Anonymous wrote:

We're all going to die. Happiness should be the goal. If Wallace has happy kids, he should rightly find some deep satisfaction in that.

As two (lazy, high-testing, non-homework-doing) gifted parents, we were determined to make sure that our oldest daughter would not turn out (a slacker) like us. From the time she was a small child, we worked with her teachers to give her extra, challenging work in the classroom. However, this seemed to teach her that being gifted simply meant that she had to do more work. Of course, she rebelled (not like a black-clad motorcycle-riding rebellion, but a nice, passive refusal to do what she was "supposed to"). She is in her last year of highschool, and she is a brilliant, lovely slacker. Her organizational skills are only just beginning to emerge (through great effort on our part). We are pretty sure that she is going to hit the real world and have a wake-up call, like so many people have described in these comments. We are also pretty sure that she's still an amazing and wonderful person, and, though it will be a tough journey for a while, she will eventually find her way and blossom.

We have a younger daughter who is now in second grade. Her teacher has recently brought up the idea of gifted testing, which we expected would be coming soon. So this is our "round two" of how to handle the rearing of a gifted child. One thing that we have noticed this year is that she is thriving in her class. Her personality meshes with her teacher's, the class is structured so that students can progress at their own rate, and there are several peers in the class who are high-achieving if not gifted as well. As far as public schools go, it's an ideal class for my daughter. Also, reading is emphasized, and she LOVES to read. Anyway, long ramble short, considering what we've seen, we're going with a new strategy for kid #2. We're thinking-- yes-- happiness! And the idea that school and learning can be a happy place for a gifted child, with the right strategies and sometimes interventions. It doesn't mean extra work, but flexibility in work. Tons of praise for effort works well for us, rather than focusing so much on the end product, which is usually a given. In short, we're thinking of how to encourage our child's natural curiosity so that she somehow keeps this joy in learning. It's not exactly a clear-cut path, but I think it wins out over the Work, Work, Work Method. In our case study, the WWWM definitely failed.

Worth mentioning, our oldest was in a pull-out program and really enjoyed it, so I don't think it was detrimental, but neither did it save her. If there's a pull-out program available for this one, we will probably try it, so long as she's enjoying it.

Ultimately, no matter what abilities our children have, we should strive for them to be happy, and that does not always mean that they will end up doing what we envision for them.

If anyone out there has some methods that have resulted in children that were happy non-slackers, I would be interested in hearing of them.

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