Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Those gifted kids are big babies!

Here in the middle of the third week of school I think I've finally got a bit of a routine going as far as transportation goes.

7:15 AM - Watch Bug board school bus
7:20 AM - Drop Goober at Pre K
7:25 AM - Drop Munchkin at school
7:35 AM - Home and back in bed starting work

The afternoon is a little more chaotic.

2:15 PM - Walk 1/2 mile to Munchkin's bus stop
2:25 PM - Grab Munchkin and walk 1/2 mile + 20 feet to Bug's bus stop
2:30 PM - Wave as Bug's bus passes us on the street
2:35 PM - Arrive at Bug's stop and wait as bus loops around entire huge neighborhood and gets back to his stop because school district doesn't believe an 8 year old can walk 20 feet on a sidewalk to his home all by himself. Whatever.
2:45 PM - Melt into pool of sweat on sidewalk. Get Bug and walk the 20 feet home as a group.

Then we do our homework and I clean up the house a bit and before I know it it's 5:00 and time to drive up to the pre-school and grab Goober. At home I throw together dinner and we all eat.

I'm sort of starting to see some organization here! Exciting, indeed.

Today, I was feeling a little under the weather and I took the van to pick the kids up at their bus stops.

Both stops are pretty active ones. Traffic is fairly light and similar at both stops and about 10 to 15 kids get off at both stops. Both stops are for elementary school children.

At Munchkin's stop all the SUVs and minivans line up on both sides of the road, the bus pulls up, the parents all sit in the vehicles with them running, and the kids go right to their respective cars and get in all by themselves.

At Bug's stop all the SUVs and minivans line up on both sides of the road, the bus pulls up, the parents all spring joyously from their vehicles and grab their children by the hand and walk them to their cars making sure each child is buckled securely before leaving the stop.

I was sort of surprised when all the parents got out of their cars to walk their children from the bus. These are not kindergartners, either. Most kids appear to be at least in 2nd grade or older. The difference, however, is that these children are all in the gifted program.

At first I figured it was just a product of parents being sheep. You know, one mom got out of the van to run to the bus and all other parents followed suit because we all have that innate fear inside of us that we're not doing a good job and that we need to be veritable June Cleavers.

Beaver Bus

But then I wondered if it had something to do with the type of parents that end up with gifted children. Are parents of gifted kids more coddling than parents of non-gifted kids? Are parents of gifted kids more protective? Are they better? Are they more hands on?

I'm not more of a coddler and I'm definitely not more protective. I'm of the mind that if they're screaming they're still breathing. Does that make me a better or worse parent? I don't know... I think it just means I'm raising my children more independently. I hope that they don't expect to be babied for every little boo boo they get in life, yanno?

So Bug ran to the car all by himself. He made it just fine.


Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

Draw from this whatever conclusions you want: Both my boys are gifted -- doing high school work in middle school and college work in high school. My husband I both love to read, we're each good in different areas of academics and education was always encouraged (same as I"m sure most parents do, probably no more and no less) Both were over-coddled and over-protected in general. In hindsight, I wish I hadn't overprotected them as much as I had. They have incredible incredible brains and absolutely zero street smarts so I'm doing remedial work with them in that area! Truthfully if I had to choose or if I got a do-over, I'd have them be a little less brainy and a little more worldly wise.

Karen said...[Reply to comment]

Oy, the helicopter parents, they KILL me!
For the record, I have a "gifted" kid, however, we use the term "special" much more often. And I am what I like to call a lazy parent. Why should I do it if they are capable themselves? My 4th grader rides her bike to school with a friend, no parents, *gasp*! And my kindergartner walked into school all by herself the 5th day of school. But there are still parents parking and walking their kids in this week. Drives me CRAZY!

Jason, as himself said...[Reply to comment]

It sounds like you're doing it the right way...watching coddlers at my school makes me a bit crazy.

But I guess coddling is way better than neglect.

Putting the FUN in DysFUNctional said...[Reply to comment]

2 of my 3 kids are gifted and I am SO not a coddler, by anyone's definition!