Help. I need advice with my 12 year old daughter.

by nicolaou 32 Replies latest social family

  • Soledad

    If I could only relive 12......

    Scully gave you great advice. It's obvious that she is anxious. The more she knows about the program and she sees what the other kids in this program are like, the better she will feel about it.

    When I was in 7th grade I actually wanted to be in a gifted program. The teachers also opened the doors for me. Then my mother shut the door and locked it tight. Talk about sealing my fate. Had I been in that program and then got good grades, my chances for getting into a good college and having a nice career would have increased 100%. Instead I settled for so-so grades and a so-so college and now have a lousy job. After all Armageddon was right around the corner......

  • rebel8

    I am not a parent so I don't have much wisdom to offer you. I can tell you I was prevented from entering gifted programs because of JW misogynistic, Armageddon-will-be-here-soon-so-why-do-extra-schoolwork teachings. It is one of the things I resent the most about my childhood....but unlike your daughter, I wanted to be in the program. Sure, I was nervous about being subjected to more teasing at school, but I wanted to, though I was a little reluctant to admit it for fear of being called a geek/brain/etc. I didn't burst into tears though! I guess if you can ascertain why your daughter doesn't want to be in the program, you will be able to tell if you should encourage it or drop it. :)

  • GentlyFeral

    What everybody said, but also:

  • Abaddon

    First, congratulations.

    As for 'selling' it to her, in your shoes I'd try to. Both my girls are mad keen on animals, always have been. When younger they always wanted to be 'animal rescuers' (like the TV program), or a more general 'looking after animals'. I've always taken a, 'well, have you thought about being a vet?', line. I've validated their interest, but told them they need to think about what they want in life. Looking after animals at the front line is long hours, low pay. This is fine if you accept making a choice like that will have concequences in how comfortable your life is, your house, your holidays, being able to afford nice things. It's important to do something you like, but if you can do that AND make money, maybe that's the way to go.

    At first, to at least some extent, this was probably way over their heads. My older daughter's alway 'got it' enough to express why she might not want to be a vet (she'd not want to put animals down... she was young... ) But it is, I hope, the right approach.

    It sucks, but what you do when you are a kid will impact on what you can do when you are an adult. Making that real to her now, i ways that are relevent to her, might help.

    To put it into hyperbole, 'do you want to not afford a holiday and live in a nasty house because some kids might be a little mean if you get put into this pragram?' I think of it as the 'do you want fries with that' approach.

    My fiance says to ask her if she thinks it is nice for her friends to be mean to her because she has a really cool opportunity, and if they are, are they real friends?

    All the best.

  • bikerchic

    Congrats proud papa!

    You've gotten some really good feed back here. I can't offer anything else but what someone else said and that is to set up an appointment for you and your daughter to meet with them and see what it's all about. I wouldn't let her opt out without checking it out first.

    Good luck!

  • damselfly

    I agree with the poster ( Scully? maybe ? ) that suggested she is probably anxious about what the program details. Explore all options with her, maybe she can try it out for a day before hand? For long term options would it be possible to arrange a tour of a local university program that feature women in the math and sciences? It would give her an opportunity to chat with girls that are smart and using thier brains?

    She has lots of friends and I think she doesn't want to jeopordise all this by becoming an official 'geek'.

    This is so sad and reminds me of being 12 myself. I've always been at the top of my class but I've never been teased for it.


  • Purza

    I didn't read all of the responses in detail, but my daughter was invited to the gifted and talented program. She was in 5th grade (10 years old I think). She didn't want to go because she was embarassed. However, I felt it was important and I encouraged her (alright I made her go) and she really enjoyed it. However, when the issue came up again the following year I didn't push her and she didn't attend. It wasn't "cool" enough. As other have mentioned -- it is sad how the peer pressure affects kids and the fact that they are so short sighted.

    I hope your daughter goes and enjoys it while she is there. Best of luck to you.


  • YoursChelbie

    Let her know that if she passes up this opportunitiy, she won't be challenged by the classes non-gifted students are in, she may actually get rather bored by having to do things she already knows.

    Secondly, tell her that her friends in the non-gifted class can still visit her, and arrange for her to continue to communicate with them and get together for birthdays etc. with them.

    If all else fails, promise her that if she participates in this program and does her best, when she graduates you'll get her a sporty car. How many geeks drive sporty cars?


  • TD


    We had a very similar experience with our daughter. Recommended for the "gifted program" in "Middle School" (Grades 6 - 8 here) and wanted absolutely nothing to do with it.

    We didn't pressure her, and we've been very happy with that decision. Looking back, she wasn't ready at 12.

    She's 16 now and in "High School" (Grades 9 - 12 here) She voluntarily tested into the AP program in her freshman year and now, she's taking a heavy class load of AP courses and thriving on it.

  • nicolaou

    Thanks everyone.

    I'm not too sure how this will pan out but clearly getting her peers on side would be a huge plus. Her two grotty teenage brothers are also being surprisingly encouraging! (plus they'd smack anyone who bullied their little sister at school). It's half-term break here in the UK and my daughter has a party planned at home for some of her friends - I'm just going to let her enjoy it. I think when school resumes my wife and I will make an appointment to see her teacher and ask a load of questions. This can't be the first time they've had to deal with this sort of thing.

    Thanks for all your suggestions and good advice, it really does help to listen.


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