Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Every child is both gifted and imperfect

Let's stop labeling and categorizing our kids, shall we?
This has been “bugging” me for a long, long, time. I am literally appalled at these people who insist on describing their child as gifted. By whose definition? You see, in my eyes, every child is gifted. In my eyes, putting some children on a pedestal and leaving others out of activities that could indeed help all children is not only ridiculous, it's a great way to encourage low self esteem in both groups of kids.

Now, before you start throwing random accusations of jealousy at me:

My kids and grand-kids have all been identified as gifted by the school system at one time or another. Whoopity-doo! I could care less about that. I'm only mentioning it so you don't think I'm some kind of jealousy filled hater. My kids and grand-kids are awesome and full of potential, even by conventional standards. So what? So is every other kid in the world, if you care enough about them to see their potential.

What about kids with obvious mental and physical limitations?

Well, I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but they are every bit as gifted as your child. Each and every individual on this planet is gifted in some area or in some way. Regardless of how they are viewed or how they may seem to be, all kids are gifted.

Your child is “smarter” in general?

By whose definition? What is your definition of smarter? Some kids are book smart. Some kids are people skills smart. Some kids are intuitive. Some kids are more physically inclined. Some kids have mastered the art of small talk. Some kids find themselves at the head of the class. Some are wonderful healers. Others are great teachers. All those skills are valuable. Not all of them are included in the school system's definition of gifted, though, are they?

Still, some kids seem to be good at everything, don't they?

Is that what you mean by gifted?

Well, once again, I have news for you, they're not THAT special.

We all have our areas of imperfection too. And your gifted child, who is told they are gifted, held up to higher standards and sorted out of everyday normalcy, is going to be damn disappointed when they discover that they're just an average person after all. We all are. And they're also going to feel damned inadequate when they can't live up to their gifted status in some areas.

And aside from all that...

Most kids would benefit greatly from the individual attention they would receive if included in “gifted” activities. All kids have a special spark inside of them that no one else has. All kids benefit from bringing out that spark. And worse, some kids feel inadequate when they're not included with the gifted kids. Why on earth would we support a program that specifically states that one child is smarter than another? It's just begging for superiority and inferiority complexes to be formed. Plus, it's a big, fat lie.

Every child and consequently, every person....

Every person on the face of this earth is gifted in multifaceted ways. There are no exceptions. And every single person benefits from developing their own personal talents. There are no exceptions. So let's stop making our kids feel either inadequate or superior. Let's stop singling them out, one way or another. Why not just give every kid the best education possible, regardless of our own opinion of their potential or lack thereof? The result could be a generation of well adjusted kids who value each other equally and respect each others beautifully flawed personalities as the true gifts they are.

Imagine that!

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