:55:55

Sometimes I think on MN all that matters is A* Grades and going to University Alis. sad

LittleRobots Sat 14-Sep-13 20:25:38

Not the parents, the headteacher (who is lovely) showed us around and was very proud of the library as she explained most kids come from families with no books in the home, aren't read to etc. I doubt they've literally 'never seen a book', especially if they've been to nursery but apparently 1 in 3 children have no books according to the literacy trust (although surely they'd have bookstart books, or even a cheap charity book?) in areas like ours (high social and economic deprivation) the proportion will be higher. The ofsted is outstanding, and the school does well, but at the beginning it states that pupils enter with well below whatever it is they state at the start of the ofsted!

I really like the school and staff but really found the difference in backgrounds quite startling.

I completely agree a degree isn't the ad all and end all. After all, I've a silly high iq, fantastic degrees and still seen to have 'failed' at life by many measures. I'm in the ex council house on an estate, whereas I'd imagine expectations from the average leafy middle class mumsnet school would be quite different.

I think the point, badly expressed, was it depends on the cohort. My daughter entering reception knowing letter sounds and numbers is seen as 'bright' as its unusual. Mumsnet threads abound of children entering school already reading or able to sound out letters etc. Against a group of mumsnet kids my daughter would be distinctly average!!

exoticfruits Sat 14-Sep-13 20:38:45

Of course, if all children are bright it becomes average. grin

MrsDeVere Sat 14-Sep-13 20:45:15

I don't think that head teacher sounds lovely at all!

How the hell would she know the kids live in a house with no books?

Dangerous stereotyping leads to low expectations IME.

LittleRobots Sat 14-Sep-13 20:58:33

No idea. They score well on the value added and Sats tests, and she's well regarded in the community. They bend over backwards to explain you don't need the logod tops, don't need to buy things from school shop, asda is fine, explain about fsm, very aware of the differing backgrounds and have above average achievement by the time they leave . . . So I don't think its lowered expectations as such.

The head is lovely, the conversation was in context of discussing the new library and wasn't at all sneery, more aware of the area they're in I guess and doing what they can to raise standards.

I'm probably not explaining myself well. I don't live in an area I'd choose to live in if I had money at all and do often wonder if that will affect my child's education. The school seems fantastic, but has a very different intake to a leafy middle class area.

KatoPotato Sat 14-Sep-13 21:02:07

We're in Scotland, so my DS is 'highly able'


MrsDeVere Sat 14-Sep-13 21:09:58

I have a working class accent.
On the school run I sometimes wear a velour trackie and fuggs.
My son has one of the most hated names on MN

His mainstream school obviously thought the intake of his school was made up of families with no books and no regard for education.

They did not think it was unusual or worrying that my son couldn't read at the age of 5./6/7 despite me constantly raising concerns.

I may sound a bit thick but I'm not. It was very clear that they simply assumed that my son was behind because of his upbringing.
They would suggest that I could take him to the library and maybe sometimes we could sit down at the table and eat a meal together and ask how often he saw his father hmm

Their assumptions caused considerable delays in getting him diagnosed and statmented. He has autism, significant learning difficulties and a serious language disorder.

I have moved him from that school.

Never assume working class people who live on estates do not value education or read books or care about their child's achievements.

Lots of people are painfully aware it is their only chance because they don't have family money to bail them out or put down a deposit on a flat etc.

If your child's school is excellent and you are willing to support your child's learning they will do fine.

Havea0 Sat 14-Sep-13 21:11:01

op. 80% of posters on here [not sure about rl] might say that their offspring are bright. Everyone else, well virtually!, keeps schtum.

Terrible grammar and punctuation above I may not be as bright as all that!

Dawndonnaagain Sat 14-Sep-13 21:17:05

My brilliant one is off to university next week. We will take him and drop him into the arms of someone called Katie. Katie will be supporting him for 35 hours a week. She will escort him on the bus trip from his accommodation to lectures. Remind him to eat, help him cross the road, take him to the right person to deal with his anxiety. I love him so very much, but I do wish, every so often that he could make friends more easily, that he could cross a road safely, that he could be really free of all the anxieties he has.
In two years time I will go through the same with twin dds.

Spikeytree Sat 14-Sep-13 21:20:39

I've seen parents insist that their child takes really academic GCSEs which the child cannot cope with, because they aren't realistic about their child's abilities. I teach History and a child with a reading age of 8.4 is not going to be able to cope with even reading the questions in the exam. We can differentiate in lessons but there isn't even a foundation paper in History, so he was stuffed. He was told by his parents he was going to be a lawyer or a doctor. The child wanted to do construction, but was not allowed to by the parents. It's great to have high expectations for children but by the time they are 14 you have to start getting realistic.

MrsDeVere Sat 14-Sep-13 21:29:47

I think wanting your child to be a builder is having high expectations.

There has been this push, push , push for academic success above all else. Not particularly worrying if your child goes to uni is tantamount to neglect on MN.

It doesn't come from the teachers as far as I can tell. Its all from the top.

I want my children to be happy an fulfilled and to contribute to society.

That may be as a paedictric oncologist or as a plasterer.

I want them to be able to read and write and use functional maths. I want them to be able to think critically and put together a cogent argument.

Anything else is a bonus.

Wuldric Sat 14-Sep-13 21:36:32

My kids are bright.

Not very bright

But bright enough. Bright in the sense that they will do well academically, go to decent universities, and get good degrees.

After that i don't know. Brightness is not a big driver after that point - it's all a question of how driven they are.

Spikeytree Sat 14-Sep-13 21:36:45

I agree, MrsDeVere. High academic expectations are the problem when they can't realistically be met - that's when you get children feeling like failures. The boy I was referring to would have made a good builder, but he wasn't given the opportunity by his parents because they were convinced that he was going to be an academic high flier, despite all the evidence. He ended up leaving school with very little qualification wise, whereas he could have been set up for the next stage had he been allowed to follow his talents.

Dawndonnaagain Sat 14-Sep-13 21:46:51

I do rather think that we need to go back to a more old fashioned type of schooling. I was at High School in the seventies, and if you weren't cut out for uni, then you got an apprenticeship or whatever. There were people who were going to be builders, plumbers, etc. Then along came the politicians who said everybody should have equal opportunity. However, I really don't think pushing everybody toward uni is equality of opportunity. Surely equality of opportunity is an acceptance that not everybody is academic and therefore providing options in the world of building, carpentry, etc is a better choice for all concerned.

Spikeytree Sat 14-Sep-13 21:51:37

The school I work at provided those options. We had our own construction centre, but Gove decided that vocational qualifications counted for nothing so it had to close in the summer due to lack of funding.

However, some parents refused to allow their children to follow a vocational path because they were convinced that their children were academic high fliers, when in all honesty they were not. That was doing their children a terrible disservice.

LittleRobots Sat 14-Sep-13 21:52:46

That's another area I'm conflicted. I've got great degrees but not happy or content or in a great job. isn't something like hairdressing supposed to give the most job satisfaction? There's the inner desire to follow the mumsnet vibe of great qualifications but really I'd be happiest if they were happy.

