Help! Gifted three year old DS who is 90% lovely, 10% really difficult.

(21 Posts)
DaffodilDoris Thu 26-Sep-13 22:44:56

And it seems the 10% difficult is mostly at school. Going in to talk to his teacher tomorrow but I'm worried what they are going to say. Does anyone else have a gifted child who exhibits difficult behaviour? Words of encouragement needed please!

BlackMogul Thu 26-Sep-13 22:52:41

Is he socially ready for school? It may all be too much. How gifted is he? Maybe he just needs more time to develop his social skills within a less formal setting.

TwerkingTaxCredit Thu 26-Sep-13 22:52:53

What do you mean gifted? I only ask because some signs of being gifted can relate to other issues such as very early reading skills?
Other wise 10% sounds okay to me. He's a toddler let him be a but bad even if he is gifted.

TwerkingTaxCredit Thu 26-Sep-13 22:53:22

Bit not but

RawCoconutMacaroon Thu 26-Sep-13 23:01:15

How gifted? And difficult in what way?

IME of my eldest 3 (now teens), all in the top 2% on iq testing done on behalf of the schools (one in the top 0.5%). they were clearly quite different in their behaviour and learning style well before preschool age. And the difficulties do tend to manifest at school not at home. At home their learning can be self directed, go in the direction they want, and they have an adult to aske questions ALL THE TIME.
At school/preschool they are very much constricted in what they can do, the pace of learning and face time with the teacher is limited (as the teacher has a whole class to deal with).

DebbieReynolds Fri 27-Sep-13 02:36:47

Agree with previous poster. I k ow this is looming for me in the year ahead

Have also taught children like this & although it's very rewarding it is definitely harder work. Whatever challenge you dream up, they will step up to the plate. So teacher may well be teari g his/her hair out. I was lucky in that class sizes were small but if he's in a group of 20+ and doing his own thing it will make life hard for the teacher.

Explain to him that although whatever the other children are learning g may be obvious to him; he needs to be polite and listen/conform (unless you feel up to schooling him at home).

Give him challenges to do in his head (during carpet boring time) so that he's not as disruptive

Try to keep the teacher on side and sympathise with how difficult it is to keep him stimulated (you don't want this problem to escalate). Let us know how you get on.

DropYourSword Fri 27-Sep-13 02:43:25

I think without any further information he sounds like he could be any other average 3 year old!

He's 3 and you know he's gifted? Please explain.

Also what's he doing at school? Do you mean preschool?

I suspect he's just being a 3 year old. I have one!

kelda Fri 27-Sep-13 09:12:26

I'd say it's normal for a three year old to be difficult 10% of the time.

The problem is, if this is happening at school. You need to find out exactly what is happening at school and work with the school to help him.

Agree with the questions from other posters - in what way is he gifted, and is his giftedness related to his behaviour.

lljkk Fri 27-Sep-13 09:17:16

Some people get 90% awful + 10% lovely with their 3yos. Count your blessings.

Cat98 Fri 27-Sep-13 09:23:13

My ds was 50/50 at that age, also academically strong (loathe to say 'gifted' as I'm not convinced), so I'd say you're lucky with 90/10!
Now he's turned into a lovely 5 yo, but I'd still say he's difficult 10% of the time (though thankfully mostly at home!)

I think it sounds normal. Ds is emotionally young so maybe your 3 yo is similar and therefore not ready for school.

kelda Fri 27-Sep-13 09:25:39

On the face of it, yes she may be lucky with 90/10, but that's not very helpful when the school call you in to talk about your three year old's bad behaviour.

And I do understand that if you child is well behaved at home but naughty at school, then as a parent you must feel very helpless and at a loss of how to deal with it.

Cat98 Fri 27-Sep-13 09:28:09

Yes kelda but the child is 3, I just want to help the op relax a bit because a child misbehaving at 3 won't necessarily be outside the HT's office throughout primary school.
And if he's really lovely 90% of the time then it really does sound normal to me.
Without further details its impossible to comment further.
What kind of things is he doing, op?

bunchoffives Fri 27-Sep-13 09:36:39

Yes, I'm afraid at 3 you can neither know he is gifted or expect good behaviour more than 90% of the time.

If he is naughty at school it may be that it is too soon for him, he is adjusting, the nursery nurse isn't that good needs different strategies - or many other possible reasons.

Presumably he started 3 weeks ago? I wouldn't discount that he is just very tired. Little ones get exhausted in their first term.

