Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: KimodoDragon on October 21, 2013, 09:38:49 AM

Title: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: KimodoDragon on October 21, 2013, 09:38:49 AM
This past weekend the thrift store where I volunteer had a pre-Halloween function for the volunteer employees and their families.  It was held in a recreation center with stadium food, beverages, sweets, etc.  The activities for the children were a ring toss, spooky maze, etc.  The children really seemed to enjoy the event.

Josh (age 10) is the son to one of the volunteers, Jessie.  Connor (age 9) is the son to the store manager, Carol.  During my time volunteering, Carol has been known to talk at length about how gifted and smart Connor is.  None of the workers can attest to this as we have never met Connor.  According to Carol, Connor could walk at 6 months and could sit in a room and quietly read the dictionary at 3 years old, complete with glasses and a pencil outlining certain words.  I have to tell you, I laughed inwardly when she said this because I pictured this toddler looking quite academic in a blazer with suede elbow patches.

So, the Halloween event is going along well. I am standing in line for a taffy apple behind Carol and Connor.  Jessie and Josh are in front of them.  Josh told Jessie he wanted to go through the spooky maze.  Connor crouches down like a cat with its back raised and teeth bared and began clawing at Josh’s leg.  We thought it was funny at first, but then Connor meows loudly and says, “you will not come out alive”.  Carol laughs it off, saying she told us he was gifted.  Jessie and I smile.  Connor comes out of feline mode, stands up, looks around and says, “I believe everyone in this room is fat”.  Carol tells Connor to pipe down.  Connor says, “fat like you Carol”, then punches her in her stomach.  Jessie sends Josh off to another table.  Carol tells Connor to pipe down again.  Connor takes a sweeping bow his with arm behind his back and says, “my apologies, dear woman”.  Carol turned to me and said, “see, he’s gifted with acting”.  She asked if I thought Connor was gifted and smart.  I told her I didn’t know how to measure that in a child, “but he’s something”.  I honestly didn’t know what else to say.  Connor looked at me and “meowed”.

Carol asked Jessie if Josh could come to their house to hang out with Connor.  Jessie said she will get back to her.  Carol will ask repeatedly, we know this.  Now, Jessie feels she is in a bind and wants to know what she can tell Carol to stop her from asking.  Does Jessie use a tub of bean dip or just say she is not comfortable with Josh spending time in their house with Connor?

One other thing happened – Carol’s husband comes over and tells Carol to get a move on, she has spent too much time in the food line, as usual.  Connor laughs and he and his dad walk off.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: LeveeWoman on October 21, 2013, 09:46:02 AM
Going by what his father said to his mother, there's no wonder Connor has little respect for his mother.

That said, I have no advice for Jessie other than to keep a 55-gallon drum of bean dip at hand. Since she is the boss, Carol likely wouldn't take it well if Carol said she didn't want Josh around the little monster Connor.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: cwm on October 21, 2013, 09:50:00 AM
Well, Jessie could always say that Josh isn't interested, which is probably the truth. And then there's the "I don't want to push him into things he doesn't want to do."

You know, my niece was ahead on most of her milestones. Sis downplays this like mad. I'm automatically skeptical of anyone who goes on and on about how "special" and "gifted" their children are. And having known many gifted children, I've never seen a single one of them act like a cat because they were gifted in acting.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: TurtleDove on October 21, 2013, 09:50:49 AM
Going by what his father said to his mother, there's no wonder Connor has little respect for his mother.

I don't think we can pin this all on the father either though.  Carol apparently encourages Connor's behavior by telling him he is smart/cute/gifted/special when in reality he is a rude little boy. 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on October 21, 2013, 09:51:48 AM
Like cwm, I would say that Josh has a full slate of friends.  And even if Carol is the boss, Jessie is a volunteer.  What could Carol do to her?
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: cicero on October 21, 2013, 09:51:56 AM
Ya know - I don't know this kid, but it *is* possible that he *was* reading at age three (i know more than one person who taught themselves to read by age three, and I don't mean memorizing Dr. Suess, i mean reading books.

and the fact that he is acting like a doofus, doesn't mean he *isn't* gifted. (case in point - sheldon cooper on TBBT, and while it's not a real person, i think we all know one or more Sheldon Cooper types IRL).

(Sorry, but your tone is sounding a bit condescending and while i understand where you're coming from, it is possible that the kid *is* gifted, along with idiotic parents...)

But as to what Jesse can do at this point? Seriously, by age 10 I would let my son choose his own friends and not have parent-initiated play dates. so she can either majorly beandip, or say "oh, Josh is his own social director, i stopped making play dates for him last year.".

Or evil Cicero would say "Oh, i don't think that would work, after all Conner is sooooo much more advanced than Josh, i'm afraid he would be too bored playing *simple* games and holding *regular* conversation. but i hear that MENSA is looking for new members. why don't you try them?"

Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: LeveeWoman on October 21, 2013, 09:53:34 AM
Going by what his father said to his mother, there's no wonder Connor has little respect for his mother.

I don't think we can pin this all on the father either though.  Carol apparently encourages Connor's behavior by telling him he is smart/cute/gifted/special when in reality he is a rude little boy.

Yep. Carol needs to stop makeing excuses for him.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: lowspark on October 21, 2013, 09:54:54 AM
Based on the behavior you witnessed, it's impossible to say if Connor is "gifted" or not. It is possible, however, to conclude that Connor is disrespectful and that his mother has not established appropriate boundaries for his behavior. It seems to me that Carol is using the time-honored "my son is gifted so we don't want to stifle him" philosophy to raise Connor. In addition to which,  it's not surprising that Connor is immitating the rude bahavior that Carol's husband is apparently modeling.

Jessie can bean dip but if Carol is persistent, then Jessie would probably be best served by nipping it in the bud. Maybe something like, "Sorry, but with Josh's hectic schedule of scouts, little league and homework, we simply don't have time for play dates."
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Lynn2000 on October 21, 2013, 10:01:34 AM
Yipe, that all sounds really weird. Some gifted kids do act out because they're bored, especially in class. But no matter Connor's IQ, it sounds like he's not being taught how to behave appropriately in public or to treat his mother with respect, and I wouldn't want my son to spend much time with him, either.

I think Jessie needs to be firm in her boundaries. I like apologetic, but busy.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Twik on October 21, 2013, 10:08:06 AM
I remember many years ago when there was a trend for genetic banks for "gifted intellectuals" like Nobel Prize winners, so you could be artificially inseminated and your child would be, automatically, a genius.

I remember that there was a woman who, for a few years, would trot her child out to show just how brilliant he was. How his IQ was double hers. How every little thing he did showed his budding genius. Strangely, it didn't seem so obvious to the audience. What she saw as a budding Mozart the rest of the audience saw as a restless three-year-old banging randomly on piano keys. After the child hit about five, he didn't get on TV much any more. I hope he grew up without being crushed by his mother's expectations.

It sounds like the same thing is going on here. Carol (and her husband, perhaps) has decided Connor is brilliant, and everything he does, like getting up in the morning, is evidence of that. I suspect he's learned to play "eccentric genius unfettered by social conventions" to keep up the charade, since this is easier than actually, say, writing scientific papers by age 10. Of course, picking up his father's contempt for Carol makes it even more toxic. I feel rather sorry for Connor.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Knitterly on October 21, 2013, 10:10:34 AM
Don't engage.  He's not displaying giftedness, he's displaying something else! :P

It's probable that he was advanced as a toddler, but it also looks like Carol and her husband have let that be an excuse for raising a special little snowflake.   I am frustrated by parents who let the giftedness of their kids hinder their parenting.  You can talk at the age of one? Great, let's learn to say please and thank you.  Your fine motor skills are a year ahead of your peers? Awesome, let's learn how to fold and put away the laundry. 

It really frustrates me when parents see giftedness and don't raise their expectations accordingly.  It's horribly unfair to the child, who is just acting out in a way they have been taught is appropriate.

Jessie has no obligation to have Josh do playdates.  It seems kind of weird and pushy for Connor's mom to be arranging playdates at this age.  This is the age where kids, as previous posters have mentioned, make their own friends.

Just beandip, smile, and say that yes you can see Connor certainly is special.  No need to add on the "snowflake" part.  It's okay to just think that part in your head. 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Twik on October 21, 2013, 10:14:31 AM
It seems kind of weird and pushy for Connor's mom to be arranging playdates at this age.  This is the age where kids, as previous posters have mentioned, make their own friends.

Alas, I fear that Connor's parents have brought him up so that this will be extremely difficult. Gifted or not, I bet this is one skill he hasn't mastered, or even been taught. A whole lifetime of "you are better than everyone else" is not a good preparation for making friends.

But this is not the problem for Jessie, and particularly Josh, to solve. If I were Jessie, I'd ask Josh his opinion. If he doesn't want to spend time with Connor, that would be an end of it. No good would come of putting two nine-year-olds together if they're not interested in being friends.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: FoxPaws on October 21, 2013, 10:20:39 AM
But as to what Jesse can do at this point? Seriously, by age 10 I would let my son choose his own friends and not have parent-initiated play dates. so she can either majorly beandip, or say "oh, Josh is his own social director, i stopped making play dates for him last year.".
>:D Evil FoxPaws would be sorely tempted to describe this as Josh being "socially gifted".
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: AliciaLynette on October 21, 2013, 11:22:58 AM
Ya know - I don't know this kid, but it *is* possible that he *was* reading at age three (i know more than one person who taught themselves to read by age three, and I don't mean memorizing Dr. Suess, i mean reading books.

and the fact that he is acting like a doofus, doesn't mean he *isn't* gifted. (case in point - sheldon cooper on TBBT, and while it's not a real person, i think we all know one or more Sheldon Cooper types IRL).

(Sorry, but your tone is sounding a bit condescending and while i understand where you're coming from, it is possible that the kid *is* gifted, along with idiotic parents...)

But as to what Jesse can do at this point? Seriously, by age 10 I would let my son choose his own friends and not have parent-initiated play dates. so she can either majorly beandip, or say "oh, Josh is his own social director, i stopped making play dates for him last year.".

Or evil Cicero would say "Oh, i don't think that would work, after all Conner is sooooo much more advanced than Josh, i'm afraid he would be too bored playing *simple* games and holding *regular* conversation. but i hear that MENSA is looking for new members. why don't you try them?"

(Bolding mine)

Speaking as a reader from age 3 and a Mensan from the age of 11, if I'd acted at any age like Connor did here, my parents would have whipped me straight out the car, no treat, no playing, and probably a smack to boot.  'Gifted', if that is what he is, does not preclude manners or proper behaviour, and no group of Mensans would put up with that behaviour for very long at all.  Mensans value sensible discussion on varied topics/interests, not appalling behaviour especially from a 9 yr old who should have been taught better!!
I take my daughter age 4 to Mensa lunchtime meetings, and they love having her there, because she is well-mannered, eats properly and is happy to talk to the other members about the books she's reading/the toy she has/what she's done at school/etc.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: barefoot_girl on October 21, 2013, 11:25:06 AM
Carol asked Jessie if Josh could come to their house to hang out with Connor.  Jessie said she will get back to her.  Carol will ask repeatedly, we know this.  Now, Jessie feels she is in a bind and wants to know what she can tell Carol to stop her from asking. 

No, he can't. More bean-dip?

Truthfully? Connor does not sound 'gifted' based on this post, he sounds like a rude entitled little twerp. If he was just awkward and trying to be funny (the meowing etc), it might be differnt, but he simply sounds rude and objectionable, and Carol is a twit to encourage his behaviour.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Zilla on October 21, 2013, 11:38:14 AM
Are you asking if Jessie should engage the child?  I think all the gifted comments etc was unnecessary.  Josh does NOT have to hang with Connor if he doesn't want to.  And Jessie doesn't have to let her son play with Connor either.  Just decline it outright.  Jessie should simply tell Carol that Josh has other friends/interests but thank you for the invite.  If Carol insists, she can gently tell her, "Josh is 10 years old.  I don't schedule or force his playdates.  Now as I was saying, bean dip"
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Deetee on October 21, 2013, 12:05:14 PM
A few thoughts.

Being truely gifted  and being a socially awkward child do often go together. I knew of exactly one child who was like that. He was 14 years old and in second year university when I was in grad school. I met him first at a social event when he was with a couple of the instructors. My first thought on seeing him move and talk was "Oh, I didn't know that they had a child who was developmentally disabled." He flailed. His speech was unmodulated. He moved oddly.

Nobody, but nobody cares that your kid is gifted. I get (as a parent) how absolutely wonderful it is to watch your kid grow and learn. My daughter is doing amazing things. I made a 4 minute video of her sounding out words last night and actually starting to read, as my heart burst with pride. (Notice how I snuck that in there :) ) But aside from a comment to the grandparents and maybe with her teacher, no-one else cares, nor should they. So if you have the next Einstein, that's great but it's not a topic of conversation. I would rather discuss politics than compare developmental stages of children. Much less fraught.


Anyhow, whether the kid is gifted is irrelevant to the fact that his mother is a bore, his father is a jerk and he is unnerving.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: TurtleDove on October 21, 2013, 12:16:47 PM
Anyhow, whether the kid is gifted is irrelevant to the fact that his mother is a bore, his father is a jerk and he is unnerving.

POD.  In addition, in real life it is generally more important to be socially gifted and average mentally than to be mentally gifted but unable to relate appropriately to others in society.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Hmmmmm on October 21, 2013, 12:20:08 PM
It seems kind of weird and pushy for Connor's mom to be arranging playdates at this age.  This is the age where kids, as previous posters have mentioned, make their own friends.

Alas, I fear that Connor's parents have brought him up so that this will be extremely difficult. Gifted or not, I bet this is one skill he hasn't mastered, or even been taught. A whole lifetime of "you are better than everyone else" is not a good preparation for making friends.But this is not the problem for Jessie, and particularly Josh, to solve. If I were Jessie, I'd ask Josh his opinion. If he doesn't want to spend time with Connor, that would be an end of it. No good would come of putting two nine-year-olds together if they're not interested in being friends.

Completely agree with Twik's post, especially the bolded.

If Josh says he's not interested in hanging out with Connor, every time she's asked Jessie can say that Josh is engaged in other activities.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: flickan on October 21, 2013, 12:47:10 PM
Nobody, but nobody cares that your kid is gifted.

I wish this were a bumper sticker.

My mother did not get this at all.  Nobody cares.  Nobody wants to hear it.  Nobody ought to be subjected to parents bragging about their children's achievements ad nauseum.

If your kid is gifted trust that it will show.  Let them stand on their own.  Bragging about your kid is a quick way to give a little kid a big head.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: artk2002 on October 21, 2013, 01:20:28 PM
Connor (age 9) ...

Connor crouches down like a cat with its back raised and teeth bared and began clawing at Josh’s leg.  We thought it was funny at first, but then Connor meows loudly and says, “you will not come out alive”.

A 9yo? That's behavior I'd expect from a 3yo.

Quote
Carol laughs it off, saying she told us he was gifted.

Gifted at being a pain perhaps; I didn't see any evidence that he has any gifts beyond that.

Quote
Connor comes out of feline mode, stands up, looks around and says, “I believe everyone in this room is fat”.  Carol tells Connor to pipe down.  Connor says, “fat like you Carol”, then punches her in her stomach.

His mother? He called his mother fat and hit her? In most households, even those that are badly parented, that would result in consequences that would be uncomfortable at least.

Quote
Connor takes a sweeping bow his with arm behind his back and says, “my apologies, dear woman”.  Carol turned to me and said, “see, he’s gifted with acting”.

So are psychopaths and sociopaths. The ability to hit someone and then be charming right away is not a good sign. Besides, smarmy isn't acting. Or, perhaps it is and Carol is more observant than we might think. Being nice is acting for this child. Acting in the sense of playing a role that isn't what you normally are.

Quote
I told her I didn’t know how to measure that in a child, “but he’s something”.

Good response. Shorthand for "something awful," I'm sure.

Quote
Carol asked Jessie if Josh could come to their house to hang out with Connor.  Jessie said she will get back to her.  Carol will ask repeatedly, we know this.  Now, Jessie feels she is in a bind and wants to know what she can tell Carol to stop her from asking.  Does Jessie use a tub of bean dip or just say she is not comfortable with Josh spending time in their house with Connor?

Be busy. Be very, very busy.

Quote
One other thing happened – Carol’s husband comes over and tells Carol to get a move on, she has spent too much time in the food line, as usual.  Connor laughs and he and his dad walk off.

Something about apples and trees?
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: esposita on October 21, 2013, 01:28:12 PM
Nobody, but nobody cares that your kid is gifted. [...] But aside from a comment to the grandparents and maybe with her teacher, no-one else cares, nor should they. So if you have the next Einstein, that's great but it's not a topic of conversation. I would rather discuss politics than compare developmental stages of children. Much less fraught.

Exactly. Its pointless to run around telling people this kind of stuff. If they really are gifted, it will be evident in some way, usually to the people who will appreciate it the most. If my kid were a genius at chess, at this point only other chess players are going to care. Eventually the skills that make him a good chess player may be appreciated by a school or company or employer ...but still the world at large isn't going to need to know.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Deetee on October 21, 2013, 02:04:45 PM
Nobody, but nobody cares that your kid is gifted. [...] But aside from a comment to the grandparents and maybe with her teacher, no-one else cares, nor should they. So if you have the next Einstein, that's great but it's not a topic of conversation. I would rather discuss politics than compare developmental stages of children. Much less fraught.

Exactly. Its pointless to run around telling people this kind of stuff. If they really are gifted, it will be evident in some way, usually to the people who will appreciate it the most. If my kid were a genius at chess, at this point only other chess players are going to care. Eventually the skills that make him a good chess player may be appreciated by a school or company or employer ...but still the world at large isn't going to need to know.

I can't believe you took out the part about my kid learning to read! She's  like 3 months ahead of the curve. DON'T YOU CARE???? I may be forced to post  three separate, long, shaky, dimly lit videos of her reading HOP on POP for everyone to watch to get over this.

Actually it's just her reading the first two pages of HOP on POP over and over again. I think repeated watching could be used to get confessions out of prisoners.



Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: MrsJWine on October 21, 2013, 02:23:37 PM
My three year old acts like a cat because she's just plain weird (even for a three year old). As far as I know, you really can't tell gifted at that age unless they're doing truly advanced things (composing piano pieces, solving math equations, etc).
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Seraphia on October 21, 2013, 02:29:17 PM
Nobody, but nobody cares that your kid is gifted. [...] But aside from a comment to the grandparents and maybe with her teacher, no-one else cares, nor should they. So if you have the next Einstein, that's great but it's not a topic of conversation. I would rather discuss politics than compare developmental stages of children. Much less fraught.

Exactly. Its pointless to run around telling people this kind of stuff. If they really are gifted, it will be evident in some way, usually to the people who will appreciate it the most. If my kid were a genius at chess, at this point only other chess players are going to care. Eventually the skills that make him a good chess player may be appreciated by a school or company or employer ...but still the world at large isn't going to need to know.

I think it was a sig line I saw on Customers Suck that I got this from, but it seems apropos here too. "If someone has to tell you they're trustworthy (or gifted), it's because they know their behavior won't show it. The people who run around claiming their trustworthiness (giftedness) the loudest are the ones you have to watch out for the most."

In this case, rather than trustworthiness, it's the giftedness that Carol is proclaiming for her son, and well, same rule seems to apply. From the description of the behavior, I would've guessed an age of four or five, not nine! I was in a lot of Gifted & Talented programs as a kid, but if I had acted like that? Oooooh, there would have been T.R.O.U.B.L.E. in my world, and no amount of "but she's Gifted!" would have gotten me off from hitting my mother.

Regardless of the status of Connor's mental talents, Jessie is not obligated to make Josh put up with his behaviors if Josh himself isn't interested in a friendship. As far as what to say, maybe something along the lines of, "Oh, we have so much on the calendar right now, I just don't think it's going to happen."
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: esposita on October 21, 2013, 02:30:52 PM
Nobody, but nobody cares that your kid is gifted. [...] But aside from a comment to the grandparents and maybe with her teacher, no-one else cares, nor should they. So if you have the next Einstein, that's great but it's not a topic of conversation. I would rather discuss politics than compare developmental stages of children. Much less fraught.

Exactly. Its pointless to run around telling people this kind of stuff. If they really are gifted, it will be evident in some way, usually to the people who will appreciate it the most. If my kid were a genius at chess, at this point only other chess players are going to care. Eventually the skills that make him a good chess player may be appreciated by a school or company or employer ...but still the world at large isn't going to need to know.

I can't believe you took out the part about my kid learning to read! She's  like 3 months ahead of the curve. DON'T YOU CARE???? I may be forced to post  three separate, long, shaky, dimly lit videos of her reading HOP on POP for everyone to watch to get over this.

Actually it's just her reading the first two pages of HOP on POP over and over again. I think repeated watching could be used to get confessions out of prisoners.

 ;D

That sounds adorable, by the way! My oldest just recently stopped getting all antsy with me when I tried to prod him to even say one of the words as I read. He'd say "Mommy! Nonono. I don't know how to read. You have to." (He is, though, still veeery concerned about Will being up hill still.)
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Klea on October 21, 2013, 03:43:18 PM
I suspect he's learned to play "eccentric genius unfettered by social conventions"

This seems to be exactly what he is doing, for whatever reason. This behaviour continues to be reinforced and his parents do not discourage it or show him that it is rude/socially unacceptable. Even if he is predisposed to be a bit odd (and there is nothing wrong with being off-beat), they are doing him a disservice by allowing it to continue and not teaching him social skills. He may end up getting a rude awakening in the future and that is sad.

This post could have exactly described my cousin. He too was constantly told he was 'gifted' (he was intellectually clever, but let's not go overboard) but deliberately acted 'eccentric' (read: like a rude little twit) and was never corrected. It meant that nobody (children or adults) could stand to be around him. He is now just finishing high school (he is no longer described as 'gifted)' and has a lot of difficulty relating to others (he still tries to be 'eccentric').

As for Jessie and Josh, I would do as others have suggested and put it back on the child. Josh makes his own friends (it doesn't sound like he is keen on it anyway) or has lots of activities on.

Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: MrsJWine on October 21, 2013, 03:47:07 PM
Oh wow. I misread the OP. I thought he was 3 NOW; it sounded like slightly eccentric but somewhat normal behavior that had been indulged a bit too much. But he's 9?? That's not cute or funny or anything like it. He just sounds insufferable. I wonder if Carol is talking up his giftedness so loudly because if she doesn't it becomes pretty plain just how disrespected she is by both her husband and son.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on October 21, 2013, 03:52:47 PM
I can't believe you took out the part about my kid learning to read! She's  like 3 months ahead of the curve. DON'T YOU CARE???? I may be forced to post  three separate, long, shaky, dimly lit videos of her reading HOP on POP for everyone to watch to get over this.

Actually it's just her reading the first two pages of HOP on POP over and over again. I think repeated watching could be used to get confessions out of prisoners.

I have to tell you that this made me laugh out loud.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: EllenS on October 21, 2013, 04:06:45 PM
A few thoughts.

Being truely gifted  and being a socially awkward child do often go together. I knew of exactly one child who was like that. He was 14 years old and in second year university when I was in grad school. I met him first at a social event when he was with a couple of the instructors. My first thought on seeing him move and talk was "Oh, I didn't know that they had a child who was developmentally disabled." He flailed. His speech was unmodulated. He moved oddly.

Nobody, but nobody cares that your kid is gifted. I get (as a parent) how absolutely wonderful it is to watch your kid grow and learn. My daughter is doing amazing things. I made a 4 minute video of her sounding out words last night and actually starting to read, as my heart burst with pride. (Notice how I snuck that in there :) ) But aside from a comment to the grandparents and maybe with her teacher, no-one else cares, nor should they. So if you have the next Einstein, that's great but it's not a topic of conversation. I would rather discuss politics than compare developmental stages of children. Much less fraught.


Anyhow, whether the kid is gifted is irrelevant to the fact that his mother is a bore, his father is a jerk and he is unnerving.

Totally POD to the bold.

And, to the point about social awkwardness, I read some really interesting articles not long ago about a theory in developmental psychology that what we call "special-needs" or "developmental disability" and what we call "gifted" are really just extreme points on a continuum of "asynchronous development."

Most kids develop their intellectual, emotional, physical, and social growth in a similar chronological track that we call "typical". This is the center of the bell curve.  When one of these skill-sets is way out of sync with the others, they need special attention to help them cope in one way or the other.

In any event, it is the parents' job to teach their children appropriate behavior in personal relationships (hitting Mommy is RIGHT OUT) and social interactions.

If the volunteer mom runs out of beandip, I think being busy or one of the sample statements that the son chooses his own social commitments, are both fine.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Lady Snowdon on October 21, 2013, 04:15:53 PM
I applaud the use of "he's something, alright!" as a response when asked directly "Isn't he gifted?  Can't you just tell he's so gifted?".  I don't think there's any way to tell from limited social interaction if a child is "gifted" or not.  I was considered gifted as a child (where did all that intelligence and brain power go, I wonder?), but unless you got me started on a few specific topics, like Sherlock Holmes, you wouldn't have been able to tell just by meeting me at a party. 

My other thought is that "gifted" should never be an excuse for "we don't discipline our child at all, in any way, shape or form".  I would employ lots and lots of bean dip when Carol asks again if her beautiful gifted child can hang out with Josh. 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: TurtleDove on October 21, 2013, 04:30:52 PM
I question what the purpose of labeling children as "gifted" is.  Are they placed in accelerated classes?  Do they do statistically amazing things as adults?  I guess I just don't see the value in labeling a child as "gifted" unless there is some heightened expectation or performance that is typical of those labeled in this way.  Personally, like some of the other parents on this board, I have uncontroverted proof that my child is beyond amazing in every way (;-)) but I see no reason to make an issue out of this because it would either place a lot of undue pressure on her or make her extremely socially awkward and likely unhappy because she would not be able to relate to her peers.  I confess I just don't get it.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: MrsJWine on October 21, 2013, 04:38:37 PM
I question what the purpose of labeling children as "gifted" is.  Are they placed in accelerated classes?  Do they do statistically amazing things as adults?  I guess I just don't see the value in labeling a child as "gifted" unless there is some heightened expectation or performance that is typical of those labeled in this way.  Personally, like some of the other parents on this board, I have uncontroverted proof that my child is beyond amazing in every way (;-)) but I see no reason to make an issue out of this because it would either place a lot of undue pressure on her or make her extremely socially awkward and likely unhappy because she would not be able to relate to her peers.  I confess I just don't get it.

It's useful because a gifted child in a regular education program will likely be so bored through school that it will kill any love of learning or ability to study later in life. There are, of course, exceptions to this, but that does seem to be the tendency. I was in a gifted program starting in middle school. It made a world of difference to me. I still had a difficult time when I got to college (zero ability to study; it sounds absurd--how do you not know how to study?--, but it's a real thing); however, I think it would have been much, much worse if I hadn't had those few years. I wish I could have started earlier.

ETA: It's hard to express the above without sounding like I'm bragging. Compared to the other kids in the gifted program, I was not exceptional. I think many of my classmates benefited even more from the gifted program because they were so gifted that it would have been almost impossible to have a normal experience growing up. The social aspect is another major benefit of being labeled "gifted." You aren't the weird one anymore; you're one of many like you.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: MommyPenguin on October 21, 2013, 04:47:58 PM
On the main homeschooling board I frequent, there is a forum for "accelerated learners" (read: gifted) and another forum for "learning challengers" (read: learning disabilities).  It is not infrequent for the same person to post on both forums about the same child.  You definitely have kids who are doing college-level calculus in fifth grade at the same time as struggling with dyslexia and an inability to write a coherent paragraph.

One of the things that we notice, once we've been on the boards for a while, is the frequent appearance of new homeschooling parents with kids in the preschool or early elementary years, who are looking for information for their "precocious" or "gifted" toddlers or little kids.  Usually they define this as the child having started to read at 3, or can do addition at 4, or is reading a year or two ahead of grade level at K or 1.  The child is, admittedly, doing well.  But most people don't really define "gifted" or "precocious" that low.  My first grader reads on about a third/fourth grade reading level.  I think she's smart and she loves to read, but I wouldn't consider her "gifted."  Gifted would be if she were reading AND understanding books at close to a high school level.

The main reason that I'd see in labeling a child "gifted" would be if you need special services/schooling for your child.  A truly gifted child is generally not well-served by staying in a classroom based on their age.  And skipping a year or two may not work, either, because they may not be able to socially handle being in a class with older kids, not to mention that not all gifted kids are gifted in all subjects.  So having your child registered as "gifted" might be what you'd need to get the school to allow your child to, say, take classes at the middle school in the afternoon, while staying at the elementary school for the morning.  Or getting in to certain special private schools or getting a private tutor.  Or, if homeschooling, to help find other parents with children who are so far advanced, so that you can all share ideas and difficulties of parenting such a child.

The specific scenario given, though, makes me doubt the mom's label of her son as gifted.  If she's labeling strange childish behavior as "gifted," then I'd doubt that she has any real idea of what "gifted" means.  Yes, he might be gifted *and* weird, possibly because he's so far beyond other kids in intelligence that he has trouble figuring out how to relate to them (imagine yourself suddenly turned back into a 3-year-old... would you be able to join in activities and games with other 3-year-olds and have fun and not seem different?).  But she's not doing him any favors by labeling activities that *aren't* gifted as being so.  The little boy actually reminds me a bit of a daughter of a man dating a relative of mine.  She was apparently a micro-preemie and adopted as a young child, and has a mix of ADD and asperger's, I believe.  She acts in very similar ways to this boy.  I think she's growing out of it a bit, though, as she's a good bit older than him now.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Twik on October 21, 2013, 04:48:12 PM
I question what the purpose of labeling children as "gifted" is.  Are they placed in accelerated classes?  Do they do statistically amazing things as adults?  I guess I just don't see the value in labeling a child as "gifted" unless there is some heightened expectation or performance that is typical of those labeled in this way.  Personally, like some of the other parents on this board, I have uncontroverted proof that my child is beyond amazing in every way (;-)) but I see no reason to make an issue out of this because it would either place a lot of undue pressure on her or make her extremely socially awkward and likely unhappy because she would not be able to relate to her peers.  I confess I just don't get it.

"Gifted" is usually a term used for children who get placed in accelerated classes. They are one extreme of "exceptional students" for whom normal teaching methods and speed are not adequate/appropriate; not because they're slow, but because the speed of their learning outpaces that of their normal age group.

This can be a serious educational problem, because when a child takes 10 minutes to master what his/her friends take an hour to learn, the child has 50 minutes to either space out, or get into trouble. Imagine if every day at work you finished all your assigned tasks in an hour, and were expected just to sit there quietly while your colleagues caught up. This is the problem for the gifted child, in many cases.

"Gifted" is not supposed to be about bragging rights for parents, it's about finding the right strategies to get the best out of the children, with minimum frustration and waste of time. It's human nature, of course, for parents to see a "gifted" label as a gold star for their child.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Seraphia on October 21, 2013, 04:53:08 PM
I question what the purpose of labeling children as "gifted" is.  Are they placed in accelerated classes?  Do they do statistically amazing things as adults?  I guess I just don't see the value in labeling a child as "gifted" unless there is some heightened expectation or performance that is typical of those labeled in this way.  Personally, like some of the other parents on this board, I have uncontroverted proof that my child is beyond amazing in every way (;-)) but I see no reason to make an issue out of this because it would either place a lot of undue pressure on her or make her extremely socially awkward and likely unhappy because she would not be able to relate to her peers.  I confess I just don't get it.

It's useful because a gifted child in a regular education program will likely be so bored through school that it will kill any love of learning or ability to study later in life. There are, of course, exceptions to this, but that does seem to be the tendency. I was in a gifted program starting in middle school. It made a world of difference to me. I still had a difficult time when I got to college (zero ability to study; it sounds absurd--how do you not know how to study?--, but it's a real thing); however, I think it would have been much, much worse if I hadn't had those few years. I wish I could have started earlier.

I wound up in a lot of accelerated or extra-curricular activities for precisely that reason. I made better friends with people who shared my interest in learning cool stuff, and I dialed in on my studies because more on my schedule meant I had to exercise my underused prioritizing skills. My DH very nearly got diagnosed with ADHD, then it turned out he was just bored out of his gourd in class. As far as accomplishing amazing things as an adult, well, give us another decade and I'll get back to you. ;)

A Gifted label shouldn't be an excuse for Connor's parents to sit back and chuckle over his perceived precociousness. If anything, it should be a signal that they should up their game to nurture and challenge him more - just because he, say, learned to play chess at four does not mean that he will pick up on every other facet of being a good human without some parental instruction.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: EllenS on October 21, 2013, 04:53:47 PM
Our school system, as far as I know, does not use the term "gifted" but does offer "enrichment" classes starting in grade 3 (8-9 years old).  I think it's a plus that a student can be offered enrichment in some but not necessarily all subjects - makes it more skill-based (you're doing very well in math, let's get you some more challenging material) rather than identity based (you are gifted, so you're too good for "regular" classes).
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Sophia on October 21, 2013, 05:02:43 PM
...Or evil Cicero would say "Oh, i don't think that would work, after all Conner is sooooo much more advanced than Josh, i'm afraid he would be too bored playing *simple* games and holding *regular* conversation. but i hear that MENSA is looking for new members. why don't you try them?"

Nooooooooooo, please, no. 
What did Mensa ever do to you?
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: MommyPenguin on October 21, 2013, 05:04:20 PM
Oh, forgot to mention.  The way the mother talks about him, I almost wonder if she believes in something along the lines of the "indigo children" concept.  That would explain why she thinks he's "gifted" despite his bad manners and odd, childish behavior.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: BarensMom on October 21, 2013, 05:06:53 PM
I question what the purpose of labeling children as "gifted" is.  Are they placed in accelerated classes?  Do they do statistically amazing things as adults?  I guess I just don't see the value in labeling a child as "gifted" unless there is some heightened expectation or performance that is typical of those labeled in this way.  Personally, like some of the other parents on this board, I have uncontroverted proof that my child is beyond amazing in every way (;-)) but I see no reason to make an issue out of this because it would either place a lot of undue pressure on her or make her extremely socially awkward and likely unhappy because she would not be able to relate to her peers.  I confess I just don't get it.

It's useful because a gifted child in a regular education program will likely be so bored through school that it will kill any love of learning or ability to study later in life. There are, of course, exceptions to this, but that does seem to be the tendency. I was in a gifted program starting in middle school. It made a world of difference to me. I still had a difficult time when I got to college (zero ability to study; it sounds absurd--how do you not know how to study?--, but it's a real thing); however, I think it would have been much, much worse if I hadn't had those few years. I wish I could have started earlier.

ETA: It's hard to express the above without sounding like I'm bragging. Compared to the other kids in the gifted program, I was not exceptional. I think many of my classmates benefited even more from the gifted program because they were so gifted that it would have been almost impossible to have a normal experience growing up. The social aspect is another major benefit of being labeled "gifted." You aren't the weird one anymore; you're one of many like you.

I was labeled "gifted" in the 8th grade - up to that point I had been in the "regular" classes and did quite well.  Once placed in the gifted program, my grades and social life went down the tubes.  The advanced classes were already writing essays and working advanced algebraic problems, while the normal classes had just been introduced to learning sentence structure and pre-algebra.  I was behind the academic eight-ball from the get-go. The friends I had from my previous classes shunned me because I was "gifted" and the gifted kids shunned me because, compared to them, I was "stupid" and "ignorant."

I told my mother and, although she fought for me, the counselors and teachers kept saying, "she's brilliant, she'll figure it out."  I spent the next five years with barely passing grades and zero social life.  My first year of college was devoted to remedial English and Math, learning the things I should have learned back in middle/high school.

Simply labeling a child as "gifted" without proper guidance and knowledge of the individual, is simply irresponsible. 

Now, in Connor's case, I think that he probably doesn't have any friends, due to either his "gifted" label or, more probably, his behavior.  So Carol is trying to force Jessie to make Josh be friends with Connor.  Jessie needs to say once, "Josh has a very busy schedule," then dump a vat full of beandip on Carol.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: MrsJWine on October 21, 2013, 05:12:35 PM
Right, I think this Connor kid sounds horrid. If he is gifted, they're doing their best to make sure he never learns the necessary skills to relate to people and get along in a workplace. It doesn't matter how genius you are if everyone hates you.

The gifted label may not help all kids, but it does help very many. I think the results will vary widely based on the child's personality, the school system, the parents, and much, much more. Just because it hurts some kids doesn't mean it's universally bad. Like it or not, a label is sometimes the only way to work out a path through the school system that will meet specific needs.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Slartibartfast on October 21, 2013, 05:36:06 PM
We're going through this with Babybartfast right now.  She's reading and doing arithmetic better than almost all her peers - but her kindergarten teacher is going nuts because Babybartfast can. not. follow. directions.  She's got it in her head that reading and math is *all* she has to learn, so if she already understands the concept, she doesn't see the purpose in doing the worksheet / following along / not talking / not getting distracted with other things.  She wants one-on-one adult attention like she had been getting when she was home with me, and she's acting out in a variety of ways to get it.  We're lucky that her teacher is absolutely fantastic and is willing to work with all the children trait by trait instead of labeling them each "good kids" or "bad kids" - Babybartfast gets enrichment work for academics (e.g. reading story books instead of the basic "cat sat on the hat" primers) but she's lagging behind her peers in fine motor skills and general not-being-annoying-to-adults-ness.

(DH and I have been careful to always praise her for how hard she's working and how proud she must be of herself for her accomplishments, but regulars on this board might not be surprised to hear that my MIL tends to praise her with things like "Wow, you're going to be the smartest girl in your class!"  Any guesses why Babybartfast is having so much trouble taking direction?)

Anyway, all that is to say that "giftedness" (in the academic label sense) has absolutely nothing to do with behavior, but there are a lot of parents who latch onto whatever "my child is awesome" labels they can find and use those labels to excuse their child's shortcomings.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: EllenS on October 21, 2013, 05:54:49 PM
We're going through this with Babybartfast right now.  She's reading and doing arithmetic better than almost all her peers - but her kindergarten teacher is going nuts because Babybartfast can. not. follow. directions.  She's got it in her head that reading and math is *all* she has to learn, so if she already understands the concept, she doesn't see the purpose in doing the worksheet / following along / not talking / not getting distracted with other things.  She wants one-on-one adult attention like she had been getting when she was home with me, and she's acting out in a variety of ways to get it.  We're lucky that her teacher is absolutely fantastic and is willing to work with all the children trait by trait instead of labeling them each "good kids" or "bad kids" - Babybartfast gets enrichment work for academics (e.g. reading story books instead of the basic "cat sat on the hat" primers) but she's lagging behind her peers in fine motor skills and general not-being-annoying-to-adults-ness.

(DH and I have been careful to always praise her for how hard she's working and how proud she must be of herself for her accomplishments, but regulars on this board might not be surprised to hear that my MIL tends to praise her with things like "Wow, you're going to be the smartest girl in your class!"  Any guesses why Babybartfast is having so much trouble taking direction?)

Anyway, all that is to say that "giftedness" (in the academic label sense) has absolutely nothing to do with behavior, but there are a lot of parents who latch onto whatever "my child is awesome" labels they can find and use those labels to excuse their child's shortcomings.

We are having a little bit of this with DD1 as well - she thinks that it's all about "knowing" the answers.  We try explaining to her that she needs to learn the process and the skills, so when she meets a really hard question/problem she will know how to go about solving it.

I hate praise about "being" smart.  It took me an inordinate chunk of my adult life to learn how to DO smart instead of BE smart.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: TinyVulgarUnicorn on October 21, 2013, 06:28:34 PM

Nobody, but nobody cares that your kid is gifted. I get (as a parent) how absolutely wonderful it is to watch your kid grow and learn.  But aside from a comment to the grandparents and maybe with her teacher, no-one else cares, nor should they.

Deetee, I couldn't agree more.  I get that parents are going to be full of pride watching their children grow up, but just because little Timmy started walking at six months doesn't make him gifted nor does it mean that I want to hear about how he is gifted. 

In the case of Connor, I think the parents are doing a huge disservice to their child allowing him to act like that.  As he gets older he's going to find that most of his peers are probably going to shun him if he acts the same way that he does with his parents.  Can you imagine being part of a group of people and some random guy saying that everyone is fat and then saying some weird non-apology?  You can claim he's gifted all you want, but I wouldn't hang out with that guy ever again. 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: kherbert05 on October 21, 2013, 06:38:37 PM
I question what the purpose of labeling children as "gifted" is.  Are they placed in accelerated classes?  Do they do statistically amazing things as adults?  I guess I just don't see the value in labeling a child as "gifted" unless there is some heightened expectation or performance that is typical of those labeled in this way.  Personally, like some of the other parents on this board, I have uncontroverted proof that my child is beyond amazing in every way (;-)) but I see no reason to make an issue out of this because it would either place a lot of undue pressure on her or make her extremely socially awkward and likely unhappy because she would not be able to relate to her peers.  I confess I just don't get it.

In the US Gifted kids are special needs and part of Special Ed. Teachers are required to provide differentiated activities to challenge them, they are grouped together with other high performing students in classes and  in my district are pulled out for specialized instruction once a week.   FYI - kids who are Gifted (not Honors) tend to see the world upside down and backwards - they don't give a fig about subjects that don't interest them, tend to obsess about subjects that do interest them. They also tend to have a higher than normal rate of LD's which might point towards their brains just being wired differently. 