I completely agree about not stereotyping. There's a difference between looking at average scores of an intake and individual students isn't there.

I've got a strange background in that I've got a mainly public school educated extended family but was in an abusive situation growing up myself, and on fsm as a teenager, very difficult homelife. I was the high achieving kid despite the crapy homelife. The crap homelife effected me in other ways though and I guess affected outcomes post degree.

I was stupidlybright and it was obvious even without parental support. Didn't mean I 'succeeded' in life though. I'd rather a good happy life for my children than my level of academic success.

MrsDeVere Sat 14-Sep-13 21:55:57

I am trying to get DS's school to make use of a scheme linking them to a local college. The college offers horticulture, animal husbandry, saddlery etc.
My son is NOT academic. He has learning difficulties. He can have a life and contribute but not if his worth is only measured in academic terms. If it is he will always be seen as a failure.

He has a lot to give even if he never gets above the learning level of a 10 year old.

Why should my child 'fail' because Gove et al decide the only way to succeed is to get A* s?

Dawndonnaagain Sat 14-Sep-13 21:56:07

I am hoping Gove takes over as leader of the Tories before the next election, that way, they won't have a snowballs chance in hell of winning!

LittleRobots Sat 14-Sep-13 21:57:18

I'm sacred by what Gove is doing to education.

Spikeytree Sat 14-Sep-13 22:04:11

Scarily, some people think that by banging on about 'standards' Gove is some how a wonderful Secretary of State for Education.

In reality, he doesn't give two shits for children in the state sector. He wants schools to turn out children who memorise facts and regurgitate them to order. Thinking for yourself is to be strongly discouraged.

Bogeyface Sat 14-Sep-13 22:06:50

Not got time to read the whole thread but...... I have one with SEN, 2 G&T, one who is very bright but a nightmare for concentration and could go either way, and one who is bang on average. Not sure about the little one yet.

I think it comes from no one wanting to say "I am sooooo proud, my DC got 4 Cs and 3 D's in their GCSEs " when there are so many posts about A*s

mam29 Sat 14-Sep-13 22:12:29

God this thread made me chuckle.

maybe mine just needs a change of bulb.

I cringe when think of pfb nursery she joined at 11months when back to work where where we declared her as advanced,

May have repeated that each year up until she started school.

she then got average -above average efys scores.
But years 1 and 2 were rocky.

she crashed and burned-clearly a peak too sooner!
The school dident fully see or appreciate her brightness must be error in way the access brightness surly.

That and joined mumset where discovered

kids could read before they started school
that they level 3 in reception.
that yinger kids were om way higher reading bands as everyone knows life successs is determined by ORT and flipping biff ad chip.
close mates daughter same year july born is convinced =hers is gifted and talented and mines in special ed group.
shes behind most of her year group.

god where did it all go wrong?
fast foward a year.

new school more rounded appreciate her sporting/artistic work and now shes ajunior having a stab at uncovering some musical ability,

no longer assocate with parents who discuss and compare nc levels.

stopped worrying about dc2 and dc3.

dc 3 age 2.5 not speakng so get all sorts of comments.

thinking one day he will rule the world so ignoring all bright speaking 12month olds.

They all my lttle stars where they shoot or what strengths will be who knows?

Im just trying give them opportunities to have fun and learn thats best i can do.

JustinBsMum Sun 15-Sep-13 01:10:47

It would be great to rerun this thread in 20 years time - find some 'bright' DCs fallen by the wayside because their exceptional needs weren't met smile and some of the worrying parents now relaxed and happy at their v successful DCs.

Everyone develops at their own pace.

Myliferocks Sun 15-Sep-13 01:21:09

I have 2 DC who are above average, 1 DC who is average and 1 DC who is struggling at school.
DD1 is at college but when she was at school she was above average.
I find that in rl I am only allowed to mention my average and struggling DC so when I come on MN it's nice that I can mention my 2 above average DC.

mrsseed Sun 15-Sep-13 01:30:20

I believe that everyone is good at something whether is a certain sport, academic subject a vocational subject. I also believe that it is a parents job to help a child find what they are good at.
So that would mean that every-one is above average just not at everything (except my dd who is above average at everything obviously)

prissyenglisharriviste Sun 15-Sep-13 01:45:58

JustinB's, you aren't generally wishing children to fail through lack of relevant support just because the school or parent has given them a bright label are you? What a shitty thing to say.

I know plenty of very bright kids that are being completely failed by the education system, so that remark makes me think you know very little about the subject.

There are bright kids with all sorts of disabilities who are being routinely failed. We don't really need to hear your sense of glee at the prospect.

lottieandmia Sun 15-Sep-13 01:49:57

Hmm, I know what you mean OP. I also think there is a deeply entrenched sentiment that bright children are worth more than children who are not bright. It's sad and wrong.

I've never said my children are very bright. I'm not one of those parents who feels the need to be competitive about what book box my child is on etc. Like you I think there is so much more to a person than whether or not they are academic.

Myliferocks Sun 15-Sep-13 02:03:22

I am proud of all 5 of my DC and their achievements. When I talk about my above average DC I'm not being competitive or showing off, I'm just being factual.
I've found that in rl average and struggling children are worth more than bright children.
This is why I stand on my own in the playground so I don't have play down my bright children.
When I talk about my bright children I find that I have to mention my average and struggling DC as well but when I'm talking about my average and struggling DC I don't have to mention my bright DC iyswim.

JustinBsMum Sun 15-Sep-13 03:19:00

No that's not what I meant. Did I mention disabilities??

Sparklingbrook Sun 15-Sep-13 08:33:15

I agree with MrsDV, everything she said. DS1 wants to be a professional footballer but I have said he ought to train as a plumber in case that doesn't work out. wink

People need plumbers, and they are always very busy, and hard to get hold of. They do very nicely.

I am fed up of hearing about Uni and A* Grades, and anything else being a disappointment.

What if the DSs don't want to go to Uni?

daytoday Sun 15-Sep-13 08:59:01

Some of the brightest kids I've met have also been the most stupid, and some of the academically struggling have been the brightest and wisest.

Goldmandra Sun 15-Sep-13 09:26:57

Bright means different things to different people.

People are more likely to post about their children's most positive aspects even when asking for help about a difficulty.

Half of any population is above average.

Those three factors in combination explain why you see plenty of posts saying children are bright.

I have posted saying that my children are very academically able. That's because it has been relevant to the post for some reason. I have been told that they are very academically able for years and it is regularly used as a justification for giving them inadequate support, e.g. Don't worry about Minigold missing a whole year of lessons. She's very bright and will have no problem catching up angry

Cat98 Sun 15-Sep-13 09:39:21

I post that ds is bright sometimes, but when it relevant (not just as a brag smile though its something I would rarely mention irl so because mn is virtually anonymous it feels ok!)

