Reluctant brainiac - help!(12 Posts)
My 7yo (Y3) is very bright, she hears something and gets it and has to know everything about everything. She's actually in the "wrong" year being born 3 months early and the wrong side of August. We've been told since nursery she wouldn't have coped being in the year below because she's too bright and would be bored. Her teachers say she's the only kid they've had to tell off FOR reading - and I know they're not joking as her DH told her off in front of me for walking with a book and being too engrossed to know he had spoken to her! She is good at maths, English, history, art, pretty much anything she looks at she just gets.
She lies about not knowing answers "What's 1+1?" "Don't know" or "56"
She has work that's just her name and date - the teacher wrote "thanks for showing up"!
She has mega tantrums over homework and will refuse to do it.
She has lovely handwriting, her spelling is really good - as soon as she learnt her Ah Buh Cuh (she knew her ABCs before she started school) she could look at an object and know how to spell it - she wears glasses and is tested regularly by the high street optician but under the hospital. So we know she CAN do it and there's nothing physically stopping her.
Her teacher said he can't even test the extent of intelligence or prove it because she won't put it on paper.
It seems she can't be bothered, we don't know if she thinks she doesn't have to prove it, doesn't want to, thinks she doesn't have to or what. Although it does seem there's no consequences for her - which is even more frustrating because my 5yo autistic daughter who only just started school January is getting told off for not doing the homework the rest of the class is doing!
What do we do?
Talk to her, find out if she feels like she has to behave a certain way. You know she can do these things, so there has to be a reason why she isn't doing them.
Could she be getting bullied for being so bright, so that she's started to rebel? Or maybe she juat doesn't like to feel different?
She was being bullied for awhile, came to a head with a broken arm! She's totally different child now (it fixed the sleep issues too as she couldn't get out of bed on her own )
She's actually in a class that's all really bright (one class a year so big coincidence) which has been commented on since YR, they've been doing Y6 work this year. HT thought their class teacher was being too ambitious with some of the work they've been doing but was impressed with them. So I don't think it's being different. Talking to her the most we get is "don't know" or a tantrum.
I worry for her because I was similar, partly that I thought my intelligence was enough and partly that I'm scared of getting it wrong, even when I know 100% that I'm right and it meant that I didn't do well at school. Her dad is similar, but with him he's so laid back he doesn't care whether his intelligence gets him anywhere or if someone notices he got it wrong, as long as he can draw (fortunately he gets paid to draw or we'd be in trouble ). His work paid for him to go on a distance learning course and he couldn't be bothered to do it. I don't want her to be like us and no one gives her a break to be like us but there comes a point where you can't force it.
read Growth Mindset by Carol Dweck - it will probably explain a lot of what is going on in her head.
I think you're right and it could be that she's a perfectionist and is very afraid - this happened to my DD in Yr3. She'd be set a piece of work, panic and stare at a blank page and then panic even more, dash off something that was relatively OK but not what she was capable of. She was terrified of making mistakes because she knew she was bright.
We did a lot of work around building confidence both at home and with the teacher and she learned that you don't actually learn anything from getting 100% - you learn from making mistakes. It took a few months but she got her confidence back and started producing good work again.
I don't think it's a coincidence that your DD is in a very advanced year group, mine was too.
You said she is pretty good in everything and reads a lot. I think homework is for those children who need extra practice to reinforce what they learnt in the school. If she good in the school without doing her homework I think that is fine. Let her do what she likes at home, reading. So she can get the information from the books. Make a deal with her, if she shows the teacher how clever she is on paper (and any other way), you won�t force her to do her homework until she keeps up the good work in school. And I think you need to explain to your little daughter that some child needs a bit more practice than others.
Praise effort rather than achievement. Always!
DS2 (Yr2) has perfectionist tendencies. I have worked with the school and we all highlight the times we make mistakes to help him realise that even grown ups get things wrong. For example, if I am reading something and I make a mistake I will say "Oh I read that wrongly, I'll just go back and read it again"
He is definitely improving on this front and consequently is more willing to put pencil to paper.
Is there anything she could take up as a hobby that she isn't expected to be good at right away? One that doesn't rely on intelligence? A sport or a musical instrument? Circus skills?
Maybe you could learn with her together, focus on having fun, practising, making mistakes and getting better. Learning to juggle is supposed to be a good one.
I would contact the National Association of Gifted Children - google it and join up if you can - loads of support - telephone consultations etc, about £50 a year, really worthwhile.... You will also become part of a mailing list for great family events throughout the year.
They are fantastic for helping with emotional problems that arise from having a bright child, especially on the online family forums.
Your child can be tested, but not by a teacher. They can recommend educational psychologists. This could could help identify what your child might need. It could also help you to get extra support in your primary school - dedicated help from TA's, extra learning mentor etc.
I would honestly, honestly join and get her tested... it isn't 'a test', more like a play date with an educational psychologist! They can then help you make the next step.
I'm surprised that the teacher/school did not suggest it.
Interesting that perfectionism seems to be a big issue for clever kids.
She's a violin player - bet you're shocked she's the best in her lesson, stands perfectly until it's her turn... although we're struggling to get her to practice she said "You don't tell me when to practice" her violin teacher said "You have to practice any day you have dinner" so we've told her if she doesn't practice it's obviously not a dinner day She's also a recorder and African drums player. I knew at about 9 months she had natural musical tendencies. She's a complete expert on penguins, would sit and read her encyclopedias to anyone who came through the door as soon as she learnt to read.
I get the impression that she's like me and her brain is always switched on needing occupying. She couldn't even sleep in the incubator in NNU, when she was on phototherapy she'd take her mask off every time someone came in the room. She's also got a scary memory! She said to me recently "I love your red dress Mummy" I said I haven't worn it in ages but she said she remembers me in it and loved it. She was 4 months old and it was put away afterwards as my wardrobe broke. She keeps coming out with random things there's no way she should remember.
The school are looking at getting the ed psych to see her. They've not said what they're going to do. I asked if they were saying she was G&T and told they don't know because she won't show people. I will look that up, thank you.
I've always been of the opinion that you don't show children that adults are perfect, I will tell someone off in front of them if the child was right and the adult wrong or apologise if I made a mistake.
One thing that makes me sad is she was so advanced and I was so aware of it that it made me miss how behind my 5yo was for a long time and we've had a fight to get her support.
Join the discussion
Please login first.