Honors kids tend to be more even. They care about grades. While they will have favorites, they won't tank in English to spend more time on a Math project. They have a lower rate of LD.


My coworker has two kids nearly identical IQ scores one is  Honors and one is GT their differences were driving her nuts till I told her that  On the day the Earth ends the honors students will do their homework - The unchallenged GT kids are the ones that blew it up. (She had come home to Her GT kid having taken several kitchen appliances apart)

There is some debate in the US educational system that these different categories are actually caused by the US systems inability to adapt to the students.


$ to donuts this kid is only ID'ed by his parents not by the school. (For one in my district this type of behavior is reason to boot you from the program.) Some parents will do anything to get a GT designation for their kids. IF that fails they will fight tooth and nail  to get a LD diagnosis. The LD diagnosis gets the student accommodation on various High Stake Tests. More time, larger print, reduced answer choices.

Edited to remove the weird size and font tags that just showed up.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: sammycat on October 21, 2013, 06:49:25 PM
Based on the behavior you witnessed, it's impossible to say if Connor is "gifted" or not. It is possible, however, to conclude that Connor is disrespectful and that his mother has not established appropriate boundaries for his behavior. It seems to me that Carol is using the time-honored "my son is gifted so we don't want to stifle him" philosophy to raise Connor. In addition to which,  it's not surprising that Connor is immitating the rude bahavior that Carol's husband is apparently modeling.

Jessie can bean dip but if Carol is persistent, then Jessie would probably be best served by nipping it in the bud. Maybe something like, "Sorry, but with Josh's hectic schedule of scouts, little league and homework, we simply don't have time for play dates."

I agree. 

Connor may or may not be gifted, but one thing he definitely IS is an obnoxious brat, with the apparent encouragement of his parents.

I think Jenna needs to either buy buckets of beandip or simply say that she stopped making playdates for her son once he reached X age or Y grade. Whomever he befriends at this age are the ones he gravitates towards organically, not through forced encounters.

Re. the bolded, I know a teen girl who really does fall into the gifted category, and she is one of the  nicest people I've ever met (I've known her since birth). Her parents wouldn't have stood for a second of bad behaviour, let alone encouraged/condoned it, or used her special gifts as an excuse for behaving badly.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: *inviteseller on October 21, 2013, 07:00:29 PM
Gifted doesn't mean "act like a brat".  My younger DD is advanced, has always been, but all that means is she is ahead of alot of her classmates, not that she can talk to people rudely or act in ways that make others uncomfortable.  Manners are as important to us as academics.   He actually sounds immature..a boy his age pretending to paw at someone and be a cat?  He probably made the other boy extremely uncomfortable.  I would suggest the other mom just say her son is already very busy with his other friends and activities and he sets up his own social time. 

And to answer Turtle Dove, our elementary school has a gifted program that does a weekly get together where they work on more advanced math, science and reading.  But in the classrooms she has been in, the teachers have given her (and the other advanced kids) more in depth work on subjects...the math papers may have harder problems, they get a different and harder spelling list if they ace the pre test on their weekly spelling (she doesn't have my bad spelling gene thankfully), and their homework may be more than basic repetition practice work. 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Marguette on October 21, 2013, 07:04:35 PM
The way the mother talks about him, I almost wonder if she believes in something along the lines of the "indigo children" concept.

Yep, Indigo child was one of the first things that came to my mind, too.

Re @Slartibartfast’s and @EllenS’s comments (#41 & #42) When my daughter was about 10 (and her youngest sister was in kindergarten) she asked, “Why do little kids still have to do kindergarten if they can already read?” I explained that they learn a lot of socialization in K, like listening to the teacher and following directions, taking turns, putting things away after using them (I think the K teacher had recently had a similar talk with us K parents and mentioned the example of the class rule of pushing the chair up to the table whenever they went away from the table), and so on. I’m sure you can think of more examples.

[Funny reply: She thought for a moment, and then commented, “I think some of my classmates either skipped kindergarten, or else they forgot it all.”]

And as for the original question,
Carol will ask repeatedly, we know this.  Now, Jessie feels she is in a bind and wants to know what she can tell Carol to stop her from asking.
I agree with those who recommended that Jessie tell Carol that Josh doesn’t do playdates any more. And not be frustrated if Carol asks again. It would be nice if she does stop asking, but that isn’t the most important thing. The most important thing is to keep saying no. Even if it’s with the same words each time. Doing a “broken record” on Carol relieves Jessie of the need to keep thinking up either new excuses or new beandips.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: sammycat on October 21, 2013, 07:15:11 PM
Now, in Connor's case, I think that he probably doesn't have any friends, due to either his "gifted" label or, more probably, his behavior. So Carol is trying to force Jessie to make Josh be friends with Connor.  Jessie needs to say once, "Josh has a very busy schedule," then dump a vat full of beandip on Carol.

Bingo. If this is the way he behaves all the time then I'd be very surprised if he has any friends at all.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: kherbert05 on October 21, 2013, 07:20:27 PM
2 things - I can't help but laugh when I read/hear that walking early is a sign of giftedness.  In my case that part of my history was a huge red flag when I was being diagnosed with an LD. I never crawled. I scooted and bear walked for a couple of weeks then started walking - but I moved my left arm and leg together, then my right arm and leg together. Big red flag with sparkles on it.




Kids not wanting to learn the process because they can see the answers. I run into this every year. Given them a harder problem. Kids don't want to use the manipulatives or follow the algorithm for 2digit + 2 digit with regrouping because they can see the answer. Give them a  4 or 5 digit + 4 or 5 digit with regrouping at every place value. Let them get frustrated. Then explain they need to learn the algorithm to solve this. They see it as a challenge and get the algorithm down so they can solve the Big number problems.


As far as the OP's question - I think I the I don't make playdates for my son is probably the most diplomatic.


The kindest would be Son was creeped out by Connor's behavior, so no they won't be getting together. There is a 1 in a million chance that that would be the clue by four that they had better get a reign on Connor's behavior now before he is a total outcast.


Indigo children - you all are giving me flashbacks horrible horrible flashbacks. Talk about a group of special snowflakes - A group of parents (using the term in the broadest meaning) that thought their kids did not have to obey social norms because they were the next step in human evolution take the cake, the pie, and all the ice cream. I remember thinking as a Mom prattled on about how her child shouldn't be punished for punching someone in the gut because he was an Indigo - that at least the Tomorrow People weren't allowed to harm another sentient beings.


ETA missing word
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Winterlight on October 21, 2013, 07:29:20 PM
Connor sounds like a pill, and so do his parents.

Jenna can simply tell Carol, "Josh doesn't do playdates anymore." And then change the subject.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: onikenbai on October 21, 2013, 07:49:45 PM
Speaking as a reader from age 3 and a Mensan from the age of 11, if I'd acted at any age like Connor did here, my parents would have whipped me straight out the car, no treat, no playing, and probably a smack to boot.  'Gifted', if that is what he is, does not preclude manners or proper behaviour, and no group of Mensans would put up with that behaviour for very long at all. 

Yup, right there with you.  I went through the gifted programme at school, short bus and all.  The kid is being a twerp and should be hog tied for his own good, hit with an etiquette stick, and then just let him be a normal kid.  Harping on how gifted the kid is will only hurt him in the long run.  I've seen many gifted grow up and combust spectacularly under the pressure of the expectations from their parents. 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Calypso on October 21, 2013, 07:52:03 PM
POD Deetee-----to me, the whole Connor issue is a red herring. If Jason (Jesse?) were my son, I'd never let him within a thousand miles of those adults.

Modeling healthy relationships is one of the most important things parents can do for their children. Connor's Dad obviously treats Mom like garbage, and she accepts it on some level. If Connor were a fabulous kid in every way, I still wouldn't want my son around that---I'd invite Connor over to play with Jason, if Jason was interested, but no way do I want Jason to watch a woman accept being treated like a second-class citizen.

What can the OP say? It's certainly going to be very touchy. I *might* try the truth, if I could do it in a gentle, non-preachy way..."Carol, when I saw Connor hit you and call you fat, well, I'm sorry, but I don't want Jason to think that's ok."


Carol isn't going to be happy about it, but what can she say? That is *is* ok to be punched and belittled?
Don't let her make Connor the issue (because, his behavior isn't about  him, it's about what he's been taught, I believe). His giftedness is irrelevant, in my opinion.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: ettiquit on October 21, 2013, 08:49:28 PM
Anyhow, whether the kid is gifted is irrelevant to the fact that his mother is a bore, his father is a jerk and he is unnerving.

POD.  In addition, in real life it is generally more important to be socially gifted and average mentally than to be mentally gifted but unable to relate appropriately to others in society.

POD

My son is gifted in a few academic subjects, but not gifted at life. He's not going to learn how to behave appropriately on his own.



Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: ettiquit on October 21, 2013, 08:51:44 PM
Nobody, but nobody cares that your kid is gifted. [...] But aside from a comment to the grandparents and maybe with her teacher, no-one else cares, nor should they. So if you have the next Einstein, that's great but it's not a topic of conversation. I would rather discuss politics than compare developmental stages of children. Much less fraught.

Exactly. Its pointless to run around telling people this kind of stuff. If they really are gifted, it will be evident in some way, usually to the people who will appreciate it the most. If my kid were a genius at chess, at this point only other chess players are going to care. Eventually the skills that make him a good chess player may be appreciated by a school or company or employer ...but still the world at large isn't going to need to know.

I can't believe you took out the part about my kid learning to read! She's  like 3 months ahead of the curve. DON'T YOU CARE???? I may be forced to post  three separate, long, shaky, dimly lit videos of her reading HOP on POP for everyone to watch to get over this.

Actually it's just her reading the first two pages of HOP on POP over and over again. I think repeated watching could be used to get confessions out of prisoners.

This entire post has me rolling.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on October 21, 2013, 09:01:13 PM
2 things - I can't help but laugh when I read/hear that walking early is a sign of giftedness.  In my case that part of my history was a huge red flag when I was being diagnosed with an LD. I never crawled. I scooted and bear walked for a couple of weeks then started walking - but I moved my left arm and leg together, then my right arm and leg together. Big red flag with sparkles on it.


I was never referred to as gifted, but once when discussing the personalities related to birth order (I'm the eldest of two, but I'm also older by 8 years) and I had shaken my head and laughed saying I didn't exactly fit that mold.  Mom told me "You broke the mold."

I never crawled, but instead rolled anywhere I wanted to get to. or so I've been told.  Actually due to not finding out I had congenital hypothyroidism till I was 9 months, I was delayed in some of my milestones so gifted I was not.  Just different. :)

I remember being in a playgroup with a mother who went on and on about how smart her baby was and how she hit milestones before her older daughter was, how smart this child was in comparison because she ate a 100% organic diet, etc. I kept thinking "Thank God your older kid isn't here to hear you make such comparisons!"

My youngest also hit his milestones earlier than his brothers but I chalk it up to him being younger by so many years and wanting to keep up.  My older two walked at 13mos, this one walked at 11mos.  Gifted? Nah, just motivated. :)
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: *inviteseller on October 21, 2013, 09:19:18 PM
Comparing kids, even siblings is just silly.  Just because the oldest walked at 9 months but the youngest talked earlier means absolutely nothing.  My DD's are 11 years and 4 days apart..and as different as night and day.  The only time there is 'comparison' is when I say "Oh I remember when older DD did that, it was so cute!"  But...they actually both took their first unassisted steps on the same exact day, exactly 11 years apart..the 4th of July when they were both 13 months old (late walkers due to being lazy butts who preferred to scoot on knees-older DD or bum-younger DD  ;D).

 My BFF is always saying her son is so creative..isn't he creative?  He is just so brilliant !  Isn't he brilliant?  No, my friend, he is the most obnoxious ill behaved little snot I have ever had the displeasure of meeting.  I have noticed that the braggarts about their creative kids, their brilliant kids, their free thinking kids usually have entitled little SS's who have not a shred of manners.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Iris on October 22, 2013, 01:47:58 AM
POD Deetee-----to me, the whole Connor issue is a red herring. If Jason (Jesse?) were my son, I'd never let him within a thousand miles of those adults.

Modeling healthy relationships is one of the most important things parents can do for their children. Connor's Dad obviously treats Mom like garbage, and she accepts it on some level. If Connor were a fabulous kid in every way, I still wouldn't want my son around that---I'd invite Connor over to play with Jason, if Jason was interested, but no way do I want Jason to watch a woman accept being treated like a second-class citizen.

What can the OP say? It's certainly going to be very touchy. I *might* try the truth, if I could do it in a gentle, non-preachy way..."Carol, when I saw Connor hit you and call you fat, well, I'm sorry, but I don't want Jason to think that's ok."


Carol isn't going to be happy about it, but what can she say? That is *is* ok to be punched and belittled?
Don't let her make Connor the issue (because, his behavior isn't about  him, it's about what he's been taught, I believe). His giftedness is irrelevant, in my opinion.

This is wise.

Also I Googled "indigo children". Wow. Just wow.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: AliciaLynette on October 22, 2013, 03:41:28 AM
Speaking as a reader from age 3 and a Mensan from the age of 11, if I'd acted at any age like Connor did here, my parents would have whipped me straight out the car, no treat, no playing, and probably a smack to boot.  'Gifted', if that is what he is, does not preclude manners or proper behaviour, and no group of Mensans would put up with that behaviour for very long at all. 

Yup, right there with you.  I went through the gifted programme at school, short bus and all.  The kid is being a twerp and should be hog tied for his own good, hit with an etiquette stick, and then just let him be a normal kid.  Harping on how gifted the kid is will only hurt him in the long run.  I've seen many gifted grow up and combust spectacularly under the pressure of the expectations from their parents.

Exactly!  I was never told by my parents that I was gifted or intelligent, I was just expected to do my best at all times.  The primary school teacher who kept praising me for being clever actually got the "Why the excitement?" look from me, because I wasn't any better than some of the kids at some of the subjects, I just happened to excel in word-based subjects.
My parents expected manners and good behaviour to be part of the deal. 
I was and still am uncomfortable around people my age, because I grew up around adults mainly, and most kids my age weren't interested in what I was interested in.  That's as much upbringing as 'Gifted-ness' though.  My daughter - bright like me at that age, but incredibly social with kids her own age.  I'm a little jealous, I would have loved to make friends like she does!
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: iridaceae on October 22, 2013, 04:11:32 AM
Any kid gifted or no can have problems. Learning disabilities,  socialization problems,  wildly inflated egos due to parents: any kid can have these.

The kid's a poorly socialized obnoxious little snot.  His IQ is irrelevant. How his father acts is the biggest reason for Jessie not to let her kid anywhere near him.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on October 22, 2013, 06:13:37 AM
Throwing in my lot with those who say it's really the parents that I wouldn't want my kid around. 

About a year ago, maybe more, a friend of our boys invited the middle child to a sleepover.  He went and the next day said "I never want to sleep over at his house again." I asked him why, did he and the boy have a fight.   He said "No, L and I got along just fine, but his parents made me uncomfortable." When asked how he said "Well they were fighting and screaming curse words at each other." 

He hasn't had any more sleepover invitations and tends to just avoid going to that boy's house and I'm not going to push it, either.  I've gotten to know the father a bit more in the past and he really is not the sort of influence I'd want on my sons, either.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: scotcat60 on October 22, 2013, 06:22:52 AM
 Connor takes a sweeping bow his with arm behind his back and says, “my apologies, dear woman”.  Carol turned to me and said, “see, he’s gifted with acting”.

Gifted at acting up IMHO.

Caling fellow guests and your mother "Fat" and punching your mother is extremely rude bad behaviour, and should not be countenanced, even in a budding Einstein. Sounds like Connor gets away with murder, knowing Mum will just excuse everything on the grounds of his being "gifted".
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Thipu1 on October 22, 2013, 06:53:19 AM
We had an Indigo in the family.  She was so badly behaved that even one set of her Grandparents could hardly tolerate her.

Oddly enough, as she matured a bit she started to pale.  She discovered that Indigo is not the favorite color of High School kids and, yes, even an Indigo likes to have a friend or two.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: GrammarNerd on October 22, 2013, 07:22:31 AM
I would be tempted to ask Carol, "I'm just curious...why do you keep telling me that Connor is so gifted?"

Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: KimodoDragon on October 22, 2013, 10:16:13 AM
Thanks to all for your great insight.

Today, I will email Jessie some responses from our discussion on how she can decline Carol.  We are volunteering this coming Saturday and I'm sure she wants to be equipped beforehand.

No matter what, this is volunteer work and there is nothing professionally Carol can do to Jessie as backlash for declining. 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: YummyMummy66 on October 22, 2013, 11:31:09 AM
It seems to me that if Carol has to ask repeatedly for someone to come to play at her house with her son, there is your answer. 

Apparently, her "gifted" child does not have many friends, more than likely not only due to his actions, but also the inaction of his parents.

I would just tell Jessie to decline.  She does not need to give a reason.  Each and every time she ask, "Sorry, that won't be possible, my son has other plans".   

Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: TootsNYC on October 22, 2013, 11:35:55 AM
Connor's giftedness and weird behavior are entertaining, but they aren't really important tot he etiquette question.

You could use what someone once said to me, when I repeatedly tried to arrange a get-together for our girls (they'd been friends in daycare, and DD really, really loved this girl).
"We're pretty busy with our own family and friends."

The message is, "you aren't one of those people; you aren't our friends."
It wasn't something you can argue with. And it's not really rude. It stung a little bit, but I couldn't really argue with it. And it made me stop trying, because it was clear we'd been defined into a different category now that daycare was ended.

Of course, Jessie will continue to have contact w/ Carol; she should then just continue to be pleasant, etc., and act as though this was no big deal. Bcs it isn't.

There's the less definitive, "Our schedule is really pretty busy; Josh doesn't have time."

I don't think it's fair to put it on Josh and say, "I don't push him to go where he isn't interested"--essentially Jessie would be forcing her son to say, "I don't like Connor."  Which would be a rude thing for Josh to say--and he didn't even get to decide to not say it.

There's the "I don't think the boys are that compatible," I suppose. But that's still a bit of a value judgment.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Pen^2 on October 22, 2013, 12:29:36 PM
Connor's giftedness and weird behavior are entertaining, but they aren't really important tot he etiquette question.

You could use what someone once said to me, when I repeatedly tried to arrange a get-together for our girls (they'd been friends in daycare, and DD really, really loved this girl).
"We're pretty busy with our own family and friends."

The message is, "you aren't one of those people; you aren't our friends."
It wasn't something you can argue with. And it's not really rude. It stung a little bit, but I couldn't really argue with it. And it made me stop trying, because it was clear we'd been defined into a different category now that daycare was ended.

Of course, Jessie will continue to have contact w/ Carol; she should then just continue to be pleasant, etc., and act as though this was no big deal. Bcs it isn't.

There's the less definitive, "Our schedule is really pretty busy; Josh doesn't have time."

I don't think it's fair to put it on Josh and say, "I don't push him to go where he isn't interested"--essentially Jessie would be forcing her son to say, "I don't like Connor."  Which would be a rude thing for Josh to say--and he didn't even get to decide to not say it.

There's the "I don't think the boys are that compatible," I suppose. But that's still a bit of a value judgment.

This is perfect.

Ensure that poor Josh is aware of what he can do also, because these sound like the kinds of people who might corner him despite him being a child. I've seen it happen. Josh can just keep saying, "I need to ask my parents," while he swiftly backs away. Or whatever Jessie thinks will work best. But I fear that Josh is aware that Connor's mother is trying to get them to 'play' together and it would be good to get rid of any fears he may have bubbling away that this may end up happening. Just in case. There isn't much doubt that he's aware, just like a lot of other kids it appears, that Connor isn't someone he wants to spend time with.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: EMuir on October 22, 2013, 01:29:02 PM
I was really doing well in Grade 1, to the point that the teacher was giving me loads of extra work and I was happily completing it.  Then they decided the best way to address it was to move me up a grade (skip a grade).  I never recovered socially, and never really fit in with either the grade I joined or the grade I left.  It basically pointed me out as "different" and we all know that's the kiss of death in public school.

I would never, ever label a child gifted even if they were.  I'd provide them extra learning material and encourage their interest in advanced material.  The poor kid is probably trying to cope with the expectations, and getting no leadership from his parents in how to be a decent person.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: TurtleDove on October 22, 2013, 02:44:16 PM
I would never, ever label a child gifted even if they were.  I'd provide them extra learning material and encourage their interest in advanced material.  The poor kid is probably trying to cope with the expectations, and getting no leadership from his parents in how to be a decent person.

This is how I see it too.  I skipped first grade and did not suffer socially, but I can absolutely see how this could happen (I moved schools so I did not stand out as "that girl who skipped first grade" but rather "that new girl").  I think if the goal for labeling children as "gifted" is to push them to accomplish something (what I am not certain) then okay, but I haven't seen any evidence personally that "gifted" people accomplish more later in life than the average Joes.  If the goal is to have the "gifted" students be best prepared for society I don't think telling them they are special and different and better than everyone else is the way to go about it. 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: BeagleMommy on October 22, 2013, 03:04:00 PM
My parent's next door neighbors' son was a "Connor".  He was intellectually advanced and socially inept.  His mother didn't believe in discipline because it would "stifle his creative juices" (her exact words).

He is intolerable.  No one likes to be around this young man (he's now 25) and he has no friends (his age or otherwise).  He is fond of calling anyone who isn't at his intellectual level a moron.  This has included teachers and his boss.

He refused to go to the local college where is father worked (and could have gone for free) because he "deserved" to go to an Ivy League college.  He moved to Large City because Hometown wasn't good enough for him.  He is now working as a clerk in a law firm but feels he should be a paralegal because he's so smart even though he has not taken any type of law classes (his degree is in English).  He doesn't earn enough to buy food for himself and was arrested for shoplifting a sandwich from a convenient store.  He is now banned from all of that chain in the state.

Jill should just tell Carol that her son is busy and makes his own social arrangements.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Twik on October 22, 2013, 03:06:43 PM
I would never, ever label a child gifted even if they were.  I'd provide them extra learning material and encourage their interest in advanced material.  The poor kid is probably trying to cope with the expectations, and getting no leadership from his parents in how to be a decent person.

This is how I see it too.  I skipped first grade and did not suffer socially, but I can absolutely see how this could happen (I moved schools so I did not stand out as "that girl who skipped first grade" but rather "that new girl").  I think if the goal for labeling children as "gifted" is to push them to accomplish something (what I am not certain) then okay, but I haven't seen any evidence personally that "gifted" people accomplish more later in life than the average Joes.  If the goal is to have the "gifted" students be best prepared for society I don't think telling them they are special and different and better than everyone else is the way to go about it.

Is it any different than telling the kid who can snag down a fly ball blindfolded that he's an all-star? Or crowning a prom queen who's particularly graceful and lovely? Or regularly giving the solo in glee club to one girl because she has a voice that makes angels weep with joy? Why should academically strong students be the only ones who are *not* noticed for their talents, even if this ends up with them sitting around twiddling their thumbs while the teacher explains the commutative principle one.more.time to those who just don't get it?

If you're going to argue that children shouldn't be made aware in any way that "they are special and different and better than everyone else" because of their intellect, it is only fair to argue that for the whole spectrum of human achievement. We should recognize no stars of any kind.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: JeanFromBNA on October 22, 2013, 03:11:00 PM
"Indigo" children sound like another color of special snowflake.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: MrTango on October 22, 2013, 03:13:14 PM
If I were in Jill's position, I wouldn't beat around the bush about this.  I'd say "Jesse will not be coming over to play with Connor."

I have the opinion that if someone asks "why not?" to that statement, they kind of dserve to hear the truth, even if it hurts.  "Because I refuse to subject my son to the sort of antisocial behavior Connor displayed at [event]."
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: TurtleDove on October 22, 2013, 03:20:07 PM
Is it any different than telling the kid who can snag down a fly ball blindfolded that he's an all-star? Or crowning a prom queen who's particularly graceful and lovely? Or regularly giving the solo in glee club to one girl because she has a voice that makes angels weep with joy? Why should academically strong students be the only ones who are *not* noticed for their talents, even if this ends up with them sitting around twiddling their thumbs while the teacher explains the commutative principle one.more.time to those who just don't get it?

If you're going to argue that children shouldn't be made aware in any way that "they are special and different and better than everyone else" because of their intellect, it is only fair to argue that for the whole spectrum of human achievement. We should recognize no stars of any kind.

You misunderstand me.  I am absolutley all for recognizing stars and opposed to the idea that everyone gets the same participation ribbon regardless of effort or talent.  I am questioning what the goal is in labeling a student as "gifted," especially when (in my experience and in many experiences related here) it has a negative effect on the overall development of the person.

For the talented baseball player, they are not labeled as "gifted" - their talent speaks for itself.  For the singer, same things.  For the intellectually gifted, what is the goal in separating them and telling them they are special?  Let their acheivements speak for themselves - let them be valedictorian, or win the essay contest or spelling bee. Let them learn to use their gifts in a positive way rather than isolate themselves as unable to interact with the ungifted masses?
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: EllenS on October 22, 2013, 03:21:33 PM
I would never, ever label a child gifted even if they were.  I'd provide them extra learning material and encourage their interest in advanced material.  The poor kid is probably trying to cope with the expectations, and getting no leadership from his parents in how to be a decent person.

This is how I see it too.  I skipped first grade and did not suffer socially, but I can absolutely see how this could happen (I moved schools so I did not stand out as "that girl who skipped first grade" but rather "that new girl").  I think if the goal for labeling children as "gifted" is to push them to accomplish something (what I am not certain) then okay, but I haven't seen any evidence personally that "gifted" people accomplish more later in life than the average Joes.  If the goal is to have the "gifted" students be best prepared for society I don't think telling them they are special and different and better than everyone else is the way to go about it.

Is it any different than telling the kid who can snag down a fly ball blindfolded that he's an all-star? Or crowning a prom queen who's particularly graceful and lovely? Or regularly giving the solo in glee club to one girl because she has a voice that makes angels weep with joy? Why should academically strong students be the only ones who are *not* noticed for their talents, even if this ends up with them sitting around twiddling their thumbs while the teacher explains the commutative principle one.more.time to those who just don't get it?

If you're going to argue that children shouldn't be made aware in any way that "they are special and different and better than everyone else" because of their intellect, it is only fair to argue that for the whole spectrum of human achievement. We should recognize no stars of any kind.

Having experienced the downsides of a "gifted" label myself, the problem is when recognition becomes about the child's identity, rather than about talent and achievement.  You "do" honors classes, or enrichment classes, or sports, or music.  You "have" aptitudes and skills.  You "are" gifted.

Which means, if you ever encounter something that is hard or frustrating, you will avoid it and/or give up, because "gifted" people don't struggle, and failure erases your identity.  You can't admit when you don't understand something, because "gifted' people always get it and know all the answers.  You walk around terrified that others will find out your dirty secret - you don't really know everything, and you aren't sure you can accomplish anything worthwhile, because you don't know HOW to learn things that you can't immediately grasp by this magical "gift".

While other fields such as athletics or music also sometimes get into identity labelling, they also require practice and work in order to succeed.  A gifted kid, properly motivated, can actually coast through their entire schooling with high marks without actually "achieving" anything. I am all for honoring achievement.  Achievement requires discipline and application.  The label of "giftedness" undermines both.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Deetee on October 22, 2013, 03:23:54 PM
Just to chime in with the gifted issue. I worked for a few years at MIT. The people I associated with did not blow me away with their intelligence. Yes, they were smart and got things pretty quickly, but what I really noticed was the incredible, cheerful work ethic they had.

They had persistence, enthusiasm and  and work ethic in spades.  I remember one time, I suggested that it would be useful to look at series of data and lot it a certain way. I also said that I planned to do that, but just hadn't got around to it. My labmate showed up the next morning with all the data entered and calculated for me to graph. It was like that all the time. I don't know if I met any geniuses, but I met some very hard working people who loved their work to pieces.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Twik on October 22, 2013, 03:27:38 PM
Or - you "are" athletic. You "are" beautiful. You "are" talented. You "are" a high achiever. It can be said in many ways.

"Gifted" is a label, and like all labels, it can be useful or harmful, depending on how it's used. The problem with Connor is that his mother now sees the label, not the child, but it sounds like that is in her nature, rather than inherent in the label. To be honest, there's no real evidence that Connor is gifted in anything other than an unfortunate set of parents.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: TurtleDove on October 22, 2013, 03:33:24 PM
Or - you "are" athletic. You "are" beautiful. You "are" talented. You "are" a high achiever. It can be said in many ways.

What I am saying (and I think EllenS is too) is that the "athletic/talented/smart" people are honored for their achievements - Jack hit a homerun! Abbey sang the National Anthem at the televised rodeo! Jane won the spelling bee!  I am all for honoring academic achievement as well.  I think if a child is gifted that child should be honored for using her gift, not told she is special and doesn't have to try because she has this gift.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Yvaine on October 22, 2013, 03:55:04 PM
Or - you "are" athletic. You "are" beautiful. You "are" talented. You "are" a high achiever. It can be said in many ways.

What I am saying (and I think EllenS is too) is that the "athletic/talented/smart" people are honored for their achievements - Jack hit a homerun! Abbey sang the National Anthem at the televised rodeo! Jane won the spelling bee!  I am all for honoring academic achievement as well.  I think if a child is gifted that child should be honored for using her gift, not told she is special and doesn't have to try because she has this gift.

Outside of SS parents like the ones in the OP, I don't think gifted kids are generally told they don't have to try. In my experience, it was actually sort of the opposite--there were some areas where I just wasn't naturally talented, and even with trying I was kind of meh, but I was so naturally good at other things that adults tended to assume I just wasn't ~applying myself~ to those areas where I was meh. There are subjects I could do in my sleep with no work, and others that were always a ton of work, and adults consistently got them backwards.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Lynn2000 on October 22, 2013, 03:55:42 PM
I was thinking about "labels" too due to this thread. Certainly some compliments are important and knowing your strengths is valuable, but in some cases parents push/allow others to push it to extremes. Like being the kid who "always" gets an A, and you start to panic about not getting A's, and other people (fellow students, teachers, parents) make a big deal out of it when you get a B+ or even an A-... That kind of pressure on one tiny thing over years and years--the formative years--is just not good for kids, I think.

But it's not just academics. I think young athletes must feel the same way, especially as they get a bit older and might have a college scholarship riding on maintaining "what they're good at." How many kids have gotten injured and lost a scholarship and had to completely readjust their life and felt like they were disappointing everyone around them? Or a kid who's "popular" and is praised for this by many people, including peers and parents--ironically this often means doing less-than-nice things to remain at the top of the social hierarchy, rather than doing nice, fair things that literally make one "popular," i.e., well-liked by many. I know in the "ridiculous criticism from parents" thread, many people talked about how their popular parents just didn't know what to make of their quiet children.

Sometimes you start to feel crushed by a label, and acting out becomes the only way you can think of to escape from it. I think Connor has a lot of other stuff going on, too. I feel bad for him.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Twik on October 22, 2013, 04:09:22 PM
Or - you "are" athletic. You "are" beautiful. You "are" talented. You "are" a high achiever. It can be said in many ways.

What I am saying (and I think EllenS is too) is that the "athletic/talented/smart" people are honored for their achievements - Jack hit a homerun! Abbey sang the National Anthem at the televised rodeo! Jane won the spelling bee!  I am all for honoring academic achievement as well.  I think if a child is gifted that child should be honored for using her gift, not told she is special and doesn't have to try because she has this gift.

"Gifted" is an educator's label. Educators do not intend to say "this child doesn't have to try hard, because s/he is gifted and will be able to do anything without straining a mental muscle".

The intent is to say, "this child is intellectually advanced. Instead of putting them in a mixed general class, let's put them in a class with more challenging material. Because, let's face it, if we don't, they *will* come to believe that they are 'special' and 'dont' have to try,' because they actually don't have to in order to keep up with the class."

There are lots of arguments about whether this is actually a good idea or not. But it was not intended as a fawning, "Oooh, you're so smart! You're speshul!" sort of label. "Gifted" is not an "honour". It is a sorting code, to send children who can deal with advanced topics into classes where they are pushed, just as, say, children with certain reading/perceptual problems would be taught in a manner that was specifically targeted to their needs. This was developed when it was discovered that many children who are highly intelligent did poorly in school, and often became disciplinary problems, because they were bored and lacked challenges.

Back in the days of the one-room schoolhouse, the problem wasn't as apparent because teachers could let students progress at their own pace. In today's busy classroom, certain students may not flourish under "normal" teaching methods.

There are many educators who hate labels in general, and have good arguments against them. But "gifted" is really no different than a soccer coach mentally dividing his charges into "fit, well-coordinated, knows the basics and more" versus "Kids who trip over shoelaces and kick selves in head when trying to connect with ball," then giving them drills to improve their skills in a level-appropriate way.

Connor's problem is not that he has, perhaps, been labelled "gifted" by an educator or psychologist somewhere down the line. It's that his parents cannot see him for what he is, a small child who has not been properly socialized. He may be a genius, or he may actually be completely average. His curse is his parents.

Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: EllenS on October 22, 2013, 05:56:45 PM


Connor's problem is not that he has, perhaps, been labelled "gifted" by an educator or psychologist somewhere down the line. It's that his parents cannot see him for what he is, a small child who has not been properly socialized. He may be a genius, or he may actually be completely average. His curse is his parents.

Agree, agree, agree. It is the parents who are the problem, not the word.  I think labelling becomes a question of identity when the parents start valuing/sorting their own children that way, rather than it being a "school level" thing as you described.  And yes, any identity label can be damaging.

My own folks were not SS, and I was held to very high standards of polite behavior, but my mom repeatedly told me that what made me so unique and special and amazing, was the way things came so easily to me and I just "got" things without even trying.  It took me years to overcome the fear of making mistakes and failing, and even more years to recognize the difference between impressing people and real achievement.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: baglady on October 22, 2013, 08:53:54 PM
I think the *worst* thing you can do to a "gifted" child is refuse to discipline him/her. And by discipline, I mean both socially and academically/intellectually/artistically. The 10-year old who can do college-level math, sing like Joan Sutherland or Whitney Houston, or sink baskets like Michael Jordan is going to grow into just another 20-year-old with a good head for math/pretty voice/decent hoop skills, if s/he has relied solely on natural talent and not learned how to practice and improve on those talents. And the 10-year-old who has not been called on boorish behavior because that would "stifle his/her creativity" is going to grow into a 20-year-old boor whom nobody wants to be around. Calling your mother fat and punching her in the stomach is not "creative." It's reprehensible.

PP's have made some good suggestions for Josh's mom. Some variation on "We don't arrange play dates for Josh; at his age he manages to keep his social calendar full all by himself" should suffice.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: kareng57 on October 22, 2013, 10:24:40 PM
I question what the purpose of labeling children as "gifted" is.  Are they placed in accelerated classes?  Do they do statistically amazing things as adults?  I guess I just don't see the value in labeling a child as "gifted" unless there is some heightened expectation or performance that is typical of those labeled in this way.  Personally, like some of the other parents on this board, I have uncontroverted proof that my child is beyond amazing in every way (;-)) but I see no reason to make an issue out of this because it would either place a lot of undue pressure on her or make her extremely socially awkward and likely unhappy because she would not be able to relate to her peers.  I confess I just don't get it.

It's useful because a gifted child in a regular education program will likely be so bored through school that it will kill any love of learning or ability to study later in life. There are, of course, exceptions to this, but that does seem to be the tendency. I was in a gifted program starting in middle school. It made a world of difference to me. I still had a difficult time when I got to college (zero ability to study; it sounds absurd--how do you not know how to study?--, but it's a real thing); however, I think it would have been much, much worse if I hadn't had those few years. I wish I could have started earlier.

ETA: It's hard to express the above without sounding like I'm bragging. Compared to the other kids in the gifted program, I was not exceptional. I think many of my classmates benefited even more from the gifted program because they were so gifted that it would have been almost impossible to have a normal experience growing up. The social aspect is another major benefit of being labeled "gifted." You aren't the weird one anymore; you're one of many like you.


I understand completely, regarding school.  However, the problem that I experienced was that many parents of gifted kids expected outside-school-activities (sports, music, youth groups etc.) to automatically provide enriched programs for their kids.

Re Scouts - late Dh was a leader and had to deal with a mother-of-gifted-kid who was a royal pain.  "You need to understand that Sheldon is gifted, he is bored with the regular program, it is your job to provide him with something more challenging than the program for the other kids".  Uh, no, it wasn't.  It was her job to to provide enrichment, if she thought it was necessary.

It really did not turn out well, anyway.  "Sheldon" constantly bragged to other kids and had fewer and fewer friends through high school.  OTOH, there was a neighbourhood child "Craig" who was a year older than my older DS and I was amazed when I attended the school awards ceremony. I knew Craig a little (he and DS #1 were in Band together) and liked him well enough but I was astounded when I found out about how many scholarships/awards he got.  His parents were always kind of low-key about it and never bragged to other parents, although I am sure that they were very proud.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: iridaceae on October 23, 2013, 01:45:04 AM
Gifted is a label people tend to hold onto for dear life. If you were to start a thread on a random message board about "who was Gifted and Talented in school?" people will come out of the woodworks to declare that they were and the self-bragging would gill the thread. "Too smart for school". Reading and understanding Proust at age 6. Solving advanced calculus problems at age 7. And it generally goes on and on..  As far as I can tell only about 7 people on the Internet (including me) were not given that label.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: LadyL on October 23, 2013, 08:15:38 AM
Gifted is a label people tend to hold onto for dear life. If you were to start a thread on a random message board about "who was Gifted and Talented in school?" people will come out of the woodworks to declare that they were and the self-bragging would gill the thread. "Too smart for school". Reading and understanding Proust at age 6. Solving advanced calculus problems at age 7. And it generally goes on and on..  As far as I can tell only about 7 people on the Internet (including me) were not given that label.

A surprisingly high percentage of gifted people end up dropping out of high school, and most achieve average things with their life, so the label is their one "claim to fame." I was in a gifted program as a kid and am now a Ph.D. student. Most of the successful academics I know are bright (not necessarily gifted) but much more importantly, motivated. Honestly I think being able to work so fast/efficiently holds me back because what might take another student 40-50 hours takes me 30, and I'm just not motivated to have more than an average/high average work output, so I end up leaving early to go socialize or pursue hobbies. I'm very content with that balance, but I know if I put in 60 hours/week I could probably achieve tons more and there's a bit of guilt there. The students I know who are both gifted AND highly motivated are rare, but they are definitely super stars academically.

My advisor is arguably a genius but he is not motivated towards the traditional type of achievement in his field (publishing tons of papers in important journals, the respect of his peers, etc.) - he cares more about just doing good science whether people notice or not. So he is moderately successful (tenured professor, director of a research center with ~$5 million in equipment) but he is not a "big name" in the field per se.

Those of us who are comfortable with being above average intellectually but around average achievement wise don't need to fall back on a label to prove that we have worth.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: flickan on October 23, 2013, 08:31:44 AM
Gifted is a label people tend to hold onto for dear life. If you were to start a thread on a random message board about "who was Gifted and Talented in school?" people will come out of the woodworks to declare that they were and the self-bragging would gill the thread. "Too smart for school". Reading and understanding Proust at age 6. Solving advanced calculus problems at age 7. And it generally goes on and on..  As far as I can tell only about 7 people on the Internet (including me) were not given that label.

A surprisingly high percentage of gifted people end up dropping out of high school, and most achieve average things with their life, so the label is their one "claim to fame." I was in a gifted program as a kid and am now a Ph.D. student. Most of the successful academics I know are bright (not necessarily gifted) but much more importantly, motivated. Honestly I think being able to work so fast/efficiently holds me back because what might take another student 40-50 hours takes me 30, and I'm just not motivated to have more than an average/high average work output, so I end up leaving early to go socialize or pursue hobbies. I'm very content with that balance, but I know if I put in 60 hours/week I could probably achieve tons more and there's a bit of guilt there. The students I know who are both gifted AND highly motivated are rare, but they are definitely super stars academically.

My advisor is arguably a genius but he is not motivated towards the traditional type of achievement in his field (publishing tons of papers in important journals, the respect of his peers, etc.) - he cares more about just doing good science whether people notice or not. So he is moderately successful (tenured professor, director of a research center with ~$5 million in equipment) but he is not a "big name" in the field per se.

Those of us who are comfortable with being above average intellectually but around average achievement wise don't need to fall back on a label to prove that we have worth.

Many of us underachieve spectacularly.  I have a chip on my shoulder a mile wide about being saddled with that label.  If I refer to it today it is with heavy " ".  One of the reasons I wish the label would be retired is that it's meaningless for lots of kids who test well but cannot put two and two together-- as in, cannot produce results.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the resources available to kids to give them an extra edge, especially when they are bored in class and need more to stimulate them but there are so many people who get excited about the kid being put in a gifted program and then sit back and expect them to succeed at life.  In my family I was the gifted one and my sibling was not.  My sibling was the C student who was given lots of approval and encouragement to do the best possible job without the "gifted" halo hanging over his head like an unfulfilled promise.  He graduated with a masters degree and gone on to be wildly successful and is in my opinion, the truly smart one, because he built up those smarts and coupled them with real world application.  Me?  I never even learned to study and could not compete in a college enviornment.