BurberryQ Fri 27-Sep-13 09:40:28

all three year olds are 'gifted' btw - perhaps he is too young for school?

My now 7yo DS sounds similar to your DS. He has been called very able and talented by school whatever that means. But when he first started nursery (attached to school, in uniform etc) we were called in to talk about his behaviour as they were worried about his concentration span and behaviour.

He wouldn't sit still at carpet time and either messed about and distracted other kids or wandered off to the book corner and refused to come back. Now we knew he could be enthralled at the museum for an entire day and put together 250 piece jigsaws without help so were a bit confused by what the teacher was reporting. Luckily DS was with us and told the teacher he already knew about autumn and didn't want to listen to the leaf colours again. He then went on to tell her about evergreen and deciduous trees with several examples for each, why some trees need to lose their leaves basic photosynthesis etc. Teacher was a bit taken aback given that he was only just three (Summer born). He went on to correct her pronunciation of dinosaur names and her confusion over archaeology and paelontology. He condescendingly told her a mnemonic to remember the difference between Bactrian and dromedary camels etc you get the picture.

School soon adjusted to his annoying know it all ways I could relate to that mum on the gifted kids program when she said my son is in the top one percent of the most annoying kids in great Britain

He may not be learning 'facts' in school but he will be learning social skills, turn taking, group interaction and so on. My DS now has 5 minutes taken off his playtime if he answers too many questions in class by shouting out the answer rather than waiting and letting someone else have a turn.

The main challenge for us is to satisfy his thirst for knowledge in ways that are age appropriate, he is still a very young kid and emotionally quite immature in some ways.

bunchoffives Fri 27-Sep-13 11:51:06

Sneaky sorry, I know that must be quite a parenting challenge, but it did make me laugh.

I think the best thing you can do for a very gifted kid is set them off on research and get them to put together a mini thesis. There are several benefits ti this approach - the main one being that they learn to learn.

Because it is self-directed learning they go at their own pace and can pursue their own interests. All they need are some interested adults to give a bit of direction, encouragement and praise - and a good library.

Also science subjects seem to be more satisfying than humanities (perhaps because they need more emotional maturity to pursue at higher levels).

Oh yes he wrote his first novel, eight chapters, one full page illustration per chapter, title page the lot, in the summer between reception and year one. This summer he wrote and illustrated a book on Indonesian animals and has been researching publishers and literary agents!

He is wonderful and such a character but he is a bit full on. I went into his room to confiscate a mini camping light he was using to read under the covers the other day and I said he needed to get enough sleep so that his brain could learn things in school (obviously I pointed out my evidence base in the scientific literature to support my claim grin ). He wailed a reply that he never learns anything in school and that "Reading is my life, without books I will surely die!"

We can't wait until he's a teenager!

matana Fri 27-Sep-13 15:13:57

What others have said OP, i'd like to know more. I suspect that what you mean by 'gifted' is that he seems (in terms of milestones) advanced in one or more areas. While i wouldn't go as far as to say that my DS (also nearly 3) is gifted, he is certainly very bright, articulate and occasionally finds situations difficult which result in huge meltdowns for no apparent reason - he is simply overwhelmed by emotion. I am not sure whether he finds some situations difficult because he is frustrated due to being advanced and not provided with enough stimulation or because he's a perfectly normal toddler who is growing up and finding the process of learning and interacting quite hard work. I don't really care about the reason because the job i have to do is the same.

It helps to rule out the basics: is he acting out through hunger, tiredness, discomfort, illness or being outside of his comfort zone/ routine/ environment? If not, then it makes sense to question whether he might be doing it to test boundaries, as all toddlers do in order to learn, or whether it's frustration that might instead be linked to his capabilities.

It's all guess work i'm afraid. We've had some success with DS's frustration by explaining calmly to him why and how things do or don't work or can and can't happen, and guiding him on how to achieve what he's trying to do. Also giving him plenty of opportunities to do activities that allow him to test out his strengths (with DS it's verbal, physical and reasoning skills that are particularly strong). Is your DS getting these opportunities to really stretch himself at school, or might he be bored?

What's he like in social situations? How does he interact with others?

Bloob Fri 27-Sep-13 20:31:18

You should start a blog sneaky grin

RawCoconutMacaroon Fri 27-Sep-13 21:37:30

Sneaky, you are describing my Dc! They are a bit older (two at university), and have continued on the same path of learning differently.
Good luck with the educational challenges ahead smile!

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