However I agree 'bright' is very vague and that it is perfectly possible to be bright in some ways but then below average in others, so it's a bit of a red herring.. But if we wanted to dissect the semantics of every turn of phrase used on here we'd be here all day. I think most people get the gist when someone says their dc are 'bright', and if not the poster can always be asked for more detail.

bruffin Sun 15-Sep-13 10:22:26

Ds teachers describe him as intelligent rather tha bright. DD is described as extremely bright by most of her teachers.
Golmandra you need to go back and learn the meaning of average. The half the population is above average is not the definition of average they are talking about when it comes to education.

lifeinthefastlane1 Sun 15-Sep-13 10:31:50

the trouble with uni these days is anyone can go and get pointless degrees, when my two eldest went it seemed like the entire school is pushed to go to uni get themselves in debt for a degree that will not do them any good in rl, they would be much better on apprenticeships or working in thier chosen fields, everyman and his dog has a degree these days, however apart from the doctors/lawyers etc..type careers, the high earning jobs do not go to graduates at all, they seem to go to the people who put in a ton of hard work along the way, that is not to say that low wage earners dont work hard(iykwim) thats another argument that I dont want to start , my actual point was that all kids are expected to go to uni, in the playground of our reception class parents are talking about uni(remember they are 4 and 5 at the moment) too much touchy feely everyones a genius approach is not a good idea kids need to know where thier strengths lie and work to them, not be made to feel like crap cos that cant hit the academic highs, yes uni is a great acheivement but you know in RL someone has to empty the bins, someone has to work in the supermarket, someone has to flip the burgers, these are not second rate citizens jobs I dont want to feel embarrassed that my job is cleaning in a residential home, if my dd2 doesnt go to uni its not the end of the world

besides I have 2 older ones (ds 1st in physics masters this one cannot be trusted with anything requiring common sense, dd1 doing biomedical science,classed as average at school ) of course I think both are very "bright" so can now rest on laurels for dd2 (age4) pmsl.(btw Im bragging here lol)

used to think I was bright but my life is distinctly average

like someone already said if everyone is above average then isnt that average?

neunundneunzigluftballons Sun 15-Sep-13 10:32:36

Bright is in the eye of the beholder. My brother is a genius but suffers from learning difficulties most likely undiagnosed dyslexia. My parents were told they were deluded for expecting him to go to university but he did and he thrived. He now owns a multi million pound business and has a fabulous work life balance enough to say he can be happy with what he has achieved. It was his parents knowledge that he was truly bright and never giving up on him when the system had that got him to where he is today. my parents taught him French having never done it themselves, English and Irish when his school refused to and you cannot go to university without them here. Basically believing your child is bright when no one else does is really important for the child.

TheUglyFuckling Sun 15-Sep-13 10:41:32

i think people use the word 'bright' because it seems less blatant than using the word 'intelligent'. Even professionals use the term because it's less black and white and can be open to interpretation.

and whilst there's a lot of people on MN who refer to their children as 'bright' there's also a lot of other people on MN who refuse to believe that any child can possibly be anymore intelligent than another child.

i know my DCs are intelligent as demonstrated by the school they're at and their SATS levels and their exam results. But some parents even dismiss such evidence as 'oh all that shows is that they're good at passing tests and exams.' no shit Sherlock. But they need their intelligence to do what they do, yes? As though children who don't do well in tests and exams could do well if they wanted it's just that they don't really feel like it.

I'm not denying that many children can be 'bright' as in cheerful and optimistic and outgoing. But i don't think their personality traits reflect their intelligence.

HairyGrotter Sun 15-Sep-13 10:46:37

I'm intelligent (IQ tested at 146), done fuck all with it, DD (5) is what I'd say was a happy average, great stuff, very happy.

I only care that she is happy and enjoys life, 'intelligent' 'bright' or not.

bruffin Sun 15-Sep-13 10:52:54

I think the attitude to learning difficulties have changeds lot neunundneunzigluftballoons. Ds has dylexia and school looked past that and he has been in top sets all the way through secondary. Completely different to when my dh was a child when he was in remedial classes even though he was clearly very bright

TheUglyFuckling Sun 15-Sep-13 10:54:09

and I think the divide is that a child who is very intelligent can also be 'bright' as in happy and optimistic and open to new ideas and stuff.

But a 'bright, optimistic open minded' child who is of average intelligence or less than average isn't ever going to be very intelligent.

Wellwobbly Sun 15-Sep-13 11:25:19

It is socioeconomic.

The children of people who contribute to Mumsnet will 'on the whole' be bright.

This is a combination of genes, and environment. Babies born into a world of good nutrition, books, correct language patterns, being talked to and stimulated, and having books read to them (ie the middle classes) will be more stimulated and therefore develop more neural pathways than babies born in more impoverished homes.

Hard scientific fact. It gets the government in a frenzy as by the age of four the differences are permanent, and this is why there are programmes such as Surestart and other playgroups, and our children going to school so early as they try and iron out the differences and ensure equality.

MrsDeVere Sun 15-Sep-13 11:26:47

What bollocks you talk.

Sparklingbrook Sun 15-Sep-13 11:34:06

Eh? What? What MrsDV said x100000.

FanjoForTheMammaries Sun 15-Sep-13 11:34:11

I was born into that world and my mum was working class single parent on benefits offensive your generalisations are.

Havea0 Sun 15-Sep-13 11:36:50

I think Wellwobbly is right on this occasion.

Mumsyblouse Sun 15-Sep-13 11:36:58

There are loads of houses with no books in them. Teachers visit homes before Reception children start and many houses have perhaps a TV guide and not much else in them. No children's books at all. This is a minority, but a significant minority.

Some people are not greatly literate themselves and so don't necessarily prioritise buying books, that's why the Book packs were sent out, but if the parents themselves are conscious of their own poor reading ability, then reading aloud is unlikely to be a fun experience for anyone. At the school my mum worked at, their home visits not only revealed lots of houses without books in but quite a few parents who wanted remedial literacy themselves- they have classes there for the parents to catch up.

It is linked to socio-economic status because if you are barely literate, it limits the kind of work you can do and money you can earn, a majority of the prison population has problems with literacy (ranging from just a poor reader to really not literate at all).
You would hope that all children in education in the UK would end up literate after 11 years but this is not true. I have worked in schools in inner London in which the 12/13 year olds couldn't read the forms/info we had provided and we had to read it aloud to them.

Very sad. This does not mean that there are not plenty of non-mc families who love books and are oriented around education and reading, there are, probably the majority but just that there are some who fall out of the literacy net really badly and without a lot of intensive resources, this then translates into poor life chances all around (the gov't has cut back on Reading Recovery and interventions on this which is very short-sighted).

Sparklingbrook Sun 15-Sep-13 11:38:11

By the age of four the differences are permanent Have?

Havea0 Sun 15-Sep-13 11:38:29

Not saying though that there is any reason why everyone cant do a whole load of stilulation before a child starts school.

Havea0 Sun 15-Sep-13 11:40:09

hmm, I think so yes. Sorry. There have been studies on this, probably America?

