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20 month old acting like 3 or 4 year old HELP!

(7 Posts)
emz07 Tue 21-Aug-07 20:30:31

It is my first child and wherever I take him people assume he is much older. He is using grammar past and present tenses and reads books and names virtually any animal he sees and all colours.He is beginning to count and is like a one man walking encyclopedia. He has been walking to the shops etc since he was 16 months and barely uses the pushchair (only if I insist). He is an only child and suddenly gets tantrums where he very frustrated. We have found we can reason with him and he understands quite complicated things like if you don't eat your carrots you won't get a banana. He loves Thomas toys that are for older boys and watches old black and white films for ages (especially Norman Wisdom) He can turn on the TV and turn on the DVD and then press play (hence we have removed all but suitable DVD's!) The trouble is he is so frustrated and doesn't really play with any of his toys but his trains which he can do for hours, making noises and setting them out. We are concerned though as do we get him older toys (he has never really chewed things) which might not be age suitable or should we stick with ones he has - we have tonnes and he only ever wants to play imagination games with his trains. Has anyone ever come across this before? I don't want him to grow up before his time but should we carry on with computer games and older toys to stimulate him in moderation? He seems like an old head on young shoulders- we are very confused.

Pitchounette Tue 21-Aug-07 20:46:38

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boo64 Wed 22-Aug-07 20:32:35

I think you are turning characteristics of a bright child into a problem where they are not a problem.

Just go with it, enjoy him and seek the things he is interested in regardless of what age group they are meant for (as long as they are safe.) As long as he really is interested in them and it isn't some sort of hothousing don't worry about it.

My son is pretty similar (ALTHOUGH he had a very two year old esque afternoon - very naughty!) - seems older - very sensible etc, and bright (I won't start boasting lol) but someone gave me some really good advice the other day. He might be interested in more grown up stuff but it is really important that he can relate to things designed for his own age too so that he can talk to other kids about those things and not be an outcast.

I thought this was very sage advice and have actually been encouraging ds to try watching more Cbeebies!

marvymoo Wed 22-Aug-07 21:31:46

Hi emz07. I read your post and totally relate. Like you I have a 20 mth old child who physically looks much older than he is. He behaves in an outwardly 'mature' manner. Although I agree with the last message about nurturing your childs bright behaviour I truely understand your concerns. Like you, my db is my first and although he loves Thomas, he also loves cars, and bob.But it used to be just cars obessively. Playing in a manner much like you descibed your son does. It's hard to know how to encourage your child and at the same time not hold them back, especially when they seem to have already developed such strong likes and dislikes. I can only agree with another message which encouraged introducing other children's toys like we did with Bob and Thomas. Some are labelled for older children but with attention my son has been fine and now we are getting him to continune enjoying cars and top gear! along with cbeebies! Good luck, i'm sure it will be fine.

bozza Wed 22-Aug-07 21:36:30

I think it is perfectly normal for a 2yo boy to be obsessed with Thomas trains (and to have access to them even though they are 3+ - my DD who has an older brother has been playing with them since she could crawl). I also think it is pretty normal in today's society for a 2yo to be able to turn on the tv and dvd.

But his speech, reading (although is this memory?), knowledge etc sound pretty advanced. I think you have to get a balance between nurturing his interests etc and getting him interested in what his peer group are interested in.

winniepu Tue 28-Aug-07 11:23:16

I understand your plight. My 17mo dd is also a bit precocious in areas, particularly language and mathematical concepts. But, my experinces of other people's reactions is a little different as dd is very small for her age (i.e. still in size 00 6-9months). If I am holding her and she is talking, people say "how old is she - 2?" but if she is walking around they say "tsk tsk, she's too young to be walking!" as if I have somehow made a younger baby walk too early.

I think the answer is to just keep our dds and dss occupied with things they are interested in and encourage them to be happy and healthy.

I was interested to read other comments about trying to ensure sociability. I think one of the best things we can do for children is to encourage them to interact with others in positive ways, but. in my experience as a professional educator, often the really gifted 'out there' individuals just can't fit in with other children their age. So, if your ds is like this, don't beat yourself up over it or bend over backwards to try to get him to interact with his aged peers. Instead, try and find intellect-appropriate peers to hopefully avoid isolation.

I hope this helps.

fortyplus Tue 28-Aug-07 11:27:48

I wouldn't worry about it - just make the most of the admiration from friends and family while it lasts! DS1 (now 13.5) spoke in complete sentences at 18 months old and has always been 'sensible' or 'mature' for his age.

He loves Will Hay films - bet your ds would, too - 'Oh Mr Porter' etc.

Unfortunately his early aptitude did not fortell of academic genius - he's brighter than average, but not exceptionally so.

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