MUM SAYS My son’s gifted — my pride and problems

Educator Isabelle Loo talks about the headaches of raising three very different children, including an exceptionally bright son.

Parents: MUM SAYS My son’s gifted — my pride and problems

“I have three children and my eldest — he’s 16 now — is gifted. He’s been just amazing since young ― he makes my jaw drop every time. I was teaching Primary 5 and 6 children for six to seven years, so I know what it means to handle bright children. The way a gifted child grasps things and extends their knowledge is amazing.

A gifted child is usually very engrossed in things they are really passionate about and they will neglect the whole world, their whole lives just to focus on that [subject they love]. Whereas a bright child will try to get As for every subject.

“My son — he’s gifted in maths and science — would say ‘don’t care’ about Chinese. ‘O’ levels this year? ‘Fail then fail, lah!’ This is why the gifted child is a ‘special needs’ child. When we have gifted children, we, the parents, have a lot of struggles as well.

“My son — he’s gifted in maths and science — would say ‘don’t care’ about Chinese. ‘O’ levels this year? ‘Fail then fail, lah!’ This is why the gifted child is a ‘special needs’ child.”


“I did not have any [preconceptions] of my first baby — it didn’t occur to me that he is gifted. So, when my second child came along, we worried that she was slow... Because by that age, ‘kor-kor could do many things!’ We actually took her to a psychologist to take an IQ test to see what was wrong. [She turned out to score in] the top 10 per cent. It’s just that my son scored in the top 0.01 per cent...

“There is no direct clash [between my first and second children] — my second child is a bit more creative and more artistic. My third child is very bright ― she hoped to get into the Gifted programme, having kor-kor as a benchmark, but didn’t make it. She was very upset and [insisted on me] writing a letter to MOE. [It turned out that she was just a little short of getting in.]

How does a parent support three very different kids? Read on…