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January 23, 2006

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landismom

Yeah, I read it and agree with your assessment--it's definitely one to make me hug the kids harder.

Meg

I learned to read when I was two and did a few other things early as well, but my parents didn't take me out of school or accelerate me through grades (I was offered a two-year jump, so nothing as intense as Brendenn) because they figured that I would better fulfill my potential if I didn't lose any sort of social edge.

I don't know why people are in such a hurry with kids like Brendenn OR why they let their kids accelerate themselves to this degree.

You will not stifle someone's lifelong potential by insisting on their participation in systems, rites of passage, and the social atmosphere appropriate to their age group. They might fight it and feel a little distant, but not as distant as they would feel if they were completely removed.

It's too much damn pressure.

What's the difference if he'd graduated at 16 instead of 11?

A life.

Anne Glamore

It hit me hard, too.

Although I could not relate to the child prodigy part of it, in the end he was a boy, like my boys.

Ouch.

gina

I just hugged my smart, but probably completely average kids. And I am grateful they are fine.

LeeMarvin

Thanks...for keepin' us real, MD.

It is truly unfortunate that these kinds of things happen...but it is (nature/god/spirit)'s way of knocking all of us parents up side the head with a 2 x 4, telling us to be aware of, and pay attention to that which you hold most dear to your heart...your children.

margalit

Brendann's mom is on a mailing list that I've been on for years. When he died, it was an extremely painful time for EVERYONE on the list, because we all have profoundly gifted kids and we all know how high the suicide rate is for kids like this. I kind of wish you didn't bring this up. It's a very painful thing to relive again.

nina

My first response to the article was...thank God my baby is just average (well, he's only one month, but as far as I can tell...hehe).

But even parents of children who aren't gifted put too much pressure on their kids. And the more I thought about, the more I thought that it's not just being the parent of a gifted child (although I can see the inherent and unique struggles), but just being a parent. They obviously thought they were doing the best by him, but how can we know what is the best for our child? Gifted or not, every kid is unique and has different needs...how can we know we're doing the right thing in the choices we make for them? Especially when the stakes are so high? My brothers both have rather severe ADHD and although this is probably the opposite end of the spectrum of issues, my parents were often at a loss as to the right course of action for them. And it's understandable because sometimes, no matter what you do and how much you love your kids, things don't turn out well.

Anyway, it's so sad. Even if I disagree with some of the choices Brendann's parents made, I can't imagine the pain they have experienced.

On a side note, I think it's good your brought it up MD. It's healthy and right to examine issues (however ugly or painful) because maybe we'll learn a thing or two or at least be a little more thoughtful.

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