Don’t Share Your Gifted Child’s IQ Scores

Last night I heard about parents who were bragging about their children’s IQ scores with other parents. “Who is the best person to do the testing? How much testing is necessary?” I was horrified at this behavior. The gifted child is not a commodity to be tested and compared with other gifted children. Giftedness is not a brand of child. Levels of giftedness help educators make decisions about school placement. All decisions about your gifted child should be based on your child’s needs, not your need to be a “big shot.” Although it is tempting to “brag” about how smart your child is to other people, it is a serious parent trap. It pressures your child and contributes to their perfectionism, which you may or may not be aware of. Perfectionism exists in your child’s mind and can keep him or her from being herself or himself.

Bragging creates unspoken pressures and expectations. You need to contain your pride to small groups of people—grandparents, your therapist, and your support group. Have your small circle of friends promise they will not talk with acquaintances at the market or mall about your child. Bragging can create a false sense of self that your child has to live up to. Living up to your expectations takes away from what your child wants for himself or herself. This is a serious problem that you want to avoid at all costs. Your options, when you become your child’s agent, are limited to psychotherapy for narcissistic behavior, burnout, or self-destructive behavior. Let your child find his or her own way.

Know your child, not the score. Do not share with other mothers and fathers. It breeds competition and disappointment. A successful gifted parent knows why their child is having problems adjusting and tries to help.