what about clever babies??!!

(31 Posts)
jenna12345 Wed 25-Jun-14 23:00:46

Why is it we feel almost embarrassed to say when our children are very clever yet there is always help around when they are behind? I feel like i cant ask these questions to people i know? My ds has just turned 15 months and has always been a good talker. The childminder (he only goes 2 afternoons a week) has highlighted to me that he is very advanced not only in speech but in behaviour and understanding and she has never cared for such a bright child?! Im shocked and obv delighted it is lovely to hear but she said if I dont nurture this he may not continue to develop at this rate and will get bored. I now dont know what/how far I should take the 'learning'. He wants to be clever and good which I think is half the battle won. He is only a baby i know but whilst he is keen to learn i want to be able to nurture this. Any advice? .. also what is anyone elses 15 month old saying/doing. I had a quick count of words ds says clearly and in context (without prompting) and the list was around 70 words? Is this unusual?

Fram Thu 26-Jun-14 00:54:00

He doesn't "want to be clever", he enjoys the attention it elicits from his carers! Babies are programmed to be winsome, so that adults will care for them.
There is a gifted and talented section on MN if you want some ideas of what you can do with him though. smile

MexicanSpringtime Thu 26-Jun-14 01:23:23

A todos los bebés les gusta aprender. Pero no sé si lo tienes que enseñar algo en especial. Los números, los nombres de las cosas, a ser ordenado.

Tal vez podrías ver lo que hace el sistema montessori.

rocketjam Thu 26-Jun-14 08:23:23

G&T children are not identified at 15 months... I am a child-minder too and have looked after children/babies for years. 70 words at 15 months is not that unusual, I look after one little girl now at 16 months speaks in three word sentences, and has a remarkable vocab. Having said that, my own son is G&T in maths and way above his friends in reading, writing and spelling, and he didn't speak before the age of three. His first word was a 2.5 years old. Early speech development is fantastic, don't get me wrong, but is not always an indication of future greatness. Just create an environment at home and outside the home where he is stimulated, in all aspects of development, socially, and please don't constantly tell him that he is so so clever. It certainly won't help in the long run. And in my opinion all children are clever. Children development is fascinating.

rocketjam Thu 26-Jun-14 08:29:32

And I don't believe that a child-minder would actually said 'if I dont nurture this he may not continue to develop at this rate and will get bored.' If she did, she s not a very tactful, or correct. It's a bit of a myth that children with a higher 'iq' or ability will get bored. This morning, (7) made a spread sheet of all the birds in the garden, and a frequency chart, which he then converted into a pie chart. Clever children don't get bored, they just carry on learning.

Sirzy Thu 26-Jun-14 08:33:24

How about letting him be a 15 month old, encourage chances for him to explore the world around him and learn that way?

A child with a large vocabulary at 15 months is just that, it doesn't mean they are 'clever' or are going to be some sort of academic genius. Children just develop different things at different rates.

rocketjam Thu 26-Jun-14 08:33:31

I meant DS (7)

drivenfromdistraction Thu 26-Jun-14 08:42:55

The great thing about early talkers is that you can have conversations with them. Just chat about what you're both doing. Let him do things alongside you. Read books to him. Play with duple. The learning comes naturally.

Cindy34 Thu 26-Jun-14 08:45:03

What is he not good at? Physical development, fine or gross motor skills, or both, may be not be as good. Children develop at different rates and some will be very good at some things and not so good at others. Work on the not so good, encourage the things they are good at.

They don't get bored, they will find new things to do with the skills they enjoy. You may find he learns words in other languages easily for example.

donefornow Thu 26-Jun-14 08:51:37

Dd now 5 could speak in 3 word sentances at that age and could count up to 10. I thought she was going to be a genius. And now she is very on level with her peers. She is still bright and enjoys learning but not out of the ordinary and it's not because I didn't put enough effort in, she was just quick to learn some things abd then evened out somewhere around 3-4.
Don't put so much pressure on yourself, just enjoy watching her learn and let her go at her own pace.

donefornow Thu 26-Jun-14 08:52:50

Sorry misread thought you had a dd but above still applies! Not had my coffee yet! [Grin]

deepbluetr Thu 26-Jun-14 09:10:42

You can't identify "clever" children at 15 months. Sorry.

It may be lovely for you but I would hold fire in assumming that you have a child genius on your hands.

Some children have an early start but slow down, others who are later in development then go on to race ahead and overtake others. And the same thing happens throughout childhood and into the teens. Development moves at a stuttering pace.

My SIL could speak fluently at 18 months,, could read many words ( with flash cards) at two, reading books at 4, but left school at 16 without a single qualification.

My son didn't say his first word until 36 months, was in the bottom reading group at 6, by 9 was identified as G&T, and has wone top student in his secondary class of 150 students three years running at the age of 16.

DeWee Thu 26-Jun-14 09:35:37

To my mind an early talker is just that-an early talker.

I had two very early talkers, dd2 was double that amount of words at 15 months, and sentences, including counting (not just reciting, actual counting) up to 6 or 7.
But by the age of 4/5yo, you couldn't tell the difference in speech between her and the child who'd been referred to SALT at 2yo for saying nothing at all.

The best thing you can do is to let your dc enjoy themselves. If your childminder did say that then it really was unfair on you to raise your expectations.
The thing is when a child is an early talker, you realise how much more that age understand than you expect. If she's never looked after an early talker before then, she may be astounded at the understanding-because he has the language for her to know that-it doesn't mean those who aren't talking don't understand, just they can't respond and let you know.

