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Are my children "ungifted"?

(343 Posts)
Puzzledbyart Wed 18-Sep-19 18:12:03

Please be kind, it is a stupid thread, but it does nag me somewhere deeply inside.

Just audited my friendship circle's offspring (children ranging in age from 2 to 12), and it looks like all of them have some special "superpower" in terms of abilities / interests. There's a fully fluent reader at 3y.o. A child aged 9 with highest grades in two musical instruments + a chorister at a famous choir. A sportsman competing at the national level. A math whizz, who is attending classes in secondary school now as he is way way ahead of the primary curriculum. A trilingual child, fully proficient at a native speaker level in all three languages. And everyone, just everyone seems to have their children on the "gifted and talented" register at school.

My children are 4 and 5, and are distinctly average in everything. Most of the time I am counting my lucky stars that they are just healthy and happy, but there are occasional days of doubt when I feel like I failed them in everything. Well, like today, when we had a playdate with a young friend similar to my oldest in age (5), and she created a comic book with a clear and engaging storyline, beautiful art and not a single spelling mistake, including expressions like "conifer trees" and "butterfly".

AIBU to ask you if you think that some children can be just naturally average, and there's no amount of effort that can make them excel at anything? Or did I miss something in their upbringing terribly?

Idontneeditatall Wed 18-Sep-19 18:13:43

It’s not your kids who are unusual, it’s all your friends kids!!

highheelsandbobblehats Wed 18-Sep-19 18:15:04

I second that. Your kids are perfectly normal. What the hell is in the water where you live?!

NailsNeedDoing Wed 18-Sep-19 18:15:15

The gifted and talented register doesn't even exist in schools anymore. It sounds like you have perfectly normal, lovely children, but a very boastful circle of friends.

Windydaysuponus Wed 18-Sep-19 18:15:24

Your dc won't be under pressure... Chance to be an average dc!!
Less stressful!
I have 2 dc on G&T and dd feels singled out at times.

highheelsandbobblehats Wed 18-Sep-19 18:16:07

Also, seriously. You are dismissing your children as average at 4 and 5. You are their mother. Be their biggest cheerleader, it's your job.
Comparison is the thief of joy. Stop it.

SheChoseDown Wed 18-Sep-19 18:17:50

I gave my child every amazing opportunity, he had an incredible early years education. He is so average now. He's nearly at high school and has no special merit.
Just how they're made, as long as we can say we gave them an enriching childhood eh

Deemail Wed 18-Sep-19 18:18:15

What are the backgrounds of these children? It could be that they're all very gifted or just your average/bright child who's parents have the time, money and wherewithal to guide them towards something they're good at.

AngelicInnocent Wed 18-Sep-19 18:18:32

DD is gifted and talented. She also has a life long medical issue. Guess which one I care more about.

Puzzledbyart Wed 18-Sep-19 18:20:47

Surprisingly, almost all first or second generation immigrants, not from some privileged moneyed background.

cardamoncoffee Wed 18-Sep-19 18:21:54

I'm most impressed about the conifer trees reference. Hope she goes on to be the next Charlie Dimmock.

cloudwednesday Wed 18-Sep-19 18:25:23

Don't give it a second thought. We all have our 'time' in life to find things we are fabulous at. Nod and agree, and enjoy your precious children for who they are.
My DP was average and quiet as a child apparently, never considered himself very good at anything, got into uni through clearing, found his 'niche' in that area went through to do a PhD and is now an expert in his field.
Comparison is the thief of joy, I totally agree.

Puzzledbyart Wed 18-Sep-19 18:26:35

grin I gave a fair warning it is a stupid thread, and am fully expecting to be advised to give my head a wobble. Of course, I love my children and would love in any case, and that is why I started wondering if I am missing something - e.g. simply did not grab that moment when my children were interested in something specific, and now it's too late.

SapphireSeptember Wed 18-Sep-19 18:27:29

I always thought I was untalented, but I started writing aged 15 and I've got better as I've got older. Sometimes these things take time. (Although my mum wasn't impressed with my subject matter, still writing that kind of stuff now.) I don't think I'm ever going to be a bestselling author but I enjoy it.

tequilasunrises Wed 18-Sep-19 18:31:15

Perhaps they just haven’t found something they are really passionate about yet? Have they tried many hobbies?

Failing that OP, it’s perfectly fine to be average. Most of us are and we are happy. I know I am - I’ve always been distinctly average - never excelled at anything but always achieved what I set out to and been happy and healthy. My sister is a high achiever and she ended up quite poorly from the pressure from everyone to over achieve all the time.

Don’t worry about it - it sounds cheesy but just concentrate on enjoying your life and having fun with your lovely children!

Chocolateandamaretto Wed 18-Sep-19 18:32:49

It means jack all op. I was a “gifted and talented” child, maths classes a couple of years ahead, competitive gymnast etc.

Am now a distinctly average adult!!

octoberismytime Wed 18-Sep-19 18:33:40

The important thing is that they’re raised to be well rounded individuals who do fairly well at school so they can go on to do jobs they want to do.
Yeah it’s impressive if someone is able to play a few instruments perfectly but what are the chances that skill will come in useful during their adult lives with regards to jobs and such?
If a kid is a top swimmer in the county, that’s good but what are the chances that they’ll become Olympic swimmers who can do that as a career? Chances are they’ll end up working just like the average person in jobs where that skill is irrelevant

tequilasunrises Wed 18-Sep-19 18:34:46

Oh and my parents tried pushing me into EVERYTHING - musical instruments, sports, martial arts, language classes. But I’m just Mrs Average at everything anyway grin

bridgetreilly Wed 18-Sep-19 18:35:01

Whatever talents they do or don't have, that cannot possibly be a failure or success on your part. It just is.

dementedma Wed 18-Sep-19 18:37:11

Unlike his 2 elder sisters, both now with degrees, ds hated every minute of school, had an appalling attendance record and was counting the days until he could leave. Then an angel appeared in the guise of MrR the music teacher and gave DS a Bass guitar to try.....
He now lives and breathes music plays in various groups and shows and is, apparently, a very talented bassist at 17. But he was a very average little boy in everything else. Except tantrums. Those were spectacular.

hungrywalrus Wed 18-Sep-19 18:37:36

Gifted children grow up and in most cases end up as average adults. It’s not good to make too much fuss of them as they won’t cope well with the transition or crack under the pressure. Just give them love and encouragement and have faith in them.

Puzzledbyart Wed 18-Sep-19 18:38:05

Perhaps they just haven’t found something they are really passionate about yet? Have they tried many hobbies?
I tried art, dance, chess, swimming, football, recorder playing, drama (as clubs / classes). At the moment they are still going to the art school, but it is like pulling teeth, if I am honest.

TrendyNorthLondonTeen Wed 18-Sep-19 18:40:39

If it's any consolation OP I was the "gifted" child and I've achieved the square root of fuck all. It's especially fun when people like to tell me how talented I was and all the wonderful things I should have done.

Malvinaa81 Wed 18-Sep-19 18:41:27

I wouldn't believe too much of what parents say about their children.

Even the story from this other child was done (or severely proof read and corrected) by the parents......

Herocomplex Wed 18-Sep-19 18:42:05

Your kids are 4 and 5? Honestly relax with the clubs. They’ll develop preferences when they’re older and can concentrate for longer.

All children are unique and special in their families. The rest might or might not come later.

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