MrsDeVere Sun 15-Sep-13 11:41:39

There is an important point to explore here.
Attitudes like wellywobbly's are not uncommon.

Unfortunately they are held by people with the power to turn these neo eugenic ideas into self fulfilling prophesies.

Take the ridiculous posts from teachers stating 'I can always tell a child is going to be naughty if they are called Kaeden/Jayden/McKenna'

Nothing will dissuade them, they just know.

These are people who have had the advantage of a good education, good genes hmm and decent nutrition.

Yet they cannot make the connection between treating children as if they are no-hopers and those children believing they are no hopers.

Personally I don't think that is particularly 'bright' behaviour.

Mumsyblouse Sun 15-Sep-13 11:42:47

But I do not link this to a hard neurobiological argument like Wellwobbly. One of the reasons that people did like grammar schools (or rather some who used them did) in the 60's was because it gave bright but poorer kids (like my dad who lived in a 2 up 2 down in a poor area) an opportunity to get good qualifications and an entrance into the professions. My grandma was not very literate, she could write perhaps two or three simple sentences on a postcard in a shaky hand and sign it, left school at 13- her son went on to be a headmaster, to love literature and complete a higher degree. Something has to lift people out of the culture of impoverished expectations and opportunities and although I see the grammar schools had their problems, social mobility is worse now, not better and again this is really tragic.

MrsDeVere Sun 15-Sep-13 11:43:20

If I worked in a school where a 13 year old couldn't read I think I would be looking to myself for answers, not blaming the lack of books in the child's home.

MrsDeVere Sun 15-Sep-13 11:49:04

mumsy in my experience
quite a lot of 'impoverished expectations' come from the system not the parents.

I am an intelligent woman with a lot of experience in the social sector. My job is in the field of child development. I am 46 and have five children.

In short, I know what I am talking about.

But because I do not sound the right way, dress the right way and my children do not look the right way, I cannot count the amount of times I have had people less qualified than me talk utter bullshit to me.

My concerns dismissed, my opinions discounted.

This as a parent.

Tackle the prejudice and snobbery within the system and children like mine could have a better chance of getting somewhere.

I was told that I couldn't do things as a child. Told I could only go into certain work.

We may not have career officers explicitly telling children this now but that doesn't mean its not happening in other ways.

Havea0 Sun 15-Sep-13 11:49:32

Just because a person doesnt like something, doesnt mean that it is not true.
Just because people in soiciety can use that for their own means, doesnt mean that it is not true.
Just because a person is from one background as opposed to another, doesnt mean that it is not true.
Just because a person doesnt like an idea, doesnt mean that it is not true.
Just because a person has been taught something different, doesnt mean that it is not true.
Just because a person has not heard that before, does not meam that it is not true.
Just because a person finds an idea abhorent does not mean that it is not true.

Mumsyblouse Sun 15-Sep-13 11:49:34

You can see from the GCSE results that some children leave school without any qualifications at all. Is this really news?

I only found out when I went into the schools as a visitor (I was not a teacher). They are in classes of 30, once the window of reading (say 5-10) in primary has gone they were often neglected, and their reading would remain very poor, plus by then teenage issues kicked in (truancy, other problems).

If you are shocked by it, then adult literacy classes must be even more shocking. Why do you think they run classes in basic maths and english at the local colleges? These are not for immigrants at all, but the UK schooled population who fell out of the net.

But- of course, poverty of expectations at home in school and in society in general don't help.

Havea0 Sun 15-Sep-13 11:52:20

MrsDeVere. It is genes and environment. Not just environment. And I agre with you. That is other peoples' prejudices. They are taking into avvount environment and leaving out genes all together. Ridiculous of them and snobby.

Havea0 Sun 15-Sep-13 11:53:41

I have always thought that there is huuuge untapped potential in deprived areas.

CairngormsClydesdale Sun 15-Sep-13 11:54:59


Of course the root of the problem is the dumb as rock parents. You see, they're so dumb they don't realise their offspring are dumb because of course their yardstick is stumpy! wink

Havea0 Sun 15-Sep-13 11:55:56

And I am totally with you again, in thinking that that makes any excuse whatsoever for not trying and expecting and encouraging the absolute best out of pupils, and indeed, people when they are adults too.

neunundneunzigluftballons Sun 15-Sep-13 12:06:45

On a societal level what well wobbly is saying is true though obviously individuals are different and plenty of parents and children succeed in spite of difficulties in their circumstances. Accepting that lower socio economic groupings have less opportunities allows policies to be developed to try to overcome any potential issues. While that might be unpalatable for some people it is better better to be proactive than leaving people to find their own solutions on a case by case basis.

TheUglyFuckling Sun 15-Sep-13 12:06:57

i think I have read several studies where the two biggest predictors of a child's academic success are purely the numbers of books in the family home and the educational background of the mother? the educational background of the father doesn't have a significant impact, I don't think?

Mumsyblouse Sun 15-Sep-13 12:08:38

I am not saying poor literacy is caused only by parents having poor literacy, I'm saying unless there is some type of intervention to lift children's literacy up above that of their parents, the cycle repeats itself and one of the consequences is social deprivation for the less literate.

This lifting up could be anything from a paid for course coming from government funding, parents who don't have great literacy themselves (e.g. those who don't have English as a first language) but pay for tutors/help/prioritise education at home, parents reading every night to their children (of course this makes children more literate!), a great school system which gets the majority reading and catches the ones who are struggling and helps them for 11 years until they can read, a more general culture in which being educated and working hard at school is valued and not seen as uncool or geeky etc

But, this is not what happens, and there are still children/teens out there who are really not literate to the standards needed to get good jobs/use the internet and so on. The government knows schemes such as Reading Recovery work, but the scheme is no longer a priority for them.

NoComet Sun 15-Sep-13 12:17:13

I think research reckons it's about 50/50 genes and environment.

DD2 is 100% her English teacher grandparents descendent. It's quite unnerving. There are distinct edges of them in DD1 too. We're scientists, it definitely skipped a generation.

Social mobility is a difficult one. My bright working class grandfather moved up to being a MC lecturer because of the technical skills he learnt in the RAF. DHs dad got a university scholarship from a trade guild (he's actually older than my grandpa).

They then had DCs they expected to go to university.

Around the same time, women started going to university. DFs parents are in their mid 80's, they are probably amongst the first couples where bright girl and bright boy meet at university and get married.

The more this happens, and the less people marry the girl next door the less genetic mixing there is.

Eugenics has happened whether we like it or not. As soon as universities became mixed they became a bright people dating club. Grammar schools allowed intelligent working class people to join this club.

On average genetically bright people have bright children. They then give them lots of advantages too and the cycle continues.

MrsMelons Sun 15-Sep-13 12:52:10

I think most children are bright, it is not necessarily always used to describe a clever child, sometimes a sociable happy child.

I think there are often lots of mums on MN with clever/gifted children as it is not something people are able discuss in RL (although it can be a bit like that on MN also) so maybe there is a higher % on here?

