To Mensa or not to Mensa? - FamilyEducation
To Mensa or not to Mensa?
03/27/2008 at 15:59 PM

My 8 year old son was recently tested for the gifted program at his school.  Yesterday we found out that those test scores make him eligible for Mensa.  I emailed with a woman who works for Mensa with my worries over the stress that could be placed on such a young person if we submit his results to them.  She assured me it would be great for him and for my husband and I as well.  I am not sure if that is a biased opinion, as they have a special interest group dedicated to boosting the membership of Mensa, or if it would really be a good thing for my son.
Does anyone have a child in Mensa?  If so, how do you like it?  How does the child like it?
I am just worried that this is a huge thing to put on an 8 year old.  I am also worried how his little brothers would feel, if it would be like growing up in his shadow.  Also, the kid already has grandparents and teachers inflating his ego, does he really need more of that?

I have no kids in Mensa, not affiliated with it myself.  I think you can be over-scheduled, so I am selective about what I let my kids participate in.  I generally limit them to one demanding school-related thing--musical instrument OR school sport, one community-based activity, like scouts  or a part-time job or community theater (Mensa would fit here), and to involvement in our church. 

  If you value each of your children for themselves, you can avoid jealousy between the kids.  And you can't have too many people appreciating your gifts.  Just make sure that you don't think that his gifts entitle him to bad behavior.


I also am not into overscheduling--sometimes I did it and then have to step back and reassess...drop one or two before they start. So, I have taught them to pick 2 and that's enough. The overscheduling overstimulates them and then they can't wind down enough beforebedtime and also, while I believe strongly in acknowledging and supporting the gifted with supplements and activities I don't want them to only be a MENSA. I once had my 2nd graders teacher tell me, in a report card conference, that the president of the Mensa Society drove a school bus for the county and she didn't want to hear a thing about it....Special, isn't it?! Anyway, between a few other moms of gifted kids we planned extra field trips, got together a booklist of their interest and we planned Saturday night "topic" nights, on our own, at home. We researched and had great one on one conversations saw a movie, discussed a book she as reading or a topic that interested her. We also checked out a bookstore Harry Potter club meeting once a month(Dad had as much fun playing Jeopary-Harry Potter themed on nights the kids challenged the parents) and made it our special times or peer special time. I did not find much support at school or from classmates who made fun of her silly and unique humor. It worked for me in grade school---so, no I did not think it helpful to make her stand out but to fit in with kids we knew.

All children are gifted...all children learn different. All children develop at different levels. Let your child be a child. Do not treat them different, for they all are gifted. IQ is nothing more than (are you able to learn), (alfred binet)..average is gifted.....I am a 99 percentile..IQ 200 range, so what...I am hard to mind drifts, why? because I want to know more than what is being taught. I want to know why. Thats just me. Schools are pretty conventional, aiming more toward a visual learner. All students learn doesnt make them inferior. I hate specialty groups..although Mensa does offer oppertunities. basically what I am typing (I hate writing), is...give all your children oppertunties to develop their gift-gifts... Usually when a parent is lucky enough to have their child (selected) for a gifted program...the child ends up doing something with their life they did not want to do. But by all means....expose your child to many areas to see what your child will be happy with...and let your child its a doctor or a fire-man...let your child-children be at peace with themself. Did you know...any great inventor had a learning disability? Einstein-Edison_patton- look around...could the world survive if we were all dumb. Everyone has different interests....some people are shy....some can memorize..some have photographic memories...some are visual...some auditory...some hands on...some need visual-auditory-hands-on methods of teaching..... Both of my children have 200 range IQ's one has common sense, one doesnt ( a cognitive defect), So what....we have have cognitive ability and anxiety that goes with that ability......until the United States does away completly with conventional teaching methods in public will be hidden...behavior problems will continue to grow and we will ask why. If you had 1 child, I would say go for it..but since you have more than 1...its not fair to your other gifted (different type of learner children), to feel inferior. period.