I think that what we see more often today than ever before is kids who are given that label and then suddenly nothing is good enough for them because of the parents.  Either they get away with murder because no one wants to reign them in or they're pushed to achieve at cost to their personal comfort and criticized for not being as smart as the parents were lead to believe.

I think this must be an American phenomenon because I remember recently reading a study of what people are most likely to say positively when asked about their children.  In many European countries it was that they were easy going kids and happy kids.  In America it was that they were smart, wicked smart, smarter than their peers, passing milestones quickly... Disconnect much?
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: wyliefool on October 23, 2013, 09:45:07 AM
I think the *worst* thing you can do to a "gifted" child is refuse to discipline him/her. And by discipline, I mean both socially and academically/intellectually/artistically. The 10-year old who can do college-level math, sing like Joan Sutherland or Whitney Houston, or sink baskets like Michael Jordan is going to grow into just another 20-year-old with a good head for math/pretty voice/decent hoop skills, if s/he has relied solely on natural talent and not learned how to practice and improve on those talents. And the 10-year-old who has not been called on boorish behavior because that would "stifle his/her creativity" is going to grow into a 20-year-old boor whom nobody wants to be around. Calling your mother fat and punching her in the stomach is not "creative." It's reprehensible.

PP's have made some good suggestions for Josh's mom. Some variation on "We don't arrange play dates for Josh; at his age he manages to keep his social calendar full all by himself" should suffice.

The TV show 'Numb3rs' addressed this actually. One of the 2 main characters was a child prodigy math genius. Now he's an adult (30s) professor and in one show he's having a bit of an existential crisis because as he says 'I'm no longer ahead of schedule.' Once the child prodigy grows up, they're just another adult. It can ocme as quite a shock.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Twik on October 23, 2013, 09:53:29 AM
However, child prodigies usually *know* they're different. Refusing to label them "gifted" doesn't mean that they don't realize they're learning at a much faster rate. The original intent for educators to call some children "gifted" was so that their education could be patterned to their needs.

If Connor was *really* reading and annotating the dictionary at 3 (and I'm not sure I believe he wasn't just randomly making scribbles on it - parents can be very self-deceptive), there's no way he'd grow up not noticing that other children don't do that.

Gifted doesn't mean "the next step in evolution". It means "can learn in one month what the average child will take three to master". It certainly doesn't mean "cannot behave as a civilized person".
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Seraphia on October 23, 2013, 10:09:57 AM
/snip/

I think that what we see more often today than ever before is kids who are given that label and then suddenly nothing is good enough for them because of the parents.  Either they get away with murder because no one wants to reign them in or they're pushed to achieve at cost to their personal comfort and criticized for not being as smart as the parents were lead to believe.

That can be applied to any label though, not just academics.

The "Super Star" football player in 8th grade who subsequently refuses to work out with the team or train in any way because his parents "just know" he's going pro.

The Pretty Girl who is just sooooo cute and beautiful and will be a model someday, that she doesn't need to worry about silly old things like grades or social skills.

The Singer/Dancer/Performer who is going to make it big in Hollywood, no matter how little practice they put in.

The Funny One who can coast on his charm...right up until he meets a teacher or boss who is immune.

Heck, even the HS Soulmate Couple who are totally meant for each other and are the love of each others' lives, who needs to make friends other than Him/Her?

It's when a label becomes an identity that's the problem, not the specific instance of being marked as academically accelerated.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Twik on October 23, 2013, 10:24:29 AM
Pod, Seraphia.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Thipu1 on October 23, 2013, 10:39:01 AM
I thoroughly agree.

The problem isn't being labeled Gifted.  The problem is buying into it and believing all the Booshwah you're told about being 'special'.  The competition among parents seems to be a big part of the problem.  Like Lake Woebegone, all children are above average.   

During his childhood and youth, nobody considered Einstein gifted. 

Insisting on common courtesy and civility is not going to crush the creativity of a child.  If anything, giving a child a sense of responsible behavior towards others can only help him or her in adult life. 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Twik on October 23, 2013, 11:19:45 AM
Basically, there are a lot of labels that parents use as an excuse for why they're not teaching their children to behave in a civilized manner. In reality, most children, all across the intellectual spectrum, can be taught to behave (at least better than Connor) if their parents are willing to work at it.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Lynn2000 on October 23, 2013, 12:29:22 PM
A surprisingly high percentage of gifted people end up dropping out of high school, and most achieve average things with their life, so the label is their one "claim to fame." I was in a gifted program as a kid and am now a Ph.D. student. Most of the successful academics I know are bright (not necessarily gifted) but much more importantly, motivated. Honestly I think being able to work so fast/efficiently holds me back because what might take another student 40-50 hours takes me 30, and I'm just not motivated to have more than an average/high average work output, so I end up leaving early to go socialize or pursue hobbies. I'm very content with that balance, but I know if I put in 60 hours/week I could probably achieve tons more and there's a bit of guilt there. The students I know who are both gifted AND highly motivated are rare, but they are definitely super stars academically.

My advisor is arguably a genius but he is not motivated towards the traditional type of achievement in his field (publishing tons of papers in important journals, the respect of his peers, etc.) - he cares more about just doing good science whether people notice or not. So he is moderately successful (tenured professor, director of a research center with ~$5 million in equipment) but he is not a "big name" in the field per se.

Those of us who are comfortable with being above average intellectually but around average achievement wise don't need to fall back on a label to prove that we have worth.

POD. I am, I like to think, pretty smart ;) but I'm definitely not an ambitious person. Sometimes I get motivated to really focus on something at work and I amaze myself at the progress I make. I think, wow, if I worked this hard all the time, instead of surfing eHell ;) imagine what I could accomplish! Then I think... eh, no, I'd rather read novels and write my stories and not have that much stress in my life. It feels weird saying this because it's such the opposite of what we're "supposed" to be like, and it can also seem uncomfortably like bragging--like, "I can be phenomenally successful whenever I want, I just choose not to right now." Is that bragging? It seems obnoxious, anyway. Personally I am just so glad that there are, say, brilliant and ambitious people who want to be leaders and make the world a better place, because I am not one of those people and I think I would be terrible at it if such a job were forced on me.

And I do think some of it stems from being labeled early on as a "smart" kid, and having all the pressures and expectations that went along with it. Although I didn't have as bad a time as some people have described, it really wasn't that much fun being "smart." I find it much more enjoyable to be creative, for example, but I very consciously don't do anything creative in a public way, like trying to get a novel published or selling crafts or something. And, to tie it back in with etiquette, I am actually very proud of myself for being, as a 30ish adult, a more polite and understanding person than I was as a child/teen/young adult--from being able to see things from different perspectives, to saying "please" and "thank you" to servers at restaurants. Possibly more proud of this and my private creative accomplishments than I am of my professional/intellectual achievements, as the latter seemed almost inevitable and the former seem more like conscious choices I've had to work at. Eek, sorry if this all seems horrible; I just feel like, as I get older and I'm surrounded by "high-achieving" people, I find it more important to be a good, happy, polite person than to be a smart one.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Yvaine on October 23, 2013, 12:40:55 PM
And I do think some of it stems from being labeled early on as a "smart" kid, and having all the pressures and expectations that went along with it. Although I didn't have as bad a time as some people have described, it really wasn't that much fun being "smart."

Yeah, I remember things like spelling bees, which I was naturally good at, not really being fun past a certain point, at least on the school level. If I won, it was ho-hum to everyone and no one was happy about it; it's what I "should" have done anyway. If I lost, it was cause for whooping and cheering and giving me endless grief in the halls.  ::) The ones at the metro-area-level were way more interesting, because everyone there was probably just as naturally good, preparation made a difference, and I never had any idea if I would win or not (and indeed only won once) and it was more "acceptable" to lose. Grades were kind of the same way; if I made an A, it was no big deal and I should have done that anyway, and if I made a B, I'd obviously done something horribly wrong.

I find it much more enjoyable to be creative, for example, but I very consciously don't do anything creative in a public way, like trying to get a novel published or selling crafts or something. And, to tie it back in with etiquette, I am actually very proud of myself for being, as a 30ish adult, a more polite and understanding person than I was as a child/teen/young adult--from being able to see things from different perspectives, to saying "please" and "thank you" to servers at restaurants. Possibly more proud of this and my private creative accomplishments than I am of my professional/intellectual achievements, as the latter seemed almost inevitable and the former seem more like conscious choices I've had to work at. Eek, sorry if this all seems horrible; I just feel like, as I get older and I'm surrounded by "high-achieving" people, I find it more important to be a good, happy, polite person than to be a smart one.

This too; probably very few people in my "real" life know the full extent of my childhood nerdity, and now I'm just glad to have found my own way that doesn't really have much to do with that stuff. (Sci-fi geekery is a whole other thing! LOL) It was a lot of pressure to wonder if my every life decision was "good enough for someone with All That Potential" and it's easier to just live my life and make choices based on what I actually want to do.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Twik on October 23, 2013, 01:24:58 PM
A surprisingly high percentage of gifted people end up dropping out of high school, and most achieve average things with their life, so the label is their one "claim to fame."

Well, that's the point as far as educators go. Why do smart kids get bored, drop out or just tune out, and not use their talents more fully? Many educators believe that it's because they are not engaged in learning when, to these kids, it's dragged out painfully slowly and bores them to tears. If the smartest kids are not being served by education, shrugging and going, "they're smart, they'll get by somehow," isn't terribly helpful. Boredom is the greatest killer for initiative, curiousity, and all those cool things we want our kids to develop.

When I was in Grade 2, I didn't want to read about D ick and Jane Play with Spot and Fluff. I wanted to read about Archeopteryx and Pachycephalosaurus. Fortunately, my teachers eventually gave up trying to stop me from slipping the Golden Guide to Dinosaurs inside my reader, and recognized that my reaction of "Huh? Wha?" when asked about Jane's latest predicament meant I was reading something else, rather than that I couldn't read at all. But I might have learned more about cooperative work, if, say, I had been matched with children at the same reading level.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Shea on October 23, 2013, 01:34:25 PM
I question what the purpose of labeling children as "gifted" is.  Are they placed in accelerated classes?  Do they do statistically amazing things as adults?  I guess I just don't see the value in labeling a child as "gifted" unless there is some heightened expectation or performance that is typical of those labeled in this way.  Personally, like some of the other parents on this board, I have uncontroverted proof that my child is beyond amazing in every way (;-)) but I see no reason to make an issue out of this because it would either place a lot of undue pressure on her or make her extremely socially awkward and likely unhappy because she would not be able to relate to her peers.  I confess I just don't get it.

In the US Gifted kids are special needs and part of Special Ed. Teachers are required to provide differentiated activities to challenge them, they are grouped together with other high performing students in classes and  in my district are pulled out for specialized instruction once a week.   FYI - kids who are Gifted (not Honors) tend to see the world upside down and backwards - they don't give a fig about subjects that don't interest them, tend to obsess about subjects that do interest them. They also tend to have a higher than normal rate of LD's which might point towards their brains just being wired differently. 

Are they actually required? I was identified as "gifted" in early elementary school (actually I only have a high verbal intelligence; I have dyscalculia and can barely count) but my school district didn't have any gifted or honors programs, even in high school. I spent my school career frustrated and bored out of my mind (except in math class, where I was frustrated and confused, because my learning disability wasn't diagnosed until I was 20). A couple of teachers would allow me to read different books and do reports on them, but that was something they did because they understood how bored I was, not because it was required by the school.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Hmmmmm on October 23, 2013, 01:59:56 PM
A surprisingly high percentage of gifted people end up dropping out of high school, and most achieve average things with their life, so the label is their one "claim to fame."

Well, that's the point as far as educators go. Why do smart kids get bored, drop out or just tune out, and not use their talents more fully? Many educators believe that it's because they are not engaged in learning when, to these kids, it's dragged out painfully slowly and bores them to tears. If the smartest kids are not being served by education, shrugging and going, "they're smart, they'll get by somehow," isn't terribly helpful. Boredom is the greatest killer for initiative, curiousity, and all those cool things we want our kids to develop.

When I was in Grade 2, I didn't want to read about D ick and Jane Play with Spot and Fluff. I wanted to read about Archeopteryx and Pachycephalosaurus. Fortunately, my teachers eventually gave up trying to stop me from slipping the Golden Guide to Dinosaurs inside my reader, and recognized that my reaction of "Huh? Wha?" when asked about Jane's latest predicament meant I was reading something else, rather than that I couldn't read at all. But I might have learned more about cooperative work, if, say, I had been matched with children at the same reading level.

I so agree with Seraphia's post. Labels are labels and discounts individuality.

I also disagree that "gifted" kids don't excel because they aren't being challenged.  That can be true in many instances. But you also have really intelligent kids who just don't like academics and there is absolutely nothing you can do to motivate them to like something they don't.

I was a smart kid. In second grade I was reading/comprehending at 5th-7th grade levels. Subjects I liked I excelled in and enjoyed doing the work. Subjects I didn't like, I did enough to "get the A" as in I turned in my homework and study the notes for 20 minutes prior to the test. I don't like science. I don't care how many ways you try to engage me and make "science fun" it is not fun. Some things are interesting to me, but only about 10% of it. The rest I learned for the test and then quickly forgot. It drives my science husband crazy as he can't understand not finding it intellectually stimulating. I tell him when he decides that spending an hour discussing the history of hemlines is stimulating (and it is because it relates so much to popular culture and social changes of the day) I'll spend an hour discussing rock formations.

I'm very good with a rifle. You will never motivate me to use that skill to enjoy shooting a deer. I'm not against hunting and I really enjoy venison. But I don't personally want to do it.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: blarg314 on October 23, 2013, 08:14:05 PM

I do think it's important to identify the gifted/prodigy and very bright kids, in the same way it's important to identify kids who is mentally disabled, or is struggling with basic academics or has a learning disability - so they can get the education they need.

If a kid is disabled, or a prodigy, it's a case of not being able to function in the normal system. They need special education tailored to their needs, or going to school can be pretty useless. On the less extreme - a kid who is struggling with basic reading or has a mild learning disability needs extra help or they will tend to fall farther and farther behind, failing grades, until they drop out. A kid on the other end, who is not a genius but finds academic work very easy and is working above their grade level has different problems - they can get bored and get into trouble, for example. Another issue is that they can get by and get good grades with terrible work habits. This is fine until they actually start hitting work that is challenging their abilities and needs effort (often at university). I've seen more than one very bright student tank at university because they had never learned to work, and were now at a stage where it was assumed they had mastered basic study skills.

If a bright kid gets work that is adjusted to their achievement level, that makes them have to work, and is expected to perform to that level it can make a huge difference in their interest in school, and the parts of academic achievement that aren't just ability, compared to the same kid who is unlabelled and drifting through the normal classes with a library book hidden under their desk at all times.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: citadelle on October 23, 2013, 09:59:39 PM
The trend in education has been toward "differentiation". Classroom teachers are supposed to prepare lessons that are accessible to a wide range of abilities. It is great when it works, but poses many logistical issues when you have a 7th grade class with readers ranging from 2nd grade to college level.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: iridaceae on October 24, 2013, 04:01:07 AM

Well, that's the point as far as educators go. Why do smart kids get bored, drop out or just tune out, and not use their talents more fully? Many educators believe that it's because they are not engaged in learning when, to these kids, it's dragged out painfully slowly and bores them to tears. If the smartest kids are not being served by education, shrugging and going, "they're smart, they'll get by somehow," isn't terribly helpful. Boredom is the greatest killer for initiative, curiousity, and all those cool things we want our kids to develop.


All children should be kept engaged and interested. Not just the gifted.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: perpetua on October 24, 2013, 04:32:38 AM
Oh, this is all sounding familiar. Being 'gifted' wasn't a thing when I was at school because several centuries have passed since I was there :) Also I think our system is different in the UK and as far as I know we don't have 'honours programmes' and the like. We have top streams in subjects like maths and english where people who are better at it than others are in different classes - again this may have changed since I was at school.  But anyway, at primary school I was always the kid who breezed through spelling tests without revising and who the other kids used to come to for help, yet always had 'must apply herself more' written on her school reports.

I passed the 11+ exam and went to grammar school but I was lazy. I rattled off my homework and assignments at the last minute and got top marks for them despite putting in very little effort and I spent most of my classes being bored and unengaged and waiting for the bell to go so I could get out of there. Teachers didn't really pay me much attention, because they knew I could do the work without it, so I had even less engagement.

When I did my GCSEs, again, I was lazy. Much of our marks were based on coursework, and again I left all my assignments till the last minute. Had a bit of a minor panic about having to rattle off 20 essays in two weeks, but did it. Still got good grades.

I was also very involved in music - I played several instruments to a high standard but never really did much practice because I got away without it.

This all came back to bite me in the backside when I started college and found out that the method of learning was completely different and I had absolutely *no* idea 'how to study'. I lasted six months before I dropped out in frustration. I've tried several times to take courses in the years since - I tried to do a diploma in my pet subject at one point, but again, I didn't know how to study.  I would read the material, but it never sank in in terms of applying it. Again, I dropped out, because if I wasn't good at it immediately I didn't want to know.

So now I'm in my 40s and fairly directionless. I never trained for a specific line of work and have got by by 'picking things up quickly' and slotting into various kinds of jobs over the years, some of them quite technical, and all of which bore me rigid after a few weeks.  I've always felt like a bit of a fraud at work.

I wonder if this has something to do with it.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: *inviteseller on October 24, 2013, 07:46:10 AM
The label..no matter what it is, is not the magic key to a child's life.  A label doesn't mean everything in life is easy, or that they are to get special treatment but sososo many parents think that label means their child walks on water.  I have met many talented athletes who thought that the world revolved around them because they could throw a football or sink a 3 pt shot.  And the adults around them were no better..coaches who turned a blind eye to misbehavior, teachers who passed them when they weren't doing any work, parents who dreamed of their childs pro career (that less than 5% of all child athletes even have a shot at) and never take the time to teach them how to live without athletics.  And when they get into the real world, they are unpopular jerks who can't understand why no one is falling all over them because in high school, they WERE the star.  My older DD is a gifted athlete and once she scored 3 goals in her soccer game..on the way home she started saying "well, I had to do that because so and so was barely playing and such and such wasn't playing well."  I stopped her and said "You had a game to be proud of, but you may tank on your next game and the other girls may be carrying you in the game.  You are good, but you aren't the team."  She says she still remembers that little talk when she gets a bit big for her britches.  Younger DD is a gifted student and was complaining last year about a girl she had to always help with her reading because the poor thing was struggling.  I told her "It is the right thing to so to help others who struggle in something you are good at.  Remember, you can read but I bet there is something she can do that you can't."  She quit complaining.  We need to encourage our kids when they are gifted in something, while teaching them humility and grace.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Winterlight on October 24, 2013, 08:29:40 AM
Or - you "are" athletic. You "are" beautiful. You "are" talented. You "are" a high achiever. It can be said in many ways.

What I am saying (and I think EllenS is too) is that the "athletic/talented/smart" people are honored for their achievements - Jack hit a homerun! Abbey sang the National Anthem at the televised rodeo! Jane won the spelling bee!  I am all for honoring academic achievement as well.  I think if a child is gifted that child should be honored for using her gift, not told she is special and doesn't have to try because she has this gift.

Agreed. Connor may be very intelligent, but he's clearly been allowed to get away with being a brat.

Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Winterlight on October 24, 2013, 08:33:11 AM
"Indigo" children sound like another color of special snowflake.

Indigo children were all the rage a few years ago. Their children are now being called Crystal children- or as I prefer to define them, "Second-generation special snowflakes."
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Twik on October 24, 2013, 09:36:52 AM

Well, that's the point as far as educators go. Why do smart kids get bored, drop out or just tune out, and not use their talents more fully? Many educators believe that it's because they are not engaged in learning when, to these kids, it's dragged out painfully slowly and bores them to tears. If the smartest kids are not being served by education, shrugging and going, "they're smart, they'll get by somehow," isn't terribly helpful. Boredom is the greatest killer for initiative, curiousity, and all those cool things we want our kids to develop.


All children should be kept engaged and interested. Not just the gifted.

Yes. But it's harder to do when you have a wide range of abilities in one class.

Let's say your school has 200 children in Grade 8. Your goal is 25 children per class (which is *very* optimistic in these times). That would be 8 classes of Grade 8 children.

Now, if you mix them randomly, you will have 8 classes that are approximately equal in distribution of slow-average-fast learners. For maximum efficiency, you pitch your teaching speed towards the average students. That will suit them. The slow learners will have trouble going at that speed, and the fast learners finish the material much faster than the rest of the class.

The school will realize, first, that the slow learners need extra help. So, the school implements various special educational methods to assist them, and help them keep up with the majority of the class. This is clearly an important issues, because otherwise these children may fail, or at least get very discouraged.

However, the fast learners, to the school's eyes, don't have a problem. They're passing, aren't they? Maybe even getting top marks. So, the fact that they're bored and unchallenged is put at the bottom of the priority list.

The idea of identifying children as "gifted" was that instead of having 8 identical classes, you might stream the fastest learners into one class, which would expect them to learn at a rate faster than the "average" classroom was set up for. This would, it was thought, be the most efficient way of teaching. Otherwise, you will expect the teacher to be teaching three (or more) versions of the same material, at the same time. At some point, the overwhelmed teacher is going to say to at least one of these groups, "you're on your own," and it's usually the fast learners.

The downside, of course, is the labelling issue. Once labelled "slow," "average" or "fast/gifted," it is hard to break out of that slot. Kids who were "slow" in Grade 1 because of, say, health or social issues, may need more challenge once those have been overcome, but are left in the original classification. And while educators may say that the segregation was simply one of learning *style*, not intellectual *capacity*, it's obviously easy for people to assume that "slow, average and fast" means "stupid, average and smart". Therefore, segregation versus mainstreaming has been one of the most controversial topics in education for many years.

In many ways, I feel mainstreaming is very beneficial. But I've also seen cases of one extremely smart student sitting in the back of the class, bored out of their skull as their friends are moving at a pace that is comfortable for them, and it's hard not to think, "this is a terrible waste".
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: KimodoDragon on October 24, 2013, 10:43:33 AM
As part of the volunteer email database, I just received an email notice from Carol (manager of the thrift store).  Carol is asking all volunteers to plan to stay a few minutes after work is done on Saturday as she has a special treat.  In a P.S., she writes - "prepare to be entertained". 

(long sigh)

I have no idea what this special treat is, nor am I interested.  My gut tells me this has something to do with Connor.  I may be thinking this way because of the incident last weekend.  And I could be wrong. 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Twik on October 24, 2013, 10:46:04 AM
As part of the volunteer email database, I just received an email notice from Carol (manager of the thrift store).  Carol is asking all volunteers to plan to stay a few minutes after work is done on Saturday as she has a special treat.  In a P.S., she writes - "prepare to be entertained". 

(long sigh)

I have no idea what this special treat is, nor am I interested.  My gut tells me this has something to do with Connor.  I may be thinking this way because of the incident last weekend.  And I could be wrong.

RUN AWAY! RUUNN AWAAAAAAAY!!!!!!
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: BarensMom on October 24, 2013, 10:46:17 AM
"I'm so sorry, Carol, but I have plans immediately after work."
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: cwm on October 24, 2013, 10:56:43 AM
"I'm so sorry, Carol, but I have plans immediately after work."

This. Wait to hear what the surprise is from everyone else, but you have plans. It doesn't matter that they consist solely of avoiding whatever this surprise is. They're plans, and they're important.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: Clarin on October 24, 2013, 10:57:10 AM
"I'm so sorry, Carol, but I have plans immediately after work."

Definitely this. Vital plans. Cannot be changed.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: BeagleMommy on October 24, 2013, 01:40:03 PM
Gee, sorry Carol, but I have to pick up my dog at the dog polishing salon after work.  Oh, you'll have a video of Connor's performance?  Well, be sure to post it on the web and I'll be sure to look at it when I have a chance (then never have a chance).

Okay, Evil BeagleMommy has been sent to her crate with a biscuit, but the sentiment still applies.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on October 24, 2013, 01:42:43 PM
It's a production of "Cats" with all the parts performed by Connor.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: DaDancingPsych on October 24, 2013, 01:45:53 PM
 >:D  What terrible advice!   >:D  You should STAY so we can hear what the surprise is!!!   >:D  Think of the e-Hell readers!!!   >:D

I agree, at the first sign of a Connor performance, I would be rushing to pick-up my hamster at the sitters. I do hope that it is actually something fun!
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: lowspark on October 24, 2013, 02:01:56 PM
It's a production of "Cats" with all the parts performed by Connor.

That made me laugh out loud.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: MrTango on October 24, 2013, 02:14:03 PM
Maybe I'm a big meanie, but my response to the request to stay late for some "entertainment" would be, "No, thanks.  I'm not interested."
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: lowspark on October 24, 2013, 02:46:42 PM
Actually, I wouldn't respond at all. I'd just leave on time as normal. If she said anything directly to me, I'd just say I had a previous committment after work and wouldn't be able to stay. And yeah, I'd high-tail it outta there.

Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: poundcake on October 24, 2013, 02:51:27 PM
>:D  What terrible advice!   >:D  You should STAY so we can hear what the surprise is!!!   >:D  Think of the e-Hell readers!!!   >:D

I agree, at the first sign of a Connor performance, I would be rushing to pick-up my hamster at the sitters. I do hope that it is actually something fun!

This!

Actually, if it does turn out to be the Connor Variety Hour, that might give you some traction with a formal complaint, or at least a legitimate talk about what is proper in terms of people's kids in the workplace. "Carol, I know Connor is your son, and to you, he is absolutely amazing. However, it is unprofessional, as well as potentially unkind to Connor, to bring him into an adult work environment."
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: JenJay on October 24, 2013, 03:06:33 PM
My advice is that you leave on time
My desire is that you stay and give us a play-by-play
 ;D
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: TamJamB on October 24, 2013, 03:35:48 PM
A surprisingly high percentage of gifted people end up dropping out of high school, and most achieve average things with their life, so the label is their one "claim to fame."
  I wonder if you have a cite for this?  On the one hand, it sounds like one of those things that people just think is true, so it keeps getting passed on as fact.  On the other hand, I know you are a scientist, so I'd expect you to have evidence before you start throwing statistics around.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: Deetee on October 24, 2013, 03:37:40 PM
My advice is that you leave on time
My desire is that you stay and give us a play-by-play
 ;D

yes, Please stay and report back. please.....
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: Twik on October 24, 2013, 03:43:29 PM
It's a production of "Cats" with all the parts performed by Connor.

That made me laugh out loud.

That must have been what he was doing in the OP. Getting into character.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: Hillia on October 24, 2013, 03:55:00 PM
My advice is that you leave on time
My desire is that you stay and give us a play-by-play
 ;D

This.  I'm a bad person :-)
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: shhh its me on October 24, 2013, 04:13:30 PM
  I have an urgent question, will a person who does stay on Sat , tell you right away or will have to wait until Monday to find out ? It could be so much better then Connor the one man show ...there could be puppets , he and his mother could be acting out Friday the 13th , it may be his very first violin recital (2 hours on his violin he got last week) maybe his whole class will come and they will do the Great pumpkin Charlie Brown , maybe its a dance routine , pyrotechnics ?  :)

Even if it was something innocuous like "see Connor in his Halloween costume and I have candy apples for everyone." I hate when people are asking to stay after work for those forced socializing  after hours things and I'm the softy who is asked politely would stay for 15 minutes to watch your kids sing songs and dance in his/her costume but I hate with a passion mystery events and don't do implied mandatory.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: flickan on October 24, 2013, 04:20:14 PM
There's got to be a way to find out if it involves her kid before staying-- because it could definitely be something good-- while having an easy out if it turns out to be something else.  If it's after work you can get a text right?  An emergency text?  This is what I would do.

I always feel trapped when people want to trot out their children for my benefit so I use the benefit of being curmodgeony and whatnot.  I'm working on a look that implies "I don't want to see your horrible kid" without actually saying it outloud.  This doesn't work if you're trying to make friends though.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: GlitterIsMyDrug on October 24, 2013, 04:45:08 PM
I get the feeling that when Conner was a touch younger he was having troubles making friends at school, perhaps a little socially awkward, perhaps a little ahead of his peers. Carol, who I'm picturing as a helicopter parent, is very concerned about his lack of friends so a well-meaning teacher tells her something like "Conner's just a bit ahead of his peers, he might be gifted, give him some time", of course what she heard was "My son is brilliant and gifted!", and latched onto that. If Conner balanced a spoon on his nose, she'd be calling it a "gifted talent". Conner is probably a bright child and has figured out he can get away with any behavior because well, his mom is going to bellow about how gifted and talented he is. And everyone else must suffer.

My mom never trotted out the "I have a gifted daughter" line. When I graduated early from high school, when I got my AA in high school, she told people I was a hard worker. She'll tell people that I'm bright, or that I get things quickly, I've heard her say "I don't worry about Glitter, she's smart, she knows how to take care of herself". But if I got on all fours and mewed like a cat in public she'd tell me to knock it off and pretend to be normal. I don't want to imagine what she would've done if I hit her or called everyone fat.

I'm reminded of a line from Big Bang Theory "it’s okay to be smarter than everybody but you can’t go around pointing it out", someone really should've told Carol.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: Nikko-chan on October 24, 2013, 04:50:05 PM
I get the feeling that when Conner was a touch younger he was having troubles making friends at school, perhaps a little socially awkward, perhaps a little ahead of his peers. Carol, who I'm picturing as a helicopter parent, is very concerned about his lack of friends so a well-meaning teacher tells her something like "Conner's just a bit ahead of his peers, he might be gifted, give him some time", of course what she heard was "My son is brilliant and gifted!", and latched onto that. If Conner balanced a spoon on his nose, she'd be calling it a "gifted talent". Conner is probably a bright child and has figured out he can get away with any behavior because well, his mom is going to bellow about how gifted and talented he is. And everyone else must suffer.

My mom never trotted out the "I have a gifted daughter" line. When I graduated early from high school, when I got my AA in high school, she told people I was a hard worker. She'll tell people that I'm bright, or that I get things quickly, I've heard her say "I don't worry about Glitter, she's smart, she knows how to take care of herself". But if I got on all fours and mewed like a cat in public she'd tell me to knock it off and pretend to be normal. I don't want to imagine what she would've done if I hit her or called everyone fat.

I'm reminded of a line from Big Bang Theory "it’s okay to be smarter than everybody but you can’t go around pointing it out", someone really should've told Carol.


Parenting: Your mom did it right ;)
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: EMuir on October 24, 2013, 05:05:20 PM
It may be less of an issue being labelled as "gifted" if you're in a larger school where you can be part of an entire gifted class.  When it's a very small school, class size under 20 each and only one room of each grade, singling someone out as gifted makes them a target.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: Hopefull on October 24, 2013, 05:08:41 PM
My advice is that you leave on time
My desire is that you stay and give us a play-by-play
 ;D

This is my desire as well  >:D

In fact you should record it and you should upload it on youtube and give us the link.
 >:D
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: GlitterIsMyDrug on October 24, 2013, 05:10:29 PM
It may be less of an issue being labelled as "gifted" if you're in a larger school where you can be part of an entire gifted class.  When it's a very small school, class size under 20 each and only one room of each grade, singling someone out as gifted makes them a target.

Under 20...that's...they do that? Oh...that sounds nice. We were always 30 plus. Some high school classes were closer to 25, and the small ones were the more "specialized" classes (choir, dance, AP classes, that type of thing), but in elementary school it was pretty much at 30. Gifted kids were pulled out for specialized classes, they called it IP classes. Usually science, math, and English, depending on your test scores depended on what you got pulled for. They wouldn't test me, but I'd help the IP kids with homework sometimes, or just do it with them (my neighbor was an IP kid, so we do our homework together and I'd do his as something else to do).
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: TeamBhakta on October 24, 2013, 06:26:25 PM
My  random guess: The kid will re-enact the Yankee Doodle Boy episode of Full House. And when he freezes up, the mom will have you guys cheer "You go out there and be the best Yankee Doodle Boy you can be!"
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: Venus193 on October 24, 2013, 06:33:57 PM
If I were in Jill's position, I wouldn't beat around the bush about this.  I'd say "Jesse will not be coming over to play with Connor."

I have the opinion that if someone asks "why not?" to that statement, they kind of dserve to hear the truth, even if it hurts.  "Because I refuse to subject my son to the sort of antisocial behavior Connor displayed at [event]."

This. 

Really, it benefits nobody to enable their bad parenting if an honest response causes them to rethink it.  If, however, they don't you at least will have done the right thing.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: sammycat on October 24, 2013, 06:41:53 PM
My advice is that you leave on time
My desire is that you stay and give us a play-by-play
 ;D

Mine too!  >:D

Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: VorFemme on October 24, 2013, 08:17:21 PM
Nobody, but nobody cares that your kid is gifted. [...] But aside from a comment to the grandparents and maybe with her teacher, no-one else cares, nor should they. So if you have the next Einstein, that's great but it's not a topic of conversation. I would rather discuss politics than compare developmental stages of children. Much less fraught.

Exactly. Its pointless to run around telling people this kind of stuff. If they really are gifted, it will be evident in some way, usually to the people who will appreciate it the most. If my kid were a genius at chess, at this point only other chess players are going to care. Eventually the skills that make him a good chess player may be appreciated by a school or company or employer ...but still the world at large isn't going to need to know.

I think it was a sig line I saw on Customers Suck that I got this from, but it seems apropos here too. "If someone has to tell you they're trustworthy (or gifted), it's because they know their behavior won't show it. The people who run around claiming their trustworthiness (giftedness) the loudest are the ones you have to watch out for the most."

In this case, rather than trustworthiness, it's the giftedness that Carol is proclaiming for her son, and well, same rule seems to apply. From the description of the behavior, I would've guessed an age of four or five, not nine! I was in a lot of Gifted & Talented programs as a kid, but if I had acted like that? Oooooh, there would have been T.R.O.U.B.L.E. in my world, and no amount of "but she's Gifted!" would have gotten me off from hitting my mother.

Regardless of the status of Connor's mental talents, Jessie is not obligated to make Josh put up with his behaviors if Josh himself isn't interested in a friendship. As far as what to say, maybe something along the lines of, "Oh, we have so much on the calendar right now, I just don't think it's going to happen."

I was in a training program class of ten people - one of the women kept going on & on, mentioning at least once a day (minimum) that she was a genius.  She also mentioned that her husband was a lawyer & a few other things.  She carried a small dog everywhere with her except work (this was 1999 - so before Paris Hilton or Legally Blonde made dogs an accessory). 

She was one of the few to take the licensing exam and pass it the first time (something like 75-80% fail rate). 

She was also the second one fired (first one fell asleep in class, failed the licensing exam, and was harassing female coworkers & clients - smarmy dude) - her telephone records of who she talked to didn't match up to her computer records in the various case files.  She'd been getting awards for her phone stats & closed files.  After she was fired, many of them had to be reopened & worked to get them closed for REAL - and her name appeared in the quarterly awards newsletter when several people knew she'd been walked out under escort after being fired.

It turned out that her husband was a paralegal, not a lawyer, among other things that came out over the three months that it took for everything to catch up with her...  She might have been a genius - but she wasn't smart enough to get away with being a habitual stretcher of the truth (usually called a liar - but I'm trying to be a bit nicer than she ever was to me).  She was also a Queen Bee and a Mean Girl who wanted to be the leader of a little clique of cool girls.  With five of us, I got selected to be the one who wasn't cool...apparently because I lived further away and didn't stick around after class to go out for dinner or drinks with the rest of the "Cool Girls".
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: Lynn2000 on October 24, 2013, 08:31:04 PM
It may be less of an issue being labelled as "gifted" if you're in a larger school where you can be part of an entire gifted class.  When it's a very small school, class size under 20 each and only one room of each grade, singling someone out as gifted makes them a target.

Under 20...that's...they do that? Oh...that sounds nice. We were always 30 plus. Some high school classes were closer to 25, and the small ones were the more "specialized" classes (choir, dance, AP classes, that type of thing), but in elementary school it was pretty much at 30. Gifted kids were pulled out for specialized classes, they called it IP classes. Usually science, math, and English, depending on your test scores depended on what you got pulled for. They wouldn't test me, but I'd help the IP kids with homework sometimes, or just do it with them (my neighbor was an IP kid, so we do our homework together and I'd do his as something else to do).

Well, since we're on the subject... I went to a very small school in a rural area (about 100 kids in my graduating class). We had regular classes and what we called college-prep classes--so for juniors there would be three sections of regular English 300 and one section of college-prep English 301, for example. English was well-delineated (100, 101; 200, 201; 400, 401), but other things, the college-prep kids hit the advanced classes first. In math for example the college-prep kids took Algebra I in 9th grade, Geometry in 10th, Algebra II in 11th, and Trig/Calc in 12th. You only needed three years of math to graduate high school, though, so regular-track kids might start with pre-algebra and max out junior year with Geometry.

Anyway. Four sections, 100 kids. There were maybe 10 kids who made solid grades in the college-prep classes and were more or less mature and focused. But you couldn't have just 10 kids in all these college-prep classes--it would be too unbalanced for the teachers. I mean, we had one English teacher at each grade level. (And we had one guy who taught all the chemistry and physics classes.) So they padded the college-prep classes with other kids--I have no need to doubt their innate intelligence, but they were not well-behaved. They were clowns, talkers, argued with the teacher about stupid things, made rude remarks during movies, dared each other to talk in funny voices all day... Okay, there's a time and place for that, and I don't deny that sometimes they were entertaining to watch; but it's irritating when you're a junior or senior and you're starting to realize the enormity of the college experience coming up towards you, and your supposed honors-level classmates still haven't quite grasped "don't throw things in the classroom."

In junior high we had a similar setup only they called it "honors" instead of "college-prep." And in elementary school we didn't have anything special for the fast learners that I was aware of.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: ettiquit on October 25, 2013, 06:54:46 AM
he and his mother could be acting out Friday the 13th

This made me laugh a lot.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: suzieQ on October 25, 2013, 07:28:18 AM
I had a friend who, according to her, had a genius for a parent. (at one point it was her Dad, at another it was her Mom). Friend was normal, but her husband and all of her kids are GENIUSES!! I tell you - they are all so amazing!!!!

It was sad to hear her be in so much awe because her husband could find anything on the internet. He was a Google genius.  ::)

Her kids were so amazing.  They did this and that, and it just saddened me because it felt like she was actually putting herself down. She was so awed by them doing things that to me, are perfectly normal. She seemed to feel she was surrounded by people who were all smarter than her, and actively pushed that idea by constantly going on about how her kids were sooooo smart. This was because they "picked their own clothes out" at age 3 months. They taught themselves to read at age 3, etc.

Honestly, they might just be that smart. But I doubt it, because genius is at the end of the spectrum. How likely is it that her parent, husband and all four kids are at that end of the spectrum?

We drifted apart because I got tired of hearing about how precious her children were all. the. time.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on October 25, 2013, 07:52:07 AM
SuzieQ, that is so sad, like her only validation was the accomplishments of the people around her, nothing of her own.  And, for all you know, she would brag about her genius friend, SuzieQ, when you weren't around.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: Teenyweeny on October 25, 2013, 08:29:41 AM
I think most of the people who are constantly telling you that they are (or somebody in their family is) 'a genius' are suffering from chronic 'big fish' syndrome.

Really clever people don't stay somewhere where it's THAT noticeable. At least, not for long. They move on to professional/academic settings where they are pushed and stretched and are one of many clever people.

Or, they are perfectly content to pursue another calling, and their cleverness is an irrelevance, so it's also not noticed.

People who hang their whole identity on their IQ are often not that clever, so they stay in settings where their slightly-above-averageness has a passing chance of being mistaken for the real deal.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: Outdoor Girl on October 25, 2013, 09:25:50 AM
Once of these self subscribed 'genius' once told my Dad that he had an inferiority complex because my Dad didn't like him.  That wasn't it at all; my Dad didn't like him because he was a blowhard.  But it really bothered my Dad, so much so that he told me about it.  I was LIVID.  This was a guy who'd become part of my brother's hunting party and Dad had decided that if Guy was going the next year, he wasn't.

I had a quiet word with my brother.  He was quite happy to drop Guy as a hunting partner and we haven't see the guy since.

My Dad probably does have a bit of an inferiority complex.  We've realized that he is most like dyslexic and possibly dyscalcic (is that the right word?) and was always told that he was dumb in school.  The man is not dumb - he went to teacher's college right out of high school, did a university degree in English in night school, without reading any book cover to cover, and knows more about plants and animals and birds than I'll ever know.  I've retained a lot of the edible wild info so I know I won't starve if I'm ever trapped in the bush.  But we have an awful time with him calling himself 'dumb'.  Drives me batty.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: Twik on October 25, 2013, 09:50:07 AM
A relative of my mother had a son who was, according to his parents, a genius. He was going to be Prime Minister some day (presumably in his off-hours from winning the Nobel prizes for Chemistry, Physics and Medicine). We were told this quite repeatedly.

