Competitive Parenting!

It was parents evening at school recently and our first parent teacher meeting was an insight into the competitiveness of some parents. Talking about it in the playground the next day, one mum bleated on and on about how her child was not only academically gifted at 5 years old but had amazed her reception teacher with both her vocabulary and her mathematical ability. Another talked about how her son was musically gifted and another about her son’s athletic prowess. That’s on top of those that had already hinted about their little one’s being gifted in art and reading. While I don’t want to cast a cynical eye on these parents view of their childrens talents, it is irritating that so many parents feel the need to basically tell everyone that their kids are smarter/better/ more brilliant than all the other kids. What’s more how come so many children are supposedly gifted? In the UK children generally considered as gifted range from five to ten percent of the general population. In the total school-age population in England, that would be about 800,000 children, which would make the ratio at our school incredibly high! I know as parents we all like to think our children have talents because we’re all proud of them and want them to do well but not all of us feel the need to boast so loudly. I’m not sure what these parents are really trying to say, perhaps, ‘Look at me, haven’t I done well?’ or perhaps I am being too hard on them? My friend actually has a child that has been identified as gifted but with this label comes a whole host of problems. For instance while her 7 year old daughter is very mature intellectually, she has the social and emotional needs of a child younger than her actual age. Which means she finds the world very scary, making friends hard and needs extra encouragement at school and at home. It’s something her mother says she wouldn’t wish on another child. So what are your thoughts on competitive parents and gifted kids? Do you ignore those who boast or are you affected by what they say? Let me know.