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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.

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

QuintessentialShadows Fri 13-Sep-13 22:12:27

"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.

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