Wellwobbly Sun 15-Sep-13 12:54:52

"There is an important point to explore here.
Attitudes like wellywobbly's are not uncommon."

Sadly Mrs deVere your Good Intentions and Moral Superiority can't make reality go away. And designating my 'attitude' Evil and therefore Irrelevant (that tired, tired tactic) won't make the facts go away either.

And OP who got defensive and 'resents' me? You notice I said very carefully 'on the whole'. On the whole.

I didn't make up bell curves, you know, and nor did I make up the bell curve that plots 'brightness'.

I am studying the development of neural pathways at the moment. If you apply logic, OF COURSE a good diet and stimulation will develop brain activity.

MrsDeVere Sun 15-Sep-13 14:12:48

For someone who thinks they are awfully bright
you don't half use a lot of superfluous capital letters hmm

You can whip out as many graphs and stats as you like Wobbly but if you ignore the multitude of reasons why children 'fail' (and indeed what to fail means) in favour of your 'bad blood' theory,

you are not as bright as you think you are.

I know a fair bit about the role of neural pathways smartarse.
You are conflating working class/poverty/lack of stimulation.

YOU are a snob.

Havea0 Sun 15-Sep-13 14:23:02

<trying to make a little peace here>
I dont like much of Wellwobblys last post, but am not sure that English is her first language.

Not all areas have pre school home visits either. They certainly don't here. Just thought I'd point that out!

samu2 Sun 15-Sep-13 14:48:00

There is only one bright child in our family. My nephew. Gifted, high IQ, been winning chess games etc against adults in tournaments since he was 8 years old. He is truly amazing and he's an all rounder. Amazing at sport as well, everything he does he excels at with ease. That's not to say that his intelligence doesn't cause problems, he gets bored at school, nothing is a challenge for him.

I have five children, three of them are below average. One is average and the other is too young for me to say.

What they all have though is amazing determination. They work to the best of their ability and never give up. I think that will get them far in life. They push themselves and put every effort into their work.

NoComet Sun 15-Sep-13 15:41:34

I'm afraid Mrs DV there is no escaping the fact that statistically higher IQ parents have higher IQ DCs.

We shouldn't shy away from that fact we should use it to devise ways to help those DCs who aren't dealt this genetic leg up achieve their maximum potential.

We need government policies and teaching methods that accept the less able children will need extra help to ensure they get the most out of their time in school. Cutting money to Sure Start is the absolute opposite of this.

I live in a rural area with very rich, graduate commuters on the one hand, who have genetically and financially advantaged DCs.

On the other we have a number of DCs who's parents and grandparents have lived here for generations doing manual jobs, many of whom didn't enjoy school and their DCs don't either.

Their parents have seen their brighter school friends go to grammar school and move away and the commuters move in.

House prices have rocketed and rural wages have not.

We desperately need government action on housing, transport costs, providing buses and ensuring subsidised nursery and extra curricular activities are available to these DCs and schools face up to their needs.

But no! Sure start is cut, rural libraries and swimming pools are cut, fucking Ofsted come along and try and take all the fun enrichment activities out the time table. Leaving only expensive skiing etc. in the holidays.

Add to this the fact they are meant to stay in education, with minimal financial support to 18, I can't see the gap in inequality closing at all.

TheUglyFuckling Sun 15-Sep-13 16:21:07

i have to agree with Wobbly and StarBallBunny in that statistically higher IQ parents will have higher IQ children. I have read an awful lot of research on the subject as part of my studies and it seems pretty conclusive.

of course there are other things which you have to factor in. But the base line begins with the IQ of the parents. I appreciate that seems very unfair because you can't pick your parents, but it is the reality.

With this being the case then we obviously need to help and support all the children who weren't presented with this unfair genetic advantage at the moment of their conception.

MrsDeVere Sun 15-Sep-13 16:42:46

IQ is a construct
It was constructed for the sole purpose of catogorising people in order to decide where they would be accommodated and, later on, if they would be allowed to live.

An IQ test tells you very little about a person's actual ability.

Unless the IQ is low enough for the individual's life to be significantly impacted.

Otherwise they are just meaningless numbers.

Taffeta Sun 15-Sep-13 16:51:08

I have a DS who is described by his teachers as bright. He's above average but not exceptional, he picks concepts up quickly, is alert, logical and follows instruction well. He's driven and competitive, a strong desire to do well. He's an easy teach.

I also have a DD who is the opposite. She's a dreamer, can take ages to grasp concepts, is average in terms of NC levels and is not a pleaser. She likes to stay under the radar. She has a much better grasp of those things that IQ doesn't measure, like EI and inference.

I suspect they would score very differently in an IQ test. I wouldn't place much value on it though.

prissyenglisharriviste Sun 15-Sep-13 17:08:01

It is of limited specific use depending on context. That said though, it isn't unusual for a child whose iq scores extremely high, to be equally highly adept in picking up information, manipulating it, and using it in context. So, often, those who score 'high' in iq tests will also be the ones that teachers, parents, and bob walking past in the street think (and comment) 'gosh, she/ he's bright, eh?'

It isn't hard and fast - there are children who score highly but have significantly lower social skills and their comprehension and knowledge aren't as accessible to teachers, parents, and other folk. And there are children who struggle to maintain focus, but when they can, can produce outstanding complex understanding and display a much greater depth of knowledge than their peer group...

Iq is interesting. For at least one of my kids, her iq score has meant that she is taken seriously as a student in school. She would have been one of the children written written off, housed in an institution, and left to rot if she had been born sooner. (She has cerebral palsy. Passers by tend to pat her on the head, 'aw bless' and write her off as a tragedy.) she has a higher iq than her paediatrician, taught herself to read before she could talk, and intends to study law.

Interestingly, we only had her tested (at five) because we were trying emigrate, and no one wants a kid with a label like cp. She was deemed to be a likely 'burden on the state' for the country we were moving to, and our immigration was likely to be turned down as a result. So, we were told we had to prove she didn't have a learning disability. Whether mn posters like iq tests or not, governments officials do (I'm not making any comments about the efficacy). So, we had to fork out for a full clinical psych/ ed psych assessment. The results of this (of course the immigration had never met my child, and so were solely relying on the scores on paper) meant that we were able to move.

I do understand that high iq is often dismissed as meaningless - but for dd1 it means she is overturning societal expectations of people with disabilities, and actually being given the opportunity of an education in line with her ability, not her disability. So, you know what, it works for me as a fairly blunt tool.

prissyenglisharriviste Sun 15-Sep-13 17:12:08

Conversely, for those who test at a much lower score, it can be used by parents and teachers to secure more funding and support for the child to enable to reach their own potential.

Measures such as iq might be political, but they are pretty much the only tool that parents of children with sn have to try and force the system into producing support. (I'm also talking about other centile driven assessments)

To dismiss them as meaningless is easy enough when you aren't relying on them to prove that your child needs more support.

prissyenglisharriviste Sun 15-Sep-13 17:12:56

... And you don't have any other way of doing it...

