Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Early IQ - Round 2

I'm not quite finished with my basis behind testing Oldest's IQ so young.  A very good friend of mine has a gifted son and I asked her one time whether she would feel better knowing his IQ? 

She replied, adamantly, "HELL NO!  If I knew it, I would never let him slack off a little or take a break.  I would always push him to what the IQ number was." 

She does have a point.  But for us, getting the testing done early gave us solace rather than a high bar with which to measure her. 

Our deepest, darkest fears were assuaged A LITTLE.  She was still extraordinarily emotionally exhausting, but we no longer wondered if:
  1. It was our bad parenting.
  2. There was something seriously emotionally wrong with her.  Look up Oppositional Defiance Disorder sometime if you never have - it's enough to make your hair curl and my heart goes out to anyone who is struggling through that.
I spent years thinking "if I only parent better, harder, more effectively, if I only read another book about childrearing, if I only retake the class on positive parenting again, if only, if only, if only."  The burden was overwhelming.  Because things that worked for virtually every other family we knew, didn't even register with Oldest.   

And to learn that it wasn't our parenting, but the cards she'd been dealt was so much better than the self blame.  Instead of choking on uncertainty, we could become experts in raising a gifted child and how to help her with her emotional intensity.  And she has learned to manage her emotions now so much better than she used to - because we are approaching it from the aspect of "what does a gifted child need in this area?"  And yes, sometimes a swift kick in the pants is still the answer!  Speaking figuratively, OF COURSE!  Though sometimes you do want to . . . at least those of us willing to admit we're human. 

So for us, it was never "OH MY GAWD, when we find out her IQ we know how hard to push her."  It was "OH, THANK GOD, we aren't complete parental neanderthals and now let's teach her how to best help herself."  It was so liberating. 

So there you have it.  IQ testing, not just for ascertaining academic potential, but for helping struggling parents ease their guilt burden, even if just a little bit.
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