Being gifted is not a choice.
"Why I won't call my daughter 'gifted,'" the author claims that "gifted children are as common as muck...hailing from the leafier suburbs," and goes on to pronounce, "I don't want a gifted child."
While the author later points out the importance of "grit," helping a child learn to fail successfully, and attribute success to effort rather than innate ability, his inflammatory headline and dramatic initial statements perpetuate misconceptions and stigma against gifted children.
You don't get a choice. You don't get to decide whether your child is gifted any more than you can choose eye color or athletic ability. Giftedness is a mixed bag of strengths, multipotentialities, and social/emotional challenges that are far from easy. You might decide not to "label" your child as gifted; however, your child's academic and emotional needs will not magically disappear.
Giftedness is rare. Only 5% of the population have an IQ at least two standard deviations above the norm. Hardly "common as muck." While some schools may label advanced tracking as "gifted programs" and there is still a tired debate from some who claim that all children are gifted, the reality is that only a small segment of the population fits this criteria.
Giftedness is everywhere. It is not limited to wealthy suburbs, as the author proclaims. Probably the most offensive aspect of the article is how it perpetuates the widespread myth that giftedness is a middle class construct. It implies that privileged families shepherd their children into gifted education programs, serving as a badge of accomplishment. Perhaps if gifted education and identification improved in schools with lower socioeconomic populations, this myth would eventually vanish.
While the article makes valid points regarding the importance of hard work and effort, and taking risks rather than relying on innate abilities, its false assumptions and initial generalizations are misleading and damaging. Yes, it is important to help your child learn from failure (although other opinions exist on how to implement this in the classroom). Yes, it is necessary to explain giftedness to your child. However, denying that giftedness exists, or making false, flippant and classist statements is pointless and harmful.
Make the "choice" to call gifted what it is. Don't muddy the waters any further. And help your child and others get the education they deserve.