BalloonSlayer Sun 15-Sep-13 17:25:45

IME, round our way "bright" seems to be a euphemism for average or slightly above average. In the context of: parents have been called in to school because of DC's bad behaviour. During the meeting, the teacher says "well, he's a bright boy," meaning "I don't think there are any SEN that are making him kick off like this," but the parents hear "My child is misbehaving because they are so clever they get bored," and that's what they tell everyone at the school gates.

MrsDeVere Sun 15-Sep-13 17:30:59

I have a child with learning difficulties.
I work with children with learning difficulties.

Did you know that in order for adults with LD to secure funding and support from the LD team they have to submit to an IQ test?

These can be parents with LD. So the tool that is used to measure their suitability for support can also be used as the means to prove that they are not fit parents.

I would NOT allow my son to undergo IQ testing.

There is no need. If a child's IQ is so low as to make a significant impact on their ability to learn it no necessary to have an IQ test. It will be evident from the delay and difficulty they have.

Otherwise a few points here and there make very little difference.

You can have an IQ of 160 and have severe auditory processing disorder or autism. Both will have more of an impact on your learning than how 'bright' you are.

IQ tests are a tool of oppression.

TheUglyFuckling Sun 15-Sep-13 17:31:54

in these circumstances I think I would have been more accurate to write statistically 'high intelligence parents give birth to high intelligence children'.

I agree IQ can be misleading.

prissyenglisharriviste Sun 15-Sep-13 17:35:03

Or they are a tool to let you access help. Like I said - blunt tool, but if it's the one in use by the agencies responsible for providing support in order to allocate support, then you use the tools available to you.

I do admire your insistence in the face of what might be an easier ride in order to gain support (I'm sure that it has been otherwise described as 'cutting nose off to spite face') and I'm not a fan of the hoop jumping required to access support.

Surely it makes more sense to conform to the procedures currently in place, whilst campaigning for change? (Genuinely interested - I do admire those who have the strength to go against the grain - but as you say, many people don't have that option).

prissyenglisharriviste Sun 15-Sep-13 17:38:18

(And in the face of those with v high iq but severe autism, you would need additional tests, of course, as the iq wouldn't present a full picture. Ds1 has a high iq but struggles a little in this way - in his case, we use the high iq to 'prove' to the authorities that he is not meeting his potential, and the results of the other tests (a whole schwack of them, can't list off head) that the asd is the reason, and so he needs support with that to fulfil his potential.

Like I said, I don't like constant testing, but I'm not above doing it and using the results to force the hand of those who hold the purse strings...

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 15-Sep-13 17:41:22

MrsD I've found your posts on this thread so interesting.

I agree with you re IQ tests being a negative tool and also, just generally bollocks.

Gunznroses Sun 15-Sep-13 17:46:07

Commutterbelt - that's pecisely what we are told on MN, its either your dc is bright, or super bright even, or dim. If they are anything below bright, they're only fit for the scrapheap. Nice.

To be honest i enjoy reading all sorts of threads including the educational ones on MN, you often pick up bits and pieces of interesting viewpoints, i dont believe all the crap spouted by all the self proclaimed experts whose dc just so happen to be in the 'bright' category. Children all develop at different rates, some peak early and some just get better bit by bit over a longer period, with a good education they are all able to reach their full potential in the end. Not everybody will get into grammar school, nor able to afford private education, infact the majority will go to bog standard comps and onto a combination of RG and new universities.

Ambitious people will forge good careers for themselves regardless of which uni they went to and work for companies side by side with the super bright kids of yesterday in the end its your work ethic AND your PERSONALITY that will get you through doors, afterall no matter how bright you are, after your 1st yr of work post gradation no one really asks? Where did you go to school?. Ive never been asked and had a very good career in the city. It does make me laugh some of the rubbish spouted on those threads sometimes, in most cases only applying to one or two specific career paths.

MrsDeVere Sun 15-Sep-13 17:46:17

Its not jumping through hoops.
It is making a ethical stance against the oppression of people with Learning Difficulties. It is also refusing to allow the LA to cut corners and not do a proper assessment of my child's needs. Not that I would expect any decent LA to insist on an IQ test for a child!

I have managed to get my son a statement and into a specialist school without the need for outdated testing.

If you have a child with a 'high IQ' the consequences of getting them tested are not quite the same as if you have on with a 'low IQ' are they?

To be labelled for the rest of his life with an IQ of 70-80 or so? What possible advantage would that give him?

Except to get him written of before he has a chance.

Who doesn't have the option? If someone like me has it I can't imagine who hasn't.

Havea0 Sun 15-Sep-13 17:46:37

MrsDeVere. Dear MrsDeVere. I agree with many of your posts, but not always. And I also know that you are generally very warm hearted.

But your natural and understandabel fear of IQ tests should not get in the way of some truths about them.

Yes, people can have a high IQ but not use their abilities well.
Yes, people can have a high IQ but be emotionally igm=norant. fwiw, I think that applies to a surprisingly large amount of people with large IQs. Again, fwiw, I sometimes think that blood goes to some parts of their brains and not others[just a personal, probably unsubstantiated theory of mine!]
Yes, in some case and in some jobs, those with lower IQs can do that job better.

MrsDeVere Sun 15-Sep-13 17:48:24

Thank you Alisv.

For the compliment, not for agreeing with me, no-one has to do that grin

although it would save time if they did

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 15-Sep-13 17:51:51

Havea0 define low IQ though?

For example - I doubt I'll ever score highly on them because I am crap at maths (think I should have been diagnosed with discaclia at school) . I've seen IQ tests though never done one.

As MrsD points out being labelled with a low IQ really isn't the same as being labelled as having a high one.

MrsDeVere Sun 15-Sep-13 17:52:20

I will concede though prissy that for a parent with a child with CP they may seem a useful tool.
As people with CP have been historically written off as ineducable.

prissyenglisharriviste Sun 15-Sep-13 17:53:23

You can use a low test score to force support. I know a lot of people who hope for low scores for that reason, as they are struggling to access support any other way.

As I said, I'm very admiring of that ethical stance, but I wonder how much practical use it is? As you are using parents who themselves have learning disabilities as a case in point, how many are going to have the wherewithal to access adequate support for their child if they refuse testing? I've seen so many children not get any support because their parents were incapable of advocating on their behalf.

I'm largely not talking about LEA assessments. They are of course corner-cutting, cheap, and don't provide a full picture by their very nature. A full clinical psych/ ed psych report where a battery of testing is completing (including WISC or whatever iq test) will give a much fuller picture. The obvious response is that most people can't afford to pay for full testing (a valid point) unless they can access charity funding etc (which also means it is self-selecting unless parents are capable of applying for those funds themselves, or have a good key worker to do it for them).

It could easily be said that it would be more ethical to campaign for full and complete testing of all children in this position, to ensure a full picture is provided to determine support, than to refuse one particular test because in isolation it does not meet needs...

