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when did you know your dc was gifted? and were you a gifted child yourself?

(67 Posts)
hazeldog Tue 09-Oct-12 22:57:45

Just that really. I was a super intelligent child, musically and artistically talented with an IQ of 150 or so and all the difficult and dysfunctional stuff that can go with it. I worry for ds that he may turn out the same. He is only a baby now but has just had his 4-5 month contact with the HV and is very very advanced on his milestones. I mean thr HV had to pick her jaw off the floor at some things he can do. How likely is it that the poor mite inherited a mind that questions everything and struggles with existential angst from the age of 5? And if he has how do I make it easier for him? My own mother was obsessed with hot housing in order to cover herself in reflected glory so I know what not to do. Please tell me your positive stories smile

seeker Tue 09-Oct-12 23:01:24

I would just relax for a while yet- he's very little!

hazeldog Tue 09-Oct-12 23:04:38

I know! I'm probably overthinking it as its a worry I have had for a long time before having kids. but I would like to know whether other peoples g and t children were ahead from very early.

ReallyTired Tue 09-Oct-12 23:07:49


Sorry with the best will in the world you cannot tell whether a 4 month old baby is gifted or not. I'm reading a book called "Nutureshock" which states that assessment of intelligence before the age of seven is pretty unreliable.

Praise your child for working hard rather than being clever. Apparently research shows that if a child is told that they are clever then they are more likely to under perform. Praise has to be used carefully otherwise it will backfire.

It sounds corney but enjoy the early years. Early child development is not necessarily an indicator of later intelligence. Other children may catch up or even over take.

Ds had delayed development due to orthopedic problems and glue ear, but now he is doing really well academically at the age of 10.

UnnamedFemaleProtagonist Tue 09-Oct-12 23:08:30

What can he do? <boggled>

Jinsei Tue 09-Oct-12 23:09:15

You definitely need to relax - he's a tiny baby!

It sounds like your mother was obsessed with how well you were doing, hence the hothousing. The best thing you can do is just chill, and take the lead from your son himself as he gets older. Let him explore and follow his curiosity, encourage him to pursue his interests and avoid labelling him at all costs. He may turn out to be super-intelligent, or he may not. Even if he does, it won't necessarily manifest itself in the same way as it did with you. And however he turns out, he needs to know that he is loved and valued regardless of how clever he is.

Just enjoy your lovely baby and forget about the rest! smile

ExitPursuedByAaaaaarGhoul Tue 09-Oct-12 23:11:56

So where has your fabulous intelligence got you? I take it from what you say that your childhood was not particularly happ. So why not just chill and see what develops?

hazeldog Tue 09-Oct-12 23:19:09

Thanks that's reassuring. I am probably looking too hard as yes exit I did not have a very happy childhood. ( not sure what you're getting at with the tone of that comment this isn't about my "fabulous intelligence" I'm simply stating that as a child I was subjected to many tests and found to have a very high IQ. ) it just struck a chord when the HV started telling me how advanced my child was and got me wonderind how early you can tell.

hazeldog Tue 09-Oct-12 23:20:52

Unnamed its not like he's doing calculus he's just very far ahead and had been doing some of the milestones you would expect at 4-5 months from 3-4 weeks.

AnxiousElephant Tue 09-Oct-12 23:22:50

Actually that is quite a myth that you can't tell and it 'all evens out in the end'.
On a personal and professional level I have witnessed many childrens development as well as my own children. All the children I know who were alert at the newborn first weeks, could hold heads well, sat unsupported/ crawled/ walked early and therefore explored their environment early, have all continued to be advanced (not genius advanced but definately top 10%). At 2 my HV said that dd was unusually advanced in all areas of development and this has continued (again not genius level, but advanced) and she is now 6. Her progress shows no sign of slowing. However, the nature versus nurture debate still rages. I believe that given the right nurturing most children are capable of excelling. However, not all parents have the skills, knowledge, time or patience to nurture the gifts. My own parents were an example of this. They viewed me asking why as 'being insolant or cheeky' whereas as view my dds questions of why as 'inquisitive and intelligent' even when she seems to be having an answer for everything smile. I therefore strive to answer the questions, rather than the stifling 'because I said so' response. smile

Toughasoldboots Tue 09-Oct-12 23:24:56

My eldest dd was considered super bright, very , very advanced in everything until age 7.She is now beautiful, funny and wonderful, but decidedly average academically ( and that is being kind).