Currently, he is - well, gainfully employed. Nothing to be ashamed of, but not setting the world on fire. I wonder just how his parents deal with this. I think the Connors of this world deserve a certain amount of pity. As Linus van Pelt once said, "There's no heavier burden than a great potential."
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: MommyPenguin on October 25, 2013, 01:37:12 PM
I had a friend whose dad was a genius in the sense of a really, really high IQ.  He had two PhDs (physics and... chemistry?  engineering?) and was an engineer.  But while he'd written some significant papers, etc., in general he was just, you know, an engineer.  You need really smart people in those types of jobs, so he did well, but he just did his job and there wasn't really a place to stand out just because of being *that* smart.  At a certain point, it's just not important whether, say, your IQ is 130 or 160, both of you are able to do the work, do it well, and feel satisfied with what you're doing.

I know somebody else who was reading well enough at about age 4 to impress college professors with his analysis of classic literature.  But he's working in a blue-collar job that doesn't require a college degree (which he doesn't have).  He does, however, excel at his chosen career.  He flew through the education (trade school) parts, does a fantastic job, has been asked to teach, has been asked to take on more teaching, special recognition, all sorts of stuff.  He makes a fantastic salary that is far more than most college graduates could expect.  No idea what his IQ is, but while his path is a little unusual for what one would usually think of as a genius type of thing, he has made a success of it through both ability and hard work.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: GreenEyedHawk on October 25, 2013, 01:43:37 PM
I was an early reader, as was my sister.  To me, that indicated...well...that we were early readers.  That's about it.  Through school and into adulthood we both did well in language courses (My sister was an English major in university as well) and we are good with words, art and language (and to a lesser extent science.  I always did well at chemistry and biology) but we're both appalling at math.  Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and neither one is indicative of giftedness.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: TurtleDove on October 25, 2013, 01:51:52 PM
I keep coming back to the idea of what is the end goal.  I understand that there is value in teaching people how they are best able to learn, but I think life skills are in many ways more important than how quickly someone can read, for example.  In real life, we have to work with people who don't "get things" as quickly as we might.  It isn't particularly helpful to say, "I am bored working with you because I am smarter than you are." I don't have a solution or better way of handling gifted students, I just would be interested to know whether "gifted" students actually accomplish more/better/faster than their "average" peers as adults.   
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: GlitterIsMyDrug on October 25, 2013, 01:52:31 PM
My dogs are very gifted. They know before we leave the house to stand by the kitchen counter and wait for their treat. They sit by the front door when they want to walk, and by the back when they just need to go out. They know what their walk times are and remind us when we don't walk them. So, my dogs are gifted. Very, very gifted.

Also they'll be putting a performance of Rent this weekend if anyone wants to come!
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: Venus193 on October 25, 2013, 01:53:07 PM
My elementary school had its IGC classes (Intellectually Gifted Children) in which we had more advanced work than the other class of our grade level.  About half of that class went on to more advanced stuff in junior high and half of that to honors and Advanced Placement classes in high school.

Not all of us could afford Ivy League colleges.

Not all of us were interested in math and science either.  It really upsets me to see that kids like this are really being forced into math and science these days.

Edited to add:  None of this means that Connor is "gifted" either.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: TurtleDove on October 25, 2013, 02:00:43 PM
Venus, do you know what any of your group did/does as adults?  I think in academic settings it is "easy" to "see" the more/better/faster because of different classes and material.  I just wonder how that translates over to adults in actual workplaces.  I can see that kids who do well academically are more likely to go to college and pursue certain careers, but is there a difference between what the people who did well academically and the people who were labeled "gifted" accomplish as adults?
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: Twik on October 25, 2013, 02:10:40 PM
I keep coming back to the idea of what is the end goal.  I understand that there is value in teaching people how they are best able to learn, but I think life skills are in many ways more important than how quickly someone can read, for example.  In real life, we have to work with people who don't "get things" as quickly as we might.  It isn't particularly helpful to say, "I am bored working with you because I am smarter than you are." I don't have a solution or better way of handling gifted students, I just would be interested to know whether "gifted" students actually accomplish more/better/faster than their "average" peers as adults.   

Think of it as an exercise class. Is it really efficient, or useful to all members, to plonk the experienced marathoner in the same class as the person who's joined the gym after a lifetime on the couch? As much as one may say, "Oh, the instructor will just have to work at setting levels for everyone in the class, and attending to everyone individually," there comes a point where it's an impossible task. *Particularly* if there is a legal mandate that all participants must be tested for how much they've improved by the end of a set time period.

So the instructor must make a decision. Pitch the class at a level designed for the least-fit person? The fittest person? Or for the majority of the participants, who are somewhere in between, although that means that the beginners will drop out because it's beyond their present capabilities, and the people above that level will also likely drop out, because they're not getting any benefit from the class and is simply wasting their time.

What most gyms do, of course, is offer classes aimed at different levels of fitness. This allows participants to improve at their own pace. No one goes around saying, "Those snobs in the advance class! Just because they can run a mile without raising a sweat, they think they're better than us! They should be forced to do the same exercises as the person with arthritis, who can't make it up a flight of stairs without gasping!"

There is no guarantee that people in gifted classes will become the Tomorrow People. But giving them work commensurate with their abilities avoids total shutdown due to boredom, and teaches them how to make an effort, rather than coasting because they don't need to make that effort to keep up with their peers.

Many very smart people get a jolt upon entering college, because the materials are no longer aimed at the slowest person in the grade. People left in a general class, who assume that they'll always be the smartest people in any group, are just as likely (or more) to become casually arrogant than people who have been kept working in groups of similar abilities.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: citadelle on October 25, 2013, 02:41:40 PM
In schools, though, the concept of separation of classes by ability = tracking, which is a "dirty" word. That is why differentiation has become such a buzzword. Public schools aim for full inclusion, meaning not that the class is pitched toward the lowest, highest or middle, but that individual students can access the essential questions of the lesson from multiple points of entry. Pull out classes are disappearing.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: TurtleDove on October 25, 2013, 02:43:59 PM
I think we might be talking about different things.  I am all for AP classes (I took them all through high school). I am not understanding purpose of the "gifted" label.  Is it the same thing?  Then yay, I am gifted too! :)

I know that I have a higher IQ than average, but I am certainly not approaching genius level.  My experience with AP classes wasn't that all of us were "smarter" necessarily but rather that we were willing and able to put in the work and had a goal of college to then pursue particular careers. It wasn't that we were "special" but rather than we had goals.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: Twik on October 25, 2013, 03:15:41 PM
The "gifted" label is used by educators and educational psychologists as a category in the overall group of "exceptional" students ("exceptional" meaning exceptions to the students whose needs are reasonably well addressed by standard educational methods). It was not meant to be an award or cause for acclaim, but a category that needed a different educational approach than the norm.

Educators preferred this to, say, calling them "smart" (because, among other things, academic ability is not the only measure of that), or "advanced" (because doing well in school comes from a lot of things, including sheer hard work). Instead, these students have a "gift" for academics, like some students have a gift for music, or art. If you are an educator whose goal is efficiency (and that's not the craze it was at one time), it is inefficient to teach people with special abilities as if those abilities didn't exist, or stand out from the norm.

Again, one may point to individual members on a sports team who got there because of sheer hard work, but you cannot deny that most of them started with a gift (strength, size, a nervous system that lets them throw and catch better than the average child). Michael Jordan may work hard, but it's not *just* hard work that made him who he is.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: Iris on October 25, 2013, 03:22:02 PM
I don't like the gifted label because I think it is too broad these days. Back in ancient history, when I went to school we had "gifted" kids, but it meant something truly exceptional - smart, motivated and mature for their years. I was not gifted and I was just fine with that because I was just a normal smarter than average kid. However all our classes were streamed, so it didn't matter because you were put in the place you earned and everyone was cool with that.

Then that became evil and bad and everyone was put in together. Twik's exercise class analogy is an excellent summation of what is wrong with that idea.  l literally read yesterday a very earnest article about how we needed to put each individual student at the centre of our lesson planning and thanked deity that I teach in a subject where classes are streamed.

So now, in an effort to counter the problems that have arisen from overlooking the fact that not every human being is the same, the 'gifted' label has been expanded to include any student able to achieve in the top 10% of any subject. Now, under that definition I was gifted at high school in about 5 subjects and I don't like it. To me, literally everyone is in the top ten per cent of something, although it may not be at school. And parents who went to school when "gifted" meant "prodigy" get unrealistic expectations from the label.

So basically an unrealistic system is in place and so now they are slapping labels on kids left, right and centre in order to show that the system DOES work just not for Jimmy, or Jane, or Johnny,... but that's because of "label" not because of the system...

Okay, I'll stop now. But in my defense I've held this on for, like, right pages now  :)
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: PurpleFrog on October 25, 2013, 03:34:22 PM
My dogs are very gifted. They know before we leave the house to stand by the kitchen counter and wait for their treat. They sit by the front door when they want to walk, and by the back when they just need to go out. They know what their walk times are and remind us when we don't walk them. So, my dogs are gifted. Very, very gifted.

Also they'll be putting a performance of Rent this weekend if anyone wants to come!

But do they pretend to be cats, that's the real test.  >:D
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: Twik on October 25, 2013, 03:39:45 PM
My mother's cat is gifted. He eats things such as invitations and doctor's requisitions that would require her to leave the house for prolonged periods. He does not eat the oil bill.

We think he's a human in a fur coat.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: GlitterIsMyDrug on October 25, 2013, 03:53:15 PM
If someone would've told me as a child I was gifted, I probably would've thought I had magic powers. Of course I had a very strong desire to be Sabrina (the teenage witch). My mom didn't even tell me I had a high IQ and until I was older. She didn't see a reason to tell me, at 7 there wasn't much I could do about it, and instead just did what the psychologist recommended, found what I was interested in and got me involved in it.

Now my BFF, she got called "gifted". She even balks at the label as an adult. Though her mother is often praising discovering more of her "hidden gifts", like spray painting a stencil onto a canvas. She's now a "gifted artist", she's still getting asked why she just stopped at a master's degree and I got a PhD. Surely she's "just as gifted as Glitter", the reason in case you're wondering is she only needed a master's degree, and there wasn't a master's degree for my specialty at the time it was PhD or just the undergrad. Her mother got mad when we were elementary school and they did test her for the IP classes, but she just missed it on our math class and was no where near the mark for English or science, so they didn't think she'd benefit and sent her back to her regular classes. Her mom raised heck, but nothing happened, they just kept testing her year after year. Her daughter was gifted darn it! GIFTED!!!
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: GlitterIsMyDrug on October 25, 2013, 03:54:07 PM
My dogs are very gifted. They know before we leave the house to stand by the kitchen counter and wait for their treat. They sit by the front door when they want to walk, and by the back when they just need to go out. They know what their walk times are and remind us when we don't walk them. So, my dogs are gifted. Very, very gifted.

Also they'll be putting a performance of Rent this weekend if anyone wants to come!

But do they pretend to be cats, that's the real test.  >:D

Well they try walking on the back of the couch...doesn't work out for them usually.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: Dr. F. on October 25, 2013, 03:59:52 PM
My dogs are very gifted. They know before we leave the house to stand by the kitchen counter and wait for their treat. They sit by the front door when they want to walk, and by the back when they just need to go out. They know what their walk times are and remind us when we don't walk them. So, my dogs are gifted. Very, very gifted.

Also they'll be putting a performance of Rent this weekend if anyone wants to come!

BWAAA HAHAHA!

I'd pay good money for those tickets!

Back on the topic, I'm an academic and have people say, "Ooooh, you have a PhD? You must be really smart!" No, not really. You need about average intelligence to get a doctorate (or an MD, IMHO), you just have to be willing to work for it and take what a friend of mine calls the Academic Vow of Poverty. Many of the really smart people I knew when I was getting through grad school ended up quitting. They couldn't handle it when they had a paper rejected or didn't get a grant funded - something that happens to everyone, no matter how good you are. More important for getting through grad school are persistence, resilience, and a strong work ethic. I'll accept someone into my lab with those traits over someone with a great GPA/test scores every time. The hard truth is that 90-95% of experiments DON'T WORK. If you're easily frustrated, you'll never make it in this field.

(Also, count me as another one dying to know what the "treat" is on Sat!)
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: Yvaine on October 25, 2013, 04:19:23 PM
The "gifted" label is used by educators and educational psychologists as a category in the overall group of "exceptional" students ("exceptional" meaning exceptions to the students whose needs are reasonably well addressed by standard educational methods). It was not meant to be an award or cause for acclaim, but a category that needed a different educational approach than the norm.

Educators preferred this to, say, calling them "smart" (because, among other things, academic ability is not the only measure of that), or "advanced" (because doing well in school comes from a lot of things, including sheer hard work). Instead, these students have a "gift" for academics, like some students have a gift for music, or art. If you are an educator whose goal is efficiency (and that's not the craze it was at one time), it is inefficient to teach people with special abilities as if those abilities didn't exist, or stand out from the norm.

Again, one may point to individual members on a sports team who got there because of sheer hard work, but you cannot deny that most of them started with a gift (strength, size, a nervous system that lets them throw and catch better than the average child). Michael Jordan may work hard, but it's not *just* hard work that made him who he is.

This. It's just the term used. TurtleDove, we had the AP classes too, but that was more for high school, where people had their plans and goals at least partly figured out. Gifted was used more in elementary school, when it was more about having a "knack" for academics than about college plans, because most people didn't have a concrete college plan at age 6. (And indeed they didn't even call it the gifted program to us kids; they used that word to our parents but the kids were told the special enrichment class was called something else that was kind of a cutesy euphemism.) I agree with others that it was mainly to give kids with this "knack"--whatever you want to call it--something to stimulate their minds when they were bored with regular-paced classwork.

Nobody has to like the term "gifted" if they don't want to, but it's the one that's become established, and so it's widely understood. It doesn't mean "you don't ever have to work at anything because you have a gift." I do think it's true that some gifted kids have issues learning to study, but it's not because they're malicious or intentionally being lazy, it's because classwork in the early grades came to them easily enough that they didn't quite realize, as children, that it took more work for other kids to learn the same stuff. They thought they were studying. And then that didn't work when they met challenging work later. That, I think, is part of why the programs exist, to give them something that is hard.

Connor's problem isn't that he's "gifted," it's that his parents let him get away with murder, and that his father is a verbally abusive jerk who berates the mother constantly, thus modeling that behavior for his son.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: iridaceae on October 25, 2013, 04:42:04 PM
I don't have a problem with the gifted whether you call them gifted talented or RosePetals. My point is any bored child is a waste. Every child deserves the best education- the most stimulating,  thoughtful and teaching- no matter their intelligence level. Little Bobby stuck forever learning D hicks and Jane stories in elementary school because he is average is just a big a tragedy as little Bobby not getting to study advanced calculus while everyone else is studying trig.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: #borecore on October 25, 2013, 05:16:25 PM
I, too, have been trying to hold my tongue on this, but I guess I feel a need to speak up -- blame my Challenge and GT (gifted and talented) classes if you must, but it's probably more innate than that.

Challenge was the name for our 3/4 day, once a week separate class in elementary school. You had to take several tests to get in, and they were basically IQ tests, with an interview component. The idea was seeing whether you had the potential to think creatively about a problem--whether you needed an extra challenge beyond the classroom. In our grades of about 6 classes each, there were usually 5-15 kids who qualified. The Challenge activities were basically a semester of enrichment around a single topic. We did word problems and logic puzzles, drew or wrote creatively around the topic, and sometimes did more math- or technology-related activities. It was such a relief to be around those kids for a day a week!

In upper grades, we were mostly integrated with "honors" or "AP" kids (other kids who were smart, but frankly not as weird as GT kids-- we generally just looked at things a bit more sideways), unless there were enough of us interested in a subject to get a whole class to ourselves. Sometimes, the teachers would stretch a topic to get a more "GT" way of thinking about it, but often we had the exact same assignments. We either rose to the occasion, or chose to go back into the mainstream classes.

What was the effect on my personal development? Not much! I certainly didn't feel empowered by it, or oppressed by it. It was (rarely) a reminder of my ability to achieve if I bothered to try, but I wasn't afraid to stream back into "regular" math for my upper grades (I loathed geometry). My peers are doing well, or not. Many of them are doctors, PhDs, lawyers, engineers and teachers. Only a couple didn't go to college. A few have other "less prestigious" careers. My siblings were GT, as were most of their friends, and I haven't heard of anything bad happening because of the label there, either (aside from one man with schizophrenia who talks about being a genius ... but that's another conversation entirely).

I've never heard them complain about their label, or use it as an excuse to act weird. I am very grateful for my classes--most of my best friends were "geniuses." :P
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: kherbert05 on October 25, 2013, 05:53:53 PM
I question what the purpose of labeling children as "gifted" is.  Are they placed in accelerated classes?  Do they do statistically amazing things as adults?  I guess I just don't see the value in labeling a child as "gifted" unless there is some heightened expectation or performance that is typical of those labeled in this way.  Personally, like some of the other parents on this board, I have uncontroverted proof that my child is beyond amazing in every way (;-)) but I see no reason to make an issue out of this because it would either place a lot of undue pressure on her or make her extremely socially awkward and likely unhappy because she would not be able to relate to her peers.  I confess I just don't get it.

In the US Gifted kids are special needs and part of Special Ed. Teachers are required to provide differentiated activities to challenge them, they are grouped together with other high performing students in classes and  in my district are pulled out for specialized instruction once a week.   FYI - kids who are Gifted (not Honors) tend to see the world upside down and backwards - they don't give a fig about subjects that don't interest them, tend to obsess about subjects that do interest them. They also tend to have a higher than normal rate of LD's which might point towards their brains just being wired differently. 

Are they actually required? I was identified as "gifted" in early elementary school (actually I only have a high verbal intelligence; I have dyscalculia and can barely count) but my school district didn't have any gifted or honors programs, even in high school. I spent my school career frustrated and bored out of my mind (except in math class, where I was frustrated and confused, because my learning disability wasn't diagnosed until I was 20). A couple of teachers would allow me to read different books and do reports on them, but that was something they did because they understood how bored I was, not because it was required by the school.
It is FEDERAL Law and has been since I started teaching in 2001.


Teaching reading is actually easy and there is no excuse not to I have 17 kids


9 are on a level 20 split into 2 groups From our leveled library I find books I think each group will enjoy.


7 are on level 18 - same thing split them up by interest and find books from the library I think they will enjoy


1 - is on a level 8 and will be getting additional help from a specialist. Harder to get interesting books because the level is so low.


Writing is by its very nature individualized.


Math We are teaching 2 digit + 1 digit with regrouping (carrying for old school). 1/2 of them have got it with manipulatives 1/2 are lost. For work stations I'm pairing those that got it with those that don't. Those that get it can help those that are struggling. BUT when I pull them for small groups I will pull kids on the same level. Those struggling we will work on that skill. Those that got it we will split the time 1/2 doing the math with the manipulatives and the written algorithm together so they can make the connection. The other 1/2 we will work on subtracting 2 digit - 1 digit with regrouping using manipulatives. 


Science 80% of our science is supposed to be hands on. That helps differentiate. Those that get science enjoy the hands on. THose that don't get it gain so much from hands on. (Reminds me go get mason jars to make musical instruments and butter to see where it melts faster Sunny or shady spot (remember 2nd grade) then does it melt faster on blacktop or grass (in the sun)) Later in the unit they will get a chance to design an exhibit to answer a question. Kids of similar level will be put together.


Social studies - honestly our kids' world is limited to apartments, walmart and school. They rarely even go to the library which is just a block down from the walmart. So they lack so much background knowledge that we are struggling to get them experiences so that they can get the curriculum.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: girlmusic on October 25, 2013, 06:20:23 PM
I was in the gifted program in elementary school. We were taken out of class once or twice a week and it was wonderful! We did tangrams, went on "imagery" trips, learned to play chess, and did research papers (with bibliographies and all). I just thought it was fun and I liked being in a small class (8 kids) where I could use my imagination and learn different things than what they taught in the classroom. I was often reading by myself in class and my teachers had separate assignments for me so I wouldn't be bored.

In the end I think it was a good experience for me. Am I a famous wealthy lady? Nope - but I am still intellectually curious and have the tools to know how to satisfy that curiosity.








 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: DoubleTrouble on October 25, 2013, 09:01:46 PM
Back on the topic, I'm an academic and have people say, "Ooooh, you have a PhD? You must be really smart!" No, not really. You need about average intelligence to get a doctorate (or an MD, IMHO), you just have to be willing to work for it and take what a friend of mine calls the Academic Vow of Poverty. Many of the really smart people I knew when I was getting through grad school ended up quitting. They couldn't handle it when they had a paper rejected or didn't get a grant funded - something that happens to everyone, no matter how good you are. More important for getting through grad school are persistence, resilience, and a strong work ethic. I'll accept someone into my lab with those traits over someone with a great GPA/test scores every time. The hard truth is that 90-95% of experiments DON'T WORK. If you're easily frustrated, you'll never make it in this field.

You forgot sell your soul to the graduate school!

Agreed on your theory. Out of the two people in my smart family with graduate degrees, there are two very different outcomes.

My brother would be what you call very, very smart but he's also very, very impractical & often gives up on stuff if it's not a success right away. Plus his work ethic is non-existent which is why it took him over 10 years to get his PhD. He's had every advantage handed to him (loving parents, resources, excellent schools at every level) and he takes it for granted that things will just be handed over to him when he wants it. Hate to admit it but I can say that my brother has made similar smart-alack remarks like the kid in the OP, only brother was an adult at the time; he also looks down on everyone who he doesn't think is as smart as him. Yes, that includes me. And yet brother wonders why the family members his age don't like him very much & tend to not interact with him much.

On the other hand, my DH is also very, very smart but he's very, very motivated. He's had to work for everything in his life from grades to jobs but he doesn't take anything for granted. Most people who know DH only know he's got a PhD & a JD because his very proud parents & wife tell them; he'll actually get embarrassed if people gush over his degrees. He's always interested in learning new things but never shoves it in anyone's face & is always happy to educate others & does a great job explaining things, he's a natural teacher.

Quote
(Also, count me as another one dying to know what the "treat" is on Sat!)

I think that if we don't find out, there's going to be a lot of cat dying around this forum (figuratively of course, I loves me some kitties!).
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: AliciaLynette on October 26, 2013, 03:24:45 AM
I am so very jealous of you guys who got to be with other GT/etc kids for certain classes in school!!  I so wanted to do that, they did it for maths, but not for anything else. 
I just lazed through high school, because nobody pushed me to work.  I was getting high grades basically doing the minimum amount of work possible.  My English teacher did ignore the fact that I was reading ahead of the class, but we weren't streamed so I was in a class with some really average kids.  I was so bored!  She did try, she used to leave notes with my homework suggesting other books I could read, but within the class setting/curriculum she couldn't help me.
When I hit 'A' levels I just scraped through, just like my mum had, because we didn't know how to work.  We hadn't ever had to.


As GT people, Mum is a legal secretary, having been a school secretary while we were growing up.  Dad is a gardener, loves playing in dirt and with bugs.  I'm a SAHM, working part-time as cashier in the local petrol station.  We're all happy, and our intelligence isn't relevant. 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: Coruscation on October 26, 2013, 03:27:29 AM
My daughter's school recently held a night which showcased the research into study skills. I thought you might be interested in the research.

They used a five point grading scale (E,D,C,B,A).

The biggest effect was from Attribution which involves teaching students to attribute the quality of their work to factors over which they had control such as: effort, study time and the use of appropriate strategies and not to attribute the quality of their work to fixed attributes over which they had no control such as talent, ability, their relationship with their teacher, prior learning or IQ.

This has an effect of over one point. (eg. B to A+)

Use of structural aids such as mnemonics and mind maps account for 3/4 of a point.

Attendance at a goal setting meeting 0.67 points. (eg B- to B+)

Writing down worries immediately before an exam resulted in an increase of 20% in the result.

So telling your child that they are gifted might be the most negative thing you can do to their marks.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: Kimblee on October 26, 2013, 12:01:34 PM
My dogs are very gifted. They know before we leave the house to stand by the kitchen counter and wait for their treat. They sit by the front door when they want to walk, and by the back when they just need to go out. They know what their walk times are and remind us when we don't walk them. So, my dogs are gifted. Very, very gifted.

Also they'll be putting a performance of Rent this weekend if anyone wants to come!

Are they accepting ticketmaster points, or do I need to buy my tickets in greenies?
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: Kimblee on October 26, 2013, 12:21:58 PM
I know somebody else who was reading well enough at about age 4 to impress college professors with his analysis of classic literature.  But he's working in a blue-collar job that doesn't require a college degree (which he doesn't have).  He does, however, excel at his chosen career.  He flew through the education (trade school) parts, does a fantastic job, has been asked to teach, has been asked to take on more teaching, special recognition, all sorts of stuff.  He makes a fantastic salary that is far more than most college graduates could expect.  No idea what his IQ is, but while his path is a little unusual for what one would usually think of as a genius type of thing, he has made a success of it through both ability and hard work.

I don't know of any college professors who were impressed by me, but i was reading (supposedly, I of course don't remember...) by 17 months confidantly and i know for a fact I read my first Dickens at 3. (Because it was the first thing I ever read all the way through and HATED. I told my mom that these people are sad people and need her Prozac. I still don't like Dickens, other than A Christmas Carol, which I have reread too many times to count.) I was told I would do great things, i was so talented, so bright, so gifted. I used to believe it even.

I'm not, by the way. Maybe i was a bright kid, and I still love to read, but i peaked about grade 3(same grade I was put on ADHD drugs. I don't have ADHD either.) and by junior high I hated school and did my best to be a 6th grade drop out. (I made it to six weeks into 12th grade, then dropped out because, among other stupider reasons, my stepdad was dying and I was pretty sure i could learn to handle his home health needs. I could.) I used to be able to do math at a blink, now i need to write out simple addition. I'm not bitter about much, but I am ultra-bitter about the teacher who INSISTED I was ADHD because i preferred to look out the window then hear her explain something for the sixth time.

Now... among other things I wipe butts. (care giving for an incredibly sweet older lady. Very happy with my job.) But I never went to college (No one told me to get scholarships I had to have ELECTIVES! I made straight As in 10th and 11th grade but had no extra-curiculars because I assumed i needed the grades. Turns out, getting good grades doesn't matter, but if i had been on our competition winning cheer squad, i could've gotten a full ride... the whole squad did one way or another. And honestly, if the point was to have a kickbutt squad in college, they all earned every penny. They worked hard for what they got. And of the 11 still have touch with, 7 have great jobs with the education they got, one had a fun party girl college experience and is now a dog groomer(a happy dog groomer, I'm not saying it like its a bad thing. It may actually be her natural calling, I've never seen her "clients" so much as struggle. But she isn't doing anything with her law education.) and 2 married "well" and are happy not working.

This should be taught from kindergarden: "Grades don't matter if you're athletic, so put down those worksheets and grab the pom poms. Otherwise tell Mom and Dad not to spend your college fund on a car... you're not THAT gifted."

And Connor sounds like the pills I had in my "Gifted" classes. The ones who were told all the time how special they are. I can't comment on how those type usually turn out, I only remember 4 clearly and knew them until adulthood. All 4 are in prison but that really isn't unusual... lots of my elementary friends are in prison. It wasn't a great school.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: Figgie on October 26, 2013, 01:33:30 PM
I went to school well before there were AP classes.  :)  Instead, out of a class of roughly 500 students, I was tracked with the same 50 kids from 9th through 12th grades.  Same classes as the rest of the kids in my high school class, but pushed up a few notches because everyone else in the class was smart enough to do more.  Now I know that they were doing the equivalent of AP classes sans the tests for the kids that they identified as being able to do more work than in the regular classes, but back then I really didn't think much about it.  :)

I much preferred that type of tracking to my being used in elementary school as a teachers "helper."  They decided that since I was reading at such an advanced level, it was my responsibility to assist fellow classmates with their reading so that the teacher didn't have to.  I still am resentful that I was required to do that.

I was and am an absolutely terrible teacher.  Being able to do something does NOT make a child able to teach another child how to do that same thing.

Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: KimodoDragon on October 28, 2013, 07:29:04 AM
And I have to admit, I bowed to pressure from other volunteer workers, including Jessie.  I don’t know how many others were subjected to Connor’s behavior at the Halloween event, so I can’t say if they stayed because of curiosity or just being polite to Carol’s invite.

As work was winding down, Carol made the announcement she had to set up.  It was at this point, I mentioned to Jessie I would not be staying, she begged me to stay with her.  Others chimed in they were staying “just for a minute”.  Finally, there were about 30 of us chatting before Carol came back with her set up.

(long sigh)  The “presentation” was for a fundraising program to send Connor to an acting camp.  Carol set out sign-up sheets, receipt book and a cashbox on the table.  And lots of pics of Connor from his baby years to current age were pasted to a large board propped on an easel.  Everyone listened to her spiel, but afterward, most people walked off.  Some went to the table to talk to Carol.  Jessie and I stood for a few minutes, then we walked toward the door.  Carol screams after those of us who walked off, “IT’S RUDE NOT TO CONTRIBUTE TO A WORTHY CAUSE”.  She went on to shout she went through the effort to set all this up and we should contribute.

Jessie and I discussed later that first of all, this is strictly a volunteer project we lend our time and hands to because we enjoy doing it.  Secondly, we are not obligated to stay past time and we certainly are not obligated to buy or contribute anything to anyone.

Yesterday evening, we all received an email from Carol stating since the sign-up did not go as she hoped, she will bring in Connor so we can see that he is gifted and smart (she keeps using that word!).

I don’t want to be the one to do so, but would it be rude if someone took Carol aside and told her what people really thought of this?
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: Gyburc on October 28, 2013, 07:42:34 AM
.... oh good grief. It's pretty clear that Connor is learning his behaviour from both his parents, isn't it?

I think that it would be wise for someone to nip Carol's plan in the bud, because it is very likely to cause annoyance to the other volunteers. I'm just not sure how it can be done tactfully and politely, and without causing a huge fuss, especially given Carol's attitude. Maybe a general notice that personal fundraisers are not to be held at events?
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: MariaE on October 28, 2013, 07:42:54 AM
I don’t want to be the one to do so, but would it be rude if someone took Carol aside and told her what people really thought of this?

No, at this point I think it would be a kindness to her, if it could be done in a gentle fashion. I don't blame you for not wanting to be the one to do it though.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: TootsNYC on October 28, 2013, 07:43:34 AM
If Carol brought it up, I think someone could say, "Carol, people have enough expenses sending their *own* children to camp and paying their *own* family's bills; most of them aren't interested in contributing to send -your- child to camp."

An email to the group stating that same sentiment but using "I" (in other words speaking only for oneself) would not be rude.

Nor would it be rude to say, "I only donate to organizations that are listed as registered charities."

And then everybody simply avoid her at all costs. If you want to pull out the big guns, tell her you are uncomfortable with being solicited while you are doing volunteer work, and you won't be coming in for a while.

Is there somebody over the head of Carol? Can they be looped in.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on October 28, 2013, 07:45:09 AM
Is there a board that runs your organization?  Why should volunteers be harassed because Carol is determined that everyone bow down and adore her son?
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: Kari on October 28, 2013, 07:48:59 AM
Carol seems to be mistaking the word "rude" for another that means "not letting me have my own way."
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: Gyburc on October 28, 2013, 07:54:49 AM
Yes, this, absolutely!
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: mechtilde on October 28, 2013, 08:38:50 AM
I don’t want to be the one to do so, but would it be rude if someone took Carol aside and told her what people really thought of this?

No, at this point I think it would be a kindness to her, if it could be done in a gentle fashion. I don't blame you for not wanting to be the one to do it though.

It would not be rude, but I think it would be ineffective.

Carol's behaviour needs to be reported to people higher up within the organisation immediately. They need to know what is going on before the organisation is adversely affected by Carol's behaviour.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on October 28, 2013, 08:43:19 AM
Personally, I think Carol is too invested in the idea of Connor being so incredibly gifted that she will not listen to anyone who tries to persuade her otherwise.  She will only listen to someone over her who tells her to keep her personal and family life out of the workplace.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: esposita on October 28, 2013, 08:48:37 AM
I fear that talking to her will only make her think that she needs to do even more drastic things to make everyone realize how talented he is. This is definitely something for someone in charge of her to deal with.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: MrTango on October 28, 2013, 08:53:13 AM
I don’t want to be the one to do so, but would it be rude if someone took Carol aside and told her what people really thought of this?

No, at this point I think it would be a kindness to her, if it could be done in a gentle fashion. I don't blame you for not wanting to be the one to do it though.

It would not be rude, but I think it would be ineffective.

Carol's behaviour needs to be reported to people higher up within the organisation immediately. They need to know what is going on before the organisation is adversely affected by Carol's behaviour.

Agreed.  If I were in the OP's position, I'd be actively searchnig for other plaes at which I could volunteer and I would also be letting the people in charge at this organization know that I was doing so (and that the reason was due to Carol's behavior).
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: Pen^2 on October 28, 2013, 08:57:10 AM
I don’t want to be the one to do so, but would it be rude if someone took Carol aside and told her what people really thought of this?

No, at this point I think it would be a kindness to her, if it could be done in a gentle fashion. I don't blame you for not wanting to be the one to do it though.

It would not be rude, but I think it would be ineffective.

Carol's behaviour needs to be reported to people higher up within the organisation immediately. They need to know what is going on before the organisation is adversely affected by Carol's behaviour.

Ineffective, yes. She's hardly going to say, "Oh, wow, I never realised he could be perceived as annoying! Huh!" Instead, it's likely she'll insist that whoever told her the truth about her son is rude and blind to his talents or whatever. And keep bringing him. If everyone told her together, she might insist on bringing him more and more so they can learn to appreciate him.

Her head is so far up her own *cough* that she isn't going to be swayed by something like this.

Contact whomever is your higher-up. Explain that she insists on bringing a very disruptive child along to volunteering, and that this is affecting the organisation badly. People are going to be less likely to want to continue volunteering (having a child who is taught that it's "gifted" to punch adults is hardly pleasant and may be the tipping point for some people who are already considering dropping the whole thing), and less likely to have anything to do with the organisation possibly from the other side of things. Like MrTango, I too would be looking for another place to give my time. I don't know about you, but if I saw a child running about without restraint, doing the things described, I'd be choosing to spend my time with a competitor.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: Hmmmmm on October 28, 2013, 09:01:57 AM
I don’t want to be the one to do so, but would it be rude if someone took Carol aside and told her what people really thought of this?

No, at this point I think it would be a kindness to her, if it could be done in a gentle fashion. I don't blame you for not wanting to be the one to do it though.

It would not be rude, but I think it would be ineffective.

Carol's behaviour needs to be reported to people higher up within the organisation immediately. They need to know what is going on before the organisation is adversely affected by Carol's behaviour.

I completely agree with this. It was incredibly inappopriate for Carol to try and coerce volunteers supporting a different cause into supporting something she believes is a worthy cause but is really only a self supporting function. I would take her email and forward over to the local/national organization and state that you do not want to exposed to personal fundraising activities during your time trying to suppor their efforts.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: Dr. F. on October 28, 2013, 09:14:28 AM
Wow. Personal fundraising at a non-profit? That's so far past the line she can't even see the line anymore.

My suggestion would be to write a letter to the Board (or whatever governing body) indicating your concerns and have as many volunteers sign it as possible. Non-profits can't survive without volunteers, and the way Carol is behaving, they're going to be losing volunteers left and right.

I doubt appealing to Carol will make any difference. Even if she ends up getting fired over this (and, IMHO, this was a fireable offence), I imagine she'll spin it in her own head that everyone was "just jellus" over the spectacular talent and brilliance of her son.

I've met some extremely talented actors when they were kids - names you would recognize. None of them behaved like that. At all.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: GeauxTigers on October 28, 2013, 09:17:21 AM
FYI, many of these "acting camps" are scams which play right into the hands of ambitious stage parents who just.know. that their child is the next Meryl Streep or Leonardo DiCaprio.

If it is a legitimate acting camp, Evil GT would love to be a fly on the wall to see how long Connor would last before the staff realize that his "acting" is nothing more than acting out. If Mom was soliciting funds for an age-appropriate boot camp instead, she'd probably have that funded in less than a week.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
Post by: FoxPaws on October 28, 2013, 09:53:45 AM
Yesterday evening, we all received an email from Carol stating since the sign-up did not go as she hoped, she will bring in Connor so we can see that he is gifted and smart (she keeps using that word!).
::) If he's so gifted and smart, why doesn't she simply accept one of the many scholarships various acting camps and schools are clamoring to offer him?

I would send a reply letting her know in no uncertain terms that the email I provided to the organization was for official business only and was not to be used for her personal gain or solicitation of funds. In fact, I would send it Reply All. And then I would forward both emails to her higher ups.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: Otterpop on October 28, 2013, 10:00:42 AM
Wow!  I thought she was going to subject you to one of Connor's performances.  Instead, she's asking for money to send him to camp, then yelling at you for not giving it?  That's so over the top wrong, organization leadership must get involved now.  Hopefully a lot of you will be contacting them.

As for Carol, you are within rights to turn on your heel and march out if she so much as opens her mouth.  Honestly, some people will join an organization just to turn it into their own personal piggy bank (for money or attention).  It destroys the atmosphere every time.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: Winterlight on October 28, 2013, 10:18:31 AM
Is there a board that runs your organization?  Why should volunteers be harassed because Carol is determined that everyone bow down and adore her son?

Yes, this is something that needs to go to the board before Carol starts running off volunteers.

I have met a couple of actual genuises. One is the original absent-minded professor type. The other is currently on his 6th advanced degree (2 masters, 2 PhDs, MBA, MD) while holding down a full-time job and is the most on-the-ball person I know. Both of them are kind and compassionate individuals who would rather streak Town Hall than behave like Connor. I'm sorry Connor doesn't have parents like my friends did.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: JenJay on October 28, 2013, 10:30:00 AM
Is there a board that runs your organization?  Why should volunteers be harassed because Carol is determined that everyone bow down and adore her son?

I agree. Carol is abusing her position with the volunteer group and behaving really inappropriately toward the volunteers.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: Deetee on October 28, 2013, 10:33:49 AM
When I saw you stayed, my first thought was "she loves us! She stayed for us!"

Thanks for the story.

Now for the good of the organisation, report her to anyone higher up or just walk away from her whenever her dreadful child is mentioned.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: shhh its me on October 28, 2013, 10:38:18 AM
  First I don't completely agree  it's time to speak to the person above her but if I did include the emails and the fact she YELLED at people for not contributing . I would consider asking if a co worker or 10 would sign the email/note ( agree to its contents and that it needs to be sent)

I would not tell her "Connor is a brat"  or anything about Connor but I think you can say " I am a volunteer , I will not be shouted at or harassed on me personal time to donate for any cause. I will not be staying after work to hear presentations for charities , chances to donate or business opportunities. Please limit your communication with me relevant to my capacity as a volunteer with THIS organization"

I think you can do one or the other but if you tell her to stop I feel that you then need to give her the chance to stop before going higher up.   I would save copies of all emails about this sort of thing from her and if she replies with anything other then " I will not mention it again" then I would send to all to the person above her.
The fact that she yelled at people has me on the fence , asking for the donations twice even I would absolutely say "tell her no and stop asking" before going over her head.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: faithlessone on October 28, 2013, 10:39:21 AM
Is there a board that runs your organization?  Why should volunteers be harassed because Carol is determined that everyone bow down and adore her son?

Yes, this is something that needs to go to the board before Carol starts running off volunteers.

I agree! This is exactly what happened to my mum in one of her local history societies.

One of the more senior ladies was always on about her niece, who was going to be the next Margot Fonteyn, dontcha know? First it started off with the odd comment, then there were pictures and videos, and long weepy stories about the cost of the little darling's ballet shoes and performance costumes. Then she started bullying people into buying tickets to see the little darling perform, and attempting to fundraise for a ballet summer school that the little darling was just dying to go to.

Eventually, this being a group of terribly polite and non-confrontational English ladies, they all just gradually stopped going to meetings, and the group fell apart.

You really need to figure out a way to go over this woman's head. It won't end well for anyone!
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: Slartibartfast on October 28, 2013, 10:43:43 AM
She's not going to listen if you try and tell her that Connor isn't as brilliant as she thinks he is.  She *might* listen to something more direct: "It's not our responsibility to bankroll your gifted son.  If you want to present him with acting opportunities, you need to seek out scholarships on your own time, not using our email list and our volunteers who are already donating their time and money to OurCharity."
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: TootsNYC on October 28, 2013, 10:46:10 AM
When I saw you stayed, my first thought was "she loves us! She stayed for us!"

Thanks for the story.

LOL! Thanks for taking one for the team, KimodoDragon. (And for Julia, who begged you not to abandon her.)
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: Lynn2000 on October 28, 2013, 10:56:31 AM
Agree with many others... I think she has crossed the line by soliciting for personal causes at work in such an over-the-top manner, not to mention yelling at those who don't contribute and planning to bring her son in for future solicitations. I really don't think saying anything to her is going to make a difference, except make her thoroughly dislike whoever brings it up. This isn't a person who was a smidge pushy about the box of fundraising chocolate bars she brought in, who would appreciate knowing some people were a little peeved at her. She has a cause and a mission and it doesn't seem like she's going to stop unless she's really made to.