Gunznroses Sun 15-Sep-13 17:54:57

MrsDevere - i completely agree, IQ tests are a way of pinning a label on person that says, "this is how far you can go, thats your lot" or"we are different, a rare breed, special, entitled" its all bollocks as far as im concerned. I remember one MNer posted once that bith she and her dh were veryhigh achieving successful academics, both had Masters degrees and i think dh had a Phd. For some reason they got their IQ done and both came out just over 100! They were both shocked and couldn't understand it. The Mner said if she had had her IQ test done when she was a lot younger she may not have ever worked so hard, gone to uni etc because she would have just believed she wasn't bright, non academic and dim sad

MrsDeVere Sun 15-Sep-13 17:57:00

I do not have fear of IQ tests.

And I cannot see any 'truths' in your post.

Just theories.

What are the truths about IQ tests?

SubliminalMassaging Sun 15-Sep-13 17:57:10

PMSL Drink I am SO glad you posted this - I was thinking of doing the very same thing myself the other day - it's hilariously predictable isn't it? grin

MrsDeVere Sun 15-Sep-13 17:58:27

And imagine being upset at having an IQ of 100 gunz shock

An IQ that means you can do pretty much whatever you need to do to have a happy and fulfilling life.

prissyenglisharriviste Sun 15-Sep-13 17:59:32

Oh yes, I agree that unless you have a child that is struggling in some way, iq testing is completely unnecessary.
Vanity testing is a nonsense.
But I do see a use for testing at both ends of the spectrum, if the child is struggling for some reason. Iq testing alone doesn't cut it, but it fills in a part of the puzzle. Each child is an individual, and if they are struggling, I'm passionate about identifying why, and putting in measures to support.

It really (as ever) all boils down to funding. They aren't prepared to (pay to) test fully, so LEAs do the minimum testing possible and attempt to use those results. Of course it doesn't work - they don't have a full picture.

Havea0 Sun 15-Sep-13 18:00:52

I think low is below 80? I could be wrong.
And so agree that noone should ever be written off.
Though I concede that I assume that it is done by some. And used against them.

Alis. They are construed in some way, dont know how, to take into account all sorts of things, not just maths.

SubliminalMassaging Sun 15-Sep-13 18:01:49

I particularly like it when their brightness is misunderstood for naughtiness or rudeness at school. That's always a good 'un.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 15-Sep-13 18:05:54


I just meant any maths section would seriously affect any result. I can live without knowing to be honest. I've achieved what I've achieved not knowing. Oddly, despite being appalling at maths (no Mrs Smith Alis was not underconfident, she couldn't bloody well do it!) I am good with money. V odd.

prissyenglisharriviste Sun 15-Sep-13 18:06:19

Sure subliminal <tired>, but y'know, there really are exceptions where kids are bored rigid because they are sitting through a learning to read exercise and mastered that skill (and comprehension to equivalent) many years before.

There's no excuse for bad behaviour, but equally, there's no excuse for teachers not meeting the needs of their students. There's only so far that 'learning patience and how to sit quietly whilst waiting for everyone else to catch up' will go for a 4 or 5 yo.

Bad behaviour should always be dealt with. But students individual educational needs should also be met. At both ends of the spectrum.

Gunznroses Sun 15-Sep-13 18:07:17

MrsDevere - according to the general consensus MN and rll, anything under 120 is dim! so 100 is bordering on retarded (i know its a horrible word).

I also dont get how they come up with these tests, you have to be exposed to certain environments to understand a lot of them. They are supposed to test inate ability but it doesnt look like that to me. You also have to be good at maths.

prissyenglisharriviste Sun 15-Sep-13 18:09:11

Silly bitching about academically able children is a real popular skill on mn.

Warms the cockles, it sure does.

I'm all for silly bitching about daft parents who have unrealistic views about their pfbs, but I can't abide this sniping about clever kids. It shows the whole site in a really bad light.

And agin, bad behaviour should always be dealt with.

But ALL students needs should be met.

SubliminalMassaging Sun 15-Sep-13 18:14:17

the thing is, so many posters come on with a problem concerning their child that is often TOTALLY unrelated to their level of intelligence, and they always manage to shoehorn in the statement, 'the trouble is DS is very bright and I wonder if it's affecting this situation?'

And it turns out they won't eat vegetables, or stay in their own bed at night, or they kicked a boy at school or swore at the dinner lady. hmm

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 15-Sep-13 18:14:46

That goes without saying prissy.

My year at school were the "guinea pig" year from the very start. The only streamed lessons were maths and science, even then not until starting GCSE's. All other subjects - you'd have a class mix of children sitting higher,mid and foundation tier papers. The teacher were not able to cater for everybody. The bright but quiet were ignored. The less able but quiet were ignored. The bright/less able who acted out and were disruptive got all the attention. I think a fair few in my year suffered for that.

The school never ran that system again.

Nancy66 Sun 15-Sep-13 18:30:58

I just took the BBC Test the Nation IQ test and scored 83. I notched up a grand total of zero in the 'reasoning' section.

I am just not very good at remembering what order a bunch of coloured straws were put into a box.

Sparklingbrook Sun 15-Sep-13 18:32:49

I can't do the memory tests or the 'what number is next in this sequence' Nancy.

Nancy66 Sun 15-Sep-13 18:34:56

the only ones I can really do are the language ones.

food is to mouth as car is to garage, that sort of thing.

prissyenglisharriviste Sun 15-Sep-13 19:15:39

Sub, then that's fair enough. And I'm pretty sure the responses are all 'I don't think that's related to his eating vegetables/ swearing at the dinner lady'. But there seems to be a bit of a thing on mn that if anyone mentions their kid is above average academically, or appears noticeably quicker than their peer group, it's a free for all and everyone automatically dismisses the consideration that sometimes, there is an effect, and they are not being given the support they need.

Socially, for example. Was dd2 ostracised by her peer group because she drooled and looked like a drunk? Or because she had nothing in common with them in a classroom situation? Six of one and half a dozen of the other.

Exactly, Alis. I remember sitting in French and German lessons and being unable to learn a single thing. Not because I was in any way learning disabled, but because there were a small number of children in the classroom whose sole aim for the lesson was to make the teacher cry. Which usually happened within the first twenty minutes, causing them to flee the room, and us to all to sigh, and sit and wait for whichever deputy was sent along to give us all a bollocking.

An entire year group where every single student's ability to learn was compromised and their needs not met. And yet, most of the kids were too well behaved (even the brainy ones) to throw their toys well out of the cot and cause a fuss. We sat and sucked it up. And got piss poor exam results as a result. If, however, a child with a high iq lost it and started yelling and shouting, and was really rude to the ht, as they had finally lost their patience with a system where their needs (and the rest of the class) were not being met, and their sense of the injustice had finally overtaken them, I bet the usual crew on mn would just see the 'bright' comment by the op, and dismiss the context. <cue sucking of teeth and lots of 'pfb, he deserves expulsion, it doesn't matter how clever you think he is' etc etc.

Pisses me right off, so it does. grin

FanjoForTheMammaries Sun 15-Sep-13 19:22:07 is a horrible why use it

Especially when you clearly aren't and it's an average score hmm

Gunznroses Sun 15-Sep-13 19:30:55

Fanjo - im simply discussing what i have heard, this is the actual word that was used, you can report something without necessarily agreeing with it.