You cannot go on like this, really you can't grin

ExitPursuedByAaaaaarGhoul Tue 09-Oct-12 23:25:56

Sorry, for some reason I interpreted 'fabulous' from your post, but having re read it I realise that was inappropriate. I apologise, no offence intended.

lisad123 Tue 09-Oct-12 23:32:07

Dd1 was clearly gifted from a young age but clearly had other SN too so hard to know what I noticed first but certainly not that young!!
Just relax and treat him normally, until you feel he may need extra, trust yourself as his mother and you will be great smile

AnxiousElephant Tue 09-Oct-12 23:32:37

I have to ask whether progress would naturally 'level out' if they were stretched at school more. Do they get bored of learning because they know what is being taught already by age 7 and do they then turn off their interest? hmm

hazeldog Tue 09-Oct-12 23:34:21

None taken smile

Jinsei Tue 09-Oct-12 23:35:13

FWIW, OP, some bright kids do hit milestones very early. DD was exceptionally alert from birth, social smiling at a week, obsessed with books by three months, very early talker etc. At 7, she is still some way ahead of her peers academically. Conversely, she didn't sit, crawl or walk early and she is still decidedly average with regard to most physical skills.

BUT I know other kids who developed very quickly as babies/toddlers and then plateaued/levelled out. And others who were slow starters but blossomed later on when they were ready. In other words, early signs of intelligence may well be followed by academic success later, but you can't always tell.

Either way, labels aren't helpful - he is who he is, just enjoy it!

Toughasoldboots Tue 09-Oct-12 23:35:38

I don't know. My ds did not strike me as particularly bright but he started flying academically at about the same age. He is very clever in top group at SS grammar. Probably not gifted though.
It's just my own anecdote.

AnxiousElephant Tue 09-Oct-12 23:37:09

Hazeldog obviously you can't hothouse a baby but you can always provide stimulation appropriate to learning pace. i.e. if he is trying to roll put toys slightly to one side to encourage him or if trying to sit give lots of time for him to practice using cushions as opposed to bumbo seats (doesn't develop stomach muscles). If he enjoys standing get a jumparoo type thing with toys on ........if you think he says a word then repeat it in a sentence i.e. he points/ says bah, near a sheep ...... you say 'yes the sheep says bah'

Toughasoldboots Tue 09-Oct-12 23:37:42

And a dd with ASD who is exceptional in maths particularly but didn't walk until 18mths.

hazeldog Tue 09-Oct-12 23:39:31

I was bored at school anxious but my performance didn't start to flag until mh problems began in earnest in my early teens and even then not significantly. I never felt stretched even at university and was able to continue to achieve high grades while using drugs and being severely depressed. My problems were brushed off by teachers and parents alike as it was felt that as long as my grades were high I couldn't be that unwell. Very sad really as the signs were all there. If I had been more stretched perhaps boredom wouldnt have led to drugs.

AnxiousElephant Tue 09-Oct-12 23:39:47

Jinsei I agree that labels don't really mean much and aren't helpful. The spectrum of giftedness is as wide as learning difficulties, with some overlap! smile

Jinsei Tue 09-Oct-12 23:40:43

anxious, I'm sure that some kids aren't stretched and end up disengaging, but I think they're in a minority. My dd's school is very good (imo) at stretching all children according to their ability, but some of those who started off ahead have since been overtaken by others in the class. I don't think it's a failure of the teachers, merely that some kids have made more progress relative to others.

BoffinMum Tue 09-Oct-12 23:41:18

I think you know really early on with a lot of superbright kids, but it doesn't matter a jot and the thing that matters is whether they are well balanced.

Being very bright does not mean having to be dysfunctional, you know. Far from it.

AnxiousElephant Tue 09-Oct-12 23:45:14

Hazeldog I was supposed to study dentistry, had the places sorted. Unfortunately I had never needed to try and therefore I didn't study at A level, dropped out of education to work part time in a supermarket. As you know what I do now, clearly I had a brain, like you I have cruised through any educational course with minimal effort, even the Pg Dip (masters level)

Jinsei Tue 09-Oct-12 23:46:23

Do you think it was boredom that led to drug abuse, OP? Or was it perhaps a rebellion against your excessively pushy mother? Genuine question.

I found school and university easy too, it suited me as I am was a bit lazy. However, I wasn't tempted to go off the rails because of this as I had very sensible, balanced, grounded parents who emphasised the importance of other things in life as well as academic achievement.

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