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The playground!?!?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Can some of you tell me how your gifted child does on the playground vs classroom? Do they play by themselves? Play sports? Battle with other children? Etc...

My son is doing great in the class(talks to kids, socializes,participates) but the playground has been a struggle. He thinks no one want to play or they're all out to get him or he makes up silly rules and frustrates them.
post #2 of 13
My gifted child is 4 and in kindergarten. Usually at recess he plays soccer with some of the other boys. Occasionally he plays on the playground. Whenever I am there (I volunteer once a week) I hear lots of kids asking him to play.
Can you have some playdates to help him get to know his classmates better? Does he play any sports?
post #3 of 13
I think part of it will be based on the DC personality.

I have 5 yr old twins:


DD1: extrovert plays with everyone and anyone, but usually tries to lead the activity ( swinging, sandbox, play structure, ball game) She has a dominant, but likeable personality.

DD2: Hangs out with the teachers, she is introverted and does not like the chaotic activity of the other kids. Will play with her twin or another girl quietly on occasion. Being alone sometimes bothers her, but she likes her teachers a lot and enjoys the time talking to them about her interests (currently dinosaurs, Lion King, and food).


In the classroom is much the same, but DD2 does socialize more in the structured setting. She is liked by her classmates, but is happy to play alone or with one or two friends. She participates in all the activities willingly.

Neither daughter is shy.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJB View Post
My gifted child is 4 and in kindergarten. Usually at recess he plays soccer with some of the other boys. Occasionally he plays on the playground. Whenever I am there (I volunteer once a week) I hear lots of kids asking him to play.
Can you have some playdates to help him get to know his classmates better? Does he play any sports?
There is no shortage of playdates or after school activities. He has plenty of friends in all aspects of his life...it's just the playground that he struggles with. He won't even talk to his best friends on the playground. He won't go talk to his friends if they are talking to people he doesn't know...yet, he is not a shy kid at all!!! I'm guessing it's some kind if bizarre social anxiety that only comes out in group settings...but again, he would be fine at the hockey rink with 30 kids running around that he doesn't know. It's mind boggling!!!
post #5 of 13
Personality and structural needs. My eldest did fine on the playground even though she wasn't particularly social at that age. She spent time on her own. She organized groups of older kids in imagination play. She enjoyed her time there. DS is incredibly social and you'd think he'd have loved the playground but he hated it. It was too unstructured and out of his control. He hated swings because he couldn't start and stop them at his will. He hated kids running around with no purpose. The noise bothered him. He didn't really know what to do so he's start wandering or crying. He only liked it when there was either no one there or only 1 or 2 other kids he liked.
post #6 of 13
DS has always been in the middle of the recess action. In K he actually got in trouble a lot for the rough fighting/wrestling games he and his classmates would play. He seems to end up with a lot of different sorts of friends, including a lot of the "loners". He is the only friend that 2 kids have at school. But he finds it is hard because they only want to play with him and they each have only one game or activity they want to play. So he ends up feeling like someone is going to be unhappy. He tries to balance things the best he can.

He prefers to play with 1-3 kids at a time but will sometimes join larger activities when "chase" type games are involved. He also shows a preference for imaginary games where people play different roles like being animals and fortunately there a lot of his classmates who still enjoy that. He has never joined any of the football, soccer, or kickball games on the playground.
post #7 of 13
Perhaps you could ask for some social coaching during recess or you could help provide him with some coaching. You can do some roll playing at home and then when you are with him, gently remind him of what you worked on earlier.

My oldest has trouble during recess. He is very quirky and has not sense of boudaries. It has led to some animosity with several children (they hate their personal space invaded). So we talk about playing with others and how to invite someone to play and talk about the rule, etc.
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by sungod View Post
Do they play by themselves? Play sports? Battle with other children? Etc...
all that and more... ds loves the playground. He is very social, outgoing, physical and coordinated.

