Eorl, I see you were responding to this post of mine, when you wrote about your daughter:
We tell students that that can achieve all sorts of things, that anything is possible, if they work hard enough.
The fact is, this isn't true at all.
Not EVERYONE is going to reach the giddy heights of success.
This is so obvious in the real world.
But parents & teachers keep saying these things.
To keep those young people on the ball, to encourage them to not give up, out of concern for their self esteem .....
Students who have actually failed the requirements of year 12, where I live & work, have officially passed.
They've been led to believe that things are just fine when they definitely aren't.
Their unrealistic expectations & the reality are in for a big collision.
What do I tell my child who is clearly way out in front? (the oldskool word was "gifted") Do I tell her she need not work very hard, and can still expect to do well? I understand those driven to success are very often inspired by being told they are doomed to a life of failure.
I think honesty is best with her, or she sees through it. I tell her "smart" is not enough. There are plenty of smart slackers in the world not doing well at all.
But it's hard to motivate a kid who's so far ahead. We tend to go with the positive approach, I just fear the lack of "stick" could eventually let her down.
My opinion is just one opinion, of course.
There is no point in not
acknowledging the reality, not acknowledging her actual abilities.
But where does that leave her?
If she is streets ahead of other students in her age group/year level, what is her
perception of the benefits of her abilities?
Does she see this as a plus or a minus when relating to her own peer group? (You'd be surprised if I told you about the number of students I've come across who have "dumbed down" their real abilities to fit in with their peers. I don't know the age of your daughter, but during adolescence there is strong pressure to fit in, conform, be just like everyone else, at the expense of being considered an "outsider".)
So yes, I agree with your approach to your daughter, but I suspect she might need to be challenged intellectually way beyond
the expectations of her formal education.
So she comes to learn to enjoy
difficult intellectual challenges, which really stretch & challenge her, perhaps for the first time?