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Is there a link between G&T and poor behaviour? (or am I clutching at straws?)

(17 Posts)
hillyhilly Fri 19-Nov-10 13:17:06

I've just read a post by Habanero about her daughter asking for harder work at school and her description of her DD's behaviour mirrored many of the issues I face daily with my DD who is almost 6.

"-if you can get her nose out of book, she then talks incessantly, obsesses with stories, bosses us about, gets down and tragic about things daily, hits DD1 and says very cutting put-downs to me and DD1."

Among the answers were many comments about how G&T is no excuse for poor behaviour which I totally agree with, but I have never made a connection before. My DD behaves well in school and I don't think she is bored although I also am not sure she is stretched, but home can be constant battle of her being nasty, tantrums, drama queen behaviour and the general assupmtion that the world is all about her with a massive over reaction when it is pointed out or demonstrated that it isn't.
She is intensely jealous of her 3yr old brother, measuring everything whether it is portions, sharing or time and attention. She gets extremely upset when chastised and is really quite hard work at the moment.

Sorry for the long post - is she showing typical 5yr old behabviour, G&T, or just being a brat?

FreudianSlimmery Fri 19-Nov-10 13:26:35

I think there can be a link but it isn't inevitable and it isn't an excuse.

My eldest is a bright girl and I have noticed since she started preschool she is so much happier there than at home - she is getting more interaction and opportunities to learn than she's getting at home ATM

Goingspare Fri 19-Nov-10 13:33:01

Hmm. I wonder if it's just that when she's being a pain, she's very good at it?

Has she always been very jealous of her brother, has it intensified since she's been at school?

nobodyisasomebody Fri 19-Nov-10 13:35:18

A huge link between not being adequately provided for at school and disruptive behaviour at home/school. I would go as far as saying that it is inevitable.

Of course there is, the child is not in an appropriate environment and his or her needs are not being met. That is sending them the message that they do not matter.

I can't see why people have a problem with that.

But then that is me..

lljkk Fri 19-Nov-10 13:41:37

You could argue that any child whose needs are not being met is more likely to act up, that applies whether they are clever or ultra-thick.

However, there are clever children (and thick ones) who sort of bumble along invisibly in te classroom even when they don't get their needs met well. How often do you hear a parent complain that their child is "overlooked" by the teacher?

Sibling rivalry is the pits, OP, sympathies!

rabbitstew Fri 19-Nov-10 14:06:56

I developed some excellent techniques for entertaining myself in the classroom as a child when things were getting boring, without resorting to bad behaviour or general inattentiveness (you never know when it might get interesting). So what if the worksheet is a bit dull? Whizz through it then make up a story in your head, or imagine ways the questions could be made more interesting. Quite nice not to have the teachers constantly bothering you to do what they want - leaves more time to think what you want, instead.

I therefore think it's more likely to be a mix of bad teaching and personality with IQ that results in some gifted children coming across as obnoxious or switched off in the classroom. Some children need to stretch their intelligence by doing physical things and talking to others, so will be an irritant if not properly occupied. Others have more socially acceptable means of finding intellectual stimulation in the classroom and quite like the freedom of thought that being understretched brings.

And bad behaviour in young children is most likely to be caused by immaturity, of course. It is not the preserve of the academcially frustrated!!!!!!!

Habanera Fri 19-Nov-10 16:42:56


My dd2 (subject of other thread) has been an angel since trying to explain her problems to the TA (well 24 hours)-really bubbling over with all sorts of ideas and plans, in school and out, and being nice too. I think it's the relief that she CAN speak up without getting in trouble or being (or being seen to be) aggressive.

She has high expectations of school, parents, sibling, teachers and herself, isn't really fond of daydreaming unlike some other family members-hence some of the animosity with dd1 I believe.

She has to come down to earth, no doubt, but I do think her behaviour is affected by school and G&T kids (and parents) can have special problems as well as blessings to do with their ability.

exexpat Fri 19-Nov-10 16:58:02

FWIW, I have noticed that my 12-year-old DS is much nicer to have around when he is happy and fully engaged at school. When he's bored or frustrated he can be really horrible to his sister (aged 8) - constant negativity, put-downs, trying to prove his superiority etc.

Both of them are officially G&T, but I expect there would be similar effects on behaviour whatever their IQ if they weren't having their needs met at school (or home).

Batteryhuman Fri 19-Nov-10 16:59:15

G&T cause me to behave very badly if I have too much. Ice and a slice anyone?

exexpat Fri 19-Nov-10 17:00:05

Strange - I find I'm much nicer to have around after at least a couple of G&T wink.

fluffycauliflower Mon 22-Nov-10 09:37:36

Hi Hillyhilly. My daughter is quite similar to yours, mine is 10 now. I think her behaviour is linked to her intelligence. She is etremely observant, and notices everything about our interactions as a family, for instance if we correct her about something, but not her sister, if one child gets more attention. My other two children are not so observant, and all this stuff goes over their heads. She gets angry when she sees our imperfections. We get angry with her then, and, because she is so observant she mirrors our behaviour back to us perfectly. At school she notices every little thing that goes on, like how the worst behaved kids get the most merits, like how her current teacher doesn't actually listen to the children in her class. It's not easy being her mother. I focus all my parenting with her on the social and emotional stuff, trying to make her feel loved, and also aware of boundaries. I don't really do much for her gifted ness, though she does do two intruments and have a tutor and other activities. Over the years she has got a bit bored at school at times as it comes so easy to her, but then all kids can get a bit bored can't they - all 30 of them can't be engaged at once?

