Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Double Standard

I don't often talk about just how awesome my kids are. I really just don't feel comfortable doing it, because so many people have a negative reaction to it. I know that their reactions are their problem, not mine, but I don't want that negativity associated with my very positive moments. I choose not to do it that often, so I don't have to deal with those who are incapable of being happy for us.

As a society, we tend to connect more over challenges than positives. It's easier to deal with our own shortcomings if we are around others who share the same challenges. Go to pretty much any homeschool forum. Look at the threads where someone has posted a challenge - child struggling in Math, Spelling problems, Writing woes, not yet reading, etc. There are tons of posts in these threads - advice, posts from others going through the same thing or who went through the same thing, commiseration. Now look at threads where someone is posting about an achievement - child reading on their own for the first time, good scores on standardized tests, portfolio assessment going well, child finally getting something they've been struggling with. These threads often have many less posts. A few people respond with congratulations, sometimes there are a couple of comments about how great homeschooling is. It's not uncommon for a thread about an achievement to have only one or two pages, while those about challenges may be up to ten or more pages. Some people will decide to start a 'bragging' thread inviting everyone to brag about their kids. These tend to have more posts than the average 'Yay! Look at what my kids did' thread, but often still have less than a challenge thread. This seems to say that talking about our kids accomplishments can be hard for all of us, whether they are average, above-average, or behind.

I find that it is especially difficult with kids like mine, though. People tend to react very negatively, sometimes violently, toward parents who talk about their Gifted or 2E kids. Not even bragging, though. Many people react negatively just to simple comments about what they're doing. I've been accused of bragging just for mentioning something my kids were studying, interested in, or had done that day/week.

It's a double standard. Parents of average kids can talk about what their kids are doing and brag about their kids' accomplishments. Parents of kids with disabilities are pretty much expected to brag on their kids when they do something cool. Parents of Gifted or 2E kids, though, that's another story. People don't even want to hear about the regular daily stuff of the Gifted, much less the outstanding things.

Anyway, this is my blog. So, I will talk about my kids if I want to. I appreciate those who read this blog, and haven't experienced much negativity here. I do still sometimes post warnings, though, in an attempt at being proactive about the negativity that could ensue. This is one of those times. I don't lie about my kids. I don't exaggerate their accomplishments or abilities. My kids are NOT average.

I will not tolerate negative comments here. I will not allow any comment that questions my honesty. I will not allow any comment that is negative toward either of my kids. I do not post to start a pissing contest. I just want a place to mention things that make me proud of them, things they are doing or have done that I think are just great, without other people being jackasses about it. So far, I have not had to deal with this kind of thing here, and I hope that continues. I deal with this kind of crap enough at other places. Quite honestly, I've dealt with this stuff since long before I had kids, being 2E myself. It's been over 2 1/2 decades of dealing with other people's issues, prejudices, and doubts, etc. It's so damn irritating as a child or teen to have adults (family, teachers, etc.) doubt that you can do something because they can't do it or their kids can't do it. Being constantly accused of lying, when you are being totally honest, is annoying as hell. Being the mother of 2E kids, having other people call you a liar or become vicious when you talk (completely honestly, at that) about your kids, is quite frustrating.

These things are a big part of the reason that I don't post as much about our schooling as I would like. However, I plan to change that. This blog should be my haven, the one place I can say anything I want, talk about anything my kids do. So, I am going to try to talk  more about my kids & how amazing they are. I am so damn tired of this stupid double standard.

I know that there are people who don't believe me when I say my daughter would be doing Trig this year, if she hadn't put up such a fight about doing Math. Or that my son, who is 7 & in 2nd grade, consistently reads books at a 5th & 6th grade level. Or that my daughter was reading at a high school level in 3rd grade. Or that my son can multiply, add, and subtract any positive numbers you give him, including decimals but excluding fractions & percents, and is currently mastering long division. I honestly don't care that some people don't believe me. I do feel that those people need to keep their opinions to themselves, though. If you think I'm lying when I talk about my kids, don't read my posts. However, unless you have proof that I'm lying, you don't get to challenge my honesty.