A man publicly told his daughter she wasn’t gifted, even though she got into university at the age of fifteen. He claims he was only trying to protect her from her own ego, but his wife thinks he was intentionally putting her down.
He and his wife had two children
He and his wife both had electrical engineering degrees, but he no longer works in the field, choosing instead to be a manager. They had two children, a daughter and a son, who are now fifteen and seventeen.
Both kids got into university
Both of his kids got into university and will be going next month. His son is doing a BA but hasn’t picked his major yet, while his daughter will be studying physics and computer science. His son is also very smart and is a history and language nerd.
His daughter was in a program for gifted kids
His daughter is intelligent and hardworking and will be attending university at an earlier age than usual. She was in a school program for gifted kids.
His wife mentioned how lucky they were as parents
One night during a conversation around the dinner table, his wife said how proud he was of their daughter. She said how lucky they were to have gifted kids going to good university programs and how not many people could do what their daughter did.
He announced that their daughter isn’t actually gifted
He was also very happy but said that while their daughter is very hardworking and smart, he wouldn’t say that she is actually gifted. He also noted that others could do what she did if they put in the same amount of work.
The school tried to admit lots to the gifted program
He says her school tried a lot to admit girls to her program. Also, his wife helped teach his daughter advanced college-level maths and physics from an early age, so she didn’t naturally pick it up on her own.
He felt her younger age also helped her get in
If anything, he felt that being a younger applicant with the same credentials probably helped her to stand out more for the admissions committee. She deserved to get in because of all of her hard work, but he feels that doesn’t necessarily make her ‘gifted.’
He thinks being called gifted isn’t always a gift
He claims he’s seen how being called ‘gifted’ can ruin people’s lives by it going to their heads. This is why he felt the need to caution her about getting carried away with terminology like ‘gifted.’
His wife and daughter think otherwise
Both his wife and daughter are now upset at him for what he said. His wife believes he was trying to put their daughter down, insisting that she is gifted. Meanwhile, his daughter actually agrees with him but says he shouldn’t have said it because she already knows.
He turned to the internet for advice
He says he’s really proud and happy for his kids and has complimented and celebrated their achievements a lot, but he just doesn’t think his daughter is gifted or should take too much notice of that word. However, a small part of him wonders if what he said was wrong. To see what others had to say, he turned to an internet forum.
The internet responded
One commentator said, “Putting your daughter down served no positive purpose. Discouraging a young teen like that can have serious detrimental effects. Even if she isn’t actually gifted, you were in the wrong. That being said, she is gifted. Not every 15-year-old can go to a university to study physics. Not only is she gifted academically, but she is also gifted with drive and determination. Not everyone has that.”
Another user responded, “You can make all the claims you want to about how proud of her you supposedly are. I see right through you. I spent my career as a woman in the sciences, and I’ve been around countless guys like you who are quick to praise their little female ‘worker bees’ as long as they know their place but who are incapable of acknowledging when a woman is genuinely exceptional.”
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