July 24, 2009

difficult parents

Like I said in my last post, I've been working in a gifted enrichment program this summer. needless to say, some of the parents we encounter at this program can be a little...well, interesting. Because my program works with the little kids, we always see a bunch of really young kids who maybe aren't truly gifted or are still developing academically in certain areas and it's more that their parents WANT them to be gifted, so they get them in this program. They still need test scores to back them up, but as far as I have seen, difficult parents can sometimes get their way and get their children in even if they don't exactly meet the criteria.

While giftedness is a wonderful thing and gifted children deserve to be challenged just as much as on-level children, it's always rough to encounter those parents who are already pressuring their children way too much. When did being on-level become unacceptable? It always makes me sad to think about how some children already have so much pressure placed on them before first grade, and I wonder how that will affect them in the long run.

In any case, today I had an encounter with a VERY difficult parent who not only did not believe us when we shared that her child had been behaving innappropriately and disruptively all week, but who also refused to believe her child was struggling in our class. While I strongly believe that we should have high expectations for children and believe the best to be possible in each of them, talking to parents like this one makes me wonder: how many parents are seeing only the child they wish they had and refusing to see the child in front of them?

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