I Nth the suggestion of talking to someone higher up, if such a person exists. Forward them her email about staying after work, tell them it was a solicitation for a personal project--to send her son to a camp--and then forward her second email, about how the fundraising didn't go the way she wanted so next time she's bringing Connor in to work to perform. I probably wouldn't mention anything too emotional/subjective, like about her yelling at people who didn't contribute--just the above facts alone should be enough to make someone step in, I would hope.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: mime on October 28, 2013, 11:47:40 AM
I agree with Lynn2000 and others.

Carol isn't going to get the epiphany that Connor isn't spectacular and adorable. Your best bet is through higher-ups reminding her of appropriate use of resources, especially volunteers. Encouranging others to do the same can add weight to the argument, which should be 'just the facts' in nature.

I do also want to add to the OP: I am glad to know that your posts are of the 'how do I go about not giving in to Carol' variety rather than 'to what extent should I give in (since I probably will)?' type.  :D
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: shhh its me on October 28, 2013, 11:51:40 AM
I agree with Lynn2000 and others.

Carol isn't going to get the epiphany that Connor isn't spectacular and adorable. Your best bet is through higher-ups reminding her of appropriate use of resources, especially volunteers. Encouranging others to do the same can add weight to the argument, which should be 'just the facts' in nature.

I do also want to add to the OP: I am glad to know that your posts are of the 'how do I go about not giving in to Carol' variety rather than 'to what extent should I give in (since I probably will)?' type.  :D

I think Yelling is a fact as long as the other people subjected to agree it was yelling. I would not mention it unless I was sure I would be backed up but quoting what was said would be appropriate from one person. 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: Goosey on October 28, 2013, 11:58:15 AM
Wow, Carol is really unbelievable!
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: Hmmmmm on October 28, 2013, 11:58:54 AM
  First I don't completely agree  it's time to speak to the person above her but if I did include the emails and the fact she YELLED at people for not contributing . I would consider asking if a co worker or 10 would sign the email/note ( agree to its contents and that it needs to be sent)

I would not tell her "Connor is a brat"  or anything about Connor but I think you can say " I am a volunteer , I will not be shouted at or harassed on me personal time to donate for any cause. I will not be staying after work to hear presentations for charities , chances to donate or business opportunities. Please limit your communication with me relevant to my capacity as a volunteer with THIS organization"

I think you can do one or the other but if you tell her to stop I feel that you then need to give her the chance to stop before going higher up.   I would save copies of all emails about this sort of thing from her and if she replies with anything other then " I will not mention it again" then I would send to all to the person above her.
The fact that she yelled at people has me on the fence , asking for the donations twice even I would absolutely say "tell her no and stop asking" before going over her head.

Carol already saw the general reaction of people not being interested. And instead of thinking "well, that was a bust" she instead plans to subject the volunteers to a second round. While I'm normally all for trying to work things out without escalation, I just don't see where the OP or other volunteers should be required to have a word with her to stop the harrassment. And if I was the person in charge, I would expect that this type of behavior be brought to me to address because I NEED to know about it.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: Outdoor Girl on October 28, 2013, 12:01:02 PM
The organization needs to know that Carol is potentially alienating all their volunteers.  The organization won't run without the volunteers and if they quit enmasse, it will not go well.  And Carol, in all likelyhood, will have no idea why all these people suddenly quit.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: doodlemor on October 28, 2013, 12:33:51 PM
Is there a board that runs your organization?  Why should volunteers be harassed because Carol is determined that everyone bow down and adore her son?

Absolutely!!!!!  PODDITY, POD, and POD! 

This woman is nuts, and will drive away the volunteers.  The board who runs your charity needs to be informed ASAP, and perhaps several of you should sign the letter/email.

When I was on the board of a small nonprofit we would have been aghast if anything like this had happened.  Also, I wonder if the insurance would cover Conner if he were there constantly, and was injured.

Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: cheyne on October 28, 2013, 01:12:53 PM
Carol's supervisor needs to be informed ASAP about her egregious breach in ethics.  It is unethical to even ask your subordinates (whether paid or volunteer) for gifts or donations that benefit yourself or immediate family.

The powers that be need to be informed of the carp going down immediately.  A PP upthread had it right that this is a fireable offense (at least in any job I have ever worked at).

Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: BeagleMommy on October 28, 2013, 01:53:36 PM
Oh, for the love of Nutella!  How on earth did people become actors before acting camps/schools came around?  They just did it.

I agree that the OP should go to the board.  Carol has blinders on and her fingers in her ears to anything that does not describe Connor as the second coming of Clark Gable.  She needs to be told by someone in authority that she cannot solicit money from volunteers for her personal agenda.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: FauxFoodist on October 28, 2013, 02:02:35 PM
  First I don't completely agree  it's time to speak to the person above her but if I did include the emails and the fact she YELLED at people for not contributing . I would consider asking if a co worker or 10 would sign the email/note ( agree to its contents and that it needs to be sent)

I would not tell her "Connor is a brat"  or anything about Connor but I think you can say " I am a volunteer , I will not be shouted at or harassed on me personal time to donate for any cause. I will not be staying after work to hear presentations for charities , chances to donate or business opportunities. Please limit your communication with me relevant to my capacity as a volunteer with THIS organization"

I think you can do one or the other but if you tell her to stop I feel that you then need to give her the chance to stop before going higher up.   I would save copies of all emails about this sort of thing from her and if she replies with anything other then " I will not mention it again" then I would send to all to the person above her.
The fact that she yelled at people has me on the fence , asking for the donations twice even I would absolutely say "tell her no and stop asking" before going over her head.

Carol already saw the general reaction of people not being interested. And instead of thinking "well, that was a bust" she instead plans to subject the volunteers to a second round. While I'm normally all for trying to work things out without escalation, I just don't see where the OP or other volunteers should be required to have a word with her to stop the harrassment. And if I was the person in charge, I would expect that this type of behavior be brought to me to address because I NEED to know about it.

Pod.  There is some behavior (like here) where the person has already demonstrated that reason is not present (by already taking up the volunteers' time to beg for money, by scolding the volunteers for not contributing and by deciding that some more inappropriate, heavy-handed effort is needed).

Last year, I started volunteering for a hospital committee (not my hospital).  I attended my first monthly meeting where I was introduced to the other volunteers.  When I was at work, I received a voice mail from one of the volunteers who trained me stating that it was an urgent matter so I returned her call right away.  That "urgent" matter?  She didn't like how 1-2 other volunteers at the meeting responded to something and wanted my input (I think one of the others had trained me also).  It was actually a matter that had nothing to do with me and was some infighting; the woman who contacted me was looking for dirt.  I was a bit livid.  I was wondering how it was at all appropriate to contact me at my work number (it was listed as such) over something so trivial and, really, nasty and gossipy.  I e-mailed the committee chair and explained to him what took place and that I wanted my work number removed from the contact list and my cell listed instead.  I didn't tell him who was involved but only stated that it was upsetting to be told that something that was not only trivial but had nothing to do with me was an "urgent matter" and stated as such on my work line so compelling me to call back right away.  He said he was going to remove my work number and let everyone know it was not appropriate to contact me there.  Nothing similar has happened since.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: mime on October 28, 2013, 03:56:54 PM
I agree with Lynn2000 and others.

Carol isn't going to get the epiphany that Connor isn't spectacular and adorable. Your best bet is through higher-ups reminding her of appropriate use of resources, especially volunteers. Encouranging others to do the same can add weight to the argument, which should be 'just the facts' in nature.

I do also want to add to the OP: I am glad to know that your posts are of the 'how do I go about not giving in to Carol' variety rather than 'to what extent should I give in (since I probably will)?' type.  :D

I think Yelling is a fact as long as the other people subjected to agree it was yelling. I would not mention it unless I was sure I would be backed up but quoting what was said would be appropriate from one person.

Agreed. I didn't really elaborate in my earlier post, but I was thinking along the lines of
 '... she yelled at those who chose to leave ...'
rather than
 '... she went on a screaming tirade when none of us wanted to support her nonsense...'

Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: barefoot_girl on October 28, 2013, 04:14:08 PM
If Connor is such a talented actor, why isn't she getting him into paid work (stage, TV, even film if he's that good), then he can pay for him own poxy summer camps? How many auditions is he going to? Does he have professional headshots? An agent? A showreel? I know a couple of kids who were in Brownies with my DD, who dance, and THEY have agents, even though they only really do pantomimes and the odd TV commercial.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: ladyknight1 on October 28, 2013, 04:24:05 PM
I have a Carol and Connor in my life as well.

This Connor is so special and gifted that he can't be accommodated by a standard gifted and honors program in a standard school. He must be driven a fair distance to a special school, where he is going to be the highest achiever and graduate high school at age 15, according to his mother. Connor is pushed to succeed and exceed any expectations. Problems are that Connor is not self-motivated to do all these things. Connor is not allowed down time. He studies except for dinner time and when it is time for bed. There is no television or entertainment available at home to limit distractions. In my case, Connor's mother is living vicariously through him, and not only is nothing good enough for Connor (in Carol's opinion), nothing is good enough for Carol either. Carol keeps quitting social groups as they do not meet her expectations, but she gets upset that the next bigger and better group is not good enough either.

It is exhausting.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: Calypso on October 28, 2013, 04:30:01 PM
If Connor is such a talented actor, why isn't she getting him into paid work (stage, TV, even film if he's that good), then he can pay for him own poxy summer camps? How many auditions is he going to? Does he have professional headshots? An agent? A showreel? I know a couple of kids who were in Brownies with my DD, who dance, and THEY have agents, even though they only really do pantomimes and the odd TV commercial.

But barefoot girl, all those things cost money....so of course Carol must beg, borrow and whine to get all that.

I seem to recall that Carol was asking y'all to stay after work for a TREAT. Her definition of "treat" is rather different than mine!
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: Venus193 on October 28, 2013, 05:03:31 PM
You need to escalate this over Carol's head.  She has committed an ethical breach as well as making it very unpleasant for others.

If they don't get rid of her find yourself another place to volunteer your time and efforts.  The mass exodus that follows will tell management something they will not like.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: Klea on October 28, 2013, 05:48:00 PM
I'm also thinking that there were more volunteers than just you and Jessie who were exposed to Conner's many 'talents' at the first event. And so Carol has convinced herself that nobody who saw him there could deny he is 'gifted' and would just LOVE to donate to such a worthy cause. She was in utter disbelief when so many of you walked out without even donating!

POD others who say that there is no point in letting her know that nobody is even remotely as interested in her child as she is. She would just assume you are all jealous or don't know what you are talking about. Not even taking into consideration the fact that many people would prefer to spend their money on enrichment programs for their own families rather than on a (bratty) child they do not know. She also doesn't get that it is completely inappropriate to solicit funding for a personal venture from her fellow volunteers. The fact that she considered it a 'treat' for you all is beyond me.

I agree that something needs to be said, preferably to someone higher up in the organisation. That way, it is not 'personal' and can be relayed out to all as standard policy. You and the other volunteers do not need to be further subjected to this.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: Thipu1 on October 28, 2013, 06:06:42 PM
I've been a volunteer and I've been in charge of volunteers so I have a bit of experience. 

Carol must be reported to salaried members of the charitable organization.  Not only is she alienating other volunteers, what she's doing may be against the law.   

I don't know the laws where you live but, where we are (NYC) it is not legal to use a space belonging to a not for profit entity to solicit funds for personal enrichment.   

It's perfectly fine for volunteers to get together and decide to throw a little party for Ann's 70th birthday, Betty's successful completion of chemotherapy or Chrissy's soon-to-be-born child.  It's
likely that paid members of the organization will chip in some money for a gift or food  and keep the place open to honor valued volunteers.    It's also all right to put up a notice on the bulletin board  saying that those who wish to
 purchase Girl Scout cookies should contact Debby. 

Using the premises for a Tupperware party is verboten and Carol's 'entertainment' falls into that category.

 

 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: kherbert05 on October 28, 2013, 06:08:44 PM
This is what I would do
Write up a bullet list of Carol's acts of crossing the line  (including her son's behavior at the event that went unchecked and her husband's boardline abusive comments.

Give it to other volunteers that are complaining about Carol and her son. Strongly encourage them to write a letter telling the board that they will stop supporting cause through this venue and move to alternative venue if Carol isn't stopped immediately. They should include a copy of the e-mail yelling at you all for not paying her child's expenses at a conaway acting camp.  If the board has a brain they will tell her no more about connor directed at volunteers - or they will fire her from volunteering.

Then I'm a rebel rouser. On the other hand my principal was moved laterally to another campus something that never happens, after I did a similar list about his behavior and unhappy staff included the info in our end of the year survey's the district does each year.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: GreenEyedHawk on October 28, 2013, 07:23:00 PM
I can't say anything that hasn't already been said except for to ask you, OP, to stay for "round two".  Please?  PLEEAASSEE???

For our sake? ;D

Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: blarg314 on October 28, 2013, 07:41:10 PM

I would go with a multi pronged approach.

First, I would contact the board or other managing agency, and report that one of the volunteers is using the activity to aggressively fund raise for her child's extracurricular activity, and gets nasty and screams at people when they don't give her money. You're asking the board to intervene in part because you're afraid she's going to do this with her child present, and people are fed up enough to not be tactful around the kid.

The second would be to work on some social retraining.  If Carol mentions Connor at all, she gets blank looks and a change of subject, or you wander away. If she organizes something else, you leave before it starts (even if watching the train wreck is tempting).

If Carol brings up money again, you're blunt. "Carol, I'm not interested in funding Connor's hobbies.  Personal fundraising at a non-profit is highly inappropriate, and I'm not going to discuss this again." and walk away. Then, if it comes up again, you say "We've discussed this," turn around and physically walk away. If she follows her, firmly say "Leave me alone" and leave the room.

I would also talk to a few friends in your volunteer group about this, so you can present a united front and support each other - all ignoring her, telling her it's inappropriate, leave me alone, and/or walking away, as above.  Either she'll learn to shut up about it, or she'll end up so ostracised that no one will speak to her, or she'll escalate until the authorities need to remove her.

I wouldn't say anything about Connor's 'talents' - she's not going to hear that, and it will make things worse (you're attacking her child!).

The tricky thing will be reacting when Connor is present. The kid may be obnoxious, but that seems to be mainly his parents' fault, but he's ultimately going to be the one who is punished for it.  When he is there, I'd stick with "No thank you" and physically leaving the room when they start up, rather than a confrontation.  Leave them performing to an empty room if necessary.

Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: Dr. F. on October 28, 2013, 07:42:06 PM
  First I don't completely agree  it's time to speak to the person above her but if I did include the emails and the fact she YELLED at people for not contributing . I would consider asking if a co worker or 10 would sign the email/note ( agree to its contents and that it needs to be sent)

I think you can do one or the other but if you tell her to stop I feel that you then need to give her the chance to stop before going higher up.   I would save copies of all emails about this sort of thing from her and if she replies with anything other then " I will not mention it again" then I would send to all to the person above her.
The fact that she yelled at people has me on the fence , asking for the donations twice even I would absolutely say "tell her no and stop asking" before going over her head.

I think the disconnect between this perspective (which I totally respect!) and mine (fire her!) is from experience in non-profits.

Personal fund-raising at non-profits is REALLY REALLY inappropriate. 1) You are setting yourself up as a competitor for your employer. An employer doesn't want a volunteer to say, "Oh! I'd've donated $100, but I gave that to the shop manager for her son's acting camp." 2) You don't want to imply that the employee is taking advantage of your tax-free status. What happens if a volunteer tries to write off that $100 donation to Carol? Tax-free status takes huge amounts of ongoing paperwork, to the extent of documenting what gift-with-membership gifts you can give. This could embroil Carol AND her employers (including a Board!) in all sorts of issues.

This is a disaster waiting to happen, regardless of Connor being a brat. Whoever oversees Carol needs to know that she's abusing her position, like, yesterday.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: Poppea on October 28, 2013, 09:20:45 PM
OP - just to clarify you and the others are volunteers, but Carol is an employee of the organization?  Is that correct?
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: shhh its me on October 28, 2013, 11:01:04 PM
  First I don't completely agree  it's time to speak to the person above her but if I did include the emails and the fact she YELLED at people for not contributing . I would consider asking if a co worker or 10 would sign the email/note ( agree to its contents and that it needs to be sent)

I think you can do one or the other but if you tell her to stop I feel that you then need to give her the chance to stop before going higher up.   I would save copies of all emails about this sort of thing from her and if she replies with anything other then " I will not mention it again" then I would send to all to the person above her.
The fact that she yelled at people has me on the fence , asking for the donations twice even I would absolutely say "tell her no and stop asking" before going over her head.

I think the disconnect between this perspective (which I totally respect!) and mine (fire her!) is from experience in non-profits.

Personal fund-raising at non-profits is REALLY REALLY inappropriate. 1) You are setting yourself up as a competitor for your employer. An employer doesn't want a volunteer to say, "Oh! I'd've donated $100, but I gave that to the shop manager for her son's acting camp." 2) You don't want to imply that the employee is taking advantage of your tax-free status. What happens if a volunteer tries to write off that $100 donation to Carol? Tax-free status takes huge amounts of ongoing paperwork, to the extent of documenting what gift-with-membership gifts you can give. This could embroil Carol AND her employers (including a Board!) in all sorts of issues.

This is a disaster waiting to happen, regardless of Connor being a brat. Whoever oversees Carol needs to know that she's abusing her position, like, yesterday.

That helps a lot coming from a for profit perspective.  Carol's behavior is bad , bad enough hat many supervisors may want to know but an equal amount of supervisors would think its was on the line of "Try to deal with it yourself."
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: onikenbai on October 28, 2013, 11:28:32 PM
I have a Carol and Connor in my life as well.

This Connor is so special and gifted that he can't be accommodated by a standard gifted and honors program in a standard school. He must be driven a fair distance to a special school, where he is going to be the highest achiever and graduate high school at age 15, according to his mother. Connor is pushed to succeed and exceed any expectations. Problems are that Connor is not self-motivated to do all these things. Connor is not allowed down time. He studies except for dinner time and when it is time for bed. There is no television or entertainment available at home to limit distractions. In my case, Connor's mother is living vicariously through him, and not only is nothing good enough for Connor (in Carol's opinion), nothing is good enough for Carol either. Carol keeps quitting social groups as they do not meet her expectations, but she gets upset that the next bigger and better group is not good enough either.

It is exhausting.

I know this student, except for the lack of motivation.  She was motivated, just not quite to the hyper level of her mother.  Regular school, Japanese school, 4-5 hours of piano practice a day, composition competitions... She's dead now.  She imploded at the end of first year university.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: zyrs on October 29, 2013, 01:28:57 AM
I'm assuming Carol as the store manager is a paid employee.

What Carol is doing is unethical and could mess with the store's non-profit status.  It's also incredibly rude. 

Contact the board of directors of the non-profit, they need to know what is happening.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: KimodoDragon on October 29, 2013, 06:29:18 AM
Thanks to everyone for insights and suggestions.  Yes, I “took one for the team”!  LOL!

Even though I do not encourage this fundraising behavior, I am glad I stayed.  This could affect the future of my volunteer work at this place, so it is good I saw what happened firsthand.

And it seems someone was thinking the same thing we are here.  I received an email from Madeline (another volunteer) asking whether I thought Carol’s presentation and the yelling was inappropriate.  The explanation is she will use the responses as part of a correspondence to someone higher up in the organization, but only if she has our permission.  I responded with a “yes, inappropriate”.

(For clarification, Carol is a paid employee of the organization and we, who work on Saturdays, are all volunteers)
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: FauxFoodist on October 29, 2013, 06:34:39 AM
Thanks to everyone for insights and suggestions.  Yes, I “took one for the team”!  LOL!

Even though I do not encourage this fundraising behavior, I am glad I stayed.  This could affect the future of my volunteer work at this place, so it is good I saw what happened firsthand.

And it seems someone was thinking the same thing we are here.  I received an email from Madeline (another volunteer) asking whether I thought Carol’s presentation and the yelling was inappropriate.  The explanation is she will use the responses as part of a correspondence to someone higher up in the organization, but only if she has our permission.  I responded with a “yes, inappropriate”.

(For clarification, Carol is a paid employee of the organization and we, who work on Saturdays, are all volunteers)

To me, this makes her behavior even worse.  I'm wondering if Carol will soon be looking for another job...
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: LeveeWoman on October 29, 2013, 06:35:41 AM
Thanks to everyone for insights and suggestions.  Yes, I “took one for the team”!  LOL!

Even though I do not encourage this fundraising behavior, I am glad I stayed.  This could affect the future of my volunteer work at this place, so it is good I saw what happened firsthand.

And it seems someone was thinking the same thing we are here.  I received an email from Madeline (another volunteer) asking whether I thought Carol’s presentation and the yelling was inappropriate.  The explanation is she will use the responses as part of a correspondence to someone higher up in the organization, but only if she has our permission.  I responded with a “yes, inappropriate”.

(For clarification, Carol is a paid employee of the organization and we, who work on Saturdays, are all volunteers)

Was she being paid while she demanded ya'll give her money?

I hope the bosses take Madeline's e-mail seriously and jump on Carol for her atrocious behavior
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Update (Reply #218)
Post by: Gyburc on October 29, 2013, 07:27:27 AM
She's a paid employee?? I agree with SoCalVal, this makes it even worse. However, it also means the organization may have a better chance of influencing her behaviour if she depends on them for an income.

OP, I'm glad to hear that representations will be made about this!
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Update (Reply #218)
Post by: MrTango on October 29, 2013, 08:12:07 AM
OP, you might want to ask Madeline to cc you on the email she sends to the higher-ups in the organization.  Then, you can reply-all (or just reply to the organization) confirming what Madeline is telling them.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Update (Reply #218)
Post by: Hmmmmm on October 29, 2013, 09:20:52 AM
I am astounded that a paid employee of a non-profit would try to shakedown the volunteers for personal gain. I really think that all volunteers should send separate communications to the organizations management. If she is doing this to you guys, what's to stop her from trying to coerce the clients of the non-profit.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Update (Reply #218)
Post by: Thipu1 on October 29, 2013, 10:10:24 AM
Since Carol is a salaried employee, this is looking worse and worse.  It might actually better fit the PD thread. 

Pumping volunteers for money, yelling at them and using office space for inappropriate purposes are all examples of unprofessional and outright nasty behavior. 

I'm starting to wonder about Carol's sanity.     
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Stayed (Reply #169)
Post by: nuit93 on October 29, 2013, 12:56:00 PM
Thanks to everyone for insights and suggestions.  Yes, I “took one for the team”!  LOL!

Even though I do not encourage this fundraising behavior, I am glad I stayed.  This could affect the future of my volunteer work at this place, so it is good I saw what happened firsthand.

And it seems someone was thinking the same thing we are here.  I received an email from Madeline (another volunteer) asking whether I thought Carol’s presentation and the yelling was inappropriate.  The explanation is she will use the responses as part of a correspondence to someone higher up in the organization, but only if she has our permission.  I responded with a “yes, inappropriate”.

(For clarification, Carol is a paid employee of the organization and we, who work on Saturdays, are all volunteers)

Is she in a position of authority over you as well?  That makes it even more inappropriate IMO.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Update (Reply #218)
Post by: Vall on October 29, 2013, 03:52:48 PM
I am astounded that a paid employee of a non-profit would try to shakedown the volunteers for personal gain. I really think that all volunteers should send separate communications to the organizations management. If she is doing this to you guys, what's to stop her from trying to coerce the clients of the non-profit.
Yup.
It's nice to have a group letter but I agree that separate communications to the higher-ups might be best.  This really needs immediate attention.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Update (Reply #218)
Post by: mechtilde on October 30, 2013, 02:50:54 PM
I am astounded that a paid employee of a non-profit would try to shakedown the volunteers for personal gain. I really think that all volunteers should send separate communications to the organizations management. If she is doing this to you guys, what's to stop her from trying to coerce the clients of the non-profit.
Yup.
It's nice to have a group letter but I agree that separate communications to the higher-ups might be best.  This really needs immediate attention.

POD
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Update (Reply #218)
Post by: cwm on October 30, 2013, 02:59:23 PM
I am astounded that a paid employee of a non-profit would try to shakedown the volunteers for personal gain. I really think that all volunteers should send separate communications to the organizations management. If she is doing this to you guys, what's to stop her from trying to coerce the clients of the non-profit.
Yup.
It's nice to have a group letter but I agree that separate communications to the higher-ups might be best.  This really needs immediate attention.

POD

ITA
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Update (Reply #218)
Post by: artk2002 on October 30, 2013, 06:03:54 PM
I am astounded that a paid employee of a non-profit would try to shakedown the volunteers for personal gain. I really think that all volunteers should send separate communications to the organizations management. If she is doing this to you guys, what's to stop her from trying to coerce the clients of the non-profit.
Yup.
It's nice to have a group letter but I agree that separate communications to the higher-ups might be best.  This really needs immediate attention.

I agree as well. 5 notes saying "Carole is misbehaving" will have more impact than one note saying "5 people think that Carole is misbehaving."
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Update (Reply #218)
Post by: Elfmama on October 30, 2013, 11:50:19 PM
Posting for updates, really, but also adding my voice to the chorus of "Report this to the higher-ups yourself, not just as a co-signer on Madeline's note."
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Update (Reply #218)
Post by: KimodoDragon on October 31, 2013, 07:00:56 AM
Thank you again!

I just sent Madeline an email (copying others) suggesting everyone write their own email to the higher-up and how much more effective it would be.

Waiting to hear back.  I've prepared my email and it is in my draft box.

Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Update (Reply #218)
Post by: BarensMom on October 31, 2013, 10:26:40 AM
Thank you again!

I just sent Madeline an email (copying others) suggesting everyone write their own email to the higher-up and how much more effective it would be.

Waiting to hear back.  I've prepared my email and it is in my draft box.

I just hope no one goes "flying monkey" and tells Carol before the board has a chance to act.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Update (Reply #218)
Post by: GlitterIsMyDrug on October 31, 2013, 12:04:26 PM
I don't understand. Why does such a gifted actor need to go to camp? Shouldn't the camp being paying him to work there and teach other children to act? What happened to all his gifts?
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Update (Reply #218)
Post by: Thipu1 on November 01, 2013, 08:45:30 AM
You know, if there was any guarantee that the acting camp could teach Connor to behave like a civilized human being, I just might be tempted to make a contribution.

Seriously, keep us informed.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Update (Reply #218)
Post by: KimodoDragon on November 04, 2013, 12:03:04 PM
Hi Everyone,

The first email went out last Friday evening (below in red).  It was from Madeline.  Then by yesterday afternoon, four others were sent, including mine. 

Saturday at volunteer work, Carol was not there.  We do not know if this correlated directly with Madeline's email.  None of us who sent an email have gotten a response.


Mr. District Charity Manager,

The Saturday staff at the 123 Main Street store are being harassed by the store manager, Carol.  She invited us to stay behind after working and it turned into a fundraising presentation for her son.  Most of the volunteers walked out and Carol yelled at us for walking away and not contributing money.  Then next day we got an email about she will try again, next time bringing in her son for the presentation.  Both her emails are included here.  I am also copying the other volunteers who are in agreement.  They will also be sending emails in support of this.

We thought you should be aware of what is going on here and how we are not comfortable with this environment.

Thank you.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Madeline's Email (Reply #235)
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on November 04, 2013, 12:16:03 PM
What is that I smell on the horizon?  Could it be Karma?

I can always hope.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Madeline's Email (Reply #235)
Post by: SamiHami on November 04, 2013, 12:25:32 PM
Perfect. I'm glad it's been brought to the attention of the powers that be so that they can deal with this.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Madeline's Email (Reply #235)
Post by: BeagleMommy on November 04, 2013, 01:39:31 PM
It's a good email.  Keep us posted for results.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Madeline's Email (Reply #235)
Post by: GrammarNerd on November 04, 2013, 02:53:05 PM
Goodness, she's the STORE MANAGER?  I knew she was a paid employee, but I guess I missed her exact role somewhere.  Wow.  Abuse of power, much?

I like the email, but I wish she would have gone into a little more detail about how Carol just asked them to stay but didn't tell them why, implying that it was for some sort of a treat or something pleasant, only to spring the shakedown on them. 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Madeline's Email (Reply #235)
Post by: GeauxTigers on November 04, 2013, 05:49:15 PM
Evil GT wants Carol to take Connor to meet Mr. District Charity Manager, just to show him how wrong the OP and all her co-workers are, as well as to prove how gifted Connor is.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
Post by: crella on November 04, 2013, 06:04:34 PM
Gifted is a label people tend to hold onto for dear life. If you were to start a thread on a random message board about "who was Gifted and Talented in school?" people will come out of the woodworks to declare that they were and the self-bragging would gill the thread. "Too smart for school". Reading and understanding Proust at age 6. Solving advanced calculus problems at age 7. And it generally goes on and on..  As far as I can tell only about 7 people on the Internet (including me) were not given that label.

The Japanese have a proverb (and I can't think of the Japanese right now, heaven help me) that goes something like 'At birth the cutest baby in the world, at 5 a genius, at 20 just like everybody else'.  I could translate it better if I could remember the original proverb and not my 'gist of it' recollection....
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Madeline's Email (Reply #235)
Post by: KimodoDragon on November 14, 2013, 12:03:13 PM
Hello Everyone,

By way of update, Carol was not at the store last Saturday.  But, following is an email I received last evening from the District Charity Manager:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Thank you for your emails regarding Carol Xxxx.  I have spoken to Carol and the issue has been resolved.  Carol will continue to manage Saturday operations at the 123 Main Street store, but will refrain from all personal activities, including fundraising.

Our goal here at “charity” is to help those in need and our staff strives to maintain a professional and pleasant working atmosphere.  Your volunteer work on Saturdays is greatly appreciated.

Thank you.”

Today, all Saturday volunteers received the following email from Carol:

“I’m sorry for offending you if I did.  My husband said I did nothing wrong and Connor is hurt.  But I will keep to myself and do my job.  Thanks for volunteering.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Carol’s email was non-apologetic and seemed rude, in a sense.  This is where I get off the ride.  I will continue to work on Saturdays and go home – avoiding Carol.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Madeline's Email (Reply #235)
Post by: Goosey on November 14, 2013, 12:09:31 PM
"I’m sorry for offending you if I did.  My husband said I did nothing wrong and Connor is hurt.  But I will keep to myself and do my job.  Thanks for volunteering.”

Sorry, this made me laugh out loud. What an "apology"!

Oh, her HUSBAND said she did nothing wrong. Well, then. We must all just be wrong! Shame on all of us for breaking little Connor's heart.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: djinnidjream on November 14, 2013, 12:12:12 PM
I'd forward her "apology" to the district people myself....
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: Sophia on November 14, 2013, 12:13:19 PM
I would forward her "apology" to management.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Madeline's Email (Reply #235)
Post by: FauxFoodist on November 14, 2013, 12:17:59 PM
"I’m sorry for offending you if I did.  My husband said I did nothing wrong and Connor is hurt.  But I will keep to myself and do my job.  Thanks for volunteering.”

Sorry, this made me laugh out loud. What an "apology"!

Oh, her HUSBAND said she did nothing wrong. Well, then. We must all just be wrong! Shame on all of us for breaking little Connor's heart.

I would forward her "apology" to management.

Pod.  There's no way this is an apology.  This was her way of getting in the last word and taking another jab at all of you for not doing what she wants, and management needs to know about it.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: Goosey on November 14, 2013, 12:19:26 PM
Also be on alert for her future performance at her job. She seems to imply she will do the bare minimum required.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: LeveeWoman on November 14, 2013, 12:23:23 PM
I'm with those who suggest sending her e-mail to the district manager.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Madeline's Email (Reply #235)
Post by: Pen^2 on November 14, 2013, 12:26:06 PM
“I’m sorry for offending you if I did.  My husband said I did nothing wrong and Connor is hurt.  But I will keep to myself and do my job.  Thanks for volunteering.”

Wow, what a nonapology! "I did nothing wrong," means, "If you are offended then it's your own fault, not mine." "Connor is hurt," means, "Further, you should feel bad." "But I will keep to myself" has been contradicted just by sending the message.

I'd keep this message tucked away in case she pulls something like this again--which might happen, unfortunately, since she refuses to admit that she was massively in the wrong. Then you can send it to management to show that this is a pattern for her, since by refusing to admit she did anything wrong she remains just as likely to commit the error again, and not just one or two anomalies on her part. Or just send it to them now if you think the environment unfortunately still isn't one in which you can feel comfortable volunteering--if she's snotty with people or whatever. She should be held to the same levels of appropriateness and professionalism as everyone else, and given no slack in the future at all.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: AfleetAlex on November 14, 2013, 12:27:17 PM
I also love that her message tries to shame you for disappointing Connor, like his feelings are your responsibility.  ::)

ETA to change word
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: TeamBhakta on November 14, 2013, 12:28:38 PM
It always cracks me up when people use "Well, my boyfriend likes me"
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: TootsNYC on November 14, 2013, 12:29:43 PM
And *if* Connor is hurt, it's because she told him all about it.

I don't know about you guys, but I try to shield my kids from the directly hurtful things* other people do or say that are related to them.



*not saying this was directly hurtful.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: Sophia on November 14, 2013, 12:30:15 PM
I am sitting here trying to think why Connor is hurt.  Maybe she said, "Connor you can't go to camp, because the mean people with lots of spare money are unwilling to help us send you to your dream camp.  There, there, dear.  There are mean people out there." 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: Winterlight on November 14, 2013, 12:30:59 PM
I would forward her "apology" to management.

Agreed. This does not bode well for future working conditions.

Also, her husband says she didn't do anything wrong? Honey, when your boss does, running to hubby for validation is a bad idea.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: LeveeWoman on November 14, 2013, 12:31:31 PM
But I will keep to myself and do my job.

I wonder if this means she'll punish you evil Connor-hurters by ignoring you.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: GlitterIsMyDrug on November 14, 2013, 12:35:50 PM
"My husband says I didn't do anything wrong!" Well then he's rude too, like attracts like, no shock there. "Connor is HURT!!!" Why was Connor informed of the going-ons? Seems like something his mom should've kept her mouth shut about. "I'll keep to myself and do my job." Gee, what a concept seeing as that's what you're paid to do. And no, you won't keep to yourself. You'll become a woe as me martyr cause golly do you like attention.

A more professional approach would've been to keep quiet or send an email that said "I apologize for pressuring you all to donate, I understand now that was inappropriate, from now on I'll make sure to keep completely professional, thank you all for volunteering". Save the woe as me act for that husband who says you did nothing wrong.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: poundcake on November 14, 2013, 12:36:03 PM
I give her until the holidays.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: Outdoor Girl on November 14, 2013, 12:36:51 PM
But I will keep to myself and do my job.

I wonder if this means she'll punish you evil Connor-hurters by ignoring you.

One can only hope...
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: Pen^2 on November 14, 2013, 12:37:58 PM
But I will keep to myself and do my job.

I wonder if this means she'll punish you evil Connor-hurters by ignoring you.

Frankly, that would be the best possible outcome here.

But I don't think the powers that be are so kind. With a venomous message like that, something is sure to flare up at some point.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: GSNW on November 14, 2013, 12:40:33 PM
Good Lord. 

"I'm sorry for offending you if I did."
I probably only offended a few people, most people loved it!

"My husband says I did nothing wrong."
My husband's opinion clearly trumps the people who were actually there.

"Connor is hurt."
Isn't your heart just breaking for my poor, deprived, gifted boy?

"I will keep to myself."
You'll all be getting the silent treatment from me, since I clearly can't do anything right.  Waah!

This uncharitable translation brought to you by GSNW. 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Madeline's Email (Reply #235)
Post by: FauxFoodist on November 14, 2013, 12:41:27 PM
“I’m sorry for offending you if I did.  My husband said I did nothing wrong and Connor is hurt.  But I will keep to myself and do my job.  Thanks for volunteering.”

Wow, what a nonapology! "I did nothing wrong," means, "If you are offended then it's your own fault, not mine." "Connor is hurt," means, "Further, you should feel bad." "But I will keep to myself" has been contradicted just by sending the message.

I'd keep this message tucked away in case she pulls something like this again--which might happen, unfortunately, since she refuses to admit that she was massively in the wrong. Then you can send it to management to show that this is a pattern for her, since by refusing to admit she did anything wrong she remains just as likely to commit the error again, and not just one or two anomalies on her part. Or just send it to them now if you think the environment unfortunately still isn't one in which you can feel comfortable volunteering--if she's snotty with people or whatever. She should be held to the same levels of appropriateness and professionalism as everyone else, and given no slack in the future at all.

If OP were Carol's supervisor, I could see holding back but, to me, this e-mail already shows she refuses to stop.  I would just forward the e-mail to management with the message, "FYI -- this is the e-mail we all received from Carol regarding the matter" and say nothing else.  The chips will fall where they may (never mind the fact that Carol has already demonstrated by her response that she has completely ignored the mandate stating no addressing of personal issues by, once again, addressing personal issues further; to be compliant yet still apologize, all she had to say was something like "I apologize for causing any of you discomfort; this was not my intention" and left it at that).
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: AfleetAlex on November 14, 2013, 12:46:35 PM
Good Lord. 

"I'm sorry for offending you if I did."
I probably only offended a few people, most people loved it!

"My husband says I did nothing wrong."
My husband's opinion clearly trumps the people who were actually there.

"Connor is hurt."
Isn't your heart just breaking for my poor, deprived, gifted boy?

"I will keep to myself."
You'll all be getting the silent treatment from me, since I clearly can't do anything right.  Waah!

This uncharitable translation brought to you by GSNW.

I wouldn't say 'uncharitable,' I'd say 'accurate'!!
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: Roe on November 14, 2013, 12:47:23 PM
OP, I would fwd the email to her director.  If anything, just so they know what type of person they are dealing with.  At the least, do not delete the email.  From here on out, I'd document any kind of PA behavior because you know that's coming. 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: nuit93 on November 14, 2013, 12:48:28 PM
But I will keep to myself and do my job.

I wonder if this means she'll punish you evil Connor-hurters by ignoring you.

We can hope?
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: Amara on November 14, 2013, 12:50:05 PM
I'd be interested in an other update if someone or everyone forwards that "apologetic" email to management. Or even if they don't. Because either way this isn't finished.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: rose red on November 14, 2013, 12:51:43 PM
Good for your husband for saying you did nothing wrong.  Mine says I'm the smartest prettiest most sparkliest princess who ever lived, so I understand you completely and don't know why the mean OP is complaining to the big bad boss.  Don't listen to the haters.  They're all just jealous.  They'll be sorry when your son wins the Oscar.

;) 

Seriously, I agree you should forward the letter on up, or at least save it just in case.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: ladyknight1 on November 14, 2013, 12:52:07 PM
I thought Carol's audacity was at its peak. I was wrong.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: FauxFoodist on November 14, 2013, 12:57:43 PM
I think Carol has a great future as the next Kit Culkin (aka really pushy stage parent/manager).
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Madeline's Email (Reply #235)
Post by: jedikaiti on November 14, 2013, 01:02:11 PM
"I’m sorry for offending you if I did.  My husband said I did nothing wrong and Connor is hurt.  But I will keep to myself and do my job.  Thanks for volunteering.”

Sorry, this made me laugh out loud. What an "apology"!

Oh, her HUSBAND said she did nothing wrong. Well, then. We must all just be wrong! Shame on all of us for breaking little Connor's heart.

I would forward her "apology" to management.

Pod.  There's no way this is an apology.  This was her way of getting in the last word and taking another jab at all of you for not doing what she wants, and management needs to know about it.

Bingo! I'd also seriously reconsider volunteering at any time when she is still there.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: Lynn2000 on November 14, 2013, 01:20:14 PM
Yeah... From her email, I would just really worry that the matter will not be dropped. I could picture her making little snide comments to people, or making things difficult for the volunteers in some way. I mean, maybe she won't and it will be fine, but that seems less likely to me. I would probably go in again at my usual time, but I would be prepared to transfer to a non-Carol day or even quit altogether, if she's hostile.  :-\
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: shhh its me on November 14, 2013, 01:30:01 PM
  I know you're  ready to drop it OP but I would forward it to the manager.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: BeagleMommy on November 14, 2013, 01:39:42 PM
Wow.  This is about as far from an apology as you can get.  All it sounds like is "Waaaah! Everyone is picking on me when all I wanted to do was let them be part of the wonderful world of Connor!  Waaaah! Sniff!  Well, my husband says you are all just big meanies and I'm perfect so there!  Not only that, but I had to tell Pweshus Connor that the big meanies at work won't allow him to go to camp and Daddy and I can't afford to send him if they don't give us money.  Fine!  I'll just sit in the corner and eat worms and make sure I ignore everyone who's mean.  That way you'll have to beg on bended knee for me to acknowledge you."

Yeesh!  I'd send it to management as well.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: tinkytinky on November 14, 2013, 01:51:32 PM
Management just MUST be all wrong on this one ..... her husband said she didn't do anything wrong. the opinions of the people PAYING her to do a job just do not compare with her husband's opinion, I guess.

OP, please forward the email on. Management need to know the outcome, because if/when she continues on with her misadventures, volunteers may start requesting different schedules/managers because they just can't work with her any longer. Or they may find another venue for their volunteer work.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: BarensMom on November 14, 2013, 01:57:15 PM
Jumping on the pod wagon to agree to send her response to management.

