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Labelling the gifted child

Forum: Gifted and Talented Children


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June 29th, 2011, 01:05 PM
shari626's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Delaware
Posts: 5,680
Do you think it's wrong to label a child gifted? What do you think are the pros and cons to labeling a child as gifted?

Thanks to Jaidynsmum for my awesome siggy!!!

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June 29th, 2011, 01:44 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: The Lonestar State
Posts: 50,214
Depends on the circumstances, really. Like anything, if sinful pride is involved, it shouldn't be done. If the label is being used to seek additional education assistance, it should be done. I'm not going to walk up to a stranger and say my child is gifted, but I would say so to a potential instructor.
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June 29th, 2011, 07:48 PM
HS&Fsmom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: May 2008
Location: NC
Posts: 2,611
Agreed with Chrystal- if you're just using it as a parental status symbol, like anything else, it really does no good and possibly harm. I had a friend like that growing up and everything out of his mom's mouth was about how gifted, smart, advanced, blah blah blah he was and how well he was doing. The boy and I were very evenly matched on everything, but my mom never said anything about that or about me. I was sort of disappointed my mom never seemed proud of me in comparison... but at least she wasn't flaunting it when I won awards, etc. I think that is one down side.

Another down side is that I believe every child has gifts or special attributes. Even a child labeled with a learning disability may have a brilliant imagination, a child who seems academically "average" might have a special talent, etc. I know we are talking about gifted across the board though, not average overall with one or two attributes (right?). But I hate to think one child is special, another is not... I love children and I work with all types of ability levels, and I really love every child that I work with regardless and try to find that specialness about each of them.

The pros I guess would be access to higher grade levels, better academic programming, etc. We haven't had to cross that bridge yet. We haven't labeled Hugo although the pediatrician said it would be safe to say he is. I probably won't until/unless the school requires it for something. Getting to know him is usually sufficient for most people, so a label is not really necessary.

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June 29th, 2011, 08:11 PM
Kathode's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Quebec, Canada
Posts: 2,615
Exactly what Chrystal said. and I feel this way for any kind of label. If you need to do it to get access to services or something, then do it. If not, then labels are just not helpful at all. Even seemingly "harmless" ones like 'oh, she's the shy one'.

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July 1st, 2011, 05:39 PM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 336
We haven't labelled our kids. Actually, maybe we have a bit, but that's because they are chalk and cheese!
But I certainly don't go around saying that they are gifted. I'll mention that they are bright, if it comes up.
Liz (30), mum to Mia (5) and Aiden (3)

Check out my blog: http://sproutschool.wordpress.com/
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July 2nd, 2011, 06:22 AM
Butter's Avatar Heather the Mama Duk
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: San Antonio TX
Posts: 28,853
I have no problem with labeling if it will help get whatever they need educationally. I actually prefer academically advanced to gifted. I also don't have an issue with LD labels. Cameron's got dyslexia and dysgraphia. He just does. There's nothing I can do to change that any more than I can change the fact that at the same time, he is cognitively very superior. I can't change the fact that my daughter is going to be in 8th grade before she turns 12 because she is academically advanced. It just is what it is. Labels doesn't really matter, but they can help a lot. I can't even begin to tell you the relief it was to get a real diagnosis for Cameron. Now I can know what to do to help.

I do not like labels if they are used as a crutch, however. For example, Cameron has short term (working) memory problems. If I ask him to do something and he forgets, well, he tried a couple times to use that as an excuse. That did NOT fly with me. Not one bit. I told him that's just a challenge God gave him, but God also gave him the ability to overcome it. Guess what? He's overcoming it. He does things right away before he forgets now.

I will say, I hate the label gifted mostly because everyone thinks then you have this perfect, easy to educate child. Not even close. I try to explain that with giftedness often comes a host of other "issues." We compensate for those just like with compensate for Cameron's issues, but it all takes work whether it's one end of the spectrum or the other.

~Heather, wife to Jamie (15 years; June 5, 1998) and mom to
Ani - 14 (February 15, 2000), Cameron - 12 (October 3, 2001),
Fritz - 7 (July 11, 2006), and Adrian - 5 (June 19, 2008)
Smaller on the Outside

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July 4th, 2011, 10:33 AM
AmAnDaMo's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 3,671
If it hadn't opened up opportunities for our oldest at school, we wouldn't have had her tested/labeled. We'll do the same for our youngest for that reason.

We also had our youngest evaluated for other issues, and it was because we wanted to know what we could to to help her rather than to simply get a label.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is that I think labeling simply for the sake of labeling isn't helpful (and can actually be harmful), but I do believe that labeling for a specific purpose can be helpful.

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