I've been in here a lot since my DS was about 3, and I must admit I find it can be very negative. Comments like "your child can't be gifted because my child was doing that and so much more at his age" are completely unhelpful.
Parents search out this forum because something has happened that has made them question their child abilities - not because they want to boast or brag.
Interestingly PPUK have not only changed their name but have also changed their own terminology believing that the word "gifted" is misunderstood and outdated. Personally I think that "High Learning Potential" far better fits my own son and lots of other children whose parents come here looking for advice.
Please lets just help each other and not turn it into a boasting match. People come here because they need help & advice.
I don't think it's always wanting to put other parents down. Often it is in response to an OP that suggests that if their (often very young) child is gifted, this is something terribly worrying that requires a great deal of expert handling. The responses to that kind of post tend to focus on three undeniable truths:
a) It is very early to decide if an 18mo is gifted or not, so you may be worrying prematurely.
b) Plenty of highly gifted children do not suffer from social problems, disruptiveness or boredom, so you may be worrying prematurely.
c) Normal family life is actually rather interesting and stimulating even for a highly gifted toddler. You don't have to be an expert in education or spend a fortune to provide stimulation. So you may be worrying prematurely.
I don't mind the term gifted. Agree this topic can be quite bitchy. High Learning Potential sounds like gobbledigook. High Achiever or High potential would be okay. Don't really care. But I don't like "bright". my children are not lightbulbs.
As usual, Chillikate, you speak a lot of sense. Quite honestly, I would rather 'stick pins in my eyes' than talk about my DCs abilities and it would be a very sad person who received any real gratification by boasting on line with a bunch of strangers. I always think that willingness to boast about abilities is actually inversely related to said abilities. Nevertheless, sometimes it is necessary to give some insight as to background, when asking for advice and this is invariably seen as boasting on here.
Often the most negative posts come from teachers. Fair enough if posters are saying 'my kid is reading her name at 3 is that gifted?', but most posters are talking about children who are doing far more than this. I am still laughing about the teacher who described my DD as 'average', we already had ed psych results and those comments said far more about the teacher than DD. Moving to the private sector, DD went on to score 100% in prep school exams, across 4 or 5 subjects just a few months later and I was met by the headmaster at the school gate and he said 'we need to ensure DD meets her amazing potential'. The Headmaster had already talked to us about DD perhaps trying for one the most selective schools in the country, which is local to us, because they also specialise in one of DDs emerging extra curricular interests. We simply were not aware of this and had we not known better and believed the 'your child is average' comment we would never have considered the school for DD. I knew she was in safe hands, otherwise I would have been on here saying 'how can someone get 100%, she is not being challenged appropriately or the exams were set at the wrong level'! That would not have been a boast - but a real worry, when we have had to pay for private education.
I agree with the 'Plenty of highly gifted children do not suffer from social problems, disruptiveness or boredom' but if there are absolutely no problems, no issues to discuss then there is no need to network with like-minded peers and most people would not bother to search out this forum.
The truth is that MANY parents of high potential DC will notice things that are unusual along the way, there may be unusual behavioural problems, albeit often 'just a phase', parenting styles may need to be adapted and many of us will have difficulties with the education system, which by definition, is not set up to cater for the child who sits at the 99th or 99.9 percentile, in the same way it is not set up to support the child who sits at below the 5th percentile.
I also hate the term 'bright', to me it seems un PC and I was shocked to see this appears to be the favoured term on school reports. Neither do I like the term 'gifted' - high IQ is no more a 'gift' than blonde/curly hair/blue eyes may be perceived to be. High learning potential does sound like gobbledigook but it 'does what it says on the tin', these children do not have high potential necessarily, they have a high ability/potential to learn.
We have received good support from NAGC/high potential plus.
Maybe we should set up a yahoo group - or is there already one?
Wow - steps off soapbox and goes off to do the hoovering.......
"I agree with the 'Plenty of highly gifted children do not suffer from social problems, disruptiveness or boredom' but if there are absolutely no problems, no issues to discuss then there is no need to network with like-minded peers and most people would not bother to search out this forum."
That is very true of parents with older children. But if you read this forum over a period of time you will find that quite a few posters are parents of very young children, who are not yet in a position to know whether there will be problems or not: some of them seem to assume that the giftedness they have observed in their children will automatically lead to problems in the future. I think there is a big risk of self-fulfilling prophecies here.