I would definitely second the "coaching" idea. Also specifically practicing... like setting up one-on-one or small group playdates at the playground when its not a crowded time? Where you can be a little more involved in facilitating play?

But I'm not totally clear- is this bothering your son? maybe he'd rather just hang back and watch for now? If its not a problem for him, then maybe no need to "do" anything about it for now? Also, I noticed in a playdate the other day with a school friend who has a tendency to kind of freak out or withdraw during recess and PE that this other kid just needed a lot more time to warm up. After a half hour or so, they finally began to play together. Maybe school recess is just too short?
post #9 of 13
DS (newly four) also does a lot better socially in structured settings than he does with free play. A lot of it has to do with things PPs have mentioned: quirkiness, no sense of boundaries, trouble with the noise level, no control, general overstimulation which makes him start doing silly things. He also has problems negotiating the rules of play. The latter I think is not a verbal issue (he can negotiate with grownups just fine!) but to do with his being very intense and rigid, so he can interact best with older girls and grownups who are flexible enough to give in when he can't.
With boys his age, he needs at least two hours to warm up so they can play well. And sometimes nothing helps. I try to do social skills coaching by myself but it is not easy in the heat of the moment, and he does not seem interested in debriefing, though I try. Preschool teachers tell us it's gotten much better so I am hoping for maturity to help a lot, too.
post #10 of 13

Ds (3) tries to make conversation with other kids, asking them 5 million questions.  Usually they will either just look at him and go do something else, or answer a couple questions and then go play.  

 

Then he will go find the kids mom/dad and ask them 5 million questions.   Then eventually I go get him and tell him to "go play already!", and he will try and get other kids to join him in some elaborate game with made up people and made up words for imaginary places... doesnt usually work.   

 

So then he will do experiments like using the slide as a ramp, dropping things off towers, balancing things on swings.   

 

Finally, he will play like a normal kid, go on the swing/slide/climb/play tag/follow the leader type games/follow around a big kid etc.   It takes a while to get there! 

post #11 of 13

My daughter is 8, and has difficulties with her peers. She is socially immature for her age, but she is also an advanced thinker, so that makes for interesting interactions with her peers. They seem to like her, it's more that she doesn't get them. She gets offended when they say things to her that children say, and she doesn't understand why they don't recognize how it makes her feel and apologize. Like, if they ask her something like "Why do you always wear those tights?" She gets upset, and comes home telling me they were picking on her tights. Then she will say something like "Don't they understand that their judgment about my tights reflects negatively on my self esteem? Why don't they apologize for that?" I try to explain to her that this sort of reasoning is beyond most 2nd graders, but she doesn't understand. She prefers to play alone. They don't play games or have conversations like she likes to have. However, she is a really sweet kid, and the other kids all do seem to like her a lot.

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serenity Now View Post

Like, if they ask her something like "Why do you always wear those tights?" She gets upset, and comes home telling me they were picking on her tights.

LOL, my son is the king of asking questions like that. Things like: why other kids can't properly pronounce words (if they have a lisp or worse, a speech delay like one friend), why they are afraid of sliding down the fireman's pole, why they like to wear party shoes when they are hard to climb in, why they always wear the same sweatshirt, why they haven't had a haircut even though their hair is messy, why they always cry about little things... and really anything else he notices and often the things that you aren't really supposed to mention. And honestly, he is NOT intending it as a judgment or to pick on them. He really wants to know. I often worry that adults or sensitive kids are getting offended by him.
 

post #13 of 13

Until this year, DD prefered to just walk around the playground by herself and "think".  It was her downtime and she needed to regroup.  When certain teachers/volunteers were on recess durty, she would just sit and talk with them.   It was one of the concerns her teachers brought up at parent/teacher conferences.   Her second grade teacher told us that when she started third grade and was put in the accelerated program, she suspected that Grace would start playing more with peers because they would understand her better.  Sure enough, this year she has played during recess a whole lot more.  There are still some days she walks the playground or talks to those on recess duty, but many more days of playing.

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