Should Your Child Know Their IQ Score?
Children who are tested for gifted services usually want to know their Intelligence Quotient (IQ score). The child may ask this for several reasons. They may want to compare their IQ score with their friends, bolster their self-esteem or discover whether or not they have pleased their parents.
Unfortunately, it is not unusual for parents to purposely or inadvertently put pressure on the child prior to the gifted tests, resulting in an anxious child waiting to know the results. As a matter of routine students are told how they perform on academic tests but the IQ test should be handled differently by parents and the school.
Why a parent should not tell their child their IQ score:
Even if a student is instructed not to share their IQ score and gifted test results with others, they often will share anyway. Doing so may inadvertently set the child up for embarrassment. Regardless of how well any child scores on an IQ test or other gifted tests, there are usually other students who score higher. Most students brag a bit and tease others who may not have done equally well.
If one child’s IQ score is higher than those of other students, it sets up an avoidable dynamic that leads the children with lower scores to feel bad about themselves. Bragging and belittling are two sides of a coin that has no value.
Depending on the age of the child, there is a good chance they are not mature enough to really understand what their IQ score means, however they certainly are old enough at any age to understand if someone has a higher number.
There seems to be few if any justifications for telling a student their IQ score until they are properly informed about the meaning of IQ scores and are mature enough to use the information constructively.
What information is important:
Many schools will not tell a parent their child’s exact IQ score. They will either give them a range their child’s score falls within or they may not give any numbers at all, just a general category.
Practically, there is not enough of a difference between most gifted scores for the child’s exact IQ score to matter to the parent. The most important information for the parent to understand from the IQ test is their child’s strengths and weaknesses. Armed with information from the gifted tests, the well informed parent can guide the child towards their talents and natural abilities while assisting their child to understand and strengthen their weaknesses.