She is clearly unrepentant, so I have a really strong feeling that she will be making the volunteers' lives a living hell from here on out.  Prepare to abandon ship.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: lowspark on November 14, 2013, 02:06:10 PM
Great update! LOL! Totally in character for Carol, isn't it?

I agree that it is doubful that this is the end of it. I can really understand your desire to get off the ride though!
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: Midnight Kitty on November 14, 2013, 02:25:17 PM
I'm glad Carol's husband thinks she did nothing wrong.  I hope he has a job for her, too. >:D

KimodoDragon: You can't quit now! You must continue to volunteer and keep us posted on Carol's antics. >:D >:D
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: floridamom on November 14, 2013, 02:36:49 PM
OP.. count me in as well for forwarding the email to management.

I see she is trying to use the old guilt trip on you and the Saturday volunteers saying Connor is hurt and my husband said I didn't do anything wrong.  My ex does the same thing >:( More than likely Connor doesn't know a thing about it and she is expressing her hurt and anger.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: Hillia on November 14, 2013, 02:38:21 PM
I wonder if her husband subjects his workplace to Connor the Wonder Child and his fundraising efforts, since he thinks that Carol's actions are just fine.  I just hope he's not in any sort of supervisory role; that would be supremely uncomfortable.  "My stupid HR department won't let me raise money for my wonderful gifted son! What's wrong with these people?"
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: FauxFoodist on November 14, 2013, 02:48:20 PM
I wonder if Connor or her husband even know anything about this?
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: Elfmama on November 14, 2013, 02:49:19 PM
Really, I'd find some other place to volunteer as well as sending it on to management and telling them why I am leaving. Surely there are other similar places that provide the same services?
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: AnnaJane on November 14, 2013, 03:02:46 PM
I can't imagine why Connor would need acting school with all that drama at home!
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: Twik on November 14, 2013, 03:06:30 PM
I actually feel rather sorry for Connor. He's got a couple of parents who are not going to give him much in the way of a normal childhood.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: gramma dishes on November 14, 2013, 03:20:38 PM
This husband who tells her she's done nothing wrong -- would that by chance be the same husband who made the nasty remark about her being in the food line?
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: Twik on November 14, 2013, 03:24:55 PM
This husband who tells her she's done nothing wrong -- would that by chance be the same husband who made the nasty remark about her being in the food line?

I suspect husband's view of the value of the world goes:

Me > Connor > Wife >>>> Everybody else.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: jedikaiti on November 14, 2013, 03:27:17 PM
This husband who tells her she's done nothing wrong -- would that by chance be the same husband who made the nasty remark about her being in the food line?

I suspect husband's view of the value of the world goes:

Me > Connor > Wife >>>> Everybody else.

Assuming Husband got anything like an accurate accounting of what happened. I would not be surprised if Carol's tale to him went more like "I just asked some ladies at work if they'd like to contribute to Connor's summer camp fund and they went and told nasty lies to my boss!"
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: Hmmmmm on November 14, 2013, 04:30:41 PM
I think I would have lost all patience by now and be responding with "And your husband's opinion matters in this matter because....?"
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: sammycat on November 14, 2013, 05:28:26 PM
I'm another one jumping on the bandwagon to say forward the email to the boss.

Carol is a loon.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: Corvid on November 14, 2013, 05:53:56 PM
Were it me, I would forward the e-mail to management and tell them obviously this issue is not as resolved as they hoped as Carol continues to be inappropriate. 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: GrammarNerd on November 14, 2013, 08:50:24 PM
Just adding another POD to forward that so-called apology to her bosses.  Stress that she didn't really apologize for what she did.  Stress  also that she still seems to be laying on the guilt trip, and that despite her claim that she will 'keep to herself', you still worry that she will somehow make the volunteer environment not pleasant. 

Frankly, even mentioning Connor or her husband is inappropriate.

She obviously doesn't get it.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: FoxPaws on November 14, 2013, 09:07:45 PM
Am I the only one who laughed out loud when I read the so called “apology”?

This is a textbook example of why forcing someone to say, “I’m sorry,” is pretty much worthless. Carol genuinely has no idea what she did wrong and it’s doubtful that any further action on the part of the volunteers or the board is going to make her see it, either.

I am going to go against the grain here and suggest you let this slide. As I recall, the goal was to stop Carol from harassing the volunteers for her personal gain. It sounds as though that has been accomplished - however grudgingly on her part. Continuing to report on everything she does smacks of tattle telling and pot stirring - it’s just going to perpetuate the drama, giving Carol more opportunities to play the poor, put upon victim. You don’t want the board to get so tired of hearing complaints that they start blaming the complainers.

Expect martyr mode for the next few Saturdays. Lay in a large supply of bean dip. Remember the reason you are there. Avoid getting sucked into drama. Pay close attention to how you feel before, during, and after your shift. Good luck and keep us posted.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: blarg314 on November 14, 2013, 09:15:04 PM
I actually feel rather sorry for Connor. He's got a couple of parents who are not going to give him much in the way of a normal childhood.

I feel very sorry for the poor child. I doubt his peers like him any more than adults do. He's being raised in a way that's going to make it very hard for him to make friends, do well at school, or get and hold down a job. I also suspect his mother's delusional views of his talents are going to cause friction down the line, as she keeps forcing him into roles he's not equipped to perform (prodigy, acting genius), and repeatedly making him fail.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: blarg314 on November 14, 2013, 09:15:13 PM
I don't think I'd forward the email right now - it might be seen as too petty/whiny.  I'd keep it though, and keep an eye out for her behaviour, and if she's being snotty about, or sulking, or making passive aggressive remarks, I would send an email then, adding her response on to it, and basically saying that while I really like the volunteer work, it's not worth putting up with garbage like this to be able to do it.

But you're in a good position now. The head guy supports your complaints, and has moved to deal with them. If people start leaving or threatening to leave because the paid supervisor is running them off with unprofessional  and childish behaviour, I don't think she'll be around much longer. And you're all volunteers - you don't have to stick with it due to financial issues,  aren't required to give formal notice, and don't need recommendation letters - you can walk at a moment's notice.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: FauxFoodist on November 15, 2013, 12:17:03 AM
I don't suppose it would be worth replying to Carol saying, "Thanks, Carol; perhaps we should bring this up with your supervisor?"
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: chibichan on November 15, 2013, 05:20:19 AM
I'm on the side of not forwarding . Carol has been spoken to . Management says the issue has been resolved .

Forwarding her non-apology is an exercise in futility . I doubt that they will involve themselves further unless she reverts to her previous behavior or starts some kind of PA retaliation .

Carol is all the things stated by the PPs in this thread - rude , pushy , a loon , etc.
She will also never believe that what she did was wrong . Ever .

It is entirely possible that she was not actually ordered by management to make any written apologies . In that case , what you got was the best that she will give from her World ( That Revolves Around My Gifted Son ) .
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: Gyburc on November 15, 2013, 05:29:10 AM
I think I would also let this lie for now and see what happens. Either Carol was told by her managers that she should apologize or not. Either way, her incredibly ungracious note indicates that she really doesn't recognize that she did anything wrong - and as we always say, there is no way to change someone's mind unless they choose to change it.

So this really comes down to a workplace management issue - will Carol abide by her bosses' decision or not? If she doesn't, then she should be reported again.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: *inviteseller on November 15, 2013, 07:52:05 AM
Wow...that is THE non apology apology of all times!!!   That is not an I'm sorry for losing my mind and pressuring the volunteers.  That was "Well, I have to say I'm sorry but I am not because my family is now destroyed by all of you being meanie heads..my husband says so!"  I would quit volunteering because the tension and pressure would be more than I would want to do.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: Hillia on November 15, 2013, 08:11:43 AM
The only reason I can see for forwarding the nonapology is to set the stage a lot of PA (or straight out A) behavior on Carol's part. Moping around, refusing to talk to others in a pointed, unpleasant way, making lots of pointed comments, hostility and backstabbing behavior "since no one here supports each other anyway", etc.  Since Carol is also the supervisor, this can quickly escalate to making the work environment so unplesasant that the other volunteers leave.  So maybe wait and see if any bad behavior materializes; if Carol's pouting, well, the work can go on around her.  If she's actively making it unpleasant to be there, involving the higher ups is called for, and the email is useful at that point.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: cheyne on November 15, 2013, 08:45:07 AM
I'm on team "Don't send the email, but keep it".  Carol does not think she did anything wrong and will probably never believe that she was in the wrong on this one.

I would recommend that you bring a vat of bean dip and a bag full of patience on Saturday.  See which way the wind blows and go from there.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: KimodoDragon on November 15, 2013, 09:39:33 AM
Hello EH,

Here's my thing:  I love the volunteer work I do at the store and I can ignore Carol and her antics.  But for some workers, I can see how the situation can get unbearable.  The beauty of it is - it is volunteer work and I can come and go as I please.  I work there on Saturdays because I choose to, not that I have to.  And the group is a great set of people.  I would lke to give my service where it is needed.

I will hold on to the email, just in case.  I believe this isn't over as Carol has a flair for the dramatic.  I'm sure she will be there tomorrow, but I wonder in what frame of mind.  Will she be standoffish (fine by me), will she be combative (not fine by me) or will she play the "woe is me" card.

We will see.  Have a great weekend, everyone!
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: gramma dishes on November 15, 2013, 09:52:10 AM
Please plan on coming back after your stint on Saturday and let us know how it went.   :)
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: aussie_chick on November 15, 2013, 08:02:38 PM
Hello EH,

Here's my thing:  I love the volunteer work I do at the store and I can ignore Carol and her antics.  But for some workers, I can see how the situation can get unbearable.  The beauty of it is - it is volunteer work and I can come and go as I please.  I work there on Saturdays because I choose to, not that I have to.  And the group is a great set of people.  I would lke to give my service where it is needed.

I will hold on to the email, just in case.  I believe this isn't over as Carol has a flair for the dramatic.  I'm sure she will be there tomorrow, but I wonder in what frame of mind.  Will she be standoffish (fine by me), will she be combative (not fine by me) or will she play the "woe is me" card.

We will see.  Have a great weekend, everyone!

I agree with this. Hold onto it and see how things play out. If Carol gets over herself and is at least professional, you haven't stirred the pot. If Carol is rude, difficult or harassing anyone in retaliation for complaining about her, you could then forward it to Management with something like :

Dear Manager
Below is the email we all received after you spoke to Carol. Since then, x y & z have happened. I did not bring this to your attention immediately as I wanted to give Carol the benefit of the doubt and to see if things improved. They have not. I really enjoy volunteering with Charity however Carol's behaviour makes it difficult. I'm happy to speak to you further about this if you would like.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: Lynn2000 on November 16, 2013, 12:23:01 PM
^Very nice wording, I think.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: TeamBhakta on November 16, 2013, 11:51:57 PM
You've clearly crushed Connor's dreams and now he will grow up to be Anthony Michael Hall's character from Warehouse 13. Obviously.


 ;)
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: KimodoDragon on November 18, 2013, 07:14:57 AM
Good Morning EH,

Apparently, someone forwarded Carol’s non-apology email to the District Charity Manager.  None of us knows who, no one admitted to it.

Carol spent most of the morning apologizing to everyone individually by walking up to us, saying sorry and then walking off.  That was it.  When she had to interact with someone about something in the store, she was very rigid and terse, but with a pasted-on, no-teeth smile.

As the day ended and I walked out to my car, I noticed every car in the store lot had a flyer under its windshield wiper.  The flyer is about donating canned goods as admission to a Horn O’ Plenty Play.  And to please mark the cans with “number 9” so the person assigned to that number will get credit and possibly win a prize.  No name, just number 9.  I pocketed the flyer (for later disposal) and drove off.  Jessie (Josh’s mom), left me a voicemail Saturday night stating she had to talk to me.  I returned her call and left a voicemail.  I’m sure the call is about the flyer. 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Saturday Update (Reply #304)
Post by: secretrebel on November 18, 2013, 07:21:40 AM
Amazing. So even after being rebuked and expected to apologise, she is still fundraising for her child at work?

The clue bus was at the stop, honking its horn and she still managed to miss her ride!
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Saturday Update (Reply #304)
Post by: Winterlight on November 18, 2013, 07:23:50 AM
Right now there's a clue machine sadly wheezing its very last clues out in Carol's direction.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Saturday Update (Reply #304)
Post by: FauxFoodist on November 18, 2013, 07:28:00 AM
I don't think anyone could legitimately claim the flyer came from Carol though (unless I missed something in the update that identifies the Carol as the one who distributed it).

Guess the district charity manager agreed that the e-mail was not an apology and ordered Carol to apologize without any further reference to her son or husband.  I still say it was a non-apology, but, at least, nothing further was said.

What a piece of work!
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Saturday Update (Reply #304)
Post by: ladyknight1 on November 18, 2013, 07:29:04 AM
I have less nerve in my whole body than Carol does in her little finger. Wow.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Saturday Update (Reply #304)
Post by: Jones on November 18, 2013, 07:38:22 AM
Well no one can accuse her of being a quitter, can they?
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Saturday Update (Reply #304)
Post by: missmolly on November 18, 2013, 07:58:41 AM
Heavens to Betsy, this woman seems utterly incapable of learning anything. Hopefully the boss will have learned something and will kick her to the curb.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Saturday Update (Reply #304)
Post by: poundcake on November 18, 2013, 08:11:55 AM
Is she twelve??

Although I might be too, since I was waiting eagerly all weekend for this update!  >:D
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Saturday Update (Reply #304)
Post by: mechtilde on November 18, 2013, 08:15:39 AM
Is she twelve??

Although I might be too, since I was waiting eagerly all weekend for this update!  >:D

I hate to admit it but so was I!
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Saturday Update (Reply #304)
Post by: Venus193 on November 18, 2013, 08:27:22 AM
I would go to that place to learn the identity of #9.  I'll bet it's Carol.  That would be something to take back to management.

If she had any brains she'd figure out how to bottle her chutzpah.  That would make her rich in no time.  But perhaps it is a mercy she doesn't.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Saturday Update (Reply #304)
Post by: barefoot_girl on November 18, 2013, 08:34:56 AM
What's a Horn O' Plenty play? Is it a charity?
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Saturday Update (Reply #304)
Post by: GrammarNerd on November 18, 2013, 08:39:41 AM
From where this thread started, I know I was thinking that this kid was definitely deficient in picking up on social cues/appropriate behavior.

Now, apparently, we have demonstrated proof that it's genetic.  He got it from his mom.

I, for one, would LOVE to find out who number 9 belongs to.

And I have to say that I'm sad, OP, that you only work on Saturdays.  Because now we have to wait nearly a week for another update.  :(
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Saturday Update (Reply #304)
Post by: MommyPenguin on November 18, 2013, 08:55:37 AM
I'd be curious enough to call the charity and see if #9 is Connor.  If they're hesitant to tell you, you could say, "I just want to make sure that I'm matching the right kid to the right number.  Can you confirm if #9 is Connor <Lastname>?"  They may be willing to confirm if not to tell you outright.

ETA: Fixed "Collin" to "Connor."  Got the name wrong, oops!
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Saturday Update (Reply #304)
Post by: Twik on November 18, 2013, 09:00:55 AM
I'm starting to feel sorry for Carol, who's obviously invested her whole identity in her "genius" son. It's driving her to do things that are clearly self-destructive. It sounds obsessive at this stage.

But I'm still sorrier for Connor, who won't have a chance at learning how to interact with people in a normal manner, if he takes all his cues from her.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: MindsEye on November 18, 2013, 09:08:20 AM
As the day ended and I walked out to my car, I noticed every car in the store lot had a flyer under its windshield wiper.  The flyer is about donating canned goods as admission to a Horn O’ Plenty Play.  And to please mark the cans with “number 9” so the person assigned to that number will get credit and possibly win a prize.  No name, just number 9.  I pocketed the flyer (for later disposal) and drove off.  Jessie (Josh’s mom), left me a voicemail Saturday night stating she had to talk to me.  I returned her call and left a voicemail.  I’m sure the call is about the flyer.

I am willing to bet that a copy of that flyer makes its way to the District Charity Manager (probably via the same person who forwarded the non-apology apology email).

I am also willing to bet that Carol won't be at work next weekend, and that there is a note from the District Charity Manager about how Carol has decided to leave in order to "pursue other interests".

If this flyer is indeed from Carol or about her "genius" son (and I am willing to bet that it is) then she is really shooting herself in the foot here, and I am flabbergasted at both her attitude and her actions.

This is quite the drama!
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Saturday Update (Reply #304)
Post by: GrammarNerd on November 18, 2013, 09:11:54 AM
If nobody's said it before, Carol sounds like she could be well on her way to an honorable mention in the Professional Darwinism thread.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Saturday Update (Reply #304)
Post by: FoxPaws on November 18, 2013, 09:40:15 AM
Evil FoxPaws (who's seldom allowed out of her den for good reasons) would donate $100 worth of canned goods - all carefully marked with the #8.  >:D >:D >:D
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Saturday Update (Reply #304)
Post by: BarensMom on November 18, 2013, 09:46:29 AM
Evil FoxPaws (who's seldom allowed out of her den for good reasons) would donate $100 worth of canned goods - all carefully marked with the #8.  >:D >:D >:D

...and make a point of mentioning that in front of Carol.  Just to watch her head explode. >:D
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Saturday Update (Reply #304)
Post by: Goosey on November 18, 2013, 09:49:10 AM
Wow she's certainly going downhill fast, isn't she?

You'd think she'd leave a gap between being counseled before doing something else that'll inevitably result in another counseling or dismissal.

Has she always been like this?
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Saturday Update (Reply #304)
Post by: cwm on November 18, 2013, 10:02:28 AM
I can't wait to hear what Jessie had to say. If this was Carol leaving the notes, she's sure got a LOT of nerve. Seriously, she could start her own charity just for her "special" son and stop working at this charity.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Saturday Update (Reply #304)
Post by: BeagleMommy on November 18, 2013, 11:09:09 AM
Even if Carol did not distribute the fliers, the timing is suspicious.  I'm betting a "Horn of Plenty" play is connected with Thanksgiving and the school is doing a canned food drive to go along with it.

Of course, Connor will have the leading role in this play because he's such a genius thespian.  I'm hoping for another update, OP.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Saturday Update (Reply #304)
Post by: Pen^2 on November 18, 2013, 11:36:14 AM
Wow--this woman really doesn't learn, does she? Assuming it's from her. Which it really looks like, given the timing.

She's made it clear that she is going to try to do her own fund raising using the volunteers no matter what. I really hope she makes it clear that it was her who left the fliers, so that this can be properly taken to the higher-ups again. Three strikes is more than enough, and if they still just tell her to apologise again, then it's clear that they're not going to do anything effective about her excessive unprofessionalism and harassment, and then it's time to move on, unfortunately. I hope it doesn't come to that.

Sometimes, when two children I teach get into a bit of a spat, I'll have them apologise to each other. If they're still feeling riled up, often they'll just spit out, "Sorry!" as though it were an insult. It's hilarious. I can't help but imagine that's how Carol "apologised."
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Saturday Update (Reply #304)
Post by: KimodoDragon on November 18, 2013, 12:11:01 PM
The flyer was adorned with Thanksgiving clipart, so I assume Horn O’ Plenty is a play about Thanksgiving and/or the Season.  By the looks of the flyer, there is no indication it belonged to Carol (or Connor).  No names are listed, just “mark cans with number 9”.  The only information provided is the drop-off location for the canned goods as a food depository warehouse.  No telephone number was listed either.

My guess is this was done by design so it could not be traced back to Carol or Connor – although, I am willing to bet it was them.  I haven’t heard back from Jessie.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Saturday Update (Reply #304)
Post by: siamesecat2965 on November 18, 2013, 12:15:38 PM
I find it a little too coincidental that this issue with Carol came up, she was spoken to, adn then this flyer "appeared" on everyone's car. I agree it most likely is her doing, esp since it specified who to attribute the donation too.  Anyone else participating in that type of fundraiser, most likely would not have randomly left them on cars, but given them to people they know. 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Saturday Update (Reply #304)
Post by: VorFemme on November 18, 2013, 12:57:55 PM
A 6 looks more like an upside down 9 than an 8 does.  If anyone wanted to argue that they WROTE the 9 on it but it got read upside down (after carefully underling the numeral to make sure that it is read as a six and not a nine).   Although 6, 8, and 10 would all get the points assigned to someone else in the Horn of Plenty food collection....
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Saturday Update (Reply #304)
Post by: Sophia on November 18, 2013, 01:07:49 PM
Could you please call and find out who the 9 is?  Please!  Not for you, for us.  We (I) want to know. 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Saturday Update (Reply #304)
Post by: GlitterIsMyDrug on November 18, 2013, 01:11:52 PM
Ya know what's really sad? If she hadn't done the SUPPORT MY SON push earlier, she could've helped her son's school canned food drive/play. Assuming the flyer was her's.

Partner came home on Friday with a flyer from one of her co-worker's kids (made by the kid, very adorable) that said she was participating in the school's turkey trot (running the school's track, winners get turkies), and part of this year's turkey trot was a canned food drive and the kid who raised the most cans got some special prize. The flyer went on to ask if we would kindly be willing to donate a can or two to the food drive in her name to "Help the homeless in our community get a good meal!" (exact wording I found darling). According to Partner she came to the office and distributed the flyers herself taking time to speak to each employee and explaining why this was important to her. We're planning on going down to watch her run and donating cans. Cause she and her parents did it the right way! Plus she's just a darling little girl (I've met her a few times, always polite, helpful, great kid).

Had Carol said to everyone "Hey, thanks for all your hard work today! I just wanted to quickly let you know Connor's school is doing a canned food drive in conjunction with their Thanksgiving play. I'd really appreciate it if you could donate a can or two to the drive in Connor's name. Anyways, thanks again, have a great week!", boom, done and over. But because we had to hear about the great and wonderful Connor the first time and got hit up to fund his summer vacation, nope, no one's gonna wanna do that now. Good job Carol.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Saturday Update (Reply #304)
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on November 18, 2013, 01:35:22 PM
Evil FoxPaws (who's seldom allowed out of her den for good reasons) would donate $100 worth of canned goods - all carefully marked with the #8.  >:D >:D >:D

No, number 6.  If responsible, Carol won't be able to keep her mouth shut.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Saturday Update (Reply #304)
Post by: Midnight Kitty on November 18, 2013, 03:33:52 PM
If nobody's said it before, Carol sounds like she could be well on her way to an honorable mention in the Professional Darwinism thread.
My thoughts exactly.  Carol would fit right in with the rest of the boneheaded employees in the PD thread, but she's such a Special Snowflake that she deserves her own thread.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Saturday Update (Reply #304)
Post by: jpcher on November 18, 2013, 06:44:42 PM
Had Carol said to everyone "Hey, thanks for all your hard work today! I just wanted to quickly let you know Connor's school is doing a canned food drive in conjunction with their Thanksgiving play. I'd really appreciate it if you could donate a can or two to the drive in Connor's name. Anyways, thanks again, have a great week!", boom, done and over. But because we had to hear about the great and wonderful Connor the first time and got hit up to fund his summer vacation, nope, no one's gonna wanna do that now. Good job Carol.

Agreed. This is a very sad thing for Connor. :'(
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Saturday Update (Reply #304)
Post by: misha412 on November 18, 2013, 08:13:38 PM
Had Carol said to everyone "Hey, thanks for all your hard work today! I just wanted to quickly let you know Connor's school is doing a canned food drive in conjunction with their Thanksgiving play. I'd really appreciate it if you could donate a can or two to the drive in Connor's name. Anyways, thanks again, have a great week!", boom, done and over. But because we had to hear about the great and wonderful Connor the first time and got hit up to fund his summer vacation, nope, no one's gonna wanna do that now. Good job Carol.

Agreed. This is a very sad thing for Connor. :'(
Yes, Connor is ultimately the loser in all this. With his parents and their outlook on life, he doesn't stand a chance.

Carol will be commiting Professional Darwinism if she keeps pushing it. I hope this canned good drive thing is a bad coincidence. But, given her track record, I would not be surprised at it being from her. Most people soliciting for canned goods would give some contact information (name, phone number, email, etc.) The fact it showed up on the cars without any contact info, highly suspicious.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Saturday Update (Reply #304)
Post by: chibichan on November 19, 2013, 04:09:36 AM
If it is her , then all I have to say is - 

" Whaaaa...? She can't bully them into supporting her kid , so now she'll trick them into it ? "

My mind is being boggled into a coma .

Please , please don't let it be Carol . I need a scrap of faith in humanity to cling to . 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Saturday Update (Reply #304)
Post by: Lynn2000 on November 19, 2013, 09:40:11 AM
Please , please don't let it be Carol . I need a scrap of faith in humanity to cling to .

POD! Obviously what I hope for has little effect on reality... but I really hope it's just bad timing on the part of someone who simply forgot to put contact info on the flyers, and then forgot to mention them to everyone... because if it's really Carol, I'm going to be quite depressed about the future of humanity. :(
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Saturday Update (Reply #304)
Post by: TeamBhakta on November 19, 2013, 01:07:39 PM
"Hi, PeopleInCharge! I'm here to drop off a donation. Just a quick question, though. I'm supposed to mark a number on the cans so darling little Connor McSnowflake can win a prize, but I don't remember if his number is 6 or 9. I'm sooo bad with numbers sometimes lolz and I don't want to credit the wrong kid"
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Saturday Update (Reply #304)
Post by: nolechica on November 19, 2013, 07:31:20 PM
"Hi, PeopleInCharge! I'm here to drop off a donation. Just a quick question, though. I'm supposed to mark a number on the cans so darling little Connor McSnowflake can win a prize, but I don't remember if his number is 6 or 9. I'm sooo bad with numbers sometimes lolz and I don't want to credit the wrong kid"

POD! I hope whomever sent the "apology" up the chain follows up on this too.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Final Update (Reply #242)
Post by: gen xer on November 20, 2013, 10:49:32 AM
Am I the only one who laughed out loud when I read the so called “apology”?

This is a textbook example of why forcing someone to say, “I’m sorry,” is pretty much worthless. Carol genuinely has no idea what she did wrong and it’s doubtful that any further action on the part of the volunteers or the board is going to make her see it, either.

I am going to go against the grain here and suggest you let this slide. As I recall, the goal was to stop Carol from harassing the volunteers for her personal gain. It sounds as though that has been accomplished - however grudgingly on her part. Continuing to report on everything she does smacks of tattle telling and pot stirring - it’s just going to perpetuate the drama, giving Carol more opportunities to play the poor, put upon victim. You don’t want the board to get so tired of hearing complaints that they start blaming the complainers.

Expect martyr mode for the next few Saturdays. Lay in a large supply of bean dip. Remember the reason you are there. Avoid getting sucked into drama. Pay close attention to how you feel before, during, and after your shift. Good luck and keep us posted.

I second that.....
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Saturday Update (Reply #304)
Post by: KimodoDragon on November 21, 2013, 07:36:52 AM
Jessie explained that after I left the store Saturday, she, Madeline and a couple other ladies were in the parking lot discussing the flyer.  Madeline voiced her desire to go back in and rip Carol about the flyer, but the others held her back saying there was no evidence of it being Carol-related.  Jessie and Madeline continued talking as the other two ladies left the parking lot.

Carol comes out of the store, walks over to them and asked if they were going to participate in the canned good drive.  Carol said she might participate and she might attend the play, but she wasn’t sure.  Carol went on to say it is a good thing to support hungry families.  Madeline asked Carol point-blank – “is this your flyer, because if it is you again violated”.  Jessie said she tried to hold Madeline back because she was getting upset.  It was then that Carol started crying about how she feels everyone is against her and her good deeds, how Connor is a gifted child, but no one wants to support him and she pleaded with Jessie and Madeline to not report her.  Carol then walked to her car and drove off.

So far, no action has been taken.  Jessie is torn, Madeline wants to report Carol.  I don’t know what to tell them.  I certainly do not want to see anyone out of a job, but if their behavior is adverse to company policy . . . 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: Coralreef on November 21, 2013, 07:49:19 AM
Some people simply just DO. NOT. WANT. TO. LEARN.  Apparently Carol is part of that group. 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: Eden on November 21, 2013, 07:52:21 AM
Wow! I've been following this thread and can't believe I slightly felt sorry for Carol at the end there. Sorry because I think she is truly confused and upset, not because she is in the right. She really is clueless. A victim in her own mind.

I don't think she's ever going to GET it. But perhaps if someone is feeling particularly charitable they could sit her down and explain that her desire to do good deeds and support her son's "gift" are good things but the approach she took in her attempt at gaining support from the others was all wrong. She has alienated them all so much that she is now jeopardizing her job. ANY communication about her good deeds, whether direct or indirect (ala the fliers) will simply further alienate others and truly put her job at risk.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on November 21, 2013, 07:58:25 AM
From her actions, it is clear that Carol knows that her actions will probably cost her her job, but she did it anyway.  Quite frankly, if she is so invested in her image of Connor as he who must be worshipped that she deliberately risked her job, what else is she capable of for the sake of Connor?  Would she embezzle?

Maybe she needs to lose her job.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: SamiHami on November 21, 2013, 08:21:19 AM
Sweet Monkey Fritters! Somebody PLEASE report this! I'm starting to think that either Carol is completely and utterly stupid or she has a genuine mental disorder. If it is not reported she will ramp up again, guaranteed.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: cwm on November 21, 2013, 08:32:08 AM
I'm in the someone needs to report camp as well. Jessie now has proof that it was Carol who did this. She either think she's above the rules that the rest of people need to live by or she honestly doesn't understand what the rules are. In either case, upper management needs to know, and the sooner the better!
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: Sophia on November 21, 2013, 08:34:41 AM
Quote
she feels everyone is against her and her good deeds

This one irritated me.  Asking other people to do good deeds is NOT a good deed. 

I occasionally look at a subforum for people with gifted kids.  I have never ever read anyone with the idea that other people should support their gifted kid.  If scholarships are available to XYZ place or activity, that is discussed.  But asking coworkers to support your gifted child?  That would get hissed down. 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: BeagleMommy on November 21, 2013, 08:53:27 AM
Carol is just not going to get it.  Every attempt to correct her behavior by management is seen as a personal attack.  You can't protect people from their own stupidity.  This needs to be reported because it will now, most likely, be considered insubordination.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: Dr. F. on November 21, 2013, 09:01:57 AM
Quote
she feels everyone is against her and her good deeds

This one irritated me.  Asking other people to do good deeds is NOT a good deed. 


It irritated me, too. Asking others to support your kid because he's "gifted" is not the same as a good deed. I don't think she'll ever get it.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Saturday Update (Reply #304)
Post by: amylouky on November 21, 2013, 09:10:21 AM
Carol comes out of the store, walks over to them and asked if they were going to participate in the canned good drive.  Carol said she might participate and she might attend the play, but she wasn’t sure. 

This is the part that gets me. She's clearly being deceptive here, trying to make it look like it is NOT her, and NOT for Connor. Of course she's attending the play, Connor's in it.

I'd report it. She's not going to stop.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: Pen^2 on November 21, 2013, 09:13:03 AM
She knew that she had purposefully violated policy, admitted it, and then cried and asked that people not report what she had done? Ummm no. If people go about enforcing rules as they see fit, then the workplace will not function. Although this seems to be how Carol lives her life: rules only apply when she wants them to. Otherwise, as long as it's in the name of her darling spechul snowflake, then it's fine to ignore rules, courtesy, and common decency.

This woman really doesn't want her job, does she? Knowingly doing exactly what she had twice been explicitly told not to are not the actions of someone who cares about their job. Her bizarre delusions about her son (e.g. that "supporting him" means violating workplace policies) seem to matter a great deal more to her.

Someone needs to report her, because she has shown that no matter what, she will continue to find ways to harass people, and that's not fair at all. If nothing else, her boss(es) need to know why their volunteers keep deserting the ship. I wouldn't see this as "letting Carol off the hook" (because she clearly doesn't care about her job that much) but rather "saving all the volunteers and others of the organisation from her necrotic effects."
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: Peppergirl on November 21, 2013, 09:16:32 AM
Report her.  There is something quite seriously wrong with this woman.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: GrammarNerd on November 21, 2013, 09:17:22 AM
And now she has taken to actually .... doing stuff with people's personal property.  Their CARS.  I think this should be reported, just for the fact that:
1) this woman ambushed you (or at least severely pressured you) into attending basically a fund-raising drive for her son.  Abuse of her job/position with volunteers.
2) she was not forthright with you about what the 'meeting' was about.  Lying, and abuse of her position.
3) she screamed at you when you declined and attempted to leave. Bordering on harassment, also more abuse of her job/position.
4) when reported, she offered a non-apology, tried some guilt-trippy tactics and tried to play the martyr.  Bad working environment.
5) she's not stopping, but is instead trying to use subversive tactics to STILL get you all to help her son in some way. More abuse of her position, bad working environment
6) she's resorted to touching your personal property to further her subversive tactics. 

She's escalating.  And just for that reason, I would want it documented that she went so far as to leave the flyers on your cars.  If Connor doesn't win the canned goods contest, what next?  Will she show up at your homes?  Or will she resort to revenge for her perceived injustices?  (I have to admit, when I read about her putting things on the cars, my mind almost immediately went to 'what if she gets mad and keys your cars or something 'to show you that you just should have donated to poor widdle Connor'?  But then again, my mind works like that.)

I think you (in the general sense, probably Jessie, b/c she was there and seems to be the more level-headed one) should report her, and better yet, I'd almost want to do it in person so you could show a copy of the flyer and you could explain this whole thing to the big boss.  You can stress that you don't want to get her fired, but she obviously now sees this as a personal affront and you're worried about what she may do or try next.  Not to mention that the general work environment around her is and will continue to be super-strained.

Do keep us updated!
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Saturday Update (Reply #304)
Post by: bloo on November 21, 2013, 09:19:46 AM
Jessie explained that after I left the store Saturday, she, Madeline and a couple other ladies were in the parking lot discussing the flyer.  Madeline voiced her desire to go back in and rip Carol about the flyer, but the others held her back saying there was no evidence of it being Carol-related.  Jessie and Madeline continued talking as the other two ladies left the parking lot.

Carol comes out of the store, walks over to them and asked if they were going to participate in the canned good drive.  Carol said she might participate and she might attend the play, but she wasn’t sure.  Carol went on to say it is a good thing to support hungry families.  Madeline asked Carol point-blank – “is this your flyer, because if it is you again violated”.  Jessie said she tried to hold Madeline back because she was getting upset.  It was then that Carol started crying about how she feels everyone is against her and her good deeds, how Connor is a gifted child, but no one wants to support him and she pleaded with Jessie and Madeline to not report her.  Carol then walked to her car and drove off.

So far, no action has been taken.  Jessie is torn, Madeline wants to report Carol.  I don’t know what to tell them.  I certainly do not want to see anyone out of a job, but if their behavior is adverse to company policy . . .

She's a disingenuous liar. Report her. It is her superior's job to sit down with her and discuss why she'll either be canned or on probation. It is no one's job to teach her ethics. She should have already had them. If they get rid of her the work environment should improve (provided they don't hire anyone worse).
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: BarensMom on November 21, 2013, 09:27:32 AM
Report her.  Carol's antics are distracting to the volunteers and detrimental to the goals of the charity.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: GlitterIsMyDrug on November 21, 2013, 09:45:36 AM
What good deeds? Believing your kid is the most awesomest kid ever is not a good deed.

One flyer could havve been put up (with management approval) about the play/food drive (if the school is in the community). Those who want to participate could have. But oh no, Carol needs to make sure every single person gets a flyer and gets pressured into coming "for the children" and "to help the needy", if it's truly for those without, she wouldn't care about a number on a can.

This whole food drive flyer business ticks me off more then the "pay for my kid's summer camp" sales push. The food drive is actually for other people outside her family. It's for people who are actually in need. And because she's such an off-putting selfish little...brat whose more concerned her kid gets the "points" for the cans, and sees his talents, she's making a lot of people who might have been happy to donate a few cans to help people who might not eat otherwise, not want to help! I wouldn't want to donate to this food drive, and I donate pretty happily to just about any food drive. I wouldn't put it past Carol to be marking random cans with 9 so her snowflake gets all his points.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: Venus193 on November 21, 2013, 09:51:43 AM
Report her.  Management needs to know about her insubordination.

I've been following this thread but have found no evidence of Connor being gifted at anything other than being an entitled brat for which his parents are to blame.  He is manipulative and rude and complying with anything Carol demands will only add to that.

She needs to know this, but I'm not sure what it will take. 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Saturday Update (Reply #304)
Post by: shhh its me on November 21, 2013, 11:00:28 AM
Jessie explained that after I left the store Saturday, she, Madeline and a couple other ladies were in the parking lot discussing the flyer.  Madeline voiced her desire to go back in and rip Carol about the flyer, but the others held her back saying there was no evidence of it being Carol-related.  Jessie and Madeline continued talking as the other two ladies left the parking lot.

Carol comes out of the store, walks over to them and asked if they were going to participate in the canned good drive.  Carol said she might participate and she might attend the play, but she wasn’t sure.  Carol went on to say it is a good thing to support hungry families.  Madeline asked Carol point-blank – “is this your flyer, because if it is you again violated”.  Jessie said she tried to hold Madeline back because she was getting upset.  It was then that Carol started crying about how she feels everyone is against her and her good deeds, how Connor is a gifted child, but no one wants to support him and she pleaded with Jessie and Madeline to not report her.  Carol then walked to her car and drove off.

So far, no action has been taken.  Jessie is torn, Madeline wants to report Carol.  I don’t know what to tell them.  I certainly do not want to see anyone out of a job, but if their behavior is adverse to company policy . . .

She's a disingenuous liar. Report her. It is her superior's job to sit down with her and discuss why she'll either be canned or on probation. It is no one's job to teach her ethics. She should have already had them. If they get rid of her the work environment should improve (provided they don't hire anyone worse).

The acting like a "Shill" was the worse part to me. 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: Drunken Housewife on November 21, 2013, 11:15:50 AM
I also have a "gifted" child (I have issues with the word but don't have a better one).  What I am teaching my kid is that intellect and academic promise are not everything.  She has the tools for greatness, but whether she achieves it or not will come through hard work on her part and learning how to get along with people.  I would never, never, never ask people to give her money for any activity to support her development.  We skimp as a family in some areas so that we can send her to a special school and on some special activities, and she should work with what we have (and get jobs and save herself when she is older). 

Last year we could not afford to send her to an academic competition she qualified for, and an anonymous donor (I have suspicions about who it is but don't know for sure) gave her school a donation so she could go on that trip.  That is the only way I would ever take money from someone to help my gifted kid on her path:  if they so wanted to do it that they donated unasked, and it was extra tactful of it to be anonymous so I don't have to be embarrassed around that person that they paid for something I should have been able to pay for.  (I wrote a thank you note and our daughter wrote a thank you note about the experience, which we asked the school to give to the donor). 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: Drunken Housewife on November 21, 2013, 11:18:05 AM
And as for Carol:

I think actually the flyer should be reported.  This woman is not going to stop and will keep harassing people until something forceful occurs, and it is bad for the organization.  Volunteers may stop donating their time and energy to this cause because they are so fed up with this woman.  The flyer in and of itself is not so offensive, but it comes after harassing and guilt tripping volunteers and it shows that she is still going to keep asking for things, even when told not to. 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: nolechica on November 21, 2013, 12:22:12 PM
Report the flyer and Jessie and Madeline's encounter. Were flyers on every car in the parking lot or just those of Carol's volunteers?
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: GSNW on November 21, 2013, 12:24:25 PM
Report her.  Carol's antics are distracting to the volunteers and detrimental to the goals of the charity.

I think this is the crux of it.  Good deeds?  VOLUNTEERING is, IMO, a "good deed," and yet Carol is doing her level best to drive the volunteers away.  Considering the info provided by the OP thus far, I get the impression this organization relies heavily on volunteer work.  While I think the problems created by Carol being fired/losing income are sad, I do NOT think it's worth sacrificing the goals of this organization so that she can continue to thumb her nose at some very reasonable rules.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: GSNW on November 21, 2013, 12:25:13 PM
Report the flyer and Jessie and Madeline's encounter. Were flyers on every car in the parking lot or just those of Carol's volunteers?

Yes -- good question.  Is this a place people come to engage with the organization?  Were their cars given the flyer treatment too?
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: TeamBhakta on November 21, 2013, 12:32:09 PM
Does anyone remember that very off mom from Dr Phil a few weeks ago ? The one where her kids, exhusband and the ex's 2nd wife had a restraining order ? And she kept saying "I didn't throw rocks at their window. It was pea pebbles for an hour, to get their attention...I didn't pee on their porch! I said it would happen if they didn't let me in to use their bathroom ?" 'Cuz Carol is heading in that direction....
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: Goosey on November 21, 2013, 12:50:14 PM
Wow this is really unbelievable  :o
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: Sophia on November 21, 2013, 01:13:24 PM
You know, imagine if she put the fliers on the cars without the #6 on it, people probably wouldn't have been in a fuss about it.  Without her precious getting the credit for it, it truly would have been about helping other people.  I probably would have even mellowed a bit about the previous issues, thinking she was just OverEager.  Although, I would think that soliciting for B charity while working for A charity would be a bad idea in general.  After all, the volunteers only have X amount of time and money to give.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: Calypso on November 21, 2013, 01:39:38 PM
I saw this and thought, "Oh my gosh, it's Connor's summer camp!" (Second entry down, Spotlitz)

http://yourpopfilter.com/
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: QueenfaninCA on November 21, 2013, 01:56:04 PM
I'd report her.

