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Tag, You’re It!

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I first heard the acronym TAG when my oldest child entered preschool.  She was an early reader and a verbal toddler, so people assumed her to be innately intelligent. They also assumed that I would automatically enroll her in a TAG (Talented and Gifted) program.  I knew that as her teen-self emerged, I would easily recognize her talents and gifts, but I was not inclined to tag them as such in preschool.

It is easy to mistake early reading fluency and verbal skills for super-intelligence, and many people—including parents of other children, educators and even strangers upon first meeting—challenged our occasionally wavering commitment to allow her to develop her intellect at her own pace.  I especially wanted her to discover her gifts over time; to unwrap them deliberately at various stages in her life rather than tear off the ribbons and toss the boxes into the recycling bin all at once.

It isn’t that I failed to see the gifts that nature had bestowed on her.  It is more that I wanted to nurture her appreciation of them from infancy to adulthood.  I wanted to ignite her desire to strive for excellence, to persevere in the face of challenges and to achieve her goals through hard work.  As Malcolm Gladwell wrote in Outliers, “…in my experience, the glittering prizes in life come more to those who persevere despite setback and disappointment than they do to the exceptionally gifted.” (p. 373) Labeling my preschooler as talented and gifted may have given me satisfaction as a young parent, but watching my daughter earn her accolades has given me reassurance that she is now prepared to emerge from adolescence to adulthood.

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Comments (3)

My talented daughter has emerged into a wonderful adult

Thanks, Mom & Yael! I guess it doesn’t matter how old you get, a proud mother’s praise never gets old. Glad to know that you are both reading. It’s always good to have independent confirmation of one’s Google Analytics pie charts. Mom, now you have to sign in to Twitter, too!!

Not to mention a brilliant wordsmith!

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