GooseyLoosey Mon 22-Nov-10 10:03:31

ds (7) was assessed by an ed psych in June. The results were that he is about 7 years ahead of his peers in accademic terms.

The reason for the assessment was because of poor social integration and the issues which that was causing.

The Ed psych said that the difficulties that ds faced were common to children with his level of abilities. They do not see the world the way their peers do and have no idea what motivates their peers. They also seek to dominate situations but often do so in a way which other children resent.

That said, I was profoundly disapppointed in the outcome of the report. I don't feel that I can ever offer up the excuse "my child is clever" to explain ds's behaviour. He is clever, but to me that means that he is clever enough to learn the social and behavioural skills which he cannot intuit and that is so much more important to him than the level of work he is doing at school at the moment.

Habanera Mon 22-Nov-10 10:16:04

Your dd sounds like my dd1,fluffycauli, and she is hard work too but in a different way. I find her more demanding of me as I need a bit of time to myself and she wants all my attention, all the time, to discuss issues like the bad boy in the class getting more house points than her, simply for not being quite so bad. It sounds on the contrary to me that you are addressing her giftedness too, surely 2 instruments and a tutor is giving her some engaging one-on-one interaction with teachers, and you are paying in time and money for that-give yourself the credit for that too!

I feel that there's a line of difference between being a bit bored sometimes and spending hours every day being bored in the place you were told you are meant to be learning.

What you might learn instead, is that effort is unecessary, you are a superior (or maybe inferior) alien being, you have to hide your abilities to fit in. And sometimes that causing trouble is the only way to get some of the attention you crave. Or that the areas you are not gifted in, you are actually incapable of doing, and so will opt out? It's taken years to convince dd1 that she is good not a failure,(but has to work some) at maths, after a few early teachers continually praised her for her effortless reading.

Habanera Mon 22-Nov-10 10:34:07

hi GooseyLoosey
I know what you mean, I never said my dd's bad behaviour was caused directly by being clever but because I menitoned them in the same paragraph, that's the reaction I got.

I think it is due to frustration at being different, and in a "secret" way that she feels she must struggle to hide.

Now who is actually responsible for that? To me it's others reaction to them! They are still 7 year old children and just becasue they read War and Peace or do advanced calculus, we can't blame them for not being able to do everything to the same high level, i.e. ability to "get" social or physical skills might be BELOW average. As parents we just have to do the best we can, with the information we can get our hands on.

I bought dd2 a picture book on making friends (the right level for her social skills not her reading), which she pronounced babyish but I noticed read several times and I think it made her feel a bit better. There's still a lot to do (sigh)

fluffycauliflower Mon 22-Nov-10 20:47:41

Habenero, is your daughter really reading War and Peace? Is she enjoying it?

rabbitstew Fri 26-Nov-10 12:29:16

GooseyLoosey, we are shortly coming to the end of the process of getting psychological and other advice for my ds - and I have tried to take a little bit of control of the process by specifically trying to think around the reasons for my ds's behaviour (which are myriad, but certainly linked to his intelligence, on which everyone seems to be agreed). If I manage to get proper advice without a diagnosis of anything but my ds's intelligence (and I do not want a diagnosis, because I don't think there is actually anything "wrong" with him as such), then I will pass it on!!!!!

Maybe the Ed Psych in your case didn't give any helpful advice because he thought that your ds's problems were merely a result of his emotional and social immaturity, of which he would grow out in time, using his intelligence to help him, and in the meantime (ie while waiting for him to grow up), he may be made a bit happier by being intellectually stimulated, because that is what he can engage best with at the moment.

I personally think advice on how positively to help a child in this dilemma is far more helpful than just telling the parent he will grow out of his problems if he is stretched. I don't think there is any harm in trying to take advantage of a child's intelligence to help speed up their understanding of their own emotions and social skills - ie by helping them rationalise why they aren't very socially successful at the moment, but also that this isn't because they aren't very likeable!!!!!!! Otherwise they will grow up always feeling that they are genuinely "different" and "separate" rather than normal but unusually clever.

Aldent Mon 29-Nov-10 11:43:28

Im really glad I just looked on Mums net.We are having real problems with our 6 year old at school and his 'odd' behaviour. Close friends who know us advised us to see an educ psych as he sounded bored at school. We did privately and his IQ test said he is in the range of 'gifted and talented' but the school refuse to accept it as they have no evidence thenselves in his school work. We just don't know what to do next...maybe a change of school??!!

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