Monday, November 27, 2006

On Raising Mr. Smartypants -- A Parent's Perspective

I really appreciate all the blog topic suggestions Gifted Exchange readers have been sending me. I will try to get to all of them in the next few weeks, and please keep them coming! I wanted to share one fun and thought-provoking article that came over the transom from Kim Moldofsky, a regular reader of this blog. She wrote an essay for the Chicago Parent about "Mr. Smartypants," her son. You can read the essay here.

As she writes, on one hand, it's thrilling to have a six year old who likes to talk about Big Ideas from his booster seat. On the other hand, it's almost impossible to find a good school situation for such a child. Kim writes about her sadness as her first grader's essays devolved from his theories of the universe to "I like cars." Too often, gifted kids learn in school that curiosity only makes you miserable.

The essay still has its light moments, though. A favorite line: "I thank goodness I didn't breastfeed because those extra IQ points he might have gained would have put me over the edge. He already has so many ideas that seem way too big for his little head and questions that are too hard to answer. Even my husband, a veritable walking encyclopedia, gets exasperated at times. 'I can handle questions about sex, but this stuff about quantum physics is really awkward to address,' he says as he again attempts to hide our copy of Einstein for Beginners." I'm sure many readers will be able to relate.


Kim Moldofsky said...

Thanks for the shout-out!

I've mentioned to you, but also want to let your readers know that your book, Genius Denied, tremendously informed and impacted my thinking about what to do Mr. Smartypants.

I'm happy to report that he and his younger brother are thriving at a private school for gifted children.

Ania said...

Kim, I loved your essay. By describing your son you decribed mine from a few years back (he is now 11 going on 12). I am glad that you were able to find a school that caters to kids like that. Enjoy !