I'm kind of obsessed with the idea of intelligence.
Have been for as long as I can remember, probably from when I was first told I'd score high on a IQ test (as part of assessment through school to try and figure out what my "issues" were, seeing I was taught myself to read and write before going to school, but I really wasn't doing that well in school, was very easily distracted and distracting to other children, threw tantrums, stormed out and generally made life hell for my teachers and my parents...
Back then I scored 135, I was considered to be gifted.
As and adult I've been obsessed with proving to myself (and others) that I am intelligent, despite not being "successful" in a wealth and fame sense. I'm not a surgeon, or a great artist, or any kind of groundbreaking inventor or anything... Being considered intelligent is important to me, and I'm constantly testing myself. I am sitting here cringing as I write this, and maybe I won't post this this time either. It's not socially acceptable to discuss intelligence lest you hand someone else and inferiority complex on a platter.
The Bell Curve tells us only a very small percentage of people can be above average intelligent. To get around this, we of course, all agree there are many kinds of intelligence, and intelligence and commonsense are not synonymous. In our society we at once want to put "intelligent people" on a pedastal and we want to cut them down, so they don't feel they're better than the rest of the population.
The thing is, I don't think most intelligent people actually believe they're better than the rest of the population. There are a few egomaniacs out there who do, of course, mostly they suffer from low self-esteem, which isn't helped by having other people constantly telling them they aren't better than anyone else.
Secretly, I think many parents scan their babies faces for a glimmer of something that will say, this child has something more than other children. I know I do. There, I've said it! I do want my children to be somehow special in a way that others can appreciate - intelligence is the key to that. I want my children to be special to other people because they are special to me. This is also, I believe, the key to people feeling the need to put forward their children's achievements - it's pride in your child, it's a way of saying, look how wonderful my child is, because parents - in the vast majority - DO feel their own offspring are extraordinary, and when another parent voices that THEIR child is extraordinary, there is this deep seeded need in us to equalise, because really, honestly no one can love a child as much as the child's own parents and yet each of us parents feels other should love our child as much as we do, LOL...
But back to me...
So, as an adult, I've taken IQ tests online. I don't take the kind of IQ tests you find on "Take this test and find your perfect match" sites, but seek out tests run by Universities, for research and that kind of thing. Yes, I KNOW they aren't taken under controlled conditions, and I know they cannot be validated, but they can reveal a pretty close approximation to the real thing, if you are honest and just do the test straightforwardly.
Ok, so I've done a number of these tests over the years since having the kids, and I always get between 125-129, so below what I got as a kid.
The latest test I did was through an institute in the US which has developed what it believes to be the best (read: most accurate for what it is) online IQ test. I did have to pay a nominal fee for the results, which I know people will think is dodgy, but the fee was explained as being an insurance against people cheating themselves and the institute to better their results etc. and to help finance further research into IQ.
Ok, so I got 125, as before. The difference this time was that the test results not only broke up the tests areas into verbal, spatial etc. but also in verbal knowledge and performance. That is raw understanding versus reaction time and performance on the test. In the verbal I scored 138.8, and in performance I scored 106 - which backs up what I was told as a child. Namely, my vision impedes my performance on these tests.
Now I can't tell you why, I've been trying to think this over for a long while now, but this has somehow calmed me. It has helped me accept that I'm somehow not a fraud just because my life isn't extraordinary. It has also gone some way to helping me allow myself to acknowledge that I am intelligent, more intelligent than average, and that isn't a thing to be shy about or embarrassed over.
I still look for signs of intelligence in my kids, and I see them. In the past I have been shy to tell others about them because I felt like people would just assume I was crapping on, making stuff up or being obnoxious.
You know what though. I don't want my kids to by shy about get certain concepts quickly, or being able to retain information, or having a talent that not everyone has in abundance. I don't want them to feel this need to prove themselves that I continue to struggle with. There is plenty of room in this Universe for all the very intelligent people out there - in all their forms; mental, physical, emotional and psychological. I love to talk about how smashing my kids are, and I love to hear about how smashing other people's kids are. I believe each parent in every anecdote they tell about their kids to show just how brilliant they are!
What gets me is when people feel the need to say, "That's not special, it's common" or "She's thinks her kids are so great, better than other people's kids" (you know, in that tone that says, they're not really)... Well, *news flash* people, everyone thinks they're own child is extraordinary, this is the mechanism that would have us jump into traffic to save our kids... When someone says their child is brilliant, they're not saying your child isn't. Yes, there is that Bell Curve, but we need many, many Bell Curves to cover all the different ways people can be extraordinary. No form of extraordinariness is more valuable than another, so there is no need to feel put down, or to try and bring down other people.
This is where my previous post about talking comes in. I knew from the start my boys were extraordinary (in fact, I knew they would be before they were even conceived!)... But one didn't speak until very late. I also know this has no bearing on intelligence. Therefore when I say another one of my children spoke from very early on, I'm not saying he was more intelligent than his brother. I am, however, still very interest in why some children speak very early and others don't, what motivates some children in this way, and others not?
As well as this, I was mulling over why when one parents shares their children's achievements, other parents chafe at the bit to come back with their own tales of brilliance in their children (not least of all, ME)... These things fascinate me. I don't think it's about competing in it's truest sense, it's more about parents bursting with pride about their own child, and wanting to share the love, LOL.
Gosh, see this is why I didn't post my last post on this topic... It became long an rambly and circular, just like this one...
Needless to say (but I will anyway), this is a topic I dwell on a lot. My self-esteem has long pivoted on my intelligence (hell, I'm not a supermodel, and I'm not the most charming person out there either, so this is what I've got to make me special, LOL), but it has also been my biggest esteem buster because I've long been afraid that maybe the thing I base my self-esteem on is just a mirage... Like I said before, I don't want my children growing up with this "issue", so I'm trying to work through it...
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