where wildly different is perfectly normal
Sixteen things parents of gifted kids are sick of hearing (and what they’re thinking when they do)
Sixteen things parents of gifted kids are sick of hearing (and what they’re thinking when they do)

Sixteen things parents of gifted kids are sick of hearing (and what they’re thinking when they do)

  1. Must be nice to have a gifted kid.
    Heh. Yeah, so nice. It’s just…hysterical giggle…awesome. <twitch> Everything is just so….sob….easy peasy. Please offer me free respite care for a few days and then we will talk again; my brain may be back online by then. 
  2. If he’s so gifted, why can’t s/he <fill in the blank>.
    Allow me to introduce you to my Asynchrony Stick. I shall now beat you about the head and neck with it.
  3. Whoa, is Little Einstein going to college already?
    Dude, that’s insulting, and unless you’re ponying up the cash for tuition it’s none of your business. Besides, he wants to be called Batman these days.
  4. Oh, all kids are gifted, they just open their presents at different times.
  5. Pfft…that’s not gifted, that’s ADHD/Asperger’s/Spoiled Child.
    <Blank, despairing look> Your picture is next to the description of Willful Ignoramus, isn’t it?
  6. Quit pushing that child! You’re just a pushy Tiger Mom.
    Pushing. You think I’m pushing. Not so much. I’m duct taped to a cheetah here and I’m just praying I can tuck and roll if he slows.
  7. Schools can handle the needs of a gifted child just fine.
    What color is the sky in the little world you live in? 
  8. What the hell is this twice-exceptional crap? Sounds like a made up diagnosis for excuses.
    This crap, as you so eloquently (sigh…and accurately) described it, is a child who…you know what, you don’t really care and you’re not listening anyway. Bugger off, you’re not worth educating today and I’m tired from dealing with the aforementioned twice-exceptional crap.
  9. Gifted kids don’t need any help, they’ll be just fine on their own. Cream always rises to the top.
    Sure, if the cream is kept in the best possible conditions for rising; stick it into a deep freeze and see how well it rises to the top then. News flash: IT DOESN’T MAKE ICE CREAM.
  10. What has your child achieved? I don’t see any high test scores or eminence. I thought all gifted kids were brainy over-achievers, like the ones on those TV shows.
    And I thought all adults could distinguish between real life and scripted TV. My bad. 
  11. You’re over-reacting.
    Come a little closer and say that. A leetle closer, I can’t reach your throat. That’s good….what were you saying again? Hmm, can’t hear you, I think you’re over-reacting to my hands around your neck.
  12. You don’t know what you’re talking about, you’re not an educator/psychologist/therapist/doctor.
    Nope, I’m a parent, I’m all those things stuffed into one hyper-caffeinated package, and I specialize in THIS child. I know what he needs. No one ever learns as quickly, deeply, and completely as a concerned freaked-out mother, so yeah, I do know what I’m talking about. I have a PhD in THIS kid: Parenting higher Difficulties.
  13. Boy, we really expect great things from <child’s name>.
    Wow, me too. Only I will still know that he has that gifted wiring if he doesn’t accomplish a damned thing in his life, whereas I suspect you’ll think it was a mistake all along. 
  14. So glad my kids are normal.
    Whoa now…back that shit up…really, you think giftedness is abnormal? How interesting. Kindly elaborate. <intense stare>
  15. You didn’t need any help growing up and you turned out just fine.
    Right. Define fine. Just 31 flavors of anxiety-ridden fine right here, swirled with over-excitabilities and a dollop of intensity sauce. Dig in, here’s a shovel, first let me smack you with it.
  16. Oh, it’s can’t be that bad.
    Mmhm…where’s the wine?


  1. Jo

    Actually numbers 3 and 6 were the bane of my life, first when my son graduated a year early from high school and then for the 4 years my daughter went to and graduated from Mary Baldwin College — soon to be University — straight from middle school. And, most of the parents making the comments were parents of GT kids!! Jealous much?!? Ugh!! 😛

    Btw, I was just relieved that I had found ways to keep them challenged. (Number 16??) So much so that I never minded the whole days spent driving round trips between home and MBC at the beginnings and ends of semesters, not to mention those ‘Let’s close the dorms’ breaks in between. My son thankfully found colleges a little closer to home to attend.

