Do all parents think their children are bright?

(158 Posts)
TooHotToFuss Fri 14-Jun-13 23:14:01

I think it seems to be too generally applied... AIBU? That really. We were discussing the low expectations news in our staffroom today, and agreed this word is almost so overused it can be meaningless.

Do you ever hear it or use it?

I'm a primary teacher with two teenage DDs. It took until the end of Y3 before I realised just how clever DD1 was - she got Level 4s in English, maths and science. She was still 7 then. So, yes, it is definitely hard to tell!

Tubemole1 Sun 16-Jun-13 20:19:34

dd bright in literacy but not so great in other subjects. She is incredibly perceptive and susses out people putting out a false impression of themselves. She is also catching her dad's quickness for a quip and humour. She lacks confidence and trust in some adults. I know if I encourage her active imagination, and attempt to maintain interest in the core subjects, she'll be okay. I think she'll do well in humanities, open-ended subjects, but not logical subjects like maths and science. But I need her to try and pass them, not excel at them.

MaryKatharine Sun 16-Jun-13 18:02:16

I have 4. Eldest is very bright, top of his class. No2, DD1, is exceptionally bright, termed gifted by school. No3, DD2, is academically average, can hold her own and is not behind so doing fine. No4, DS2 has developmental issues so is going to struggle academically. So quite a mixed bag!

Talkinpeace Sun 16-Jun-13 17:57:48

trice
when DCs were coming top of their junior school I was chuffed but aware that 1/30 is not a great fraction.
now they are getting 2/300 I know they are bright (and its a vehy MC comp)
BUT
because of the way the pastoral system works, they are mixed with kids of all abilities so are aware that they exist
which is a darned sight more than I was - having been to selective private gels schools right through

trice Sun 16-Jun-13 17:27:47

I think both my dcs would score around 125 on an IQ test. So able but not genius level. Definitely bright as buttons.

One of ds friends is very clever and funny, destined for a first at oxbridge like his dad, plays several instruments, brilliant actor, great cricketer, not big headed, handsome too. His mum can only talk about the fact he is slightly tubby. I think she is trying too hard not to boast.

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 16-Jun-13 17:05:14

March parents evening three separate teachers felt the need to say 'You are aware she is really very bright?'. Um yes I have lived with her for 9 years I am the one who answers the questions about the krebs cycle and mitochondria that have lead you to this statement.
I just talk to only a very few people about it.
I suppose this is a boast, but it cut both ways if you don't talk about it to the teachers they think perhaps you didn't know.

Talkinpeace Sun 16-Jun-13 16:55:15

One of DDs really good friends - with my support to her mum - was moved from the bottom of set 1 to the top of set 2 and is much much happier there
its about realism.
I happen to have bright kids and academic friends but because my DCs do sports and music, some of their friends are non academic but still great fun.

SOMEBODY will have to deliver the post and mow the verges after all : those people exist and will make all of our lives nice. Enjoy their company.

TheYamiOfYawn Sun 16-Jun-13 16:52:37

...fairly lofty ambitions, and have a reasonable chance of achieving them.

ZZZenagain Sun 16-Jun-13 16:52:21

No, I don't think they do but when you meet someone who is determined that their dc are bright, it can be so draining to listen to that you get the feeling there are more people like this than there actually are IMO.

TheYamiOfYawn Sun 16-Jun-13 16:51:48

I would day that my daughter is bright, meaning that while she isn't exceptionally clever, she is the top 10% or so of her year and while she probably won't break new ground in research and win a Nobel prize, she can probably set herself fairly lofty notions and havens reasonable chance of achieving them if she works hard.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sun 16-Jun-13 16:50:58

I am very realistic about my DC's abilities . But I was on a situation in the playground where we were talking about exams and when taken. Someone asked me if she was very bright which was fine in the context of the conversation. But I took a deep breath before replying as it felt for a moment such a betrayal to say not particularly.

What's quite difficult is there's a fair age gap between her and DS and she's worked out he's doing far more complicated things than she was at that age. I'm very very proud if her, she's developing into a creative, deep thinking young lady full of spark, empathy and determination which will stand her in good stead for the future.

Talkinpeace Sun 16-Jun-13 16:45:18

my kids are both speckle

IsThisAGoodIdea Sun 16-Jun-13 16:41:24

This thread is brilliant. Yes, OP, it would seem you're right. Most parents do think their offspring is/are "bright".

I love the reasons people give. "Oh, she's so bright she chats all the time/wants to know how magnets work/can count to 20, remembers stuff she's been told blah blah"

Isn't this just normal? confused

Nokidshere Sun 16-Jun-13 16:39:56

DH frequently says 'Have you seen love? DD can do blahblahblah' and I often find myself responding 'Yeah she's been able to do that for a while... sorry I never thought to mention it.'

I think thats quite sad!

My two boys are just who they are. Clever at some things and not so clever at others. Less clever since they started secondary school and realised they are not the cleverest children in the world grin I would never dream of telling anyone else about their shortcomings though - why would you? So I guess we only ever hear the good bits about most peoples children.

But children are astounding with the speed and prowess with which they learn and I can totally see why parents (including me probably) are always amazed by the things they can do. I remember phoning DH at work and saying "omg do you know what he did....., aww it was fantastic" lol

I look after a child at the moment who is exceptionally clever in some ways for his age and - even after 30+ years in childcare - he suprises me constantly.