I think the person who said that really bright children don't get bored, they find things to do, has it just right. It's ridiculous to say if you don't nurture it then they will loose that. Really? Probably just as much if you decide they're really bright and try to hot house them they'll get bored and turned off from learning.

NigellasDealer Thu 26-Jun-14 09:38:16

all babies are 'clever' -
everyone used to bang on about how 'clever' my son was he was small eg could tell the time at 3 etc etc now he is a lazy great lump who does not have any educational place for this september due to his own fuck ups. no GCDE's for him then.
how 'clever' is that?

NigellasDealer Thu 26-Jun-14 09:38:28

*GCSEs

Mumoftwoyoungkids Thu 26-Jun-14 10:10:25

Quite frankly your childminder deserves to be shot! Firstly for raising your expectations so much, secondly by making you think that you need to be doing "special" activities with your ds and thirdly for making you think that if he doesn't end up with a starred first from Cambridge then it is All Your Fault for Not Developing Him Properly.

Just do fun things with him that seem appropriate for his development level. From what you've said I would say that sentences are the next step so natter on at him with lots of three word sentences ("Davey get toy", "Mummy loves Davey" "Mummy read book" etc) to try and encourage this. (Although for your own sanity I'd advise normal sentences quite often too!)

Lots of stories and chatting etc.

FWIW my dd at 17 months my dd talked in proper sentences, counted and knew all her letters. She also couldn't walk or even stand.

So I did some activities that were probably suitable for a 3 year old (we got very into board games) and some activities that were suitable for a 9 month old ("good girl dd, walk holding mummy's hands")

But I didn't think of them like that - they were just activities suitable for dd at her then stage of development.

ikeaismylocal Thu 26-Jun-14 12:03:35

I don't think 70 words at 16 months is an indication of an advanced baby, ds is bilingual and could say many more than 60 words at 16 months ( we stopped counting when it got past 30 words in each language) he's just a normal baby/toddler, he likes going to the park and watching Mr tumble, we do go on lots of day trips but that is mostly for my benefit.

Just enjoy him being a toddler and take him to places where he experiences new things.

hazeyjane Thu 26-Jun-14 19:46:55

yet there is always help around when they are behind

^^this isn't actually the case, and if it were, maybe it is because children that are behind need extra help in order to achiev even the tiniest things and make the progress that others will make with normal interaction. If you have a bright 15 month old, all you need to do is interact and play with them in the way that you would with any other child.

jenna12345 Thu 26-Jun-14 20:59:05

Its a shame this is where I was hoping for more support than critisism?! The 70 odd words was just an example (that was things he will spontaneously say) but there are many other things including counting and 3-4 word sentences but it wasn't meant to be about that. My childminder is a very good one and become my friend so very much value her comments although also understand children will develop at different rates. Thank you to those of you who gave helpful advice

Sirzy Thu 26-Jun-14 21:03:09

I don't think people have been critical, more realistic.

commonorgarden Thu 26-Jun-14 21:30:25

I can't see any real criticism here either. And to echo hazeyjane believe me, there isn't a world of help out there when they're not hitting their milestones. <bitter experience>

Look - talk to him lots, read to him lots, take him to places that stimulate him physically and that he enjoys. Surround him with books, crayons, paper, paints, all the things he needs to develop his imagination and motor skills of all degrees. That's all you need to do. Just what any HV would advise any parent of any child. And, of course, enjoy him. smile

ikeaismylocal Thu 26-Jun-14 21:37:49

Even with 3-4 word sentences and counting you don't need to do anything to stimulate his learning that you wouldn't naturally do, it's probably a good idea to choose books about colours and shapes rather than the books aimed at his age but apart from that you just need to treat him like a toddler, even if you treat him as a 2 and a half year old rather than a 1 and a half year old you would still do pretty much the same things.

strawberrybubblegum Thu 26-Jun-14 22:29:36

this book gives some great advice on how you can help your child to achieve their potential. Partly it's just what people are saying here about doing different fun things with them, but the book helps you to see toddlers in a slightly different way - as bright little things who desperately need to fill their minds - which has implications for choices you make and how you interact with them and understand them. The author says that there's a lot to be said for assuming that your child is gifted, since all children will benefit from the extra input and stimulation you give them!

BUT, I'd second what a previous poster said about not telling your child how clever he is all the time. Intuitively, you'd think that it would make them more self-confident, and help them take on challenges when they are older. But research shows that praising a child for being clever gives them a 'static' view of intelligence (ie you are as clever as you are, and you can't change that) which makes them less resilient to failure and less likely to take on challenges than someone who believes that you improve through effort. Much better to praise what they do rather than what they are.

tobysmum77 Fri 27-Jun-14 07:13:35

the point is op that development and long term ability/ intelligence are entirely different things. Children develop at different rates and it isn't a great indicator.

I was told dd2 is 'advanced' at her 2.5 year check, I am always told by mil how ultra clever dd1 is. Personally I think they are entirely normal.

deepbluetr Fri 27-Jun-14 07:23:55

OP welcome to motherhood.

I think part of the issue with your thread is that is comes across as a stealth boast. Motherhood unfortunately is very competitive, and can be in the early days especially as ( often first time Mums) are obsessed with hitting milestones, whether sleeping through the night, walking, or early language development.

Your first post asks "is this unusual" then you suggest you are "looking for support".
I'm not sure what "support" you need for a one year old who has started talking- just raise him like we all do, surrounded by stimulation and activities. As others have pointed out early starts don't always mean higher ultimate ability.

I don't mean to be critical but just want to give you a little insight into why your post hasn't been recieved as enthusiastically as you had hoped.

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