Why is that such a loaded term in gifted education?
Teachers, counselors, and parents beat the self-advocacy drum daily: "Billy needs to learn to self-advocate," and "If Nicole would learn to ask for the things she needs, she'd be much better off."
Parents of children with special needs consistently and tirelessly advocate for their children to have services and educational needs met. No person would ever say that a child with a specific learning disability or autism or medical condition should have to fight for the right to get the support their child needs.
But every week, I have parents in my office asking what to do to help their high-ability child. Their child needs differentiation. Their child is twice-exceptional but can't qualify for services because they are "at grade level." Their child is being asked to complete classwork from the day they attend their gifted program, doubling up on workload for that day.
But the parents are too timid to say anything to the teachers or administration. They don't want to be labeled as "that parent."
Here's my advice: BE "that parent." Stand up for your child's needs. Because, unfortunately, nobody else is going to do so.
Classroom teachers of gifted students may not notice the fact that a child who is mastering content would easily be pushed ahead. Some classroom teachers of gifted learners have no training in how to best recognize and understand the best ways to work with high-ability children. (As a matter of fact, most teachers graduate and get certified from their undergraduate program after taking one class that uses one chapter to address the learning needs of high-ability children.)
So don't stand by idly and watch your child float through the school year without achieving the growth that she deserves. Make suggestions. Bring in books. Make specific requests for modified assignments. Follow up with administrators.
Because not only are you being "that parent" for your child, but you are also providing support for all of the other high-ability learners in your child's class and the students who will come after her. And there may be other parents who are too afraid to say anything.