PrettyKitty1986 Sun 16-Jun-13 16:35:27

If there are any teachers on here that could give me an idea of what a 5 year old in reception 'should' be able to do mathematically I'd actually be grateful. Google gives you 464644 different answers and I don't really know where to start to map where ds is iyswim?

amothersplaceisinthewrong Sun 16-Jun-13 16:32:28

A fair proportion of parents seem to think that their kids are not just bright, but supremely gifted and taleneted.

PrettyKitty1986 Sun 16-Jun-13 16:30:29

For me, bright means something different to clever. I would say both of my children are 'bright', but especially ds2. He is lively and quick to pick things up. Bouncy and energetic and curious about everything. Finds the oddest things interesting...but then maybe all 3 year olds are like that?

Ds1 is 5 and I would say he is clever...I am tentatively thinking that at 5 he may be even be beyond that and is gifted in maths but am unsure what to do about it as I'm scared the teacher may scoff at me if I mention it.

lljkk Sun 16-Jun-13 16:13:09

I was publicly labeled bright in the 1970s, my parents even held a celebratory meal out with relatives after my IQ results came in (my mother commented how envy they were about it all, too). So the bright word has been used widely since forever as far as I'm concerned. Just never meant anything specific to start with.

VinoEsmeralda Sun 16-Jun-13 15:43:40

DC1- whom we both thought was a bit dim is academically doing well, well above average but was born with 2 left hands and often finds it hard to apply himself in the real world. He is a lovely child though and v easy to get on with.

DC2 on the other hand whom we though was the sharpest tool in the box, reached baby milestones early, is academically struggling ( a lot). However she will do well I think, as she has always had to work harder at things, doesnt take anything for granted and doesnt miss a trick. Reads people well, has business acumen ( from the age of 2 tried to flog her drawings for £0.10 and if you said no she tried BOGOF approach) and has common sense. She wasnt the easiest in the 1st 6 years but is v caring and lovely with a wicked sense of humour. We really hope she will be able to turn her dream to become a nurse into reality...

Out of the 2 I think DC2 will do well regardless but DC1 will need more guidance

MrsMaryCooper Sun 16-Jun-13 15:05:56

Yes, just watching them learn and grow is awesome. I think that DS is clever - I am clever and so is DH and I have no reason to expect that DS will not be clever - but not exceptionally so.

Catchment area is very affected by the hospital/university so most of his classmates come from families in which both parents have degrees. He might look exceptional in another school

Crowler Sun 16-Jun-13 14:37:59

I do think my kids are bright.

I do not like to listen to other parents talk a lot about their bright kids. I think I would have enjoyed the 70's/80's, when parents never spoke about their kids unless in the "what a pain in the ass" context.

I think it's pretty sad for a kid if their parents don't occasionally take the form of wildly biased cheerleaders. My dad is a very hard-core utilitarian and was always very detached and clinical about my abilities, and I found this very unsettling at times - before I was old enough to even understand why it bothered me.

LondonBus Sun 16-Jun-13 14:25:49

The first thing DS1's teacher said to me at his first parents evening was; "He's very, very academic."

What she really meant was he's able child who would rather sit and read and write than socialise.

I took it to mean I had produced the next Einstein, Bill Gates and Steven Hawking combined.

imaginethat Sun 16-Jun-13 11:55:31

It's a funny thing when your child starts school and the assessments come in. Until then you are safe in a bubble of knowingness, that your child is exceptional (beautiful, lovely, cute and probably "bright"). Then the truth starts to become apparent...

youarewinning Sun 16-Jun-13 10:09:58

Someone upthread mentioned parents who talk about their children acheivements often ignore their social difficulties or their misbehaviour.

I disagree - If a conversation comes up about schooling/ talents I will mention my DS is extremely able in math and a good swimmer for his age/ class.
I do not mention he is miles behind in literacy, his social skills are pretty non excistant and he only adheres to boundaries if they are given as an instruction; eg "stay on the pavement at all times" as opposed to "don't go on the road".

He has been referred to Camhs for testing for possible AS - he has his difficulties.

Why oh why would any parent list their child's inabilities when discussing them, my closest friend knows I recognise them, why demonise him for it? His difficulties may be more profound than his peers and therefore more obvious but he is by far the best behaved of them.

I celebrate his abilities and dispair recognise and support him to overcome his difficulties.

WinterWinds Sun 16-Jun-13 08:56:16

Well suppose it depends on what you class as bright.

DS1 was very bright as a baby/young child. Very advanced for his age and very quick to learn. Academically found it quite easy. But because he found it easy would get bored and switch off. Was always being told he would lose concentration and therefore not get a lot done even though he was more than capable, this carried on through secondary. He has left school now. He did well in his exams but I think his teachers thought he could've done better if he had applied himself.
When it comes to practicalities and common sense sometimes I feel his logic goes straight out the window so can come across as being a bit dim.

Ds2. Was a cautious baby/child. Took a wee while to get there until he found his feet at about aged 6. Since then he has done very well at school. I didn't feel he was particularly clever or advanced but teachers kept telling me otherwise.
Even when he was placed in the G&T group, I kept questioning myself.
He's now 14 and does very well in school. He is very sharp and witty.
And does well in any task given he is also a great all rounder.

DD. Plods along one day at a time, always has done. Hasn't progressed very well at school, struggled with written work and its only now she has managed to catch up to the level of her peers at aged 10.
Yet she comes across as bright in her logical thinking and is very creative.

So in answer to the question, No I don't think my Dc's are Bright in a general sense. I think they are bright in certain aspects which can change as they grow older and it may not always be that way.

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