This is why you should be happy your child didn’t score gifted
“But all of her friends got into the gifted class!”
“His grades have always been “A” and high “B”‘s!”
”Her teachers swore up and down that she was gifted!”
Yet, when your child took the IQ test, the score was nowhere near the 130 cut-offs. What’s going on? In my previous post, I talked about the gifted process. Many parents don’t quite know the difference between smart and being genuinely gifted (because it’s not a requirement). The minimum score of 130 is talking about the top 2% of kids your child’s age. This means that 2% of kids scoring in the gifted range are smarter than 98% of kids their age. This is a big, big difference.
Now, do not misunderstand. There are plenty of successful and intelligent children who grow up to be incredibly successful and competent adults who are not in that top 2%. How is that possible? Because there are plenty of other aspects to being a well-rounded, successful individual besides IQ. Grit, determination, stamina, intrigue, emotional stability, genuine curiosity, acceptance of a challenge- all of these characteristics are far more predictable of a successful future than IQ.
I see this all the time, specifically with the younger children that I test, tend to be quite smart, however; their attitude towards challenges- determined or gives up too soon, focused or rambunctious- let me know how well they will score on the IQ test. IQ testing is standardized. This means that the test MUST be administered exactly as it was developed each and every time to each and every child being assessed. Scores depend solely on the child’s effort, knowledge, and ability. There is, of course, a certain chance of error, as we can never be 100% sure of any score. This error is taken into consideration and explained as such for each and every scale and subtest item. Many parents complain that their child will suffer because all of their friends are gifted and they are the only ones left out.
- Yes, your child may feel alienated, left out, confused. At first. But this is also an opportunity for your child to make new friends. Forcing your child into an academic environment that is typically faster-paced, more rigorous, and intense in workload will only cause problems with self-esteem and may even make them feel left out for not comprehending the work as fast as their friends in the class.
- Faking gifted placement sends a very strong message to your child. ” We need to cheat the system to get what we want. We can lie and it’s okay because the ends justify the means. Is this the lesson you want to teach your child?
- Self -esteem is HUGE! Okay, your child did not make it to the top 2% but perhaps he/she is up there in the top 10, 15, 60%. This is very smart indeed! Foolishly focusing on the top 2% can plant an erroneous idea in your child’s head that they are not “smart enough”, “good enough”, “worthy enough”.
Your negative attitude about their not-gifted score is demonstrating a conditional acceptance for who they truly are. When they see you upset with their score you are sending a clear message that they are not mounting up to who you think they should be. This is probably one of the biggest killers in a child’s self-esteem- to be the disappointment for their parent. Try to keep your emotions at bay and consider the following:
- What about accepting them for all of their strengths and weaknesses?
- Do you want them to be in gifted classes for their sake or yours?
- What are you holding on to that makes you think that being gifted will safeguard their future?
- Are there unresolved issues in your past that you are trying to fix through your child?
- What are your expectations for your child? Academically? Emotionally? Socially?
Why be happy about their not gifted score?
Because you are accepting for your child for who they are. You are teaching them the most invaluable lesson in life. You love them unconditionally, you are intrigued by their strengths and are there to support them in their weaknesses. Not so they can retake the test again- but to truly help them grow to become the best version of themselves.
Be happy because if all of their friends are gifted and they are not- they will learn the pains of struggling to keep in touch with old friends, and the pains of mustering the courage to make new friends. This mind you, will come in major practice as they grow up and go off to college, visit other parts of the world and find their significant other.
Be happy because you will find a school that will fit your child’s needs. And if that is not at all possible, you and your child will learn to go with it and make the best of what there is. Because you believe in your child. You believe in your parenting and you believe that an IQ score does not define your child or predict your child’s future.