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Gifted Isn’t Better; It’s Different


Every time someone states that all children are gifted it equates the term gifted with special.  Saying that all children are gifted actually works against the idea that all children are special.  It says that there is something extra special about being gifted – more special than having strengths in other areas.  Being gifted isn’t extra special.  It is just different.

Let us promote the idea that it is okay for all children to be who they are.  It is okay if a child is good at something or if a child struggles at something.  It is okay.  It is okay for a child to be who the child was born to be.

Every child is special.  Every child is a unique kind of wonderful.  But by saying that every child is gifted, it assumes that gifted is something better than other things.  If it was really okay for every child to be their own kind of wonderful, then we wouldn’t take a child’s or parent’s disappointment at not making the gifted cutoff and state that all children are gifted.

Gifted isn’t better.  It’s different – different wiring.

Gifted or not, let’s teach our children that it is okay to be their own kind of wonderful.  At the same time, let’s teach them to accept that other people will have strengths that they don’t have.  Let’s teach them to be okay if others do something better.  Let’s teach them to be okay with themselves whether they shine at something or not.

Giftedness isn’t a wonderful prize to be attained or something better than another skill that a child might have.  It is what it is.  It is a strength just like any other strength.  Let’s stop equating giftedness with something extra special.  All kids are special.  All kids have unique strengths.  Let’s accept that and not put giftedness on some pedestal.


  1. Having three gifted girls, I agree wholeheartedly with the post!

    But we live in a sickly utilitarian society where people are often valued for their abilities or devalued and even killed for their disabilities. To many in our society, gifted is better. Until we change society so 80%+ don’t see children with Down Syndrome as worse, they will never believe that gifted =/= better.

    And we can say gifted is different, not better, but will it come from someone whose children are average or struggling learners? If a rich person says “My problems are different, not less”, do we believe him? Or do we say “If it’s only different, let’s switch spots and see how you like this existence?”

    We need to realize that we have many benefits through the luck of birth. It doesn’t make us better people to be intelligent, a certain nationality, a certain wealth level, etc., but it is still enviable to someone on the outside looking in – and I doubt many of us have interest in trading our lot in life for something the other person considers ‘worse’.
    Joshua Raymond recently posted…October 10, 2015 will be an amazing day!My Profile

  2. This is exactly what I have been trying to get across to my son. He is smart, but not the smartest. He is talented, but not the most talented. He puts a lot of pressure on himself. It definitely does not come from me. I am always telling him that if he does his best, I don’t care if “everyone” (in quotes because those are his words) else’s best is better.

  3. “Every child is special. Every child is a unique kind of wonderful. But by saying that every child is gifted, it assumes that gifted is something better than other things.” <– So true.
    I recently also posted: http://yellowreadis.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/my-kid-is-not-average-and-pride-has.html

  4. Well-said! “Gifted isn’t better, it’s different” <—this is it exactly. And with the "better than" stigma giftedness is saddled with, it makes being being gifted difficult 🙁 Thanks for such a wonderful testament to the fact that gifted isn't better, it's different!
    Celi Trépanier recently posted…NO! For the Last Time, Every Child is NOT Gifted!My Profile

  5. “Giftedness isn’t a wonderful prize to be attained or something better than another skill that a child might have. It is what it is. ” <— <3 this.
    Pamela @RedWhiteandGrew recently posted…Dear Momastery: We Disagree re: “Gifted”My Profile

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