Hello, Enthusiastic Gifted Child, meet Communist School. You are going to be best friends. Here is your bright new backpack with a cool pencil-case and notebook. See you at graduation. :^)
If you are behind the average, you have a legitimate, recognized special need and great care is taken to meet that need and make sure you don’t feel bad about yourself for being who you are or fall into depression. Your needs are important.
If you are faster than the average. You are meeting the minimum expectation and therefore do not have a legitimate special need. No care is taken to make sure you don’t feel bad about yourself or get depressed. In fact, you are an overachiever, a pain in the neck, an exhausting burden no one has time for because they are too busy making sure the slow ones can catch up. Equality is the key, you see. “You are done already! Well, go help Johnny.”
Some kids who are behind act out because of it. Some kids who are ahead do. Some kids who are behind fall into a self loathing depression, some kids who are ahead do. The kids who act out are most likely to be noticed. So I want to focus on the ones that get missed; the “good ones,” the “quiet ones”, the introverts who won’t tell you what is going on. They need you (parents and teachers) to see them and help them just as badly.
Gifted kids have an insatiable curiosity and need for speed. This is not a luxury. It is a need! Yes, yes it is. Like a person needs food or a car needs gas. If you don’t get food, you wither away and die. When you don’t feed gifted kids or allow them to feed themselves, you starve them.
When you direct their “extra” time and energy at helping others you starve them and teach them that their own needs are less important than the needs of others. You teach them, they may be starving, but they may eat only when all others have been fed because, of course, YOU don’t think they SHOULD be starving. After all, they ate the same amount as the others did. That is like saying, “teenage boy, you ate the same amount as your 90-year-old grandma. How could you still be hungry?! You are just being gluttonous.” This is akin to abuse, people!
Just because YOU can’t imagine eating a whole pizza yourself then looking for more food does not mean he does not need that much food. Stop judging him by your point of view. Try to see.
Communist Schools, if you let this child go at his own pace and feed and nourish him, he may cause an uncomfortable revolution. But, he may save your life as well. If you hold him back and teach him his needs are worthless and he is worth less than others he will eventually believe it. He will not grow up a healthy adult able to care for his own needs, and will not cause that uncomfortable revolution, and will not save your life.
Gifted children need to be allowed to race ahead. If you can’t handle this yourself, please figure out another way to make this happen.
Ah, Emaciated Depressed Child, congratulations, here is your diploma! You lost your backpack? Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that. Anyway, welcome to the rest of your life! I am so glad we could be a part of preparing you for it. :^)