..and your second line ^ "especially when you clerarly aren't and its an average score'^ please read my post again, i was referring to another poster, and quite surprised as i thought 100 was supposed to be the average score.

why the face?

twistyfeet Sun 15-Sep-13 19:33:59

IMO IQ tests test people who are good at IQ tests.

FanjoForTheMammaries Sun 15-Sep-13 19:35:38

That word tends to make my face go hmm

TheLightPassenger Sun 15-Sep-13 19:49:15

Gunz, I agree with Fanjo do think that use of the "r" word was rather insensitive, particularly in this context, where some MNetters' experience of IQ tests will have been for looking at a child's learning difficulties.

Gunznroses Sun 15-Sep-13 19:50:38

It rattles my cage also but i dont know how you refer to that word without actually saying it, how does anyone know what you are on about about? Maybe we can have a glossary of pseudonyms to replace nasty words, but that will just become the new nasty word, Anyone here with an IQ of 150 to help us out? grin

Gunznroses Sun 15-Sep-13 19:56:21

Thelight- Im sure the mners you refer to can see the context in which it was used, it wasnt used to insult anybody but rather to show how unkind and dismissive people have been be in real life and on here, it has been said to me and by the way i am one of those mners you refer to.

FacebookWanker Sun 15-Sep-13 19:57:48

I'm always amazed by children (not just mine) and how their minds work. I love the. Way they work things out and question the things that don't make sense...

TheLightPassenger Sun 15-Sep-13 20:10:31

I know you weren't setting out to offend gunz, but it's still an upsetting word for many. I suppose in the MN context,you could substitute "doomed to a life of academic underachievement"?

Wellwobbly Sun 15-Sep-13 20:12:41

Mrs deVere, sorry if I pushed some of your buttons, but do try and control the projection somewhat. Thanks for those who provided some dispassionate and unemotional back up.

BTW I didn't say anything about IQ. But now it has been brought up, people really shouldn't get exercised about it. 'IQ' (the ability to understand concepts) is only a small facet of ability and is only relevant if someone wants to be, say, a nuclear physicist or work with very complex mathematical or scientific problems.

Previously it was thought that high IQ = successful. This is simply not so. There is so much more to ability than thinking, and also to personality, which is how a person applies their way of working.

For instance, an employer would very often be far better off hiring people with 'less' IQ, because 'clever' people get bored easily. Indeed, people thought of as not at all clever make brilliant workers. Providing they are not asked to think about problems or come up with a new way of doing things, and providing they are well trained, they make better employees!

In my opinion tenacity (not giving up in application) is far, far more important. What you put into life, is what you get out.

TheUglyFuckling Sun 15-Sep-13 20:25:29

agree with you Wellwobbly.

My db is extremely intelligent but has always struggled to stay in a job. He's a terrible employee because he's quickly bored, quickly masters every task given him then spends his time arguing that the jobs could be done in a better (his) way. And before anyone knows where they are db is questioning company policy and arguing debating with senior managers and getting incredibly frustrated with everything.

He has no empathy with people who can't process concepts as quickly as him or follow his ideas. he's impatient and intolerant.

we all breathed a sigh of relief when he decided to work for himself as a consultant. And he's very successful now grin

for the vast majority of jobs people really don't need an IQ of higher than 100.

Wellwobbly Sun 15-Sep-13 20:29:06

So glad he found his niche TUF.

MrsDeVere Sun 15-Sep-13 20:37:48

Passive aggression is never a substitute for wit well.


MrsDeVere Sun 15-Sep-13 20:39:44

that should say 'never a good substitute*

My previous post is a downright lie.

So often is it used as an substitute for wit on MN.

Gunznroses Sun 15-Sep-13 20:56:57

Thelight - that's a good substitute. I'll try and remember that.

TheUglyFuckling Sun 15-Sep-13 21:12:04

intelligence and who is or isn't, is always the big pink elephant in the corner of the room. Everyone tries to be kind and pretend it's not really there.

Inclusionist Sun 15-Sep-13 21:20:11

DH and I met at Oxford, His grandparents met at Cambridge, 5 PhDs in the immediate family, including DH. DS could be expected to be bright.

Actually he is a nice little lad. Enthusiastic, funny, loving, confident but not exceeding expectations academically. I don't think it's going to hold him back.

Inclusionist Sun 15-Sep-13 21:27:13

<He can read cvc words though, and was only 3 last month> validates existance on mumsnet

DeWe Sun 15-Sep-13 21:51:14

There is a certain extent that "brightness", as beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.
My grandparents left school with no qualifications at age 14. So my df who went to university was pure genius.
Dm had a friend who used to boast about her brilliant ds. He was outstanding in maths. She used to say things like "I don't expect there's anyone who understands maths as well as him". One time in the conversation it got mentioned that he was in set 3 out of 8. But because she had always struggled in any maths, to her that was outstanding.
Equally well I know someone who regards herself as not very clever. Lets just say she has a first in Chemistry from Durham and got 5 As at Alevel back in the days where 3 was typical. Her three siblings got 6-7 As at Alevel and went to Oxbridge.
She nearly didn't apply to university as she thought she wouldn't get in, because she clearly (compared to siblings) wasn't clever enough. I wouldn't say she suffers from low confidence and low self-esteme either.

So when we see our baby, who not very long ago was only pooing, sleeping and burping draw a scribble on the paper and say "dog", they are clever in our eyes and we can be proud of them.

Wellwobbly Mon 16-Sep-13 15:50:05

Nothing passive aggressive about what I wrote Mrs deVere. Sorry I made you react, control your projections. Simple straightforward English.

KatoPotato Mon 16-Sep-13 17:16:26

Do you have to pay for IQ tests? Doesn't seem a very 'bright' plan to me.

My Dad used to love winding up a guy in the pub who bleated on about being a member of MENSA.

'How much did that cost you pal? - Very clever!'

wink1970 Mon 16-Sep-13 17:38:37

This subject makes me LOL very hard - in my family there are at least 2 primary age DC who are supposedly genius level.

No they're not, you just taught them the basics earlier than their peers/before they went to school, so they have a head start for a while.

Telling a child they are 'bright' when really you have just given them a head start IMHO fosters an initial over-confidence in the DC, that can translate into later laziness, followed by esteem issues if they don't continue to be ahead of the curve. I saw it loads at school (a pushy parent paradise).

TootiesFrootie Mon 16-Sep-13 18:15:24

I think it is great if kids are gifted or very bright but however hard I try I just can't bring myself to care. I care about my own kids but hearing about others is usually very dull.
I am impressed when friends kids get a zillion A*'s or go to Cambridge or invent something hmm or climb Mount Everest with a sack of potatoes on their back -- but its a fleeting moment and I go back to NOT CARING.

On the other hand I am a sucker for stories about kids who have 'achieved' things against the odds, even if they are more modest achievements smile

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