"Gifted"

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wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796
"Gifted"

I was reading an article (I'm not going to link it because I'm a little ashamed I read it) that had a paragraph in it where a woman thought her 3.5 year old was "emotionally gifted" because she had empathy for animals and could understand when her younger brother was upset.

Do you define "gifted" as academics, talent, and emotions or do you have a narrower view?

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

I know that there are different kinds of intelligence, and emotional intelligence is one of them, but I do tend to limit the word "gifted" to mean successful at something a bit more tangible like academics or even sports or music or art. "Emotionally gifted" seems a bit....subjective to me.

smsturner's picture
Joined: 05/11/09
Posts: 1303

I'm with Alyssa.
I usually would call it good at something... good at music, a certain school subject, a certain sport or art, etc.

(shouldn't we concerned if they don't have empathy for their pets and siblings?)

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

I think its possible to be exceptionally good at something other than academics....something that warrant more recognition than saying 'They are very good at xyz' Much like we think of 'gifted' as being more than just 'very good' at academics.

I don't know if there is a universal term for that kind of thing though...but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

I've never heard of "emotionally gifted." If that's her definition, then Tiven was that at age two when she started stepping over ants on the sidewalk and asking me to carry spiders outside. She sounds to me like someone who wants to think her child is super-special when she's really just a normal kid.

My definition of "gifted" is someone who routinely scores at or above 90% academically (and not necessarily standardized tests, but overall classroom work) or who has a particularly good talent for something artistic. I could play the piano pretty well, but I had to practice each piece a lot before I could play it without too many mistakes; a kid who could sit down & sight-read a new piece with few mistakes, I would call gifted.

fuchsiasky's picture
Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 955

Gifted to me indicates that someone is exceptional at something. I would use it for academics or the arts or something tangible. Emotionally gifted? No. We have a friend who's daughter is very connected to her emotions (for example, she was sad for the thanksgiving turkey). We would say that she is sensitive or emotionally connected, but not gifted. I honestly don't see it as a gift sometimes. She would have it easier sometimes if she wasn't so connected to her emotions. She might have even tasted the turkey. She would certainly have had a less sad thanksgiving.

I agree that it sounds like the mom is looking for a way to make their child "special".

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6561

I think we all want to think our kids are the best, but I would think it was normal to have compassion at that age. My youngest is a new 3yo. She has been able to tell when her sisters are upset for a long time.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1535

If I had a dollar for every parent that tells me their kids were gifted at something, I would be able to retire.

I do not think a child can be gifted "emotionally' I think 3.5 is not an unusual age for empathy. Kids develop at different rates, my niece (who is actually gifted) had NO empathy at that age. She didnt develop that until much later. "Gifted" is a word that gets over used these days.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

"mom3girls" wrote:

"Gifted" is a word that gets over used these days.

Agreed! My SIL told me once that 25% of the kids at her child's school are in GATE. This is not a magnet school, not an arts charter, there is nothing special about it that should attract a larger percentage of supposedly gifted kids, but they'd managed to classify a quarter of the kids as such. :rolleyes:

Joined: 05/23/12
Posts: 680

A lot of schools use the phrase, "Gifted and Talented" for describing their children. Giftedness is used for many types of intelligence. It is not exclusively for academics. I don't know how overused the term is as I've never had to deal with parents.

Gifted children are very often more sensitive and sensitivities are manifested in a variety of ways, but non gifted children can be more sensitive as well and not be gifted. There isn't one single trait that indicates giftedness, rather it's the complete child exhibiting many signs of giftedness as well as scoring in certain percentiles and being observed by a Psychologist especially trained for identifying giftedness.

Stacy, the schools here who have a GATE program ID children who score in a certain percentile rather than IQ. Some feel too much emphasis is placed on IQ and some feel otherwise. Some GATE programs accept students with an IQ of 120, which isn't a 'gifted' IQ. Usually the identification of giftedness by Psychologists begin around 130+. So for this reason a lot of students can get in to GATE programs. Most bright kids would be able to get into GATE programs. I am not sure parents really understand that.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

I've taught over a thousand students in my career. Thinking back, I can name maybe 5 who are truly "gifted."

When I think of gifted, I think of amazing artists such as Bob Dylan and John Lennon, or sports figures like Lou Gehrig. As far as emotionally gifted...maybe Princess Diana and Bono. Their level of compassion and grace puts them in a class all their own.

Many children develop a keen sense of compassion/empathy for those around them. I definitely wouldn't call knowing when your younger brother is upset emotionally gifted.

Joined: 05/23/12
Posts: 680

"ethanwinfield" wrote:

I've taught over a thousand students in my career. Thinking back, I can name maybe 5 who are truly "gifted."

When I think of gifted, I think of amazing artists such as Bob Dylan and John Lennon, or sports figures like Lou Gehrig. As far as emotionally gifted...maybe Princess Diana and Bono. Their level of compassion and grace puts them in a class all their own.

Many children develop a keen sense of compassion/empathy for those around them. I definitely wouldn't call knowing when your younger brother is upset emotionally gifted.

You might be right, or they might not have been the jaw dropping gifted that could be noticed. It can be easily missed. For children who adapt well and overall get along well with friends and developmental skills, they could be easily dismissed as great students who put forth effort etc. Lots of times parents who are not that concerned about their child's super skills only become concerned when issues start arising. I would imagine teachers often only also get concerned when there are issues and start noticing - unless the child is on a prodigy level. Children with IQs at the border or not too far above could easily be missed unless there are issues.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"myyams" wrote:

You might be right, or they might not have been the jaw dropping gifted that could be noticed. It can be easily missed. For children who adapt well and overall get along well with friends and developmental skills, they could be easily dismissed as great students who put forth effort etc. Lots of times parents who are not that concerned about their child's super skills only become concerned when issues start arising. I would imagine teachers often only also get concerned when there are issues and start noticing - unless the child is on a prodigy level. Children with IQs at the border or not too far above could easily be missed unless there are issues.

There is truth to this. I think part of the reason that I got tested and eventually put into my school's G&T program when I was in elementary school is because I started getting in trouble at school. I was completely and totally bored by it, so I would sit in the back and read my own book under the desk and not pay attention. It got noticed, my teachers and parents conferred, and then I got sent in for all sorts of IQ testing and eventually got put in the G&T program where I did much better. Point being, if I had been better about paying attention despite being bored, probably I wouldn't have gotten noticed and had all of the testing done in the first place.

I'm not saying that I'm "gifted" by the way. As an adult, I would categorize myself as bright on my good days. Smile But I was really really high acheiving in school, once I got in a program that was a good fit for me.