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"I don't know"

(20 Posts)
IsayIdontknow Sat 17-Sep-16 12:31:16

DS, 6, is quite bright. Curiously, he seems to be rather slow in making simple decisions, something like "what would you like for breakfast". He have to spend a long time thinking about it, and his default answer when pushed is "but I don't know" or "I don't mind". When asked exactly what he doesn't know about he said he weren't sure what options are available, and when I pointed out that toast, porridge and cereals are what we have pretty much every day he said he weren't sure whether the porridge comes with banana.

Anyone has any experience of that? It is very frustrating for me!

Btw sorry if this is not the right board for it but I think posters on this board are generally quite interested in cognitive development etc.

yeOldeTrout Sat 17-Sep-16 12:54:21

One of mine is much more of a thinker than the others. He can seem very slow. He just takes ages to make up his mind. Don't ask him to choose a cake in the bakery, it's a painful wait...

He's the only one of my kids who got L3 across the board in KS1 SATs. confused

irvineoneohone Sat 17-Sep-16 13:26:15

Same here. "I don't know" was my ds's nick name from us parents for while.
I figured it out, if I ask specific question, like, "would you like a toast for breakfast?", he would say yes or no, then narrow it down from there, "jam or chocolate spread? or both?" to speed things up.
It's sometimes really annoying, but I got used to it now.

Same works for his work. He doesn't like generalized question. He likes more specific and detailed question. Otherwise he says, "I don't know".

Rockpebblestone Sat 17-Sep-16 13:32:42

Mine went through a phase of answering very honestly. If pushed, the answer was "I don't actually know", as the questions were invariably inferential. So I had to ask "What do you think might be correct?", clarifying to, "I want you to speculate."

Thewolfsjustapuppy Sun 18-Sep-16 22:49:21

Sometimes we have to wait so long for an answer I have forgotten what the question was.
DS spends ages weighing up every single options merits and then often will just answer "whatever you choose, that will be fine".

chopchopchop Mon 19-Sep-16 11:39:40

Yes. This is exactly what happens with DD too. As she's got a bit older, she's able to explain that there are simply too many choices and that makes it very difficult to decide. I also suspect that she's overthinking the options quite considerably.

We've ended up explaining to her that a) you don't have to really think so hard about this kind of question and b) that it's rude to keep people waiting and so it's much better to say something even if it's not exactly wait. This is particularly true if a kindly adult asks you what the best part of your summer holiday was (or similar). It's better to just say something, even if you decide later that actually it wasn't the right answer.

But it still happens...

IsayIdontknow Mon 19-Sep-16 11:49:36

I am glad that it's not just mine! OMG the frustration of waiting.......and waiting......... I do sometimes worry that his vagueness/slowness will cause him problems at school with his peers.

00100001 Mon 19-Sep-16 11:53:14

To be fair, if someone asks me what I want for dinner, my first response is "In don't know".

Ask me " shall we have macaroni cheese?" I'll respond with "ooh yes please" or "maybe something else less heavy. Cheese salad?"

00100001 Mon 19-Sep-16 11:55:09

Give him less open choices/questions next time.
So instead of "what would you like for breakfast?" Ask "would yyou like toast or cereal?" "which cereal would like today?" Or "do you want jam or butter on your toast?"

PumpkinPie9 Mon 19-Sep-16 12:01:00

Dd1 is like this and it can be frustrating. I sometimes get impatient and say "Oh don't worry I'll choose for you if you can't decide." Dd is able at school, but the one thing that lets her down is that she is too slow at writing. The SPAG is good so that isn't the problem, but i wondered if she takes a while to think what to write and this is linked to her taking ages to decide stuff. Anyone else find their child has both issues?

Lweji Mon 19-Sep-16 12:05:38

I fully agree with giving two choices only.
If that doesn't work, ask if X is ok. If not, then give the second alternative.

It happens a lot. Sometimes even with things that they have said no to, and then when they see it on the table they'll have it. Sigh.

nonicknameseemsavailable Mon 19-Sep-16 12:07:34

yes - worries about making the wrong decision, overthinking it all.

the other thing is that with a bright child you tend to expect them to be very quick and they aren't always. One of mine had to have a proper IQ test when trying to work out some problems she was having were. In it it became clear that her processing speed was average but her actual IQ was exceptionally high. so she processes at the usual rate for a child her age, or even a bit slower than most but because her intellect is high I think it is more obvious that she is slow if that makes sense.

chopchopchop Mon 19-Sep-16 12:50:30

pumpkin yes exactly.

This has improved, partly I think through encouraging her to use mind maps/rough plans which take away some of the indecision, plus also talking to her about writers doing rough drafts and so it not having to be perfect (she went to a very good talk by a childrens' writer who encouraged them to 'sick it all up' then edit and still remembers this).

Having said all that I suspect that it's mainly age that has helped.

irvineoneohone Mon 19-Sep-16 18:56:06

PumpkinPie9, mine is exactly the same!
Great at SPG, slow at writing. Once he set his mind to what he wants to write, not too bad. But until he gets there.....
I truly understood his teacher's frustration.

IsayIdontknow Tue 20-Sep-16 10:32:16

I am very interested in slow processing speed mentioned by nonicknames. I briefly looked this up on the internet and it does ring a bell of quite a few behavioral aspects of DS. I wonder whether it is worth getting him tested? He just turned 6, does anyone know if he would be too young for assessments?

nonicknameseemsavailable Tue 20-Sep-16 10:38:41

DD was tested at 6.5.

PumpkinPie9 Tue 20-Sep-16 10:41:36

I think my dd has slow processing speed. How do you get them assessed and how much does it cost if not available on the nhs? I've only just noticed this is on the gifted and talented board. It came up in active convos and i clicked on it because it seemed relevant.

Thewolfsjustapuppy Tue 20-Sep-16 15:01:04

I think you probably approach the school SENCo if it is an issue that is effecting your DC performance in relation to potential. You may have to go privately in the end but that is a starting point.

Longlost10 Sun 25-Sep-16 19:35:17

This is a question of emotional development, rather than intellectual development.

JammyDodger16 Sat 01-Oct-16 17:59:50

I was like this when I was little - was a gifted child - very indecisive but I really didn't mind. It took a long time for me to form opinions on anything and I genuinely didn't mind what I had. Still a bit like that, maybe it comes from being a 'grey area' kind of person / thinker

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