  2. KK


    I got here by a Facebook link, and didn’t realize it was yours until the end, Should have known the second my belly started shaking with laughter.


    Don’t forget “You worry too much. X is fine” and “Your 2E kid is on grade level so what’s the problem”

    1. Duct taped to a cheetah! Still chuckling! And the ducking and rolling is needed, cuz no cheetah can keep up the pace 24/7.

      However, after just posting a British article about a suicidal PG boy to the Deep End Facebook page, I wish we didn’t have to take refuge in seeing the humor. And this is why I just put out a collection of the essays I’ve written over the 30+ years of writing about these kids and their families: it remains, as qH says, the same. Generation after generation.

      Thanks Jen, for keeping people laughing–at least it boost the immune system!

      1. Jen

        I also wish we didn’t have to laugh to keep from screaming, but oftentimes it’s all I can do. My son isn’t suicidal, but I have no doubt that would have popped up had he stayed in school. Kills me to even THINK that. I keep hoping that things will change for my grandchildren and beyond, but unfortunately I don’t see it happening. The best we can do is continue to band together, reach back to help those further back on the path, and laugh to keep the shadows away.
        Do you have a link to your collection of essays? I’d like to get a copy. 🙂

          1. Jen

            Laughing at Alzheimer’s is how my mom and her brothers handled my grandma’s illness. It’s how we’re handling my dad’s Parkinson’s. It’s how we handle what is so big and overwhelming and painful, because laughter cuts it down to size.

  3. Pingback: Article: “Sixteen things parents of gifted kids are sick of hearing (and what they’re thinking when they do)” By Jen on Laughing at Chaos site

  4. Lynn

    I think #10 is my favorite, feeling like I’m strapped to a train more than a cheetah and not thinking there’s any safe speed for me to tuck and roll. Embracing my wine 🙂 I feel like when my eyes are popping out of my head half the time while I smile and nod. Good to know there’s an audience of moms/parents out there that can understand.

  5. Mama

    “It is bad for them to be treated differently from their peers, if they get different work/are accelerated, they will develop emotional problems.” )Because there are no emotional problems related to spending years learning nothing in a classroom at a level they passed 4 years ago, no, not at all).

    “You need to stop them learning so fast.” Right, I’ll get onto that, right after I figure out how to stop the tide, achieve world peace and make England win the world cup in my lifetime.

      1. Mama

        I think I am well and truly established as a ‘problem parent’ and I can wear that… but my child, at age 7, told me she knows she is considered a problem child, and that is all wrong.

        She was off the top of the scale for reading assessments, which was no surprise to me, but the teacher said she was still to read the early readers books because it needs to be checked off in the curriculum, even though she was reading at high school level in grade 1. My daughter politely and firmly said that no, she did not want to do that, she would rather read good writers, and that spending time on the readers would limit her opportunity to do so. The teacher wanted her to read a play with no words more than a syllable, and daughter said, ‘how about we compromise and I just read some Shakespeare?’

        To be fair, the teacher agreed at that point, and I think she has more understanding than the conversation would suggest. The politics in school have the teachers spending more time checking boxes than anyone should have to, and woefully insufficient opportunity to use their sense. She will be hassled about not checking those boxes to say my daughter reads the required ‘texts’, so I do feel for her. I feel for my bored child more though.

  6. Shanyn Silinski

    The list is spot on but a couple I encounter too often are:

    Oh he’s too smart for his own good.
    *Really? And you would know that because you are just dumb enough to be okay with being that way?*

    From the school psychologist who was actively looking for (and not finding) a disabillity or pathology, to our son’s face, “Can you imagine how smart your graph would be if you really tried?”
    *Firstly HE IS TRYING. Secondly HE skewed YOUR tests because he felt he had to make you happy and thirdly: ah I got nothin.

    Maybe he should try to be a bit less smart and make it more comfortable for his peer group.
    *you mean play dumb for your comfort? I think not. Ever. *

  7. Deb

    Thank you for this narrative.. just spot on with the type of comments I got from other parents and teachers at my son’s schools….. I feel a bit out of sorts because he developed so fast and from a very young age did not need me!!

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