She needs to learn that it is not up to her to decide how other people allocate their charitable giving.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: Amara on November 21, 2013, 02:03:48 PM
The ironic thing is that Carol is hitting up people to volunteer at the time they are already volunteering.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: Lynn2000 on November 21, 2013, 02:12:48 PM
Yeah, I agree that Carol needs to be reported for the flyer incident, and this would be a good time to pass on her non-apology email as well. I am kind of sad about this... Carol seems like such a sad person. She seems to have nothing going for her in her life but promoting her son. But she is doing the wrong things, and I think it needs to be reported. Maybe getting fired (if she gets fired) will be the shock that finally wakes her up. But the volunteers don't need to be worried that any day Carol will pop up with some new weird inappropriate behavior. They need to be focused on their jobs of helping others.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: poundcake on November 21, 2013, 02:20:03 PM
Quote
What good deeds? Believing your kid is the most awesomest kid ever is not a good deed.

No kidding. She needs to be reported, and needs an itemized breakdown of how what she is doing is inappropriate. She's a fruitcake with extra nuts.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Saturday Update (Reply #304)
Post by: MindsEye on November 21, 2013, 02:28:43 PM
Jessie explained that after I left the store Saturday, she, Madeline and a couple other ladies were in the parking lot discussing the flyer.  Madeline voiced her desire to go back in and rip Carol about the flyer, but the others held her back saying there was no evidence of it being Carol-related.  Jessie and Madeline continued talking as the other two ladies left the parking lot.

Carol comes out of the store, walks over to them and asked if they were going to participate in the canned good drive.  Carol said she might participate and she might attend the play, but she wasn’t sure.  Carol went on to say it is a good thing to support hungry families.  Madeline asked Carol point-blank – “is this your flyer, because if it is you again violated”.  Jessie said she tried to hold Madeline back because she was getting upset.  It was then that Carol started crying about how she feels everyone is against her and her good deeds, how Connor is a gifted child, but no one wants to support him and she pleaded with Jessie and Madeline to not report her.  Carol then walked to her car and drove off.

So far, no action has been taken.  Jessie is torn, Madeline wants to report Carol.  I don’t know what to tell them.  I certainly do not want to see anyone out of a job, but if their behavior is adverse to company policy . . .

If Madeline hasn't already reported Carol, I would be surprised.  (Though I would not be surprised if I found out that Madeline is the one who forwarded on the non-apology email to the Powers That Be.)

As this saga unfolds... I have to say that I am not at all surprised.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: mime on November 21, 2013, 03:46:38 PM
*Sigh.* I'm going against the grain.

I wouldn't report her yet. The idea that nobody wants to fund amazing-Connor's hobbies or hop on board every Connor-opportunity is new to Carol. Sure, she was extremely misguided before, but this does require a big new mindset for her. I'd give her a little time to re-learn how to function socially in her role, and I'd give her the benefit of a little feedback to enable her learning.

Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: GreenBird on November 21, 2013, 03:49:37 PM
The ironic thing is that Carol is hitting up people to volunteer at the time they are already volunteering.

Well, there is some logic to hitting up people with a proven record for volunteering!
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: rose red on November 21, 2013, 03:56:36 PM
I wouldn't report Carol for the flyer either (yet) since she didn't actually say anything or whined until confronted.  I would ignore her antics for now.  The flyers could have been thrown away or if you donate for a good cause, no number needed to be printed on the cans (the same action I would take if I see a flyer from an unknown source).  But the OP can't control her coworkers from doing the reporting.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: wheeitsme on November 21, 2013, 04:11:48 PM

Someone needs to report her, because she has shown that no matter what, she will continue to find ways to harass people, and that's not fair at all. If nothing else, her boss(es) need to know why their volunteers keep deserting the ship. I wouldn't see this as "letting Carol off the hook" (because she clearly doesn't care about her job that much) but rather "saving all the volunteers and others of the organisation from her necrotic effects."

I like that term.  Carol is what she is, and she can believe that she means well, but her actions seem to be having a necrotic effect on your organization. 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: Erich L-ster on November 21, 2013, 04:26:40 PM
I wouldn't report Carol for the flyer either (yet) since she didn't actually say anything or whined until confronted.  I would ignore her antics for now.  The flyers could have been thrown away or if you donate for a good cause, no number needed to be printed on the cans (the same action I would take if I see a flyer from an unknown source).  But the OP can't control her coworkers from doing the reporting.

Well she did say some things:

"Carol comes out of the store, walks over to them and asked if they were going to participate in the canned good drive.  Carol said she might participate and she might attend the play, but she wasn’t sure.  Carol went on to say it is a good thing to support hungry families."


She tried to act like she was not associated with the flyer (flier?) and at the same time encouraged the other ladies to donate.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: TeamBhakta on November 21, 2013, 05:20:57 PM
*Sigh.* I'm going against the grain.

I wouldn't report her yet. The idea that nobody wants to fund amazing-Connor's hobbies or hop on board every Connor-opportunity is new to Carol. Sure, she was extremely misguided before, but this does require a big new mindset for her. I'd give her a little time to re-learn how to function socially in her role, and I'd give her the benefit of a little feedback to enable her learning.

But the District Charity Manager already told Carol privately "Stop pestering the volunteers about your kid." How dense is Carol if she doesn't get that loud and clear ? Carol is, I'm assuming, 30+ years old and not mentally impaired. It's a wee bit late in life for her to cling to "I don't know the proper rules of socializing without scaring / nagging others."
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: Lindee on November 21, 2013, 05:47:52 PM
Also since this is a Charity Organization she works for hitting up the volunteers for her own private "charity" on work time wouldn't be on under any circumstances let alone after she has been warned about it.   
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: Klea on November 21, 2013, 05:55:15 PM
I feel a little bit sorry for Carol. She is clearly very delusional and mustn't have very much going on in her life for her to be so obsessive over Connor. It has now gotten to the point where she can't see things rationally and is risking her job and alienating herself from other people. I don't even think she realises, that is how caught up in her own delusions she is.

I don't think I would report her just yet (because this is a woman's job we are talking about and losing it can have far-reaching consequences). But, I definitely would confront her frankly on the matter. "Carol, you have already been warned about soliciting for your private affairs. You need to keep it away from the workplace. It is simply not appropriate for anyone and it will be reported if you continue." Perhaps if a volunteer(s) is confronting her directly she will realise that this needs to be taken seriously and is not just a case of a warning from management. She seems a bit slow on the up-take so I'd give her this last chance, but if she still refuses to 'get it' and there are more 'anonymous' flyers etc, I would report her.


Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: TeamBhakta on November 21, 2013, 08:49:41 PM

I don't think I would report her just yet (because this is a woman's job we are talking about and losing it can have far-reaching consequences).

If a man was acting as aggressive at work as Carol did, nobody would be all "aww, poor Bob is probably just socially awkward. Have a chat with him over tea and don't take away his job"
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: PastryGoddess on November 21, 2013, 09:13:56 PM
It shouldn't be a volunteer's job to counsel a paid staff member on how to behave appropriately in the workplace.  It's definitely not their job when the paid staff member has been told point blank to stop certain behavior and continues to do it.  Protecting Carol from the consequences of her bad behavior helps no one. No one is forcing Carol to act the way she is.  In this instance it's Bed. Made. Lie
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: Amara on November 21, 2013, 09:14:12 PM
I suspect the OP doesn't have to make a decision about whether to report the flier or not. I am sure someone already has. (And may I say I hope so! Carol has been warned about her behavior by her bosses. She is plowing ahead with similar transgressions that got her the first warning. She's the one committing Professional Darwinism.)
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: GreenEyedHawk on November 21, 2013, 09:40:53 PM
The fact that she pleaded to not be reported shows that she knew what she was doing was wrong when she did it, IMO.

She is clearly delusional about her son.  I'm confused about her comment that "no one wants to support Connor."  Since when are strangers required to support someone's kid?  She is his mom, SHE should support him.  Her kid's future as the next Olivier (according to her) is not the problem or responsibility of the volunteers.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: Pen^2 on November 21, 2013, 09:53:11 PM
I feel a little bit sorry for Carol. She is clearly very delusional and mustn't have very much going on in her life for her to be so obsessive over Connor. It has now gotten to the point where she can't see things rationally and is risking her job and alienating herself from other people. I don't even think she realises, that is how caught up in her own delusions she is.

I don't think I would report her just yet (because this is a woman's job we are talking about and losing it can have far-reaching consequences). But, I definitely would confront her frankly on the matter. "Carol, you have already been warned about soliciting for your private affairs. You need to keep it away from the workplace. It is simply not appropriate for anyone and it will be reported if you continue." Perhaps if a volunteer(s) is confronting her directly she will realise that this needs to be taken seriously and is not just a case of a warning from management. She seems a bit slow on the up-take so I'd give her this last chance, but if she still refuses to 'get it' and there are more 'anonymous' flyers etc, I would report her.

Here's the problem, though: she has already been told this by her boss(es) at least twice now. If she won't listen to them, then she's hardly going to listen to a volunteer. She knows that what she did was wrong, because otherwise she wouldn't have cried and asked them not to report it. This isn't a misunderstanding. And it's not an adult's job to help another adult learn how to function socially, especially when she's been sternly told twice and chooses to ignore it.

This isn't about giving her the benefit of the doubt, or whether or not she's a bit slow on the uptake. That doesn't apply here. She knows she is doing the wrong thing and has decided to continue to do it--the flyers had to be carefully planned and laid on each car, and she came up with her lie/charade where she tried to strike a conversation about it innocently. She is putting time, effort, and a fair amount of planning into doing this, and she's already done so more than once in just the past few weeks. She loses the excuse of "ignorance," "slow on the uptake," "brain turned off," "forgot," "didn't realise," and whatever else.

Whatever is going on for her that might be prompting these things, it's her own place to seek help (if she needs it) so she can cope without damaging the organisation she works for and harassing others. If she's chosen not to do that, then no-one except a spouse or very close friend/relative can urge her to do so. So, since none of the volunteers have such a relationship with her, then they aren't in a position to tell her how to behave (despite her being told already). I don't think it's reasonable to ask the OP to sit down with Carol and have a heart-to-heart. This is a near-stranger who is harassing her. Not her best friend. It would be both inappropriate and unprofessional for a volunteer to give advice or otherwise call attention to the self-destructive behaviour of higher-ups, including people in paid positions.

If she can't think rationally at the moment, just doesn't want to follow rules, or whatever else the reason for all this may be, the workplace definitely needs to know. Either so one of her higher-ups can direct her to help (it would be inappropriate for a volunteer to do it, unless they're quite close, which isn't the case here it seems), or can replace her. Harsh, yes, but that's part of being an adult. If you repeatedly refuse to do your job properly, then no matter what the reason is, it is in the workplace's interests to find someone who will do what they are paid for. Yes, this is potentially a woman's job, but she knows this too and has knowingly and very actively chosen to risk it. That is not the fault of anyone else but her. Until she either gets help, stops, or is replaced, then her workplace will continue to suffer. That's not fair to anyone, and is a much worse situation. This is Carol's decision, whatever her reasons may be. This is how adult working life works and she knows that (or is expected to--if not, then again, she should not be working until she can respect rules and regulations other than her own).
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: TeamBhakta on November 21, 2013, 10:19:08 PM
Also, if the volunteers try to "help" Carol via a friendly discussion, Carol may turn the tables & claim "Oh golly, District Charity Managers, the volunteers threatened me! Look it, you can see on camera they gestured for me to go into the office. And then they said they would lie to you so I'd be fired. They also threatened to come to Connor's school play and fight me in the parking lot"
*ETA: I could especially see Carol spinning "Jessie said she tried to hold Madeline back because she was getting upset" into "I was calmly talking to the ladies and boom, Madeline went bat poo crazy for no reason! She totally asked if I was gonna be at the school play! Now I'm scared! See, that's them being mean + me crying and running to my car"
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: sammycat on November 21, 2013, 11:57:13 PM
I'm jumping on board the team that says to report her, although I suspect someone already has, or will, very soon. Hopefully they included the non-apology email too.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: chibichan on November 22, 2013, 05:31:10 AM
Report her .

I stand by my previous post - the whole vibe I get from this is " If I can't bulldoze them into supporting my kid , I'll trick them into it ."

This is a woman determined to get funds / support for her child anyway she can . I'm pretty sure she's only sorry that she got caught .

The whole " mark the can with this specific number " thing indicates that she intended to make her child a "star" by using her unwitting co-workers and a charity .

I doubt the food drive for the homeless was anything but a way for her to make it all about Connor . I have the feeling that had she succeeded , she would have spent a gleeful few days secret gloating over how she duped you all and possibly wondering how she could do it again .

Even if I am completely out in left field here and totally wrong about her intentions , the bottom line is this : Her credibility is shot now . 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on November 22, 2013, 06:00:47 AM
Was anyone else bothered by the thought of kids getting points and getting prizes for who donates the most? Doesn't seem like a great way to foster a spirit of generosity to me, when it seems like setting kids up to think even more about themselves than those they're helping.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: kategillian on November 22, 2013, 06:50:55 AM
The way that this'fundraising' escalated so quickly makes it sound like there is a deadline for this camp, and Carol is trying to make the cut off. I would look for more bad behavior on her part this weekend. And I would assume that Madeline will tell the higher ups about the flyer, she sounds like she's much closer to the end of her rope than the OP!
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: 123sandy on November 22, 2013, 07:23:46 AM
I feel bad for Carol. It seems she has no life of her own and puts all her energies into her son and his wants,to the point of desperation. Add that to (it seems from the OP) her husband and son are not really nice to her, and now her co-workers are always complaining about her and I just see a sad and lonely person. I know her behaviour has brought a lot of this on her but...it makes me feel unhappy to think about the situation.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: Pen^2 on November 22, 2013, 08:02:51 AM
Was anyone else bothered by the thought of kids getting points and getting prizes for who donates the most? Doesn't seem like a great way to foster a spirit of generosity to me, when it seems like setting kids up to think even more about themselves than those they're helping.

I dislike this also, yes. "Fundraise to get prizes!" instead of, "Fundraise to help people!" always makes me twitch a little. Once you put prizes in, then you know that a lot of kids (and adults, to be fair) are going to lose sight of what it should be about. The temptation is too much for a lot of still-developing minds. Although if organisations manage to get more food/money/help to people who need it by doing things like this, then you really can't blame them, I suppose.

Poor Carol. She's really committed to digging a nice deep grave for herself here. After being told repeatedly and given warnings, she still keeps trying to pull this stuff... Oh dear.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: Peppergirl on November 22, 2013, 08:24:37 AM
I feel bad for Carol. It seems she has no life of her own and puts all her energies into her son and his wants,to the point of desperation. Add that to (it seems from the OP) her husband and son are not really nice to her, and now her co-workers are always complaining about her and I just see a sad and lonely person. I know her behaviour has brought a lot of this on her but...it makes me feel unhappy to think about the situation.

This didn't occur to me until I read this. It really does reek of desperation.

One has to wonder if her disgusting husband is pulling these shenanigans at HIS place of employment. Somehow I think not.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: Eden on November 22, 2013, 08:47:26 AM

I don't think I would report her just yet (because this is a woman's job we are talking about and losing it can have far-reaching consequences).

If a man was acting as aggressive at work as Carol did, nobody would be all "aww, poor Bob is probably just socially awkward. Have a chat with him over tea and don't take away his job"

I think aggressive is kind of an overstatement. She has been rude and overbearing. My opinion would not change if she were a man. I feel sorry for her because I do not get the impression she understands why people are reacting the way they are. That must feel very bad. I imagine after she was told she could not approach the volunteers about her causes that she thought she was complying with the fliers. she was not approaching anyone. But then she saw the reactions and got worried about another report. THAT SAID, although I feel sorry for her, she still is behaving inappropriately. I think based on the reaction in the parking lot she will not violate again so reporting may not be necessary.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: Venus193 on November 22, 2013, 09:08:44 AM
I disagree.  People like this, who have no boundaries and no sense of appropriate business behavior, will do this again and again until they hit rock bottom.  Like getting a pink slip.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: ladyknight1 on November 22, 2013, 09:20:40 AM
I am a volunteer for a very large organization, that has 1 staff member for every 20 volunteers. We have had our share of "Carol" type people and they are all terminated within a year of arriving. This type of behavior would not fly in this organization.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: CrazyDaffodilLady on November 22, 2013, 10:38:32 AM
It's pretty common, especially during the holidays, to see food donation boxes at stores, work places, and even the post office.  At my workplace, there's currently a donation box in the lobby.  No one thinks twice about it, and those who wish to donate do so.

Carol could've asked management for permission to put a donation box in the store, and it's likely she would've been allowed to do so.  Then she could've mentioned the box once, with no pressure.  She could've put Connor's number on the collected items before she donated them.  I doubt that anyone would've been bothered by this.

Instead, at a time when she was already in trouble for her antics, she ineptly tried to trick her volunteers.  She chooses to be manipulative, sneaky, demanding, and a whiny drama queen when she doesn't get her way.  No matter how sorry we feel for a person, they need to learn that this is not an acceptable way to interact.

Carol does sound unhappy and desperate, and it would be great if someone were to sit her down and explain things to her until she understands.  However, that person should not be one of the volunteers -- for a lot of reasons.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on November 22, 2013, 11:28:56 AM
I feel bad for Carol. It seems she has no life of her own and puts all her energies into her son and his wants,to the point of desperation. Add that to (it seems from the OP) her husband and son are not really nice to her, and now her co-workers are always complaining about her and I just see a sad and lonely person. I know her behaviour has brought a lot of this on her but...it makes me feel unhappy to think about the situation.

This didn't occur to me until I read this. It really does reek of desperation.

One has to wonder if her disgusting husband is pulling these shenanigans at HIS place of employment. Somehow I think not.

I've been wondering myself if it's the husband and Connor putting the pressure on her to do all this.  Not that we can really say this is what's happening, it's just speculation but I have known men who don't like when their wives are doing anything outside the house so they try to sabotage any efforts the wives have of either making money or just spending time not devoted to the men of the house. 

Like I said, nothing any of us can say based on the little information we have on him, but it wouldn't surprise me either.

"Hey, do all this to send Connor to this camp!"
"But they told me I could get fired, why don't you do it at your job?"
"Cause my job actually is important!"
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: TeamBhakta on November 22, 2013, 12:14:04 PM
Quote
I imagine after she was told she could not approach the volunteers about her causes that she thought she was complying with the fliers. she was not approaching anyone. But then she saw the reactions and got worried about another report. THAT SAID, although I feel sorry for her, she still is behaving inappropriately. I think based on the reaction in the parking lot she will not violate again so reporting may not be necessary.

She went up to people and asked about it after putting the flyers on cars.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: jedikaiti on November 22, 2013, 12:33:27 PM
I feel bad for Carol. It seems she has no life of her own and puts all her energies into her son and his wants,to the point of desperation. Add that to (it seems from the OP) her husband and son are not really nice to her, and now her co-workers are always complaining about her and I just see a sad and lonely person. I know her behaviour has brought a lot of this on her but...it makes me feel unhappy to think about the situation.

This didn't occur to me until I read this. It really does reek of desperation.

One has to wonder if her disgusting husband is pulling these shenanigans at HIS place of employment. Somehow I think not.

I've been wondering myself if it's the husband and Connor putting the pressure on her to do all this.  Not that we can really say this is what's happening, it's just speculation but I have known men who don't like when their wives are doing anything outside the house so they try to sabotage any efforts the wives have of either making money or just spending time not devoted to the men of the house. 

Like I said, nothing any of us can say based on the little information we have on him, but it wouldn't surprise me either.

"Hey, do all this to send Connor to this camp!"
"But they told me I could get fired, why don't you do it at your job?"
"Cause my job actually is important!"

Or they might not know anything about it. Or perhaps Carol wants to send Connor to acting camp, Husband points out they can't afford it, so she goes off to raise money. We just don't have any info on that. Hubs could be the driving force, or totally in the dark. Heck, he could even be out of the picture entirely, for all we know.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: Goosey on November 22, 2013, 12:40:46 PM
It's just so weird that she went through all that effort for plausible deniability and then, you know, didn't deny anything.  :o
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: Amara on November 22, 2013, 01:07:31 PM
I suspect, Goosey, that she didn't anticipate the others would discover a connection.

What is puzzling me about this discussion is the number of people who feel sorry for Carol. I don't. I wonder why those who do, do. Imagine that this was not a nonprofit but instead a private business or large corporation. Carol is the middle manager with a CEO over her (rather than a board of directors). The OP and her fellow volunteers are staff who work under Carol.

Carol comes into work and does what she does, pressuring her subordinates to contribute to her son's camp expenses. Upon being informed by HR who was notified by one of the employees, that this is an inappropriate use of her authority, Carol sends an office wide non-apology email. The employees are angered and annoyed but don't say anything more because Carol does their annual evaluations, approves or disapproves requested vacation time, and hands out juicy (and awful) work assignments.

All goes along okay, and the employees think things might be settled, when they go out to leave one Friday night and find, on their cars, in the employee parking lot, fliers on contributing to a food donation fundraiser. How odd, though, that there is no name attached, no phone number, or anything other than a request for the donor to put a number of top of the can. Hmm, thinks a couple of employees, this is odd. We already have a donation can in the building. Did someone come in to the lot and leave outside spam? Then Carol comes out to go home and sees a small group of employees gathered around, talking. She just happens to mention the flier. Well ... how does she know about it? She hasn't been to her car yet so how does she know about them?

There is nothing to feel sorry about or anyone to feel sorry for. As I noted above, this is PD. It should be dealt with in the manner of all PD.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: Eden on November 22, 2013, 02:23:23 PM
Amara, people can feel sorry for her. It's fine that you don't.

Again those who feel sorry for her are not defending her. At least I'm not. She did wrong. I still feel sorry for her.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: Lynn2000 on November 22, 2013, 02:28:58 PM
Well, I feel bad for Carol because she seems to be reality-challenged and seems to have nothing worthwhile in her life except her promotion of her son's talents--even her job and her self-respect is secondary to that (letting Connor insult her, for example). That makes me sad for her.

But, that doesn't mean I don't think she should be punished when she crosses the line. I do think all her behavior should be reported, and I hope the higher-ups take appropriate steps with her--whether that is outright firing her, or maybe someone will have the power to say, "If you are to stay employed here, you have to get counseling." But if she does get fired, I just mean I wouldn't be dancing around going, "Ding dong, the witch is dead!" I would be more like, "Wow, that's a really sad situation. Well, let's get on with our lives, and hope the new boss is better."
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: artk2002 on November 22, 2013, 03:53:59 PM
It's just so weird that she went through all that effort for plausible deniability and then, you know, didn't deny anything.  :o

I don't find it weird at all. She's not someone who can think more than one step ahead. She realized that she was in trouble and had to be more subtle, so she planted the flyers. What she didn't think ahead to was: 1) Her co-workers would figure out what it was; and 2) Would be very, very unhappy when they did. She didn't think far enough ahead to realize that asking about the flyers would give people more evidence for #1. She was completely unprepared to be confronted about it and so gave up the story almost immediately. She's incapable of seeing the otherwise-obvious results of her actions. It's quite likely, to me at least, that were the positions reversed, she would be making donations to support someone else's kid (unless she saw that as competition for her own); she can't understand, even when faced with evidence, that people are put off by her actions.

Sadly, I know a few people like this. If they believe something is right, then no evidence to the contrary will affect them. My CEO, a supposedly savvy businessman, just made a promise to our customers that we can't fulfill in the time frame that he gave. This is the third time he's done that and each time resulted in some very unhappy customers. In fact, he made this latest promise because he's afraid that we're going to lose those customers if we don't give them this thing right away. The fact that everybody has said that making this promise is a bad idea, and the fact that we've failed before is having no effect at all.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: Possum on November 22, 2013, 05:22:11 PM
"Carol, I'm glad you love your son so much, and he *is* clearly a smart boy, but you need to set boundaries here.  I saw him punch you in the stomach, call you fat, and call you by your real name, and you did nothing.  Now he wants to go to drama camp and--I don't even know what the Horn o' Plenty thing is--and instead of saying you can't afford it, you're willing to sacrifice your job and your reputation to capitulate to him.

"He's a good boy, but without boundaries, he's going to be a bully.  And not just to you.

"Look, we're all here for you, to support you a personal level, but only there.  We can't contribute to your causes, and your son is not a charity--and it's not fair to him to treat his desires as a charity.  It can leave him feeling either entitled or humiliated.  There's not a big in-between there. 

"We'll be happy to recommend any local drama programs we know of, and support you if you get help to learn how to handle him in the way that will be healthiest for him.  We'll even come see the play at the end of drama camp, and cheer louder than anyone.

"But that's it.

"You love your son.  Do what's best for him in the long run, even if it leaves both of you hurting in the short run."

It's blunt, but sometimes, with people like Carol, that's how you've got to roll.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: Elfmama on November 22, 2013, 06:17:05 PM
"He's a good boy, but without boundaries, he's going to be a bully.  And not just to you.
And Carol will run away weeping (or stomp away angry) that you just don't understaaaaaand a talented and sensitive child like Connor!!!!!!!!elevetyone!!!  Parents of the kind that Carol appears to be just do not admit that Widdle Pweshus is not a perfect child.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: Venus193 on November 22, 2013, 06:23:16 PM
"He's a good boy, but without boundaries, he's going to be a bully.  And not just to you.
And Carol will run away weeping (or stomp away angry) that you just don't understaaaaaand a talented and sensitive child like Connor!!!!!!!!elevetyone!!!  Parents of the kind that Carol appears to be just do not admit that Widdle Pweshus is not a perfect child.

I agree; I've seen this happen and it isn't pretty.

Carol and her husband obviously have issues between themselves if he encourages the child to show such disrespect to her and she is in severe denial.  Nobody in her workplace should have to suffer for that.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: johelenc1 on November 22, 2013, 07:38:36 PM
It's just so weird that she went through all that effort for plausible deniability and then, you know, didn't deny anything.  :o

This is so true!  It's like she can't help herself!
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: kansha on November 22, 2013, 08:05:23 PM
It's just so weird that she went through all that effort for plausible deniability and then, you know, didn't deny anything.  :o

This is so true!  It's like she can't help herself!
because her only identity is being the mother of this oh so speshul star-to-be child?
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: Possum on November 22, 2013, 08:27:25 PM
"He's a good boy, but without boundaries, he's going to be a bully.  And not just to you.
And Carol will run away weeping (or stomp away angry) that you just don't understaaaaaand a talented and sensitive child like Connor!!!!!!!!elevetyone!!!  Parents of the kind that Carol appears to be just do not admit that Widdle Pweshus is not a perfect child.
I figure she would--but maybe, just maybe, after the fact, it'll sink in.

I once had a friend hesitantly offer me advice on something.  I told him to go ahead and say it, and he did--and I was furious.  I didn't take it out on him *too* bad, but I was still so mad at him.  How dare he criticize [thing]!  He just doesn't understand, this is how I am!

We used to talk every day, but after that, I didn't talk to him for a week.

And then, gradually, I began to see he was right.  I tentatively put it into motion, and it worked.  It wound up being some of the best advice ever, and ever since (fifteen years!), I've been absolutely gleeful he said it to me.  (And yes, I told him it was good advice and apologized for any snark he got in response!)

Maybe, just maybe...  Carol will have a similar epiphany.  Probably not.  And probably not off of just one statement. 

But it just might do more good than harm.  Even if it's in more gentle wording than mine (probably a good idea). 

Then again, it might be a lost cause--which would be sad. :/
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: baglady on November 22, 2013, 09:39:24 PM
I'm another one who feels sorry for Carol.

She has a son and a husband who are mean and disrespectful to her, and she's trying to rationalize the son's behavior by believing it's because he's "gifted." She may have heard or read about other gifted children with behavior issues and latched onto that explanation/excuse because the alternative is to conclude that she's a lousy parent.

And I don't think she *is* a horrible, evil parent -- just clueless and probably spineless. She's not alone. We've all met parents who don't discipline their children because they're afraid of hurting their feelings, or provoking a tantrum or an "I hate you!"

Being disciplined at work, or fired, for her inappropriate behavior re Connor may be the wake-up call she needs. Or not. But it's a start.

And yeah, I'd donate to send Connor to camp -- *boot* camp. >:D
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: Elfmama on November 23, 2013, 03:41:45 PM
If you're raising your kids right, they'll scream "I hate you!  You're the meanest mother in the world!" at least once.   >:D
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: floridamom on November 23, 2013, 03:54:02 PM
If you're raising your kids right, they'll scream "I hate you!  You're the meanest mother in the world!" at least once.   >:D

So true!!  >:D
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: *inviteseller on November 23, 2013, 04:03:29 PM
Once?  Heck, I think I am doing a poor job if my older DD doesn't tell me that at least once a day!!   ;D ;D  She needs a wake up call and if it is losing her job, then so be it.  I learned, when I started in retail management, that the worst workers all had the biggest sob stories and I would feel bad for them until I had the AHA! moment that I was enabling their poor job performance/attendance/attitude by letting it slide because they had a sad song to sing.  I finally developed that professional spine and would try to council them and not fall for the tears and if they got fired, it was not my fault but theirs.  Carol needs to learn this too.  She is trying to extort money from volunteers for her personal gain, she is using a food drive, a noble thing, to further her son instead of for the basic hope she can help someone less fortunate and trying to con volunteers into doing it also...while on the clock for a charity group she works for.  This woman has absolutely no shame and is spiraling out of control. Being told by her superiors that her behavior and actions are unacceptable, she doesn't apologize and stop..instead she blames the volunteers for not giving her SS what he wants and for tattling on her, then she does it again, but tries to be more sneaky.  She is going to ratchet it up more and more if she isn't stopped soon.  I do not think it is any of the volunteers jobs to council her as to what she is doing is wrong for several reasons- a.  her bosses did, and if the ones who sign her paycheck can't make her see the folly of her ways, there is no way some volunteers she has supervisory power over will..they are the ones who are supposed to be making SS's very dreams come true.  b)  They are not friends, in fact at this point it doesn't seem like the volunteers want anything to do with her so any 'advice' they give her will not be ehell approved due to the anger they feel in constantly being hit up in some heavy handed ways for her son's personal wants.  There maybe a volunteer there whose kids need braces but can't afford them, or someone needs a new roof on their house but doesn't have the money, or any kind of personal crisises that we all encounter and they aren't strong arming everyone because they know it is their responsibility.  Carol has lost sight of this and just wants to be bestest mommy in the whole wide world for the brat, who probably tells her "If you don't make this happen for me, I will hate you forever" and because she is terrified her snookiookums will hate her for saying no, she is going crazy. 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: nolechica on November 23, 2013, 08:44:54 PM
Am I the only one who's wondered if she does anything with her income other than pay for Connor? 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: NyaChan on November 23, 2013, 09:46:05 PM
Am I the only one who's wondered if she does anything with her income other than pay for Connor?

Actually, I had been thinking about finances in this story.  The way she is described gives off this sense of entitlement, yes, but also desperation.  The way it comes across to me is that in her mind, these supposed advantages for Connor won't happen without the financial help from others.  Made me wonder if either they couldn't afford to give him these things on their own or figure he is so special that others should want to cover it for them. 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: GreenEyedHawk on November 23, 2013, 10:27:45 PM
Perhaps Connor was registered for the camp and was told he was going, but now the payment deadline is approaching and Carol is getting desperate because she is finding she can't afford it?  I don't know, I am of course just speculating.

Still though, I feel badly for her.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: GrammarNerd on November 24, 2013, 06:26:22 AM
Perhaps Connor was registered for the camp and was told he was going, but now the payment deadline is approaching and Carol is getting desperate because she is finding she can't afford it?  I don't know, I am of course just speculating.

Still though, I feel badly for her.

Could be, but why risk your job and the wrath of the people you work with to do the food drive?  I'm sure the prizes for the food drive aren't monetary, which wouldn't help them in paying for the camp.

I think she's just so firmly entrenched in her delusions that she NEEDS validation from others that her little boy is oh, so wonderful and special. So when the fundraiser thing failed, she still tried to 'get' the volunteers, but this time used some underhanded tactics.  So when they wouldn't do it willingly, she tried to punish them (in a way) by getting more devious.  It's all about the end goal that THEY HELP HER PRECIOUS CONNOR, one way or another, darn it!
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: Twik on November 24, 2013, 08:38:46 AM
That's a good point about validation. She's suffering from stage mother syndrome. "I may not be important, but my child is Special, and that makes me special too."

Pretty sad all around, but workplaces are not the place to get validation for anything other than your work,
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: kherbert05 on November 24, 2013, 09:10:32 AM
I suspect, Goosey, that she didn't anticipate the others would discover a connection.

What is puzzling me about this discussion is the number of people who feel sorry for Carol. I don't. I wonder why those who do, do. Imagine that this was not a nonprofit but instead a private business or large corporation. Carol is the middle manager with a CEO over her (rather than a board of directors). The OP and her fellow volunteers are staff who work under Carol.

Carol comes into work and does what she does, pressuring her subordinates to contribute to her son's camp expenses. Upon being informed by HR who was notified by one of the employees, that this is an inappropriate use of her authority, Carol sends an office wide non-apology email. The employees are angered and annoyed but don't say anything more because Carol does their annual evaluations, approves or disapproves requested vacation time, and hands out juicy (and awful) work assignments.

All goes along okay, and the employees think things might be settled, when they go out to leave one Friday night and find, on their cars, in the employee parking lot, fliers on contributing to a food donation fundraiser. How odd, though, that there is no name attached, no phone number, or anything other than a request for the donor to put a number of top of the can. Hmm, thinks a couple of employees, this is odd. We already have a donation can in the building. Did someone come in to the lot and leave outside spam? Then Carol comes out to go home and sees a small group of employees gathered around, talking. She just happens to mention the flier. Well ... how does she know about it? She hasn't been to her car yet so how does she know about them?

There is nothing to feel sorry about or anyone to feel sorry for. As I noted above, this is PD. It should be dealt with in the manner of all PD.
Maybe Pity rather than feel sorry for would be more accurate. I pity her because I grew up with trophy kids. From my experience Conner will either reject her as an embarrassment, or he will be a leech that never stands on his own two feet and it will be her fault because she didn't get him into that camp.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: shhh its me on November 24, 2013, 10:02:27 AM
It's just so weird that she went through all that effort for plausible deniability and then, you know, didn't deny anything.  :o

I don't find it weird at all. She's not someone who can think more than one step ahead. She realized that she was in trouble and had to be more subtle, so she planted the flyers. What she didn't think ahead to was: 1) Her co-workers would figure out what it was; and 2) Would be very, very unhappy when they did. She didn't think far enough ahead to realize that asking about the flyers would give people more evidence for #1. She was completely unprepared to be confronted about it and so gave up the story almost immediately. She's incapable of seeing the otherwise-obvious results of her actions. It's quite likely, to me at least, that were the positions reversed, she would be making donations to support someone else's kid (unless she saw that as competition for her own); she can't understand, even when faced with evidence, that people are put off by her actions.

Sadly, I know a few people like this. If they believe something is right, then no evidence to the contrary will affect them. My CEO, a supposedly savvy businessman, just made a promise to our customers that we can't fulfill in the time frame that he gave. This is the third time he's done that and each time resulted in some very unhappy customers. In fact, he made this latest promise because he's afraid that we're going to lose those customers if we don't give them this thing right away. The fact that everybody has said that making this promise is a bad idea, and the fact that we've failed before is having no effect at all.

This and some people will try subterfuge and lies of omission but outright boldface lying they can't.  To me " Hmmm ohhhh  horn of plenty play I may go to that. That seems just peachy." was a plan it was just a really really bad one. I think she thinks she is a mastermind and no one would work out  "yep this is obviously Connor."   In my experience deceitful people are not as good at it as they think its just their victims don't want to deal with the conflict or don't want to be the bad guy just in case of  the very slight chance they are telling the truth/innocent.   
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: CrazyDaffodilLady on November 24, 2013, 11:56:11 AM
We don't know what's going on with Carol's home life, but it's possible her husband isn't enthusiastic about Connor's alleged acting ambitions and is refusing to pay for the camp.

I agree with shhh it's me that deceitful manipulative people are not as clever as they think they are.  It's an extra annoyance when they insult your intelligence by thinking you don't see what they're up to. 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: m2kbug on November 24, 2013, 12:16:04 PM
Was anyone else bothered by the thought of kids getting points and getting prizes for who donates the most? Doesn't seem like a great way to foster a spirit of generosity to me, when it seems like setting kids up to think even more about themselves than those they're helping.

I don't see a problem with it.  It happens all the time.  Remember those toy and candy things we used to sell as kids?  Girl Scout cookies?  Marathons and bike-a-thons?  Someone often gets a prize.  My kids' grade school typically had a classroom party for for the room that brought in the most money/cans. 

That said, the fact that Carol is putting out flyers for a "competing" charity and for her own personal gain, after being warned to knock it off, is beyond me. 

I don't have a problem with people peddling their children's (or their own) wares and charity functions at work, so long as no one feels strong-armed into contributing.  If these ladies were employed, they may fear retribution if they don't dig deep into their pockets and support Connor or his mother whenever she brings it up.  I have lived in that world and it is not fun.

The said thing is, this is a charity the OP enjoys a great deal.  Sure, she can leave.  She doesn't really have to fear loss of income.  But she may not be able to find a charity and coworkers and co-volunteers) she enjoys nearly as much.  And the organization will lose valuable members if this nonsense continues.  It sounds like it could get hostile. 

I also feel badly for Carol.  I probably wouldn't report the flyer just yet and give it a couple weeks to fizzle out and get back to normal.  Tis' the season for charity and giving, and frankly, I'd hate to see Carol lose her job this time of year.  If any other volunteers or employees wish to also raise cans/socks/toys (with permission), I think it would be great if everyone could put flyers, boxes, sign sheets in the employee area with no expectations and no fear of retribution.  I think Carol taking a more "anonymous" approach with the canned goods and flyers was a better approach and for a worthy cause, not personal acting camp, but on top of her other antics, she blew it and she still carries an aura of entitlement.

What I'm wondering is if Carol suddenly started exhibiting this behavior?  Has she always gone after her subordinates to fund Connor and his events/charities?  Has everything suddenly escalated? 

Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: TeamBhakta on November 24, 2013, 07:44:05 PM
Quote
 
I also feel badly for Carol.  I probably wouldn't report the flyer just yet and give it a couple weeks to fizzle out and get back to normal.  Tis' the season for charity and giving, and frankly, I'd hate to see Carol lose her job this time of year.  If any other volunteers or employees wish to also raise cans/socks/toys (with permission), I

I wouldn't feel bad for her just because it's the holidays. There's always some holiday or birthday or life event that makes losing a job "not the right time" to fire someone. If Carol felt like "Oh golly, I hope I don't get fired since Christmas is coming up", I'd hope her inner Jiminy Cricket would tell her "Well, duh, then don't act up at work around Christmas, you silly goose."
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: blarg314 on November 24, 2013, 08:17:43 PM

I do feel sorry for both Carol and Connor. Carol, because she seems like a sad, lonely person, with a husband and kid who don't treat her well, who is lacking the intelligence or insight or something that would let her change her behaviour.  Connor, because he's being raised to be a sad, lonely person who doesn't understand why no-one likes him.

However - I've also seen the effects of people like this in management or volunteer organizations, and letting her get away with it can easily wreck the good that the organization does. Her coworkers say "Oh, it's Christmas/Valentine's Day/President's Day, and it would be mean to get her fired now, so we won't report her" The boss says "It's not that bad - we can't fire her for being too enthusiastic about her kid."  And the next thing you know, the program is hemorrhaging volunteers who don't need to put up with her   to earn money, and are tired enough to give up the volunteer gig.

 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: JeanFromBNA on November 24, 2013, 09:42:19 PM
What I'm wondering is if Carol suddenly started exhibiting this behavior?  Has she always gone after her subordinates to fund Connor and his events/charities?  Has everything suddenly escalated?

I was wondering the same thing.  Is this new behavior?
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: nuit93 on November 24, 2013, 11:10:04 PM
Connor's behavior is making me think of a FB post a friend of mine recently made:  "I'm not saying your kid is a brat, but I just saw an Oompa Loompa blow into a pitch pipe."
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on November 25, 2013, 05:25:26 AM
Connor's behavior is making me think of a FB post a friend of mine recently made:  "I'm not saying your kid is a brat, but I just saw an Oompa Loompa blow into a pitch pipe."

I like that. :)
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on November 25, 2013, 08:27:14 AM
I also feel badly for Carol.  I probably wouldn't report the flyer just yet and give it a couple weeks to fizzle out and get back to normal.  Tis' the season for charity and giving, and frankly, I'd hate to see Carol lose her job this time of year.  If any other volunteers or employees wish to also raise cans/socks/toys (with permission), I think it would be great if everyone could put flyers, boxes, sign sheets in the employee area with no expectations and no fear of retribution. 

