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Gifted Bragging

Humorous Suggestions for Toning Down Boastful Parents

Q: My best friend’s son is in the gifted and talented program, and she constantly brags about his brilliance. Any tips for me to get her to tone it down?

A: This is probably just the beginning of what your best friend is going to do to annoy the cuss out of you. But I do agree, the whole “gifted” thing is obnoxious. The name alone is ridiculous. It’s like having a special class just for the “beautiful” or the “clever” children.

Having one child in the gifted program and one in the “general population” myself, I’ve come to learn that the kids are pretty much the same across the board; the stark difference here is the parents of these “gifted” kids. Some are, quite simply, frightening.

This is the most intense, uptight and rigid group of people I have ever had to endure an Open House with. Usually it’s just me and a few other slacker-moms sitting in the back row ridiculing the PTA lady for her over-articulated welcoming speech and sad addiction to the Power Point clicker.

But when my son was moved into gifted, I went down a very solemn road at every parental meeting, with no one to make eye contact with when an eye-roll was clearly called for. And how could they make eye contact with anyone? They were all so diligently taking notes and jotting down memos about the various questions they were going to ask at the end of the assemblage.

Questions! I had had a martini with my friend Monique before arriving 20 minutes late so as to bypass the principle’s “We’re All So Glad You’re Here” speech and was totally engrossed in trying to stuff my not-a-size-four backside into my second-grader’s gnome-sized chair. So the only thing I got from that meeting was never wear a pencil skirt with Spanks to an Open House. But I digress....

Momma’s Tips

The problem here is not really with the oddities within the school system. The problem here is with this friend of yours and how you can knock her down a peg or two when she gets all Biblical about her offspring’s mental dexterity. Evidently, she feels inferior to you and your (obviously superior) intellect, and as such feels the need to live through her child and his intellectual promise.

Now I can tell you how I would handle this, but it might not be your cup of tea. I would simply mock. Tease, taunt and insult your way to an open dialogue about how she’s secretly jealous that you won’t be spending your holiday producing a Science Fair project on the electromagnetic spectrum.

Laughter my friend, it’s what keeps us together.

Jeanne Martin is a freelance writer, graphic designer and mother of two kids and an onery chihauhua.

Old to new | New to old
Nov 3, 2011 05:33 am
 Posted by  Goose

Love the article!

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Nov 3, 2011 07:59 am
 Posted by  been there heard that!

Right on....my kids are grown now and I look back at all the hype for kids to be gifted, on the select soccer team, ace the ACT etc etc...CALM DOWN everyone....enjoy them while you can!

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Nov 3, 2011 08:19 am
 Posted by  Teddybear

Great article! Really moms nobody cares if your kids are gifted, only you and grandma. If your goal is to make everyone else feel inferior, you have succeeded.

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Nov 3, 2011 11:11 am
 Posted by  DHSforever

OMG, those chairs ARE ridiculous, I thought it was just me! Thanks for validating me, Momma!

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Nov 3, 2011 02:37 pm
 Posted by  finnmoore

I like to say to people I have yet to meet a Doogie Howser in any of my sons "gifted" classes. Until then I am not impressed...

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Nov 3, 2011 04:36 pm
 Posted by  WorkingMom

Try honesty: Tell the best friend that elementary school children are taught that bragging is not nice!

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Nov 3, 2011 04:48 pm
 Posted by  Roses11

Great article!

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Nov 3, 2011 08:09 pm
 Posted by  Kate

I always enjoy going to a school function soon after the new school year begins when I ask another mom..."Who is your child's teacher?" ..only to hear a teacher's name I've never heard before...then after she reads my puzzled expression, says "GIFTED". Enough said...

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Nov 8, 2011 09:42 pm
 Posted by  epaburke

Ms. Martin-- Twenty minutes late? Ridiculing the PTA spokeswoman? Eye-rolling? What's wrong with education in America? It could be you. Try to behave more like an adult when you go to school as a parent.

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Jun 15, 2012 09:35 pm
 Posted by  Serious topic

Because humans are still trying to understand the human brain, gifted parents of gifted kids are scrambling to keep up with their children who need access to much more information, stimulation, activity, etc. They need to understand their family history for themselves and their future decisions. They have so many choices to make and the years go so fast. There are many, many resources to be reviewed to aid the gifted child in pursuits that are natural for them based on abilities that they have as young children, that the non-gifted person probably will never develop.

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