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Jan 05 2010

Fighting the gifted battle against the media

Have you heard of this new show, Our Little Genius? It’s a reality TV/game show, in which 6-12 year prodigies go out and answer increasingly difficult questions to raise craptons of money for their families.

What brain-dead, mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging piece of monkey shit came up with this?

Seriously? You’re going to parade young kids out into the media spotlight, for God and the whole world to gawk at, in the high-pressure world of Win Lots Of Money For Your Family, and put their intelligence to the test?

I dare ONE person to comment in defense of this insanity. ONE.

Gifted is more than “just really, really smart.” Gifted is more than a lot of things, more OF a lot of things. More intense, more sensitive (OY, more sensitive), more intuitive, more everything. And now, here comes this prime-time show, exploiting prodigies in the name of entertainment, and making it increasingly difficult for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional kids. Well, if your kid isn’t like that kid on tv, then he must not be gifted, because isn’t that what gifted looks like?

This piece of garbage will do more harm than good, for the kids on the show, and for the kids who are trying to get (increasingly underfunded) gifted services at school. While I could point the finger at the parents, there’s enough blame to go around, and I’m starting with the developers of this show. This is wrong, this is horrifying, and they should be ashamed of themselves for this show.

Pity the kids. The adults in their lives have let them down, and made things a lot harder for other gifted kids.

Shame on them all.

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  1. Green-Eyed Siren

    My child attends a school for the gifted, and I was stunned when they included contact information for the producers in the school newsletter. Apparently the show had put out a call for kids with very deep knowledge in specific categories; i.e., you didn’t need to know everything about everything, and neither were they looking for kids who are strong in many areas or with particular gifts of insight. They were specifically seeking children who had acquired encyclopedic knowledge in a subject the child was passionate about.

    Usually our school is super-aware of gifted kid issues and sensitivities, so I was somewhat surprised to see them pass the information along. Perhaps they felt they should leave it up to the parents to make a decision. They certainly didn’t endorse it, or push the parents to get the kids involved for school PR reasons. It was basically an FYI.

    I haven’t seen anything else about the show until you posted about it—it sounds a little different than the way the producers’ pitch initially described, probably because they wouldn’t want to scare the parents away. No holds barred for marketing the show to the general public, obviously.

    I suppose that for the right kid/right parent combo this could be something that would work and possibly even be fun to do, but I suspect there are many more kids/parents for whom this would spell disaster. You’d have to be pretty laid back for it to not feel like a major pressure situation, and that’s not such a common quality among kids like this.

    I’m not sure that the show can really do harm to the already miserable state of gifted education in this country, but neither do I plan to tune in—or, God forbid, offer up my child to televisions across America.

  2. cms8741

    I haven’t seen the show, but it sounds like every “stage mom’s” dream. We all know plenty of parents who push their kids into doing things because the parents themselves want to have good reasons to gloat about their kids. It’s those situations that are psychologically harmful to the child in the long term.

    Moreover (just thought of something else), putting kids in highly competitive situations like that are only going to set them up to fail — if not on the show itself, then sometime later when they get bested by the next kid.

    That show sounds like a bad idea, but I’m sure there are plenty of people who will watch!

  3. Missy

    The kid being advertised on the commercials right now made The Soup’s top 5 clip of the YEAR for his appearance on Regis and Kelly. I cried when I watched it b/c the host (who I find exceedingly funny when he’s mocking ADULTS) mocked him so badly and all I could think was, “this is Oldest when she’s on a short circuit moment.” My husband was like, “honey, it’s actually her times about 20,” and I was like, “not THAT big a difference, honey. You know she popped into your head too.” Gifted kids are extraordinary human beings who get looked at like they’re bugs under a microscope through no fault of their own. Just being their gifted selves. Check out my post from today if you want to know why I’m spazzing so much in a COMMENT to yours. 🙂

  4. corrie

    I agree with you, but not only with this show. I saw scenes for Toddler and pre-school beauty pageants. It makes me sick to see young girls dressed and acting way older than they should be. Let them be kids!

  5. MoCo Mom

    OMG you are so right. This is horrible – what network? (time for a campaign).

  6. ChiTown Girl

    I saw a commercial/preview of this right around the holidays, then again a couple of days ago. All I kept thinking was WTF?!?! You pretty much already covered all my other thoughts. I just wanted to give you an “Amen, Sista!”

  7. Andrea

    Fox, of course. That says it all…

  8. Dawn on MDI

    yeah. saw that. think i might rouse some rabble around it. I’ll send you info on fb.

  9. Nancy Campbell

    This is the same category as dressing toddlers up as tarts for beauty pageants. Just wrong.

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