LeslieAnn's picture


Hello everyone! I have a question/concern about my 7 year old son. I hope anyone can help me. I know that my son is gifted, although he hasn't been tested yet. I did not have any clue at all what being gifted meant and I have been doing a lot of research now.

From what I am reading, gifted children can feel very different than other children. My son has mentioned a few times in the last couple of years why he gets upset about things that his friends don't. It bothers him. He also refuses to admit he's the highest scorer in his class. Okay, so, the issue is this.

Last night I told him to brush his teeth and he refused unless I told him he was a geek. At first I thought he was kidding. I told him that if I said he was a geek I would be lying. He continued on, but more forceful, and demanded I call him a geek and became very upset. Then he went to the hallway and pretty much collapsed on the floor sobbing saying things like "I am so weird! No one is weird like me. My thoughts are not normal. I do weird things. I'm a loser. I'm stupid. I don't think right." I asked him what made him feel different or weird, but he couldn't say, he then just said he knew was not "normal." There was more but that's what I can remember. He ended this conversation by all of a sudden laughing?! And was done conversing about it. Just like that. It really bothered me a great deal, but other than that he seems to be very happy and well-adjusted.

I understand the overexcitabilities. He most definitely has that. But this concerned me more. He's in a public school (LA Unified) and not getting what he needs. I do want him tested, but I have to go on a waiting list. And I can't afford private schooling.

My question would be do I need to be concerned? This is the first time where it seems he is really noticing or admitting these thoughts. It bothered me a great deal. I thought I may call his school and see if they have a counselor.

But do I walk not run? Or is this parr for the course? I'm a single mom and this has started getting my emotionally overwhelmed.

I am sorry so long! Thanks!

acitez's picture

Geek has come to mean gifted. I think he was literally trying to "come to terms" with his gifted nature, putting the 21st century label on himself, and you frustrated him in the attempt. Geek has come to mean something like "fan." Children and adolescents who put a lot of energy into understanding some isolated thing are called geeks. Nerd has also been embraced by the adolescent community (I've heard of band nerds). It's like being a jock, only in a non-athletic sense.

Re-open the conversation. Ask him what a geek is. Maybe it could lead into a conversation about both of you accepting that he is gifted, and that he is still a child who needs to be valued not for his gifts, but for all he is.

LeslieAnn's picture

Thank you, You're right I did frusterate him further. I appreciate your response.

SnglDad's picture

There are many famous “geeks” who changed the world; Bill Gates is just one example. Teach your son about people who were considered different by societal standards, but went on to do great things.

Your son’s meltdown, I believe, was not some sort of epiphany or a coming to terms with who he believes himself to be. I believe that the things he was saying are the same things he is hearing about himself at school. It could be that fulfilling the role he has been given brings him less criticism from fellow classmates.

There is a test called the Briggs Meyers personality test; I don’t know if it is applicable to someone so young, but I know that when taking the test you can learn a great deal about who you are and why, this may be helpful. There are free versions online.

I am going to mess the line up, but there was a movie that Denzel Washington played in where he was a debate coach. One day a student of his cut himself down. Denzel said something that caught my attention. He asked the student if he would punch himself while in a street fight, the student responded with a no. Denzel asked why he would do the equivalent in a verbal fight.

Do not allow your son to cut himself down or accept what others say as being true. Give him the tools to define himself. Once he does this it should not matter what others say.