I would also think that for most charitable organizations, this is their big crunch time, the season when people are most likely to donate.  Now if the organization starts to flounder because the volunteers are leaving in droves, it could cause irreparable damage to the organization.  I would rather that one person (who quite frankly seems incapable of stopping her offensive behavior) suffer rather than the beneficiaries of the organization.  They are the innocents here.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: Twik on November 25, 2013, 08:46:31 AM
Was anyone else bothered by the thought of kids getting points and getting prizes for who donates the most? Doesn't seem like a great way to foster a spirit of generosity to me, when it seems like setting kids up to think even more about themselves than those they're helping.

It's not the charity's responsibility to "foster a spirit of generosity," in this case. It's to get canned goods for the hungry. If it takes a competition, I suppose they think it an effective way of getting to their goal.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: GlitterIsMyDrug on November 25, 2013, 09:22:52 AM
Was anyone else bothered by the thought of kids getting points and getting prizes for who donates the most? Doesn't seem like a great way to foster a spirit of generosity to me, when it seems like setting kids up to think even more about themselves than those they're helping.

When I was in grade school we used to do a canned food drive every year by classroom, for each grade level (so all the fourth grade class room, competed against each other) and which ever classroom donated the most canned foods got a pizza party. It'd get us excited about helping out. And if our teachers were really good they'd talk to us about how the food donations help hungry people in our area. I remember watching some special video from that Nick News program.

Though, we'd always end up inviting the other classrooms to our pizza party anyways...but it was still fun to "compete".

I'm hoping this is a similar thing and the 9 indicates Connor's whole class and not just Connor.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: KimodoDragon on November 25, 2013, 10:12:28 AM
Good Morning EH,

To answer a question:  Carol has never fundraised during my time at the store on Saturdays.  She has always talked about how smart and “gifted” Connor is, but has never actively solicited on his behalf.

Carol was not at the store on Saturday.  There was another lady (Sharon) in her place doing the managing.  As I was sorting through the donated goods, I overheard Sharon say she was dispatched to work this location today and that she likes this location better than her usual one.  No mention of Carol or her whereabouts.

Madeline emailed Jessie and me, stating she is attending the Horn O’Plenty play.  She asked if we wanted to go with – I declined and so did Jessie.  Madeline admits she is curious to see if Connor and Carol will be there.  I told Madeline to report back.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - No Show Update (Reply #432)
Post by: Venus193 on November 25, 2013, 10:22:57 AM
Interesting.

I won't speculate as to the reason for Carol's absence; I'll wait for the next report.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - No Show Update (Reply #432)
Post by: cwm on November 25, 2013, 11:08:51 AM
To paraphrase from Star Trek, I like this thread. It's exciting!

I can't wait for the report from Madeline, and to hear if Carol comes back to the location, or if she's been transferred away or is gone for good.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - No Show Update (Reply #432)
Post by: Pen^2 on November 25, 2013, 11:09:33 AM
Interesting update that could mean several things. I suppose we won't know until another update, though. I hope that whatever's happened is for the best, though.

Was Sharon a breath of fresh air?
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on November 25, 2013, 11:54:17 AM
Was anyone else bothered by the thought of kids getting points and getting prizes for who donates the most? Doesn't seem like a great way to foster a spirit of generosity to me, when it seems like setting kids up to think even more about themselves than those they're helping.

When I was in grade school we used to do a canned food drive every year by classroom, for each grade level (so all the fourth grade class room, competed against each other) and which ever classroom donated the most canned foods got a pizza party. It'd get us excited about helping out. And if our teachers were really good they'd talk to us about how the food donations help hungry people in our area. I remember watching some special video from that Nick News program.

Though, we'd always end up inviting the other classrooms to our pizza party anyways...but it was still fun to "compete".

I'm hoping this is a similar thing and the 9 indicates Connor's whole class and not just Connor.

See that I wouldn't have a problem with. I guess, what with the spirit of entitlement that Connor and his mother seems to have, the idea of him getting something fancy and special all to himself rubs me the wrong way. 

However a party that benefits all and in the spirit of "Yay, we helped people, good for us!" doesn't bother me quite as much, if that makes any sense.

The youth group at our church did an afternoon of raking leaves off the church's property and then went to go see a movie when they were done, as sort of a "Thank you" to the kids for helping out. And again, everyone who participated got to partake of the party, not just the one kid.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - I Spoke With Jessie Update (Reply #340)
Post by: aiki on November 25, 2013, 03:13:41 PM

To answer a question:  Carol has never fundraised during my time at the store on Saturdays.  She has always talked about how smart and “gifted” Connor is, but has never actively solicited on his behalf.


I wonder if Carol has been targeted by a modelling-agency type scam -  the scammer convinces the mark that their little precious is the next big thing, and then proceeds to milk the mark for training fees and photography fees and acting-camp fees and so on and so forth. I can see such an outfit easily convincing someone like Carol that "oh, yes, absolutely everyone fund-raises amongst their friends and relations and they'll be delighted to help such an obvious rising star!!!"

Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - No Show Update (Reply #432)
Post by: Softly Spoken on November 25, 2013, 08:31:09 PM
To paraphrase from Star Trek, I like this thread. It's exciting!

I can't wait for the report from Madeline, and to hear if Carol comes back to the location, or if she's been transferred away or is gone for good.
POD to this and everyone other PP  ;)

...so I'm really only here for updates :-[...and to provide stoic morale support of course! ;D *ahem*
*cough*
*wanders off to sit quietly and munch on some popcorn*
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - No Show Update (Reply #432)
Post by: Lula on November 26, 2013, 09:03:58 AM
I've been lurking at EH for the past several weeks, and it's come to the point where I get super excited for the weekends solely because it means the next episode of the seat-gripping Carol and Connor drama is airing. :D
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - No Show Update (Reply #432)
Post by: Xanadude on November 26, 2013, 03:35:45 PM
I joined eHell over the weekend SPECIFICALLY so I could be notified of Carol and the Queen Bee's (from the Work forum) further actions. SO addicting.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - No Show Update (Reply #432)
Post by: MurPl1 on November 30, 2013, 07:09:31 PM
Curious about updates myself.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - No Show Update (Reply #432)
Post by: GSNW on November 30, 2013, 09:41:26 PM
I think OP should be congratulated on the grace with which this has been handled thus far.  She's reported/notified when appropriate and taken the "wait and see" approach at other times, I see her reactions (despite ire) being calm and rational.  Also, I'd like to add:


(http://i1356.photobucket.com/albums/q725/kamurray1/270913946_efa38ec3d8_zps3eb75f21.jpg)
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - No Show Update (Reply #432)
Post by: kategillian on December 01, 2013, 12:28:38 AM
Adorable.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - No Show Update (Reply #432)
Post by: twoferrets on December 02, 2013, 09:31:16 AM
I too am eagerly awaiting updates.  I know a woman very much like Carol and have spent the better part of the last 10 years or so avoiding her.  Her "Connor" is in his teens now, and has been homeschooled since kindergarten when she pulled him out of public school because he was smarter than the teacher, who of course hated him for it and treated him poorly because of it.  It's probably completely insignificant that "My Carol" quit or was fired from every job she had while I knew her because she was smarter than her bosses and everyone else there and they all treated her terribly because of her superior intelligence.

In case the sarcasm isn't coming through, please know that I am not bashing homeschooling! I just wonder how "My Carol's" son is ever going to adjust to, well, anything.  She did take him to activities with other homeschoolers, and various events and such, but strangely he and she often didn't enjoy them because everyone else resented how much smarter and sensitive they were.  I think I see a pattern...
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - No Show Update (Reply #432)
Post by: BarensMom on December 02, 2013, 02:36:05 PM
I too am eagerly awaiting updates.  I know a woman very much like Carol and have spent the better part of the last 10 years or so avoiding her.  Her "Connor" is in his teens now, and has been homeschooled since kindergarten when she pulled him out of public school because he was smarter than the teacher, who of course hated him for it and treated him poorly because of it.  It's probably completely insignificant that "My Carol" quit or was fired from every job she had while I knew her because she was smarter than her bosses and everyone else there and they all treated her terribly because of her superior intelligence.

In case the sarcasm isn't coming through, please know that I am not bashing homeschooling! I just wonder how "My Carol's" son is ever going to adjust to, well, anything.  She did take him to activities with other homeschoolers, and various events and such, but strangely he and she often didn't enjoy them because everyone else resented how much smarter and sensitive they were.  I think I see a pattern...

...and how is my brother's wife these days?
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - No Show Update (Reply #432)
Post by: JennJenn68 on December 02, 2013, 10:09:36 PM
I too am eagerly awaiting updates.  I know a woman very much like Carol and have spent the better part of the last 10 years or so avoiding her.  Her "Connor" is in his teens now, and has been homeschooled since kindergarten when she pulled him out of public school because he was smarter than the teacher, who of course hated him for it and treated him poorly because of it.  It's probably completely insignificant that "My Carol" quit or was fired from every job she had while I knew her because she was smarter than her bosses and everyone else there and they all treated her terribly because of her superior intelligence.

In case the sarcasm isn't coming through, please know that I am not bashing homeschooling! I just wonder how "My Carol's" son is ever going to adjust to, well, anything.  She did take him to activities with other homeschoolers, and various events and such, but strangely he and she often didn't enjoy them because everyone else resented how much smarter and sensitive they were.  I think I see a pattern...

...and how is my brother's wife these days?

And I was going to ask the same thing... but insert "my brother" instead...?
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - No Show Update (Reply #432)
Post by: KimodoDragon on December 03, 2013, 08:07:22 AM
Hello EH,

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Last Friday night was the Horn O’ Plenty play.  Madeline did attend and gave Jessie and I the story when we saw each other Saturday at the store.

Madeline relayed the story like this:

She arrived to the school and just inside the door people were taking tickets, money, canned goods and then guiding you to the auditorium where the play was taking place.  She walked in the auditorium and saw Carol speaking with someone in the next aisle of seats.  When Carol turned and saw Madeline, she quickly walked out to the hallway.  Madeline took a seat at the back.  Several children, dressed in white polos  with name tags and black pants were walking the aisles of the auditorium passing out programs.  Madeline was reading her program when she heard two boys loudly talking.  One of the boys screamed he “didn’t want to be in the stupid play anyway-I don’t care” and was really in the other one’s face with a sneer.  In runs Carol and grabs the sneering boy – yup – Connor.  Madeline said she started to feel kind of bad for Carol and she isn’t sure why.  She said she felt Carol would probably spend her whole life coddling and running interference for Connor because he is so misbehaved.

Just before the play started, Carol walks back into the auditorium, turned to walk out and sees Madeline sitting in the back.  Madeline gets up and walks over to Carol.  Carol says, “you shouldn’t be here” and then she walks out.  Madeline called after Carol, but took her seat.  The play ended and afterward, Madeline looked around for Carol or Connor, but left after not seeing them.

The next day at the store, Carol hung back in the office mostly and didn’t interact with anyone.

The District Manager posted a notice that there will be an end of year meeting next Saturday.  The notice asked those who had questions, concerns and issues to discuss to please voice them at the meeting.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: Harriet Jones on December 03, 2013, 08:09:23 AM
Why wasn't Madeline supposed to be there?  Carol "invited" people to come by leaving the flyers on everyone's cars.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: kategillian on December 03, 2013, 08:27:25 AM
Harriet, that's exactly what I was thinking!
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: ladyknight1 on December 03, 2013, 08:28:16 AM
Carol didn't want to be caught. I hope she is terminated over this.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: Coralreef on December 03, 2013, 08:32:02 AM
I think Madeline wasn't supposed to see Connor's fit. 

Maybe Carol sees her son as an actor because she couldn't be one for some reason? 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: Goosey on December 03, 2013, 08:35:09 AM
Probably because M was the one who confronted her about the flyers, indicating her disapproval, and then showed up at the play anyways?

I would question her behavior. It seems almost antagonizing.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: Sophia on December 03, 2013, 08:39:12 AM
I don't know.  It sounds like it was for a good cause.  I could see myself going to something like that.  I could also see myself complaining about Carol. 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: sammycat on December 03, 2013, 08:47:24 AM
So Connor wasn't even in the play? ::)  I guess the casting person didn't want Connor's outstanding performance to overshadow all the other performers'. Or maybe they didn't want to deal with stage mother Carol. :P

I can't wait to hear about Saturday's meeting.  >:D

ETA:  OP: Does your organisation traditionally have an end of year meeting, or is this the first time?
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: m2kbug on December 03, 2013, 08:47:56 AM
Why wasn't Madeline supposed to be there?  Carol "invited" people to come by leaving the flyers on everyone's cars.

I kind of took that as the mixing up of business and pleasure.  Carol obviously got reprimanded for soliciting personal donations.  Granted, she left flyers on the cars, and someone showed up.  Carol was really rude to give Madeline the snub like that when she actually took time out of her day to see this play and Carol's son, seemingly on Carol's invitation. 

Connor is going to have a rude awakening some day when people don't elevate him to that pedestal the way his mother and father do.  From the first post, it sounds like dad can be a real piece of work as well. 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: Venus193 on December 03, 2013, 08:53:32 AM
Karma is a rhymes-with-witch and she has PMS.  Carol will get her Karmageddon when Connor ends up depending on her for the rest of his life because the rest of the world won't put up with him.

I also suspect that Carol will be the subject of the end-of-year meeting.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: rose red on December 03, 2013, 09:29:18 AM
Probably because M was the one who confronted her about the flyers, indicating her disapproval, and then showed up at the play anyways?

I would question her behavior. It seems almost antagonizing.

Yeah.  Carol has been horrible, but after M's actions, I can see Carol thinking M is there to get more ammo to report to the head office.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: Kari on December 03, 2013, 09:40:11 AM
Karma is a rhymes-with-witch and she has PMS.  Carol will get her Karmageddon when Connor ends up depending on her for the rest of his life because the rest of the world won't put up with him.

I also suspect that Carol will be the subject of the end-of-year meeting.

I find that a bit harsh and the PMS comment rude and uneccessary. Personally, after reading how Carol gets treated by her family, I think it's no wonder she's having a meltdown and it's feeling a bit ghoulish to feel glee from her downward spiral. I'm not excusing her past behavior (her coworkers should be able to work in peace), but this is starting to feel like watching the aftermath of a car wreck. 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: Venus193 on December 03, 2013, 09:46:49 AM
That is a harsh accusation.  My statement about how Connor will always have to depend on her has been proven time and again.

One has to wonder about what the rest of Carol's family is like, or does she have any to even see what is going on here.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: #borecore on December 03, 2013, 09:47:23 AM
While I do find this story entertaining, I'm wondering what's in it for M? Why would you spend several hours at a children's play just to go see  a woman you don't like and a child you really don't like and report it back to your friends?
If she *hadn't* seen any drama, would the visit have been worth it to her?

I don't know your friend, obviously, but this seems like drama-mongering and rumor milling at this point.

(All that said, Carol needs to be out of this workplace yesterday!)
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: Lynn2000 on December 03, 2013, 09:52:51 AM
Although I totally agree Carol was inappropriate with her charity solicitations, I am also starting to wonder a bit about Madeleine. Was she planning to go to the play before she knew Carol had anything to do with it? If she was going solely hoping that there would be something else awful to tell about Carol and Connor--this time occurring in another venue, nothing to do with Carol's job--it starts to become a bit uncomfortable and gossipy for me.

I wonder why Madeleine walked over to Carol near the end of the story. I would think the situation would obviously be rather awkward and uncomfortable, with Carol giving no indication that she wanted to interact with Madeleine. A polite nod or wave from Madeleine's seat would have been better, I think, and Carol could have walked over to her if she wanted to chat.

Regarding the end of year meeting--I am also wondering how that will go. Is Carol expected to be present? I think it would be a really difficult situation--people standing up and saying, "Carol sitting right over there did this and that bad thing," Carol sitting there listening to it and getting upset/defensive, management trying to calm everyone down. I'm not sure what good that would really do, if that is indeed the plan (which it might not be). I think it would be better for management to talk to volunteers individually or at least in a small group without Carol there, then get Carol's side of the story/discipline her privately.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: Venus193 on December 03, 2013, 09:57:24 AM
My guess would be curiosity, unless Madeline has a relative involved in that event.

Having said that, since it was a public place Carol had no right to tell her she shouldn't have been there.  If she had not done a number of things already that would have provoked termination she wouldn't have been paranoid enough to confront Madeline.  That she did could make this worse for her.

To Lynn2000's post:  This end-of-year meeting -- if it is specifically about Carol -- would likely exclude her.  Unless the organization itself is toxic (which I don't have the impression it is) its management would not publicly crucify a problem employee.  These issues are typically handled behind closed doors.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: TurtleDove on December 03, 2013, 10:00:14 AM
I am confused why people assume the end-of-year meeting is about Carol.  Surely the organization has actual work to discuss.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: TootsNYC on December 03, 2013, 10:03:58 AM
I am confused why people assume the end-of-year meeting is about Carol.  Surely the organization has actual work to discuss.

My thought as well. The year has been pretty long.

And I'm also not so comfortable with Madeleine.

I don't hope Carol gets fired. That just feels mean. I wouldn't wish that one someone, and certainly not for the current set of screw-ups.

I hope Carol finds some equilibrium. And I hope that other people let the drama die down and learn how to blow her off when necessary.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: MurPl1 on December 03, 2013, 11:57:09 AM
I see it as totally possible that it's related to Carol and the workings of the thrift shop.  Smart non-profits value their volunteers and potentially losing a group of long term dedicated volunteers would have the agency concerned.  it's hard to replace those people.  Especially all at once.  Many non-profits don't really seem to care if volunteers come or go and if they leave they don't really follow up to find out why.  They just assume people moved on or got busy.  But this one has had clear indications and it's smart for them to make their volunteers feel wanted.

Additionally, I don't know of many non-profits like this that would hold a meeting with volunteers for just day to day operational discussion/review.  That's staff's role.  Likely any changes would be passed on later either individually or at a volunteers meeting. 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: ladyknight1 on December 03, 2013, 11:59:54 AM
I also don't understand why it would be wrong for someone who lives in the community to attend a public play. Why would attending the play be assigned as malicious?
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: Goosey on December 03, 2013, 12:07:13 PM
I also don't understand why it would be wrong for someone who lives in the community to attend a public play. Why would attending the play be assigned as malicious?

I don't think any old person attending a play is malicious, of course.

But someone who has an altercation with one of the staff members and then proceeds to (for some unknown reason) attempt to force an interaction at the play when it's clear Carol is not receptive? It really feels like M was trying to catch or in something or at least get more feed for the gossip (and since she filled the OP and others in on all the little details, I'm leaning more towards that way).

Carol did wrong. But at some point, Carol stops being the only bad guy when people are scrounging around for information to report on her.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: Midnight Kitty on December 03, 2013, 12:33:37 PM
I can't count the number of times I have read posts encouraging someone to be present so they could report back to the forum.  I thought M was "takin' one for the team" by attending the play to find out what was going on and report back.  I don't really keep track of exactly who posted what, so the people dissing M for attending play to "get more feed for the gossip" probably aren't the people who post "sorry you have to go through this, but come back and post updates for my entertainment."
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: Vall on December 03, 2013, 02:13:05 PM
Connor said that he didn't want to be in the play.  Was he actually in the play?  Did he have a major role?

As far as Carol and Connor disappearing after the play, maybe they just went backstage with the others.  I don't see anything wrong with going to the play but I wouldn't have tried to approach Carol since she didn't seem to want to acknowledge M.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: Goosey on December 03, 2013, 02:47:43 PM
I had assumed, Midnight Kitty, that those comments were tongue-in-cheek?
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: *inviteseller on December 03, 2013, 03:28:03 PM
Carol invited the volunteers to a play/food drive.  Madeline was angry with Carol over the deception and lies about it, not about the play.  And Carol didn't say "well, don't come to the play" so why can't someone go and support the food drive?  And honestly, I would have tried to talk to Carol also if I were in that situation..let her know I was there to support the cause.  Carol is and will always be the only antagonist, and honestly, as sneaky and underhanded as Carol is, someone needs to keep an eye on her because they don't know what she is going to spring on them next.

Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: Erich L-ster on December 03, 2013, 04:01:57 PM
I would also like to say, in defense of M, that she received an invitation to the play. It's not as if she did any investigating to find out what school the wonderful Conner went to and decided to show up there to be nosy or antagonize Carol.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: crella on December 03, 2013, 06:02:55 PM
I had assumed, Midnight Kitty, that those comments were tongue-in-cheek?


I had assumed the same.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: Midnight Kitty on December 03, 2013, 06:17:53 PM
I had assumed, Midnight Kitty, that those comments were tongue-in-cheek?


I had assumed the same.
If so, I missed the implication.  Often these posts are accompanied by virtual popcorn and virtual Bunny Foo-Foos.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: GreenEyedHawk on December 03, 2013, 07:14:47 PM
It sort of sounds to me like after the build-up Carol gave her kid that she was embarrassed for someone to find out he wasn't in the play.  Connor's outburst sounded like sour grapes...could be he was assigned to be an usher or some such when he really did want to be in the play but (perhaps) his behaviour caused him to be relegated to a non-stage role.

Personally the one I have the most sympathy for in this mess is Connor.  His mother is not doing him any favours, that's for sure.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: sammycat on December 03, 2013, 09:44:35 PM
I would also like to say, in defense of M, that she received an invitation to the play. It's not as if she did any investigating to find out what school the wonderful Conner went to and decided to show up there to be nosy or antagonize Carol.

Exactly. Carol has only herself to blame for her coworker turning up, as she herself invited them!
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: johelenc1 on December 03, 2013, 11:06:49 PM
Well, I for one, am happy M attended the play - for whatever reasons.  I hate not knowing what happens.  It's like never seeing the end of a movie.

I am also confused about whether or not Connor had a part in the play and what kind of part.  Most the kids I've ever seen who are talented actually do enjoy it.  You'd  never hear them complaining they don't want to be in a play.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: Iris on December 04, 2013, 12:30:41 AM
It's also possible that M is passionately devoted to the cause of the charity and sees Carol's behaviour as dangerous - driving away volunteers etc as has been discussed here. She may be fully intent on seeing the full extent of Carol's behaviour with the purpose of reporting it to management.

On the one hand, I wouldn't personally do that because I am rarely that invested in something. But on the other hand as long as Carol keeps within the limits everything will turn out fine.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: chibichan on December 04, 2013, 05:10:04 AM
In defense of the people who want to know "what happens next ..."

I have followed many a saga on this board , tales of hair raising bad manners , poor behavior and downright obnoxiousness .

Some were locked , some were resolved and some remain a mystery but never once have I read a thread conclusion that went like this :

OP : Hey everybody ! Thread subject showed up last week , acknowledged her wrong doing and has promised to try and change her behavior !"

Poster 1 : Darn , I was hoping she would mess up royally and get sacked .
Poster 2 : Yeah , what are we going to do now that we have no more juicy stories about her ?
Poster 3 : Maybe y'all can goad her back into behaving like a jerk so we can keep reading about it !
Poster 4 : Well , she must be lying because people like her never change .

I have never seen anyone on this board decry a good outcome as a loss of entertainment .

My point is ... I always have hope , even for the most etiquette-challenged . Personally , my favorite tales are the ones where the subject gets a wake up call and realizes that their behavior needs to change . I live for those conclusions and I like to believe so do we all .


I will say I am not a fan of " I'll bring the popcorn ..." but that's just me . I truly want to believe that people like Carol will get a clue before it's too late . That's what I'm hoping to see , no matter how slim the chance , when I follow a thread like this one .
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: 123sandy on December 04, 2013, 05:14:11 AM
In defense of the people who want to know "what happens next ..."

I have followed many a saga on this board , tales of hair raising bad manners , poor behavior and downright obnoxiousness .

Some were locked , some were resolved and some remain a mystery but never once have I read a thread conclusion that went like this :

OP : Hey everybody ! Thread subject showed up last week , acknowledged her wrong doing and has promised to try and change her behavior !"

Poster 1 : Darn , I was hoping she would mess up royally and get sacked .
Poster 2 : Yeah , what are we going to do now that we have no more juicy stories about her ?
Poster 3 : Maybe y'all can goad her back into behaving like a jerk so we can keep reading about it !
Poster 4 : Well , she must be lying because people like her never change .

I have never seen anyone on this board decry a good outcome as a loss of entertainment .

My point is ... I always have hope , even for the most etiquette-challenged . Personally , my favorite tales are the ones where the subject gets a wake up call and realizes that their behavior needs to change . I live for those conclusions and I like to believe so do we all .


I will say I am not a fan of " I'll bring the popcorn ..." but that's just me . I truly want to believe that people like Carol will get a clue before it's too late . That's what I'm hoping to see , no matter how slim the chance , when I follow a thread like this one .

I agree. This thread is starting to make me feel uncomfortable. People seem to be delighting in Carols fall and possible job loss...
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: *inviteseller on December 04, 2013, 07:19:24 AM
I don't think anyone is 'delighting' in Carol's downfall..what it is tho is we can identify with OP because we know the Carol's of the world and we are sick of watching this behavior play out in our real life.  It gives us hope that people like her and all the other entitled people we deal with, be it relatives, co workers, neighbors, either get a clue or a karmic slap upside the head.  Do I hope Carol loses her job?  Yes, simply because she works for a non profit, one I am sure that is scrounging for the fewer donation dollars out there, and she is trying to steer the volunteers into giving to HER SON and is taking it farther each time and could end up damaging the charity's , that she earns her paycheck from,reputation and good name.  If I found out a charity I supported had someone on their payroll who was soliciting for her own personal gain, I would find another charity to give to because I would wonder if she wasn't diverting my donations to herself.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on December 04, 2013, 08:01:52 AM
Plus, posters have expressed sympathy for Carol.  I do think she deserves to lose her job, but I do feel sorry for her, too.  A happy and fulfilled woman doesn't live through her own child the way she's doing.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: CrazyDaffodilLady on December 04, 2013, 10:29:21 AM
I was hoping for an update that said Connor was in the play and was so talented and charismatic that he stole the show.

It sounds like Carol is losing it, and that's sad, but each of us is responsible for our behavior, no matter what the circumstances.  I don't sympathize with people who can't admit they're wrong, who get aggressive when they should be apologetic, and who won't get help when they need it. 
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: Otterpop on December 04, 2013, 11:06:34 AM
I see Carol as someone who abused her position, is unrepentant, and should be disciplined.  Way too often, people in supervisory positions exploit those underneath and get away with it.  Being an employee/supervisor and pressuring volunteers to financially contribute to her rude, ill-behaved son's aspirations is particularly egregious.  She sees these people as a potential piggy bank.

So...looking for updates is not gleefully wishing for someone's downfall, it's hoping for justice and resolution.

Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: kansha on December 04, 2013, 11:52:31 AM
Well, I for one, am happy M attended the play - for whatever reasons.  I hate not knowing what happens.  It's like never seeing the end of a movie.

I am also confused about whether or not Connor had a part in the play and what kind of part.  Most the kids I've ever seen who are talented actually do enjoy it.  You'd  never hear them complaining they don't want to be in a play.
the 'i didn't want to be in it anyway' sounds like he MIGHT have had a part but was replaced for being disruptive or not taking direction?
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: TootsNYC on December 04, 2013, 12:12:15 PM
Well, I for one, am happy M attended the play - for whatever reasons.  I hate not knowing what happens.  It's like never seeing the end of a movie.

I am also confused about whether or not Connor had a part in the play and what kind of part.  Most the kids I've ever seen who are talented actually do enjoy it.  You'd  never hear them complaining they don't want to be in a play.
the 'i didn't want to be in it anyway' sounds like he MIGHT have had a part but was replaced for being disruptive or not taking direction?

Now that's making stuff up, I think.

it could just as easily mean that he never did get a part but was feeling stung about that. "Sour grapes," essentially, when you devalue something in order to feel better about not having it.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on December 04, 2013, 12:45:31 PM
Course there's also the possibility he never really did want to be in it at all and his mother keeps pushing it because she thinks he should want it, or has dreams for him that he doesn't share.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: GlitterIsMyDrug on December 04, 2013, 01:14:48 PM
I would say it's one of those three.

1. He had a part, but lost it (due to behavior, Carol, the full moon, whatever), so he "didn't even want it!"
2. He auditioned, was not cast, so "whatever, I never wanted the stupid part!"
3. He doesn't give a rat's hiney about acting but his mother is living out her dreams through him, thus "I don't want to be in the play!" as an earnest statement. He doesn't want to be in the play.

There's no real way to know for sure, but all are possibilities. Or maybe he was just being a kid, said the first thing that popped in his head to something the other kid said and had no real meaning behind it.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: johelenc1 on December 04, 2013, 10:32:22 PM
For the record, although I am happy for updates because I like to know how things turn out, I am not necessarily hoping Carol get first. 

I think someone earlier nailed it when they mentioned something about justice and resolution.  If someone like Carol is acting inappropriately, then that behavior should be stopped by whatever powers that be in whatever way is effective.  If its someone like K'nnihave, we hope someone (like Roe!) puts their foot down and stops allowing her to take advantage.  Actually, in many of the situations, it's often one person taking advantage of someone else in some way or another.    Even, Carol - she is taking advantage of her fellow employees/co-workers to bully them into supporting her son.  This is unfair and wrong. 

In the end, I'm not really invested in whether Carol gets fired or not, but I do think her behavior should be stopped - for the sake of the people she affects - including the OP.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: sammycat on December 04, 2013, 11:21:45 PM
I see Carol as someone who abused her position, is unrepentant, and should be disciplined.  Way too often, people in supervisory positions exploit those underneath and get away with it.  Being an employee/supervisor and pressuring volunteers to financially contribute to her rude, ill-behaved son's aspirations is particularly egregious.  She sees these people as a potential piggy bank.

So...looking for updates is not gleefully wishing for someone's downfall, it's hoping for justice and resolution.

POD.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: Goosey on December 05, 2013, 07:16:00 AM
I think there's quite a difference between looking for updates that come along HERE and going out to look for updates to share with people Carol is going to run into in her work life.

One is an internet forum. The other is personal
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on December 05, 2013, 07:48:32 AM
That I will agree with.  It kind of did seem a bit antagonistic that Madeleine showed up after the confrontation in the parking lot. If it had been OP or someone who'd tried to hold Madeleine back I'd feel differently.

Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: MommySloth on December 05, 2013, 12:39:38 PM
I think it could've been interpreted as antagonistic for Madeline to show up at the play, but also that Carol (having invited her, along with everyone else who received flyers) had no right to be aggressive toward her. I wonder if she'd have behaved that way toward the OP, Jessie, or anyone else who had showed up; I feel she probably would've assumed badly about ANY volunteer who showed up, because she seems to be the martyr type.

It also seems to me that Madeline is a volunteer dedicated to her cause, and she probably foresees the negative consequences for the organization if Carol should manage to drive a significant number of volunteers away. Not that this is necessarily true, but she may feel that this justifies her attendance at the play. She also might have been trying to make amends. We just can't really know.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: Lynn2000 on December 05, 2013, 02:34:43 PM
Just in the interest of academic speculation, I think it could be profitable to imagine what advice EHell would give to Madeleine if she was the OP. So she starts out by talking about how her boss mysteriously asked them to stay after work and turned it into a solicitation for her son, and did not graciously accept people leaving. Someone (Madeleine? I've forgotten now) reported this, Carol was chided by her bosses, but sent only a grudging non-apology. (Was that Madeleine again who reported it?) Next the anonymous flyers, which are suspicious but not provable, then Carol hamfistedly outs herself and Madeleine, our OP, is very angry about this, has a verbal altercation with Carol about it, and ends up reporting Carol to the bosses (possibly for the third time).

Then Madeleine says, "Should I go to the play?"
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: Erich L-ster on December 05, 2013, 03:03:11 PM
Just in the interest of academic speculation, I think it could be profitable to imagine what advice EHell would give to Madeleine if she was the OP. So she starts out by talking about how her boss mysteriously asked them to stay after work and turned it into a solicitation for her son, and did not graciously accept people leaving. Someone (Madeleine? I've forgotten now) reported this, Carol was chided by her bosses, but sent only a grudging non-apology. (Was that Madeleine again who reported it?) Next the anonymous flyers, which are suspicious but not provable, then Carol hamfistedly outs herself and Madeleine, our OP, is very angry about this, has a verbal altercation with Carol about it, and ends up reporting Carol to the bosses (possibly for the third time).

Then Madeleine says, "Should I go to the play?"

Under those circumstances my guess is that the answer would be "No" but I don't think Carol outright admitted they were her flyers.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: Goosey on December 05, 2013, 03:13:41 PM
For me, it would depend on the reason:

1. I want to see what Carol is up to so I can talk to my friends about it:  No, that's not a good idea or motivation
2. I am interested in the charity: Can you donate without going? If so, I would
3. I am interested in seeing the play: If you go, avoid Carol.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: Lynn2000 on December 05, 2013, 03:41:19 PM
I tend to agree with Goosey. I would probably advise Madeleine to examine her motivation for going and to consider how her attendance could be perceived, even if her motivates were pure. Sometimes that is important. Now if she had a niece who was going to be in the play, I would say she should still go, but try to avoid Carol and if she spotted her, try to make it obvious she was there with/for other people. Should that be necessary in an ideal world? No, but then again this entire board wouldn't exist in an ideal world. :) I don't see anything wrong with Madeleine reporting the things she's seen through the appropriate chains at work, but I think she should be careful to keep it all very professional, and avoid anything that could look personal, as that could undermine her valid complaints.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: nolechica on December 05, 2013, 04:12:12 PM
Does Madeline stand to gain anything or have friends that could gain if Carol is fired (more than peace of mind)?
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: citadelle on December 06, 2013, 05:54:25 AM
For the record, although I am happy for updates because I like to know how things turn out, I am not necessarily hoping Carol get first. 

I think someone earlier nailed it when they mentioned something about justice and resolution.  If someone like Carol is acting inappropriately, then that behavior should be stopped by whatever powers that be in whatever way is effective.  If its someone like K'nnihave, we hope someone (like Roe!) puts their foot down and stops allowing her to take advantage.  Actually, in many of the situations, it's often one person taking advantage of someone else in some way or another.    Even, Carol - she is taking advantage of her fellow employees/co-workers to bully them into supporting her son.  This is unfair and wrong. 

In the end, I'm not really invested in whether Carol gets fired or not, but I do think her behavior should be stopped - for the sake of the people she affects - including the OP.

I understand the schadenfreude aspect and have felt it, too. I just don't know if schadenfreude is "polite".
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: Venus193 on December 06, 2013, 06:22:53 AM
If Carol is fired for this behavior I don't call it "harm" (the literal translation of "schaden"); I call it justice.

She has already been called out for unprofessional and unethical behavior and what did she do?  She flauted it, as though the rules of polite society and the workplace don't apply to her.

Someone like this is not likely to learn her lessons until something like losing a job comes along to teach it.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: citadelle on December 06, 2013, 06:54:04 AM
If Carol is fired for this behavior I don't call it "harm" (the literal translation of "schaden"); I call it justice.

She has already been called out for unprofessional and unethical behavior and what did she do?  She flauted it, as though the rules of polite society and the workplace don't apply to her.

Someone like this is not likely to learn her lessons until something like losing a job comes along to teach it.
It is harm *to Carol*. That is the literal meaning.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: Otterpop on December 06, 2013, 08:16:20 AM
If Carol is fired for this behavior I don't call it "harm" (the literal translation of "schaden"); I call it justice.

She has already been called out for unprofessional and unethical behavior and what did she do?  She flauted it, as though the rules of polite society and the workplace don't apply to her.

Someone like this is not likely to learn her lessons until something like losing a job comes along to teach it.
It is harm *to Carol*. That is the literal meaning.

But harm to oneself that comes from one's own bad behavior is:  consequence, discipline, justice served.

We're always wondering where personal responsibility has gone.  It's left because people are shielded from the natural consequences of their actions by their parents or a ridiculously lax authority.  Conor is a prime example of a kid being raised to behave abominably.  Perhaps his mother will learn from people's rejection of HER behavior.  I personally don't want to see her fired, just reassigned to an area without access to underlings.  She was warned to stop seeking support for her son from the volunteers, she proceeded to do it again under the guise of an anonymous flyer.  Then she's rude when someone catches her.  She deserves the consequences.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: nayberry on December 06, 2013, 08:25:29 AM
If Carol is fired for this behavior I don't call it "harm" (the literal translation of "schaden"); I call it justice.

She has already been called out for unprofessional and unethical behavior and what did she do?  She flauted it, as though the rules of polite society and the workplace don't apply to her.

Someone like this is not likely to learn her lessons until something like losing a job comes along to teach it.
It is harm *to Carol*. That is the literal meaning.

But harm to oneself that comes from one's own bad behavior is:  consequence, discipline, justice served.

We're always wondering where personal responsibility has gone.  It's left because people are shielded from the natural consequences of their actions by their parents or a ridiculously lax authority.  Conor is a prime example of a kid being raised to behave abominably.  Perhaps his mother will learn from people's rejection of HER behavior.  I personally don't want to see her fired, just reassigned to an area without access to underlings.  She was warned to stop seeking support for her son from the volunteers, she proceeded to do it again under the guise of an anonymous flyer.  Then she's rude when someone catches her.  She deserves the consequences.


i agree otterpop,  Carol was warned and yet persisted in her bad behaviour, its karmic justice if she loses her job through her own bad choices
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: citadelle on December 06, 2013, 08:33:39 AM
If Carol is fired for this behavior I don't call it "harm" (the literal translation of "schaden"); I call it justice.

She has already been called out for unprofessional and unethical behavior and what did she do?  She flauted it, as though the rules of polite society and the workplace don't apply to her.

Someone like this is not likely to learn her lessons until something like losing a job comes along to teach it.
It is harm *to Carol*. That is the literal meaning.

But harm to oneself that comes from one's own bad behavior is:  consequence, discipline, justice served.

We're always wondering where personal responsibility has gone.  It's left because people are shielded from the natural consequences of their actions by their parents or a ridiculously lax authority.  Conor is a prime example of a kid being raised to behave abominably.  Perhaps his mother will learn from people's rejection of HER behavior.  I personally don't want to see her fired, just reassigned to an area without access to underlings.  She was warned to stop seeking support for her son from the volunteers, she proceeded to do it again under the guise of an anonymous flyer.  Then she's rude when someone catches her.  She deserves the consequences.


i agree otterpop,  Carol was warned and yet persisted in her bad behaviour, its karmic justice if she loses her job through her own bad choices

It may be karmic justice, and Carol may have earned it. It is still schadenfreude to *enjoy* her getting it, though, and I wonder if that is polite. I don't know.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: Goosey on December 06, 2013, 08:37:56 AM
I don't know that firing = justice. I would prefer it if her manager worked on her behavior a little more with her. After all, this is abnormal behavior for her. She was told "no more fundraising at work." She figured fliers on cars wasn't at work. It was a loophole and one she shouldn't have exploited and she needs to be counseled for it. I can't see being so upset that I need to be "held back" and I can't see why she should be fired right away.

Someone getting their comeuppance or being held accountable for their actions doesn't always mean the harshest possible punishment and it shouldn't. And it shouldn't be pleasurable to others when that does happen.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: Venus193 on December 06, 2013, 09:24:57 AM
Is it rude to enjoy schaudenfreude?  The answer is no; it's just rude to gloat about it.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: cabbagegirl28 on December 06, 2013, 09:40:03 AM
Is it rude to enjoy schaudenfreude?  The answer is no; it's just rude to gloat about it.

This. Etiquette doesn't govern your feelings, only the actions on said feelings.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: Lynn2000 on December 06, 2013, 09:42:21 AM
Is it rude to enjoy schaudenfreude?  The answer is no; it's just rude to gloat about it.

I think we actually had a thread about that very question some time ago. I think the general consensus was that, as with many things, if you manage to keep them entirely in your head, and they don't leak out into your behavior, it's not rude. I think this applies to Madeleine in an interesting way--etiquette is not necessarily concerned with why she went to the play. It was open to the public and she paid her money (or whatever) like everyone else, and while there didn't behave in any objectively rude ways. So she's clear on that point. Telling the OP/others about what happened afterwards may or may not be rude--it can be hard to pin down when FYI turns into bad gossip.

But sometimes I think it behooves us to examine our motivations ourselves, what they say about us, and how we feel about that, kind of like with schadenfreude. And also, in Madeleine's case, how her appearance at the play might have been perceived by Carol--not that other people's perception should be the sole reason we do things, but I think EHell has been very good for me, at least, by helping me to see others' POV in situations. :)

Honestly, the thing I personally would like best in this situation, is if somehow, through counseling or whatever, Carol suddenly realized how much her behavior was harming herself and her son, saw the light, and became determined to turn her life around. And then was able to do it. From what's been described here, her life seems so desperate and sad to me, and I feel bad that that's spilling over onto her child. I don't think she should have no consequences for her actions, though. In fact that may be the only thing that wakes her up to reality.
Title: Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)
Post by: Possum on December 06, 2013, 11:44:43 AM
I understand the schadenfreude aspect and have felt it, too. I just don't know if schadenfreude is "polite".
It's not polite, but it is human, and even the most polite of us may secretly, untold to anyone, long to indulge in it time to time.